Jackson is a small town in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It’s known more for winter adventures than summer escapes, but this picturesque place makes a perfect summer stop for nature lovers and those looking for some major nature therapy. Think darling shops, delicious dining in lantern-lit gardens, waterfalls, hiking trails and hidden history.
1. Jackson Falls: There are beach days, and then there are waterfall days. Jackson Falls offer a little paradise in the centre of town and a gathering place for locals and visitors. The falls don’t feature dramatic drops – the water pours over rocks and ledges creating small cascades and shallow pools as far as the eye can see. Picnic, read, and wade in the waters of the falls, surrounded by nature.
2. The Wildcat Restaurant and Inn
Dine on local fare in a lantern lit garden. The Wildcat ditched their patio a few years ago and set out well spaced tables amoung their sheltered garden instead. The food is just as impressive – lobster chowder, with a red savoury broth, watermelon salad with feta and balsamic reduction, salsas made just down the road and a great selection of local beer. Learn more HERE.
3. Hidden History: There’s lots of historic tips and artifacts hiding throughout the town, making for a fun scavenger hunt meets history lesson. We stumbled upon this vintage device. Can you guess what it was used for?
4. Hiking: Whether you’re new to hiking, or an experienced hiker, Jackson and the surrounding areas are full of diverse places to explore. Plus, some trails feature waterfalls. The town of Jackson has put together a helpful two-page hike guide that will help you locate hikes and determine difficulty. Find it HERE.
5. River Tubing: Rent a tube and spend the day floating down the Saco River. You can rent a tube in nearby Bartlett at Andes Sports. They even have a shuttle service to take you and your tube up river.
6. Parks & Rec: The Jackson Falls aren’t the only place for a public dip. You’ll be best to keep your bathing suit on hand. It seemed like everywhere we went there were people relaxing in the shallow river beds and ponds. The Wildcat brook (which feeds the falls) runs through the park in the centre of town, and was dotted with walkers, waders and even fly fishers!
7. Boutique Shops: The town of Jackson and the surrounding area are full of darling little shops that go well beyond fun souvenirs. The Ravenwood Curio Shop was our pick, a home, art and garden shop that’s better than some botanical gardens. It’s been in operation for about 50 years, and features works by Jackson artists, vintage post cards, and a huge range of unique wood, concrete, granite and metal garden fixtures.
8. Rustic Mountain Inns: We stayed at Whitney’s Inn, a mountain resort located just above the town. In the winter months, Whitney’s is the only lodging property in the area with both downhill and cross-country skiing just outside its doors. But Whitney’s is just as welcoming come summer with its rustic lodge-style rooms, homestyle breakfast, and fun on-site pub, The Shovel Handle, where there’s live music most nights. It’s also one of the few dog-friendly hotels in this area.
The town of Jackson is also surrounded by great nature and history experiences. We loved the old time general store feel at Zebs, discovering stories behind iconic hotels, the many random waterfall hikes, and seeing the world from 6,288 ft on the Cog Railway, a steam-powered rail car from the 1800’s.
What’s your favourite thing to see or do during summers in Jackson, NH? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @GillianWesleyNS.
Whitney’s Inn provided us with free accommodations for two nights. Thank you for helping allow us to come and explore Jackson!