Where to Go, What to Know

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Two weeks ago, Travel section contributor John Briley hopped on a nonstop flight to Manchester, N.H., for a long weekend of cross-country and downhill skiing. His reporter's guide:

GETTING THERE: Southwest flies nonstop from BWI to Manchester, starting at $117 round trip. Other airlines flying nonstop from the D.C. area include US Airways ($409 from Reagan National) and United ($312 from Dulles).

Jackson is 110 miles (about 2 1/2 hours) north of Manchester via Interstate 93 and N.H. routes 104, 25 and 16. The heart of Jackson is tiny; most of the businesses listed below are within walking distance of one another.


* The Wildcat Inn and Tavern (Route 16A, 800-228-4245, http://www.wildcattavern.com) has doubles starting at $129 a night on weekends, including continental breakfast. The historic inn fronts Jackson's Main Street and offers a casual lodge experience. The tavern, Tuckerman Ravine, has exposed wood ceiling beams, fireside tables, live music on weekends and a locally celebrated open-mike night on Tuesdays.

* For a more upscale experience, the Wentworth Inn (1 Carter Notch Rd., 800-637-0013, http://www.thewentworth.com) offers doubles on weekends from $199 per night, including breakfast and dinner. The Snowflake Inn (95 Main St., 888-383-1020, http://www.thesnowflakeinn.com), with on-site spa services, has doubles from $179, including continental breakfast and afternoon tea.


* The Thompson House Eatery (193 Main St., 603-383-9341) is a converted farmhouse dating back 200 years that retains many original features, including the chimney and fireplace. The fare is billed as fine dining in a casual atmosphere, with entrees from $17.

* Delaney's Hole in the Wall (North Main Street, North Conway, 603-356-7776), eight miles south of Jackson, offers a lively barroom atmosphere and an eclectic menu featuring pizza, salads, sandwiches, pasta and surprisingly good sushi. Pizza from $9, entrees from $15.

* For breakfast, we hit the J-Town Deli (174 Main St., 603-383-8064) for bagels, muffins and coffee.


* The Jackson XC Ski Center (153 Main St., 800-927-6697; http://www.jacksonxc.org) offers gear rental and sales, lessons, maps and advice. Skis/boots/poles rental packages start at $16 a day; the center also rents snowshoes. A $17 trail pass gives you access to about 100 miles of trails, many in White Mountain National Forest.

* Wildcat Mountain (888-754-9453, http://www.skiwildcat.com) is about 15 miles north of Jackson on Route 16, just past Pinkham Notch in White Mountain National Forest. Lift tickets are $59. Wildcat has four lifts serving 47 trails. Base elevation is 2,000 feet; summit is 4,062 feet. The mountain is typically open well into April.

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