Founded in 1774 and nestled in the beautiful While Mountains, Bethlehem New
Hampshire was a booming tourist attraction as early as the 1870s. Seven trains
arrived daily; thirty grand Victorian hotel resorts served the visitors; and
wealthy families from New
York and Boston
built lavish vacation “cottages” that still grace the region. While most of
the hotels are gone, some of the cottages have become hotels and charming bed
and breakfast inns. Others have become popular Bethlehem vacation rentals for
those who want truly unique lodging.
Trips to Bethlehem New Hampshire will reveal other architectural history in the Art Deco Colonial Theater, opened in 1914 and still offering summer performances. The Rocks Estate includes several lovely nineteenth-century houses and is now owned by the Society for the Protection of the NH Forests. Once a working farm, it still maintains an extensive sustainable Christmas tree forest where you can harvest your own holiday tree. It boasts several miles of hiking trails, and guided tours of the historic buildings are available by reservation. If golfing is your game, you can indulge in the sport at the historic Bethlehem New Hampshire Maplewood Country Club, once the grandest of the thirty Bethlehem hotels during the early 1900s. The 18-hole golf course was completed in 1914.
In addition to the many hotels around town, there are numerous Bethlehem vacation rentals in the area. You’ll find these at Bretton Woods, where you’ll also find one of the best ski resorts in the White Mountains. Many of these are houses, cottages, and cabins with multiple bedrooms and views of the Presidential Range. Other Bethlehem vacation rentals are condos and townhouses right in town.
Other manmade attractions include one of the oldest water parks in the country. Some people make trips to Bethlehem New Hampshire just to spend the day at the Whale’s Tale, enjoying the eleven water slides, huge wave pool, and quarter mile lazy river. There is also a large children’s activity area. There is no sales tax in the “Live Free or Die” state, so shopping is always a popular activity. The charming town of Bethlehem New Hampshire has a number of shops and galleries offering handcrafted furniture, art, and other artisan wares. In nearby North Conway, you can take a scenic ride in vintage cars on the Conway Scenic Railroad as well as do some shopping at a couple dozen brand name outlet stores.
The premier attractions on trips to Bethlehem New Hampshire are the White Mountains. This is a year round vacation destination providing unmatched outdoor recreation and things to do that take advantage of incredible scenery, pristine mountain lakes and rivers for swimming and fishing, and hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, cycling, and camping. The White Mountains National Forest and seven state parks encompass thousands of acres of the pristine wilderness that first attracted tourists more than one hundred years ago. Ski resorts remain open throughout the year, so you can have scenic rides up (and down) the ski lifts even in the summer. The autumn foliage is spectacular, and snow skiing is good right into the summer months. There’s rock climbing and kayaking, hunting and snow boarding, horseback riding and hot air ballooning.