Enjoy Fun Winter Activities On A Budget At This East Coast Destination

Many associate the cold weather with nothing other than pure misery, but if you learn to embrace it, a majestic winter getaway can change your perspective in the blink of an eye. Don't believe that you have to fly all the way to Santa's Village in Finland or cruise all the way down to Antarctica for an epic escape. Often, the most rewarding getaways can be found nearby.

For a real hidden gem, head to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Surrounded by the dramatic peaks of the snowcapped White Mountains — visible from just about anywhere in town, this small New England town is the epitome of a winter wonderland. Ideal if you're looking for a quiet respite, there's only one road in and out of Waterville Valley, guaranteeing privacy and seclusion perfect for those truly looking to get away from it all.

A real-life winter wonderland

Perfect for fans of winter, Waterville Valley is even better for anyone looking for a family-friendly getaway. Town Square is filled with sparkling lights for you and your young ones to experience. And, if bright shimmery lights really spark joy, consider staying at The Snowy Owl Inn, Town Square Condos, Silver Fox Inn, or Snowstar Inn; these accommodations are known to go above and beyond when it comes to festive decor. 

While many American small towns require a vehicle to get around, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Waterville Valley is quite walkable. This pedestrian-friendly town is is made up of hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, and walking paths, but if you happen to find the weather is too chilly for a stroll, take advantage of the free shuttle at Waterville Valley Resort.

Waterville Valley is also great place to knock out some Christmas shopping. Check out local boutique stores like Bookmonger, Toad Hall Toys, Dreams & Visions, and Jugtown Country Storefor your gift-giving needs. And, if you find yourself getting hungry, you can always grab a bite to eat at one of the area's fine dining establishments, like La Hacienda, Snowy Owl Restaurant & Pub, Olde Waterville Pizza Co. & Grille, or Coyote Grill.

Skiers rejoice

Waterville Valley, New Hampshire is an especially sought-after destination for avid skiers. The town was popularized as a tourist destination after two-time Olympian skier Tom Corcoran purchased the Waterville Inn, transforming Waterville Valley into a designated ski getaway. Skiing is so prominent here that Waterville Valley Resort is in fact the birthplace of Freestyle Skiing. The resort even hosted the first National Open Championships of Freestyle Skiing, in addition to the first Hot Dog Competition: National Championships of Exhibition Skiing.

Skiing aside, Waterville Valley can also be a great destination for snowshoers, Nordic skiing, and fat biking, all of which can be accessed via the town's Nordic Center. If you're planning to visit and spend the majority of your time partaking in winter sports, it's well worth looking into a Nordic Pass. Prices range from $18 to $27, depending on which package you choose.