A nice feature of New Hampshire that we were not aware of prior to our visit is the tax free shopping. Not only do the local stores have reasonable prices, there’s no added tax to contend with.
Most of the towns around the White Mountain area are within a 10 - 20 minute drive of each other. If you’re staying in Bartlett, the first town you will encounter to the east is North Conway. From there if you go south you will end up in Conway, or going north will send you to Jackson. Both Conway and Jackson have small stores and restaurants, but we found North Conway to have most of what you needed.
This town houses mainly resorts, small hotels, and the Attitash Bear Peak ski mountain. The resorts found here are the Attitash Mountain Village, Attitash Marketplace Motel, Grand Summit Resort, and Hotel and Sky Valley Motel and Cottages. For shopping and eating, a trip into North Conway is necessary.
Coming from Bartlett, the stores line Rt. 16 with most of the restaurants just past them. This is where most of the action is for eating and shopping, but there are also plenty of hotels and small inns. There is a small grocery store on 16 just as you enter North Conway where you can pick up food and supplies. But be aware this is a small town and nothing is open 24 hours – they close at 8pm sharp!
Mountain Tops – a clothing store (t-shirts, sweatshirts) that is the only store we found offering t-shirts showing the White Mountains and ski phrases such as "White Mountains – Live fast, ski hard" and "White Mountains – Ski naked, it adds color to your cheeks".
Zeb’s General Store – The owner of this establishment also owns the restaurant in town called Decades. This is an old fashioned store selling 100% New England products. They have a 67’ long candy counter with chocolate fudge the kids kept coming back to buy. The first floor is comprised of mainly food items, teas, maple products, syrups, fruit spreads, honeys, soups, pasta, spices, condiments, Zeb's bottled sodas (the vanilla cream soda and root beer are great and are a $1 a bottle), and of course candy. They also have a room upstairs comprised of souvenirs like t-shirts, mugs, and plenty of items with "Zeb’s" imprinted on them.
The Five and Dime Store – this is a bit of a cheesy store but some items in the front were nice. They have several types of small cedar boxes for keepsakes and cards and old-fashioned heavy cotton dish towels. We purchased a few for $3.99/each with the Coca-Cola emblem and designs on them.
Dondero’s Rock Shop – If you’re a rock enthusiast, you will enjoy this shop. Rocks of all sizes, shapes, and price ranges of your choice. We purchased a beautiful blue rock wind chime for $25. The most entertaining part of the visit, however, was the owner. He performed a few tricks with us using different rocks. These were optical illusions of a sort and gave us a good laugh for the day.
Tanger Factory Outlets – These outlet stores are open until 6pm every evening. The outlets found here are those such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Zales Jewelers, Bass, Hanes, Liz Claiborne, Brooks Brothers, plus many others, too many to mention.
Restaurants in North Conway
There’s a wide variety of cuisine offered here. My other journals tell details of the restaurants we dined at, but here’s a list to show what all is offered and the choices you have.
Banner’s Home Cookin'; Bellini’s Italian Restaurant; China Chef; Decades Steak and Seafood; Delaney’s (variety); Fandangle’s Steak, Seafood, Sandwiches; Flatbread Pizza; 1790 Homestead Restaurant (variety); Horsefeathers Pub and Eatery; Maestro’s European Cuisine; Mario’s Italian Restaurant; Merlino’s Steakhouse; Muddy Moose (variety); Red Parka Pub Steakhouse and Pub. They also have a couple of chain restaurants such as Applebees and Friendlies, but with the other options, we had no time for either of these. I suggest picking up a Dining Guide in town at any local store. This will give you a map showing the location of each restaurant with a menu and pricing.
Everything you need on your stay is within your reach between these towns. Familiarize yourself with the main roads of 16 and 302 and you’re all set to go.