Home Sweet Home
12 Unique Places to Stay in New HampshireLisa Martineau
NewHampshire.com October 02. 2017 4:08AM
We've heard about destination weddings, vacations built on the vibe of a place, but have you really thought about making your vacation all about the place you've chosen to stay?
If you haven't, you might want to consider these "homes away from home" that you'll only find right here in the Granite State. Sure, you might find one similar somewhere else, but if you are considering a fall vacation, a ski trip or a summer hotspot in New Hampshire, think about location, location, location and make it great!
Here is a list of some interesting places to stay that will make your vacation one-of-a-kind and totally unforgettable. These are in no particular order. Let your imagination do the picking.
1. Stay in a Lil' Red Caboose in Lincoln. Who doesn't love a little red caboose? Here's your chance to stay in one, and at a reasonable price, too! This beautifully refurbished 1921 caboose may seem a little too cozy but it sleeps four, has one bath with indoor plumbing plus an outdoor bathroom option. Sometimes cozy isn't a bad thing, and although the second bed is really a pullout, there is another bunk on this little train - and this one has views! The Lil' Red Caboose is perfect for some friends who want to take advantage of nearby hiking, or a family with two children who don't mind the close quarters. With that said, you'll also enjoy a fireplace for those cool mornings, mountain views, parking for one, a kitchen with a coffee pot, stove, small fridge, microwave and sink. There is even a small table for dining. There are two televisions - one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom. Some of the caboose's original features are there and it's been wonderfully designed. If you have a train lover in your family, give them a night! They will love it!
2. Stay in a Castle. in Rindge. There's a castle and there's this castle with beautiful views of the Monadnock Region. This getaway features 8 bedrooms, 5-1/2 baths and sleeps 22. If you are looking to celebrate a small wedding, host a family reunion or just get away from it all, this property, which sits on a 500-acre estate, should provide all that you need and so much more. There's even a fully stocked bar and pool table in the basement. The decor is a mixture of contemporary and classic, but the master bedroom with its four-poster, elaborate bed and a library of books, makes it really feel like a castle. For cross-country skiers, they provide 20km of skiing right on the property. We're not sure if there's a moat, but there is a knight in shining armor to greet you. You may find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors, too. There is an expansive lawn for games, a frisbee golf course, a lake that offers some amazing play time for the kids and features paddleboards, a canoe, paddle boats, kayaks and a small sailboat. There is a barbecue and fire pit for the adults and kids alike and also an outdoor jacuzzi and above-ground pool. Something else that makes this castle special, besides the fact that it's a castle, are the hidden passageways and other areas (like the turrets) to explore. What would a castle be without those?
3. Stay in a romantic Shabby Chic Mountaintop Cottage in Goffstown. If you can wait until foliage is peak in southern New Hampshire, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this representation of a shabby chic cottage. It's so delicately detailed you'll find that nothing has been missed and it's "white glove" clean. There's something around every corner of this Mount Uncanoonuc gem. Fresh flowers? Check! Antique stove with modern wiring? Check! That painted but worn look? Check! Clawfoot tub with a view of the outdoors? Check. (At the same time, there is a modern shower.) Large bedroom with a romantic sleigh bed covered with frilly pillows and dainty bed linens? Check! A second bedroom that overlooks the valley? Check! There is also a beautiful balcony where you can grill. There are views for miles. Have dinner on the balcony and take it all in. On a clear day, you can even spot Boston. The living room is cozy. A fireplace will keep you warm and the wood floors and posts, travel trunks used for tables, and pillow-topped couch add character and warmth. There's a trail to the summit with lovely views too - or follow the old Cog railroad bed and take a swim in Uncanoonuc Lake. There is cable television and internet access, so you won't feel isolated (unless you want to.) All that, and be sure to take a peek in the fridge. You'll find complimentary bacon, eggs, coffee and half and half there. We can't think of a better way to say "Welcome Home."
4. Stay in an Amazing Two-Story Tree House in Newbury. Be a kid again and forget about computers and phones, meetings and deadlines. Make your stay in this utterly magnificent "tree house" in Newbury a memorable one. Bring the kids. Have pillow fights. Take out invisible swords and go to battle with them. Drink hot cocoa with marshmallows. Go barefoot. Look for goblins and fairies. This "tree house" in the woods is charming and magical. If you want to take the adult route, the tree house is beautifully appointed with wood nearly everywhere you look. The arched door greets you and there is a small porthole to the right to visualize intruders to your comfy abode. Once inside though, you will see the care that has been taken to capture every detail. The kitchen is small but functional, the kiln-dried tree stump tabletop with leather Captain's Chairs creates a whimsical focal point. Behind that there is a wood stove to heat in the winter. There is a small downstairs bedroom and a modern bath with perfect details like a copper kettle sink. Take note of the rope handrail on your way to the second floor, where you will find another bedroom with views and a sitting area, as well as a washbowl sink that looks like a gold pan. It's ALL in the details at this tree house. Watch out for Hobbits!
5. Stay in an Airstream Camper in Portsmouth. Airstreams, which are campers that look like silver bullets, have been a beloved part of camping culture since they first hit the road in the 1930's. This one is called the "Happy Camper" and it's an appropriate name for this light, bright, Hawaiian-themed trailer. The Airstream comes with a fire pit, a BBQ grill, piles of pillows and a "Tiki" setup if you feel like having some grub in the great outdoors, or you feel like reading a book on a sun-sun-shiny day. How fabulous is that? It's also located in Portsmouth, an artsy town that is very walkable. Walk around and visit Prescott Park, Strawbery Banke or all the bars, cute shops and wonderful restaurants downtown.
6. Stay in a Gypsy Wagon. A what? The "Gypsy Wagon" is a must-see, off-the-grid abode. It's simply charming with features that make you feel like the Romani Travelers who journeyed the countryside in a similar style wagon. It's really a magical experience according to some of the guests. And even if you are tempted to stay indoors, the sights and sounds of nature are all around you. There is a swimming pool (bonus!) a wellness center (this is getting good...) in case you need a massage, Wifi (wow!) if you need to connect to the world while you are communing with nature. There is an outdoor bath. Organic gardens. Walking paths too, including the Shinrin-Yoku Trail that outlines the perimeter of the property. That is the term for "forest bathing," according to the host. This describes the experience of opening all senses to the healing power of nature. Hammock on the Knoll and the Temple of Bells are stops along the way. Meditate here or simply take in nature's beauty!
7. Stay in a School Bus in Thornton. It's true. You can sleep in (on?) a school bus! Get your hiking boots out of the closet and explore the woods and hiking trails in the area. If you feel like a foliage ride or just a place to eat, Lincoln isn't too far and Waterville Valley is a short drive, too. Both have lots of options. This place is built like a tiny house; it offers an efficient use of space. And you can even cook inside! You've probably seen one of those bars where dollar bills are tacked on every spot on the walls. The bus has stickers and pins that will keep you entertained if you want to stay indoors. We did the hammock that is found inside the bedroom. (There is a bed too.) This one is a little on the rustic side. By that we mean there is a hole in the ground and a toilet seat balancing precariously over the hole, balanced on two logs. The"outhouse" is a tent that zips up for privacy, but the fire pit makes up for that in strides, if you wait until the mosquitoes are full. Besides, this is where you go to be one with nature. Currently, the host is offering a work-for-stay deal in exchange for stacking firewood. We say go for it!
8. Stay in a Solar Home. Here's an unexpectedly luxurious solar home in the heart of the White Mountains. Located in Jackson, it offers quite a bang for your buck, with some of the most spectacular views in the White Mountains. Outdoors - and we do consider this a great option for skiers in the winter, hikers in the summer, and leaf peepers in the fall. This quality-built home offers 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and a billiard room and wet bar in the loft. A fireplace will warm your toes on cool nights and there are several televisions for vegging out after a long day hiking, skiing, snowshoeing or seeing the sites. There's even internet access! Did we mention that it's a solar home? Fans of "eco-friendly" and environmental living will appreciate the fact that this home is solar. A solar home of today is definitely not the solar home of the past. The shingles are solar and keep the snow from accumulating, making this a luxurious and contemporary space that really takes on all four seasons. If you are looking for a modern house to lay your head at, check out this eco-friendly and equally spectacular spot and its nearly panoramic views of the White Mountains. This could be your winner!
9. Stay in a Dollhouse in Plymouth. This sounds like a "tiny home" but it's really not. However, it is just the cutest 700 square feet of vacation we could find. Its 1920's style renovation is top- notch with period-appropriate furnishings. There's a full kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and a bath inside. Outside, you'll find relaxation on the farmer's porch with a swing and a rocker. There's even a white picket fence. You can't go wrong here, especially if you have little ones. The best part? It's walking distance to downtown Plymouth, a charming college town in the Lakes Region.
10. Stay in a Log Cabin in Jackson. We took the liberty of choosing this one: It's known as the Eagle Mountain Log Cabin. There are dozens of log homes scattered about the state but this one charmed us because it mixed the rustic feeling (with rounded logs on the interior and exterior) with modern conveniences like stainless steel appliances. There's no drywall here and we like it. That it can sleep 10 people is also helpful. You can bring the whole family or split the cost with other couples. If you like cross-country skiing, you have come to the right place. Jackson is where some of the best trails can be found. You are also in the heart of the White Mountains here. Explore covered bridges, beautiful old hotels, waterfalls and many White Mountain attractions. Mt. Washington - the Auto Road (in case you ever wanted to drive to the peak of the tallest mountain in the Northeast) is only 7 miles away. The cabin has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths, a modern kitchen, and even a hot tub on the porch. We aren't sure, but we bet you can see the Milky Way from here on a clear night.
11. Stay in a Houseboat in Portsmouth Harbor. Houseboats, which are often used seasonally for homes across the country, blend the nautical lifestyle with the feeling of a home, and in this case, a modern one. This houseboat is newly built, so when you step inside and see all the modern amenities and contemporary decor, don't be surprised at how lovely it is. There are two bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. The Salon also adds a pullout sofa to its sleeping quarters, if necessary, and a flat-screen television with Bluetooth. The Galley holds a refrigerator, sink and stove top, a Keurig coffee maker, toaster and pots and pans, dishes and utensils. Eat at the cute dinette or follow the spiral staircase to eat dinner on the rooftop deck. Hit the dock for a grill and picnic tables if you want to switch it up. Onsite at Badgers Island Marina you will also find a washroom facility with additional bathrooms and laundry facilities. The marina is located on the Kittery side, but a (very) short drive will land you in the lovely City of Portsmouth. Kittery offers outlet shopping. Portsmouth offers amazing waterfront bars and restaurants and boutique shopping in a very walk-able and historic downtown. But you can't take the houseboat there, in case you were wondering (we weren't) so we suggest bringing a car (and bicycles!). One more detail that should be mentioned. You will need to bring your linens or pay a fee. Many rentals of the past had this requirement and it's really not that much of an inconvenience (unless you forget). Enjoy everything from great food nearby, shopping, beach hopping the New Hampshire coast or a cocktail after a meal on the deck.
12. Stay in a Yurt in Milan.Perhaps you have already caught on to the craze of the tent-like structure known as a yurt. Yurts seem to be popping up everywhere in New Hampshire and all across the country. They've become so trendy that there are too many to list here. But it all started in New Hampshire with a yurt at Milan Hill State Park and we'd still like to think that those yurts (there are four there now, too) set the stage and kicked off the wave of yurts to come. Today they are getting a run for their money. Yurts, circular tents generally covered with canvas or a similar material to keep you dry inside, are ancient. They were used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey. Nomads used them, of course, because they could easily take them on a journey. Yurts have a collapsible framework, are similar to teepees and offer a simple shelter that is off the ground. No granite counter tops here! The location of Milan State Park is pretty hard to beat, but if you look hard enough you will find private yurts that you can explore.