North Conway offers a lot more than just outlet shopping

North Conway, NH – Visitors to North Conway know that they can always count on some great outlet shopping. But make no mistake about it, there are activities to choose from which span all four seasons. This includes skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, golfing, fishing, canoeing, camping, family attractions, scenic tours, shopping and leaf peeping. One of North Conway New Hampshire’s newest hotels, the Hampton Inn and Suites, boasts a four-storey, attached, indoor water park as well as an on-site fitness center! The hotel opened in 2006, yet it still looks spanking new.

There are 97 rooms and suites here. Our family decided to get connecting rooms, which translated into a very nice suite-like atmosphere. One room had a king size bed and a large walk-in shower; the other two queen beds. We requested a small fridge for the room. A few doors down was an on-site laundry facility. machine, with plenty of machines. People tend to come here for extended stays to enjoy all of the attractions in the area, so having such an option can be a real bonus.

The hotel has complimentary wireless high-speed internet access, a hot breakfast buffet served until 10 a.m. each day, “on the run” breakfast bags for folks on the go, an onsite fitness center, a business center with computers and a printer, an on-site suite shop convenience store and even a babysitting service.

Hampton’s new Cloud Nine bedding boasts pillow top mattresses and all white duvets. I really appreciated the small portable cushioned laptop tables, which makes typing while sitting in bed or in a chair a real breeze. There is no extra charge here to bring your pet. Ditto for cribs or rollaways. The hotel plans different activities, such as movie nights and BINGO games. Rates here include unlimited use of the indoor water park, home to Fernando the Frog, a six-foot amphibian with a mini waterslide connected to a heated pool. The water park which features dozens of interactive water activities and slides, twisting flumes, a raining umbrella, and more! I must have gone down the opened yellow slide more than a dozen times, lying flat on my back and plunging at a rapid speed. It was a blast. Afterwards I decompressed in the nice and warm Jacuzzi. There is nothing quite like having access to such a facility and being able to go back and forth to your room in the same building.

Whenever our family goes on summer vacation, we always seek out a good spot for miniature golf. The much respected Pirates Cove Adventure Golf chain is present here in North Conway at 2001 White Mountain Highway with not one, but two 18 hole courses. Some people do both of them back to back. Our plan was to do so over two evenings. We started off on what was considered the more challenging course, featuring a neat mountain cave, cascading waterfalls and some tricky holes. It was a great deal of fun. The course itself was nicely arranged and the pirate theme was present throughout. If you are headed to North Conway with a group and wish to arrange a mini-golf tournament, call ahead to Josh Power at 603-356-8807.

Merlino’s Steakhouse is our choice when visiting North Conway. It features only Certified Angus Beef, which assures customers the finest quality beef available. They also serve some of the finest Italian food, using time tested family recipes, chops and ribs, fish and poultry, Merlino’s has a great children’s menu, featuring ziti with jumbo meatball, kids’ smoothies, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers and pizza. There is a generous assortment of appetizers, soups and salads. I strongly recommend the Prime Rib, which comes in six, 12 and 18 ounce portions. The garlic mashed potatoes on the size are delicious. If a Caesar salad is to your liking, a large bowl will be brought to the table for everyone to share. They even serve lobster, in the shell or a lazy man style (all cut up). The lobster macaroni and cheese is a new creation. I had the 14 ounce Delmonico steak and it was tender and juicy. Our server Dan, recognizing that we were from Quebec, brushed up on some of the French he learned in high school and gave us a nice “Bonjour” upon taking our orders and even a “Merci.” The two floor facility was busy on the evening we came, including a spirited engagement party just across the room from us.

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Mike Cohen’s email address is [email protected]. Follow his travels at

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