Find tax-free outlet shopping and fun in North Conway

If you’re packing up the car for a trip to the White Mountains, leave extra room if you plan to go anywhere near the peak shopping destination of Settlers Green Outlet Village in North Conway, billed as New England's largest tax-free shopping outlet. Filled with popular outlet and retail stores, from Adidas to Zales, this shoppers’ paradise has something for everyone, and (shh…) can even help you get a jump on back-to-school shopping.

What can you expect and what else is there to do besides shop? Here’s how to navigate a very different kind of White Mountains adventure.

The Growing Green

Settlers Green Outlet Village was the first outlet center to open in North Conway. But it has since been joined by three others: Settlers Streetside, Settlers Crossing, and Settlers Corner. Clustered on both sides of Route 16 at the southern edge of North Conway, each shopping area has its own featured stores, and its own flavor. The original Outlet Village has lots of shops to choose from, including outlet versions of many favorite mall stores, including Justice, Children’s Place, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, American Eagle, and Banana Republic. The Outlet Village is also home to a Yankee Candle outlet, Stonewall Kitchen, and a Lindt Chocolate shop.

At nearby Settlers Streetside, the shopping turns it up a hipster notch with shops such as Columbia Sportswear, Skechers, and Francesca’s. For smart and sporty shopping, head to Settlers Crossing where your choices include Books-a-Million, Starbucks, and a giant LL Bean Outlet store. If you’ve got a home building or redecorating project waiting for you when you return from your trip, swing by Settlers Corner for North Conway outposts of favorite retailers Home Depot and Home Goods.

When you are Done Shopping

What fun is it to shop on an empty stomach? The Settlers area offers many dining spots that are a hit with families. For burgers and fries, try the Black Cap Grille or Wicked Fresh Craft Burgers. Pizza is fresh from the oven at Brandli's Pizza Grille. If you’re more in the mood for a sweet snack, stop by the White Mountain Cupcakery. For added fun after you shop and dine, take in one of the Outlet Village’s free outdoor summer movie nights, or head to Starbucks for free live music concerts.

And if your day trip to shop has rapidly turned into a weekend away in the Whites, hotel accommodations are nearby and plentiful. Just steps away from the stores (as in, park your car at the hotel and walk a few feet to start shopping) is the North Conway Grand Hotel. Despite its lofty-sounding name, the hotel is a family-friendly gem, with three pools, playground, arcade and free movie night. Besides shopping, it’s easy to use the hotel as a launching pad to explore the rest of the North Conway region, including Story Land, just miles up the road.

Elsewhere in North Conway is the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort. This hillside hotel has stunning views of the surrounding mountains, but families flock here because of what’s inside the hotel: the Kahuna Laguna Water Park, a deluxe 40,000-square-foot indoor water park that is a destination unto itself.

Another lodging favorite for shoppers is the Colonial Motel, also found on the White Mountain Highway. The tidy motel offers all the basics at a budget-friendly rate. Ask about its Settlers Green specials to save more, so you have a little more to spend.

And no matter big or small your spree, don’t forget to pick up some souvenirs.

Categories: Summer Roadtrips