Bet on Bretton Woods for skiing excitement and White Mountains winter fun
By Jacqueline Tourville
Here’s some information your kids can use to impress their social studies teacher.
In 1944, just as World War II was beginning to wind down and fears about a shaky post-war economy were on the rise, 730 delegates from all 44 Allied nations gathered at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods for the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference. The grand hotel was so crowded some delegates were forced to sleep in closets. After three weeks of debate the group signed the Bretton Woods Agreements, which established the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, setting a new gold standard, and designating the United States dollar as the backbone of international exchange. The meeting is widely acknowledged as a key reason the U.S. achieved worldwide economic dominance when the war ended.
If delegates could come back to this remote northern end of the White Mountains, they would see that Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel have set a new gold standard in 2010, this time in family friendly outdoor fun.
Bretton Woods ranks as the state’s largest ski area with 434 acres of skiing and snowboarding, including 101 trails and glades, and four terrain parks. Voted by SKI Magazine readers as one of Top 5 Ski Resorts in the East for family programs the last four years in a row, kids of all ages can take lessons at the Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School and the Burton Kids' Learn To Ride Center, or are welcome to hit the slopes with the Bretton Woods adaptive ski program, an innovative ski school for children with special needs.
If skiing isn’t your family’s thing, there is still plenty to do. Take a traditional sleigh ride or a dog sled tour of the winter landscape, go ice skating or take to the woods on snowshoes. There’s even a zip line ride that descends more than 1000 feet on a soaring ride over treetops and snowy trails.
Families staying at the Mount Washington Hotel or other resort lodgings pay reduced rates for Bretton Woods activities (the ski area and hotel are co-operated), but day passes are available for non-guests. And here’s a deal: On Jan. 24, Bretton Woods offers free downhill and cross-country ski rentals and free lessons for any member of a New England-area Boys or Girls Club. For more information, contact the Twin Mountain-Bretton Woods Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 194, Twin Mountain, NH 03595 for a map and brochure, or go to www.twinmountain.org.
Nearby: 1. Omni Mount Washington Hotel and Bretton Woods Resort: There’s no missing this iconic White Mountains grand hotel on Route 302 in the shadow of Mount Washington. Ski and stay family vacation packages available. Visit www.brettonwoods.com for rates and advance ski class registration. 2. AMC's Highland Center at Crawford Notch: Run by the Appalachian Mountain Club, this four-season lodge and outdoor education center in Bretton Woods offers family accommodations at reasonable rates. The Highland Center also makes an ideal starting point for snowshoe treks and backcountry ski trips in the White Mountains. Plus, guests have free use of a wide variety of outdoor gear, provided by L.L. Bean. Call for reservations. 466-2727 3. The Dining Room at the Mount Washington Hotel: A sumptuous dining experience like no other in the state, the hotel’s main restaurant comes with personalized service, elegant surroundings, musical accompaniment, stunning views, mouth-watering culinary delights, and, best of all for families, a pretty decent kids’ menu. Call to make reservations (required). 1-800-314-1752 4. Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel: Mush! Twenty-minute dog sled rides through open fields and rolling hills leave from the Mount Washington Hotel. They’ve been described as “kind of like a roller coaster... but without the motion sickness.” Longer night rides also available. Sled riders must be at least 3 years old. Call for seasonal rates. 986-0697