Mount Washington Valley is New Hampshire's all-season playground, with the unmistakable presence of the Presidentials' highest peak in the distance. North Conway sits at the crossroads to a number of winter activities, many of which don't involve boots and bindings. With five skiing and boarding areas, as well as dozens of shopping outlets to choose from, it's rarely a challenge finding something for everyone.
SKI AREAS: Thrill-seekers normally apply elsewhere, but Cranmore Mountain (1 Skimobile Road, 603-356-5543, www.cranmore.com), within a mile of North Conway, has had location and history (renowned ski instructor Hannes Schneider made his US name here) on its resume for generations. Also nearby: Attitash (Route 302, Bartlett, 603-374-2368, www.attitash .com), Wildcat Mountain (Route 16, Pinkham Notch, 603-466-3326, www.skiwildcat.com), Bretton Woods (Route 302, Bretton Woods, 603-278-1000, www.brettonwoods.com), King Pine (1251 Eaton Road, East Madison, 603-367-8896, www.kingpine.com), Black Mountain (373 Black Mountain Road, Jackson, 603-383-4490, www.blackmt.com).
OTHER SPORTS: Tubing, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, skating, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, dogsledding, horseback riding.
DINING: Chef's Market (2724 Main St., 603-356-4747, www.chefsmarketnorthconway .com, salads and sandwiches $3.95-$6.75) offers a healthy alternative to takeout food. The 1785 Inn (3582 White Mountain Highway, 603-356-9025, www.the1785inn.com, entrees $17.85-$29.85) will provide the ultimate for a romantic après-ski experience.
LODGING: The North Conway Grand (Route 16 at Settlers' Green Outlet, 603-356-9300, www.northconwaygrand.com, $199-$269) features an outdoor heated pool and more than 60 outlet shops nearby. Kids will love the indoor water park at the Red Jacket Resort (2251 White Mountain Highway, 603-356-5411, www.redjacketresorts .com, $99-$319).
NIGHT LIFE: Relive your day on the slopes with fellow alpinists, local bands, and perhaps the best burger in the valley at the Red Parka Pub (Route 302, Glen, 603-383-4344, www.redparkapub.com). For Saturday night sports action, Delaney's (North Main St., 603-356-7776, www.delaneys.com).
WHAT'S NEW: The Mount Washington Hotel is scheduled to open its 25,000-square-foot spa this winter.