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The streets are narrow, the
shops few and the luxuries hard-found, yet the allure of Jackson, N.H., persists. (Credit the one-lane covered bridge that’s still the only access to the Washington Valley.) A summer retreat for moneyed New England businessmen in the early 1900s, Jackson dozed off during the middle of the century. But with four ski areas-Attitash Bear Peak, Wildcat Mountain, Cranmore and Black Mountain-within 15 minutes, quaint Jackson springs to life in winter. Whether you’re bringing the family, savoring a quiet weekend or reliving a New England childhood, a stay in Jackson will fit the bill. Here are our picks.
Luxury>The Snowflake Inn
The Snowflake caused a stir a couple years ago when it went up in place of the beloved Jack Frost Shop just south of town, but the stellar reputation it’s earned since then has healed all wounds. Located five miles from Wildcat, the inn’s 20 suites have king-size beds, fireplaces and soaking tubs for two. Guests are pampered like spoiled kids with amenities such as in-room fireside massage and roomy, double-headed couples’ showers. And though you may be spoiled like a kid, don’t bring your own: No children under 12 are allowed. $165-$350 per night; 888-383-1020; snowflakeinnjxn.com
Romance>The Carter Notch Inn
Near fabled Jackson Falls, the Carter Notch is romantic yet homey. An outdoor hot tub steams in the cold New Hampshire air, the fireplace is always crackling and the cookies are always warm. A gourmet breakfast greets guests each morning with treats such as Jackson cherry coffee cake or a stack of pumpkin pancakes. Each room has its own character, but if it’s available, book Room 8, with a skylight above the queen-size bed, a fireplace and a jacuzzi for two. If you can tear yourself away, Black Mountain and Attitash are right down the road. $79-$169 per room; 603-383-9630; 800-794-9434; carternotchinn.com
Family>The Christmas Farm Inn
From the cottages to the kids’ menu, the Christmas Farm Inn, a two-minute drive to Black Mountain, has family appeal. The inn dates to the 1800s, but recent add-ons-including 12 carriage house suites, an indoor pool and fitness center-have brought the property up to date. Families should opt for a loft suite in the barn or a cottage. Despite all the kid-centric touches, mom and dad are well-provided for, with nightly candlelit dinners and a spa. At last: a family vacation for the whole family. Family packages from $580, with daily breakfasts, one dinner and lift tickets; 800-443-5837; christmasfarminn.com
Once a turn-of-the-century grande dame, the Wentworth, in the center of town, fell on hard times and stood empty until the 1970s. Today, the Wentworth’s condos are a feather in Jackson’s hat. The two- and three-bedroom units with full kitchens have soaring lofts and classic touches like wingback chairs. The biggest selling point? Variety. The condos are 15 minutes from the four hills; the Wentworth sells discounted tickets to each. From $300 per night; 800-637-0013; thewentworth.com/condos
Luxury Nestlenook Farm, on the east side of Jackson. $125-$408; 800-659-9443; lmgnh.com
Family Eagle Mountain House, in downtown Jackson. From $89; 800-966-5779; eaglemt.com
Condo Nordic Village, two miles from Black Mt. $89-$479; 877-564-7829; lmgnh.com
B&B The Crowe’s Nest, minutes from downtown. $75-$225; 800-511-8383; crowesnest.net