South Mountain Resort
South Mountain Resort is in Lincoln NH. I do not travel North a great deal. But when I do, it is this time of year. I love the early fall in the North.
Often, I enjoy the drive up from Virginia. On this trip, I was flying in then, renting a car at the airport. I had caught a great deal on the flight and saving 8 hours of driving just made sense on this trip.
Day One Arrival
The drive into the resort seemed more of a small-town feel than I was mentally ready for. I do not know why, but when I think about mountain locations; I think of things off by themselves in the rolling hills. I think it is a trick I play on myself. Because the surrounding hills make this look a bit like the Blue Ridge Mountains, yet the setting is a neat town setting with a short entrance to the resort.
There is nothing bad about it at all. Just I guess in my head I always think I am going to the overlook hotel in the shining. In reality, you are going to an established resort in a lovely town that is close to many fun activities, not on some remote mountaintop.
The resort has a 360 virtual tour and I encourage you to view it here.
If you want to do the virtual tour and travel along with me, that is fun too. I check in at the spacious lobby. The check-in desk has two front computers running, and it is fully staffed. They are nice professional staff and fast.
I think the entire process took maybe 8 minutes, and that was with one person in front of me. So awesome job by the staff.
I was booked into a King Suite and it had plenty of room, a full kitchen, and really everything I could ask for. Fireplace, nice size living room, large bedroom, and custom bath.
If you have read my writing about rooms before, you know I love it when the bathroom is larger than mine at home. It just puts me at ease and gives me that Spa-like feel that I enjoy.
This resort is part of their Great Outdoors Collection of resorts, and it is a great addition to that family of resorts.
After checking in, it was time to find something to eat. I normally do the tour of the resort first, but I was starving. So off to find something great and local I went.
Very Close to the resort is Gordi’s Fish and Steakhouse, so I said OK that is the one. When I sat down and looked at the menu, it lived up to the name. This place screamed surf and turf but in a great way.
I started with the baked onion soup, which was basically French onion soup but with cheddar cheese on the top versus the standard provolone. That was my start and I must say I did like it with the cheddar cheese top it was a nice twist.
They do a Prime Rib dinner here that is so popular that they just sell it until it runs out each night. When you see something like that on the menu and it is something you like, just follow the crowd and order it, folks. They also offer to blacken it, so I order it and accept the blackened offering. The Prime Rib was great and I could see why it sells out every night. Choosing the blackened option was great, especially after the baked onion soup. It just seemed to go together.
I do not do desert often. But when I saw that they featured a house-branded apple pie again, I followed the crowd. I also again chose the add on which in this case was ice cream. Glad I had it and that I chose the ice cream. I think I broke some local custom when I asked them to place the pie in the broiler for 2 minutes before adding the ice cream.
They agreed to my request. When it came out bubbling, the table next to me asked for the same thing. Some part of me felt like the South just won the desert contest. If you have not eaten your pie warm or steaming, then you should. Most pies taste better hot. This is very true with apple pie and most fruit pies, by the way. It is also true with a great banana pudding. Just saying.
After too much food, I rolled myself back to the resort to walk around and help my digestion with some movement.
I checked out the resort amenities.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
- Wheelchair Accessible
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Hot Tub
- Internet Access
- Indoor Heated Pool
- Outdoor Heated Pool
- Vacation Planning
- Fitness Room
The resort had two pools both were great but the indoor pool was truly special. Designing a great indoor pool is part art, and this one scored an 8. It likely deserved a better score because for this far North the thing I would have liked to see would not have made much sense. I love it when an indoor pool allows you to swim underwater outdoors. I do not know if that was from years of swimming in pools in my youth that had covered pull-over parts of the pool, or why. But I love the idea of transitioning from one area to the next underwater.
Day Two at South Mountain Resort
Now I was in town doing the tour and mini-vacation in the summer. I had just finished my trip to the blue ridge mountains to check out the Blue Ridge Village 2 weeks before. It was the first week of June and the weather here was great.
On day one I do not make it up this way hardly ever, so I really wanted today to be a day to get to see as much of the area and people as I could.
Now people may think I am coming to a great ski community and not even talking about the sport. Well, I think I almost got away with that when I wrote about Blue Ridge Village. But real sky fans called me on it, and rightly so. NH has some amazing skiing and am sure. I have a niece that I love dearly that is a ski instructor and scuba instructor. She loves them both, equally. There are some of what I hear are some great ski resorts in that season here, that people would love to visit while in the area in the wintertime.
I, however, and not a ski guy. Just not my thing. But I get why people love it. The idea of being a part of nature almost like surfing, but in the cold.
There are many ski resorts in the area like Loon Mountain, there are also some most interesting Zip Line experiences ever at Alpine Adventures. I checked their website for a weight limit (yep that is the big guy equivalent of checking the rides for height I guess) well I think I am too heavy and too tall both. The height limit is 6’5” and I am very close to that and the weight is 240 so that is not ago for me. But for those who like zip lines have at it. It does look fun.
The site’s restrictions and disclaimers seem a little over the top, though. If you do not do XYZ, then it’s a no-go and no refund which seems odd to be so aggressive with their policies, but maybe they deal with drunks or pushy people all the time. Just not sure about that approach to policies as a company. So even if I could fit, I am not sure I would go. If someone reading this goes and has a good time, please let us know we may even share your thoughts about the experience on the blog.
I chose to go to Franconia Notch State Park they welcomed all and seemed to be set up for fun views and with great activities available. Often with State Parks, you will see 4-5 activities listed. This park had a huge list of things you could do. Visit the website to see all the options for yourself. I chose to take a historic tour and after that, I went on the Cannon Mountain Tramway.
From the Park Website:
The aerial tramway is one of New Hampshire’s most spectacular rides. The tramway brings visitors to the 4,080′ summit of Cannon Mountain in approximately eight minutes. On a clear day, visitors will enjoy views of the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada, and New York. At the summit, there are walking paths, an observation deck, a cafeteria, and restrooms.
It was a clear day and you could see all that was advertised. It was amazing. To me, the view was so overwhelming that I stayed up there for over 3 hours drinking it all in. There is also a small cafeteria up top and a grabbed a drink and a small ice cream cone just to have something to mess with while looking at the scenery.
At the base of the tramway before leaving, I also visited the New England Ski Museum, which is right there. Again, not a huge fan of skiing, but I thought it would be a good thing to talk to my niece about it at some later date, and I am a history buff.
By now in my day my stomach was reminding me that is needed more food. That I mind, I found the Rustic River Restaurant and stopped in to check it out. They have a large deck that you can eat on that has a great view of the river. So, I sat outside on the deck and ordered dinner.
Choosing the Chick Parm seemed like a plan, and I did so and was happy with my meal. A few beers later and I was headed back to the resort for a night swim in the indoor pool.
Alright, yesterday I had done a good deal of nature walk time. I even enjoyed the heck out of it. I thought though that I was missing out on the local town things. This meant that I was about to break my mold and do some shopping. Imagine me talking time to shop and there was not even a lady with me. Somewhere some manly relative was horrified looking on.
I like maple syrup so I chose to go to Fadden’s General Store and Maple Sugarhouse. I learned that the store and Maple Sugar business was a 5th generation business. That was amazing to see a family business still hanging on when so many others have failed over the years.
Next thanks to a local I found Wayne’s Market a local butcher who also makes subs and has an impressive collection of microbrew beers for sale. He says it is the largest selection in the area and I believe Wayne.
It reminded me of home a bit with a local spot I used to go to when I lived near Smithfield VA. The fresh meats from a butcher as well as sandwich meat is chosen by a butcher who knows meat. That makes for great sandwiches and subs for sure.
After a sandwich and a few beers, I headed on to the next few little ski shops and snapped some pictures for my niece and her pals in the ski world. Then headed back to the resort. It was time to hit the pool again and enjoy that amazing indoor pool some more. I think I liked the pool so much because it felt open, yet was separate from everything else. Also, since both the outdoor and indoor pools are heated, the outdoor pool had more guests in it, and in June I kind of had the indoor pool to myself. That is always nice.
The resort also has a small indoor game room that has like 10 machines or so, and I could see some kids coming down here with quarters from their parents to entertain themselves for an hour or so for sure.
Hey friends, if you too want to take a trip like this and travel resort-style, make sure to book through TZort.