Within the White Mountain National Forest, the Presidential Range contains the state's highest peaks, each named for notable statesmen. Among the summits, Mount Washington, Mount Adams, and Mount Jefferson each soar more than a mile above sea level. To the west, the AAA Four Diamond Adair Country Inn & Restaurant overlooks these notable monoliths from 200 acres of rolling slopes and lofty evergreens. Built in 1927 as a father's wedding gift to his daughter, the tranquil inn's double brick chimneys and slate-hued mansard roof evoke a sense of classic New England charm, complemented by the hospitality of innkeepers Ilja and Brad Chapman.
Four rustic fireplace roomseach named for a nearby peakshelter antique furnishings beneath slanted roofs and dormer windows. Wingback armchairs cluster around a cast-iron stove fireplace and bask in the crackling warmth. A waiting welcome basket overflows with local goodies, such as maple syrup and maple cookies. At the onsite restaurant, open for dinner ThursdayMonday, chef Orlo Coots whips up roast duck breast and other New England specialties. For breakfast, gourmet fluffy popover rolls and apple-cider-cured bacon emerge from the kitchen. The sweet smells of fresh-baked cookies waft through the inn during afternoon tea.
In the winter, free snowshoe rentals spare winter boots the embarrassment of strapping onto tennis rackets. Nearby trails cut through birch and pine groves filled with wintering moose and white-tailed deer. In tribute to the outdoor splendor, the inn's extensive green policy includes recycling, composting, and raising seedlings as a registered tree farm.
Innkeepers Ilja and Brad can point the way to prime hiking paths and wildlife-sighting hotspots, such as Moose Alley, a road famous for moose sightings. Slightly farther afield, Franconia Notch State Park and Crawford Notch State Park fall under the shadow of the White Mountainsa chain with 48 peaks that top 4,000 feet. Within Franconia Notch, skiers at Cannon Mountain can hit the same runs that Olympian Bode Miller learned on.
To complete the picturesque landscape, covered bridges with crosshatched beams or latticed siding near Bath, Lincoln, and Lancaster lure pedestrians to imagine life as a presidential dog walker. Other pieces of the past lurk in Bethlehem's smattering of antique stores, which offer New Hampshire's tax-free shopping.
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