So the White Mountain scenery thrills you, but cheesy condos and dog-eared motels don't? We've got your ticket: The Mount Washington Hotel, a grande dame of the grand-hotel era, awaits with the kind of service and family-friendly opulence that befit its setting. Beautifully restored by its current owners after seasons of neglect, the Mount Washington is an attraction in its own right, especially if you're keen on historical architecture. But the proprietors see to it that there's plenty to do, too. For tennis enthusiasts, there are 18 red-clay courts, including Center Court, where 19-year-old Jimmy Conners lost to 19-year-old Vijay Amritraj in the 1973 Volvo International. Golfers find room to move on the resort's forgiving 27 holes-18 of them designed by Robert Trent Jones. And horseback riding trails hearken back to the days when the hotel's original guests arrived for the summer in horse-drawn carriages. You can swim in any of the four pools, or go wading in the chilly Ammonoosuc River, which winds through the property. And the hotel specializes in how-to guided clinics: fly-fishing on the Ammonoosuc, mountain biking on the slopes of Bretton Woods, kayaking, orienteering, wildlife photography and more. Finish your day with an afternoon concert in the conservatory, dinner in the lavish dining room and a breath of night air on the expansive, columned veranda that skirts the first floor. Yes, you could get used to this.
DON'T MISS A trip up Mount Washington aboard the venerable Cog Railway: an engineering feat in its day, and still.
BEST DEAL Golf or Tennis packages: $379-$429 midweek, per couple; the price includes 18 holes daily or unlimited tennis plus a daily lesson. Call (800) 258-0330, or visit www.mtwashington.com