Head to Story Land and explore the Mount Washington Valley
Planning a trip to Story Land this summer? The amusement park provides enough rides and attractions for a day’s worth of excitement, and then some. Kids can take a spin in a teacup, travel by pumpkin coach to see Cinderella’s castle, “drive” a car, splash down the Bamboo Chutes and scream along on the Roar-O-Saurus, the only wooden roller coaster of its kind in northern New England.
When your fun at the park is done, it’s not the end of your family’s story in the White Mountains — it’s just the beginning. With so much to see and do, here’s how to add even more adventure to your Mount Washington Valley trip.
Beyond Story Land, into the Village
Just a few miles down the road from Story Land is North Conway Village, a bustling village surrounded by the nearly 800,000-acre White Mountains National Forest. As a natural crossroads in the region, North Conway is a summer tourist hot spot, with restaurants aplenty, hotels and inns, and dozens of locally owned gift shops and boutiques. Park your car and explore the compact downtown area on foot. For dining and shopping, some top picks for families here include Flatbread Pizza, found on the ground floor of the Eastern Slope Inn, the Toy Chest and Zeb’s Country Store.
Also found in the village is the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, an interactive science museum that makes weather come alive for both young and old. For the small set, there’s the Mount Washington Valley Children's Museum, a creative play spot geared for kids eight and younger. Babies and young toddlers can explore at their own pace in a separate age-appropriate play area.
For an unforgettable journey into the heart of the White Mountains, climb aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad, leaving from its main station in North Conway, and travel by vintage rail car through spectacular Crawford Notch. Shorter trips to Conway and Bartlett are also available.
In summer, area ski resorts trade in snow guns and groomed trails for warm weather alpine fun. At nearby Attitash Mountain Resort in Bartlett, ride the longest zipline in New England, zoom down the slopes on a mountain coaster, and catch some air on the EuroBungy trampoline.
In the Abenaki language, Attitash means “blueberry,” and in August, the resort celebrates the colorful fruit with its annual Blueberry Fest. On Saturday, August 5, 2017, stop by for games, face painting, live music, a blueberry pie eating contest, and lots of tasty blueberry treats. On August 13 and 14, 2017, Circus Smirkus pays the mountain a visit for two fun-filled shows.
Back in North Conway, Cranmore Mountain is another ski resort that seamlessly transitions to summer. At the Cranmore Adventure Park, soar on a giant swing, go snow tubing, or take a scenic chairlift ride to a special picnic spot on Cranmore’s summit. Special events this summer include Cranmore’s annual Fourth of July celebration and weekly concert series.
Scaling New Heights
Finally, if you are near Story Land, it also means that you are near Mount Washington, the 6,289-foot “rooftop of New England” whose summit you can see shimmering in the distance almost anywhere you go in the area. For a fairytale ending to your trip, why not see what life in the clouds is really like?
By foot, you can reach the Mount Washington summit by scaling Tuckerman Ravine, a great challenge for experienced teen and adult hikers (find the trailhead at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center). For summit views without the blisters, try the well-traveled Mount Washington Auto Road, also found in Pinkham Notch/Route 16. Besides breathtaking vistas in all directions, the summit houses a cafeteria, gift shop, and the Mount Washington Observatory and its museum.
Take it all in, and when it’s time for the descent, be forewarned: the trek down Mount Washington may just make you feel like you’re back on the Roar-o-saurus at Story Land.