Visitors Center, Bethlehem, NH WELCOME TO BETHLEHEM WHAT TO DO WHERE TO STAY WHERE TO EAT ANTIQUES & SHOPPING AREA ATTRACTIONS
Free Visitors Guide to the Bethlehem and White Mountains, New Hampshire
Events Calendar
Four Season Destination
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Scenic Fly-over View of Bethlehem, NH
The Cog Railway, Mt Washington New Hampshire

Living in Bethlehem

Visitors Center

FOUR SEASON DESTINATION

There is always a lot to do in and around Bethlehem, no matter what the season.

WINTER

Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding

Five great ski areas: Cannon Mountain, Bretton Woods, Loon Mountain, Attitash/Bear Peak, and Waterville Valley are all within a 15-45 minute drive of Bethlehem.

Alpine Skiing

Ski Magazine Ranks Cannon Mountain in TOP 10In its October 2008 issue, SKI Magazine named Cannon Mountain among the Top 20 Resorts in the East. SKI Magazine readers like the "reasonable prices," "down-home atmosphere," and "narrow, twisting trails" of Cannon Mountain. The ski area was highlighted among the elite ski areas in North America by being ranked 6th in both Value and Scenery. Cannon Mountain also scored an unprecedented seven top ten Eastern honors in the survey, five of which were among the top three.

    This impressive list of honors for Cannon included rankings of:
  • #1 Ski Resort in the East for Value
  • #2 Ski Resort in the East for Scenery
  • #2 Ski Resort in the East for Access
  • #3 Ski Resort in the East for Overall Satisfaction
  • #3 Ski Resort in the East for Lifts
  • #5 Ski Resort in the East for Terrain/Challenge
  • #6 Ski Resort in the East for Terrain/Variety

Cannon Mountain has 72 trails, 9 lifts, and terrain for all ability levels. Cannon features the largest vertical drop and highest lift-accessed terrain in New Hampshire, and Maine and New Hampshire's only aerial tramway. Cannon is located on I-93 in Franconia Notch State Park. For more information on Cannon Mountain visit www.cannonmt.com or call 603-823-8800.

Cross Country Skiing

There are many options for cross country skiing, from groomed trails to backcountry treks. Several local inns also have trails for their guests.

Snowmobiling

You'll find miles and miles of easily accessible, groomed trails that connect with New Hampshire's "Corridor" and "Primary" trail system. You'll also find that Bethlehem is very "snowmobile friendly". Trail maps are available at the Visitors Center and most area lodgings. Local snowmobile rentals are also available. Bethlehem's local snowmobile trail association, Mount Agassiz Trail Association - www.thinksno.com, offers information on local trail conditions, maps, and other helpful information.

Hiking, Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing has become a very popular winter sport. Area hiking trails are an obvious choice for snowshoe destinations, but snowmobile trails, logging roads, golf courses, and cross country ski areas afford additional options. Rentals are available at local outfitters.

Heritage Trail: A Historical Walk Through J.J. Glessner's Rocks Estate

John Jacob Glessner, founding father of International Harvester, as well as one of the Forest Society's earliest members, would visit Bethlehem along with his family, in the late 1870's. For over a hundred years his descendants looked after The Rocks and the farming operation. Learn the unique history of the 1400-acre estate by walking the trail and visiting the 20 stops along the way which inform you of the distinctive buildings, and exceptional beauty. 13 Glessner Road ~ Bethlehem, NH www.therocks.org/trail.php

Ice Skating

Bethlehem' Recreation Park on the corner of Main and Agassiz streets provides a great place to lace up your skates. An outdoor lighted rink is available free of charge. No skate rentals are available, so bring your own.

Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree

It's somehow fitting that Bethlehem sports not one, but two Christmas tree farms. Start a wonderful family tradition of selecting and harvesting your own Christmas tree at either Finnegan's Fine Firs or The Rocks Estate.

Finnegan's Fine Firs

Finnegan's Fine Firs

371 Cherry Valley Rd.
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-444-6275
Email: finnegansfinefir@aol.com
Website: finnegansfinefirs.com
A choose and cut Christmas Tree Farm, selling trees, wreaths, roping, and other Christmas greens fro Thanksgiving to Christmas.

The Rocks Estate

The Rocks Estate

113 Glessner Road
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-444-6228
Email: info@therocks.org
Website: therocks.org
The Rocks Estate is a turn-of -the-century historic estate owned by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests. Many vacation packages are offered in conjunction with the property. Trails are open to the public year round free of charge and guided tours are available by reservation only. Contact Nigel Manley.

SPRING AND YEAR 'ROUND ACTIVITIES

Shopping

Local Works Marketplace

Local Works Marketplace

2011 Main Street, Route 302
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-3100
Website: wrencommunity.org
WrenOvation - An Extraordinary Store. Open daily 10am-5pm. Locally made, unique and hand made. The store is brimming with products from food to fine arts. Visit our store and be tempted by the selection of jewelry, pottery, baskets, textiles, photography, specialty foods, home furnishings and fine art. Exit 40 off I-93, East on Route 302, 2.7 miles on left.

The Gallery at WREN

The Gallery at WREN

2013 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-9736
Email: wren@wrencommunity.org
Website: wrencommunity.org
Open daily 10am-5pm
A fine arts gallery featuring individual and group shows throughout the year. For a complete list of shows visit our website.

Theater, Movies & Concerts

Movies are a great way to spend a relaxing evening, and there are two movie theaters within easy reach.  Bethlehem is home to the longest continually running movie theater in the United States!  The historic Colonial Theater shows movies nightly through the summer.  In nearby Littleton, the Jax Jr. features two cinemas with shows nightly year 'round.

Colonial Theater

Colonial Theater

2050 Main St.
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-3422
Email: colonial@ncia.net
Website: bethlehemcolonial.org
Enjoy summer entertainment at the longest continuously running theater in the United States. Visit the website for schedule of attractions.

Museums & Learning Experiences

While in the White Mountains, take a break from the beautiful scenery to learn a little about the region's flora, fauna, geological history, and many other interesting topics. Throughout the year, local experts conduct free or low cost presentations on many diverse subjects. Good places to start are The Rocks Estate in Bethlehem and Weeks State Park in Lancaster. These two organizations frequently have lectures of interest to nature lovers.

The Frost Place (Robert Frost Museum)


Franconia, NH
Phone: 603-823-5510
Visit Robert Frost's farm homestead.

Bethlehem Heritage Society

2182 Main St.
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-3330
Email: betheritage@roadrunner.com
Website: bethlehemheritagenh.com/
Free admission. Discover Bethlehem's rich history as the premier White Mountains resort destination (Bethlehem Visitors Center).

Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium


St. Johnsbury, VT
Phone: 802-748-2372
See planetarium shows, natural science displays and artifacts from around the world.

New England Ski Museum


Franconia, NH
Phone: 603-823-7177
Website: skimuseum.org
See videos, films, and exhibits dedicated to the history of skiing (at the base of Cannon Mt.)

The New Hampshire Maple Experience at The Rocks Estate


113 Glessner Road
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Website: nhmapleexperience.com
The New Hampshire Maple Experience explores and demonstrates the maple sugaring tradition, from the techniques used by Native Americans and early European settlers of the region to the operations of the modern sugar maker. Housed in a 1906 building on the historic Rocks Estate in scenic Bethlehem, with stunning views of the White Mountains, The New Hampshire Maple Experience includes a working sugar house and interactive museum housing maple artifacts from the extensive collection of legendary sugar maker Charlie Stewart of nearby Sugar Hill. Find out more at our website.

SUMMER INTO FALL

Free Summer Concert Series

Free Summer Concert Series


From May to September, enjoy a free outdoor concert every Sunday night from 6:00 - 8:00 pm in Bethlehem. The old fashioned Gazebo on the Town Common (corner of Main and Prospect St.) is the location. Bring a blanket and picnic, and enjoy a wide range of musical artists. Refreshments available. See the Events Calendar for performers.

Summer Theatre


There are two great summer theatres that operate within a short drive from Bethlehem. The Weathervane Theatre in Whitefield offers multiple shows in a rotating repertory throughout July and August. Call 603-837-9322 for details. The Papermill Theatre in Lincoln (603-745-2141) is part of the North Country Center for the Arts.

Children's Theatre


Each of the summer theatres above provide special productions for children. The Weathervane Theatre's Patchwork Players performs Fridays at 1:00. The North Country Center for the Arts' Childrens Theatre performs in Lincoln and Littleton on Wednesdays, and tours six other locations throughout the week. Anchored on alternate Wednesdays at 11 AM by the Weathervane Theatre's Patchwork Players, the Colonial's Summer Children's Series provides a weekly dose of live music, theater, story-telling, magic and more in July and August.

Colonial Theater

Colonial Theater

2050 Main St.
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-3422
Email: colonial@ncia.net
Website: bethlehemcolonial.org
Enjoy summer entertainment at the longest continuously running theater in the United States. Visit the website for schedule of attractions.

Music in the White Mountains


The North Country Chamber Players Annual Summer Festival is held every Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM. Performances will be in Bethlehem, Sugar Hill, and Lincoln, and will feature selections from Beethhoven, Schubert, Bach, Mozart, and more. Call 603-444-0309 for details or see the Events Calendar.

Tennis

Bethlehem has two tennis courts available to the public. The courts are free and located just off Main Street.

Biking

Many on-road and off-road options exist for cycling enthusiasts. Strike off on your own or join one of the local bike clubs on their weekly rides. Ranger stations and local bike shops have maps and more information.

Camping

Tent and RV camp sites abound in the White Mountains. Some prefer private campgounds with plenty of amenities, while others prefer to "rough it" in the back woods. For campgrounds, see our Camping page. For information on state park or wilderness camping, check with the local ranger stations.

Rock Climbing

Several locations near Bethlehem provide rock climbing routes for all abilities. Franconia Notch and Crawford Notch each have many routes, and several guidebooks are available for more information. For indoor climbs, try the Pemi Valley Rock Gym in Lincoln.

Fishing and Hunting

Anglers can wet their lines at any number of streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds in the White Mountains. Fish for brook, brown, or rainbow trout, bass, salmon, northern pike, and other species. Fishing licenses required for age 16 and older. Hunters' quarry includes moose, deer, bear, and game birds. Hunting license required.

Water Sports

Lots of bodies of water mean lots of water sport options. Canoe or kayak on the many area streams, rivers, or lakes. Boaters and water skiers will enjoy Forest Lake State Park in Whitefield or Moore Reservoir in Littleton. Swimmers can get wet anywhere, but may enjoy the beaches at Forest Lake State Park, Echo Lake in Franconia Notch State Park, or Echo Lake State Park in Bartlett.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Viewing

You're apt to spot plenty of birds and wildlife on your visit to the White Mountains. Moose, deer, fox, and many species of birds are common sights. Nearby special places include the Pondicherry National Wildlife Refuge in Whitefield, where over 220 varieties of birds have been recorded. An easy, flat walk will take you there, and you may even catch site of the loons that often summer there.

Hiking, Walking & Backpacking

There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore in the White Mountains. Discover beautiful waterfalls or scale New England's highest peak (Mt. Washington). In addition to the ranger stations, more information is available from the Appalachian Mountain Club, Pinkham Notch (603-466-2721), or any local outfitter.

Heritage Trail: A Historical Walk Through J.J. Glessner's Rocks Estate

John Jacob Glessner, founding father of International Harvester, as well as one of the Forest Society's earliest members, would visit Bethlehem along with his family, in the late 1870's. For over a hundred years his descendants looked after The Rocks and the farming operation. Learn the unique history of the 1400-acre estate by walking the trail and visiting the 20 stops along the way which inform you of the distinctive buildings, and exceptional beauty. 13 Glessner Road ~ Bethlehem, NH www.therocks.org/trail.php

Bethlehem Walking Tour

Take a self-guided walking tour through Bethlehem's past. Free map available at the Visitors Center.

Local Works Outdoor Marketplace

2011 Main Street, Route 302
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-9736
Email: wren@wrencommunity.org
June 28th to October 11th
Saturdays 9am-1pm and Wednesdays 3-7pm
Fresh vegetables, baked goods and local artisans can be found in this vibrant market.

Golf

Bethlehem boasts two championship 18-hole golf courses designed by the legendary Donald Ross. Bethlehem Country Club and Maplewood Country Club also team up with numerous local inns for stay-n-play packages. Several other courses are just a short drive away.

Bethlehem Country Club

Bethlehem Country Club


1901 Main St., Route 302
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-5745
Email: bccgolf@ncia.net
Website: bethlehemccnhgolf.com
18 hole Donald Ross designed golf course. Lessons, snackbar, club repair, tournament activity, pro shop, and membership available. Call for tee time.

Maplewood Country Club

Maplewood Country Club


2691 Main St.
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Phone: 603-869-3335
Donald Ross designed 18-hole championship course playing 6001 yards to a par 72 (rating 67.4 slope 113). Fully stocked pro shop - group rates available. Lounge or Lunch in our Historic clubhouse. Function rooms available. Practice putting green. Unique par six hole.

Sunset Hill Golf Course


231 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone: 800-786-4455
Website: sunsethillhouse.com/activities-and-amenities/golf-course/
Golf and Stay - Stay any time in June or July and golf "all you can stand". We've had some folks average 18 cents a hole on this terrific promotional. After all, the first tee is only 50-feet from the front door. Beautiful mountain, golf course view, lodging and a full breakfast! Carts NOT required. No gimmicks. No conditions. No blackout dates. Just a good deal for everyone. 800-SUN-HILL, 603 823 5522. (There's the swimming pool and hammock, plus those mountain views, for those who don't golf)

FALL FOLIAGE

New Hampshire is the premier destination for Fall Foliage leaf-peepers. Our region is one of only two areas in the world (China is the other) where the climate and topography are just right to produce the breathtaking blaze of Autumn colors. Bethlehem is located amid extensive hardwood forests containing a wide variety of hardwood species. Each species provides its own burst of color to the vivid display.

Many factors can affect the exact timing and brilliance of the Fall show. Rainfall, temperatures, wind, and sun conditions all impact the leaves. For an up-to-date foliage report call the New Hampshire Foliage Hotline at 1-800-258-3608.

When should I come?
In general, leaves will begin changing color in mid-September (though you'll see a few anxious ones change in late August!). The transformation continues into early October, with the leaves following a progression of colors.

Foliage Tip: Book your lodging reservations early!! Fall Foliage is a busy season for our motels and inns, so make your reservations as soon as possible. If you are having trouble locating accommodations, contact our Visitors Center for assistance (888-845-1957).

SCENIC DRIVES

Virtually any road you find in the White Mountains can be described as "scenic" at one point or other. However, the routes below offer particularly special views. Please remember to drive carefully on our highways, as wildlife and tourist traffic can impose additional driving challenges not normally encountered. Enjoy your ride and watch for moose!

White Mountains Trail (Kancamagus Scenic Byway)

Numerous scenic overlooks and covered bridges highlight this heavily traveled route. You can begin this loop tour from Bethlehem by heading East on Rt 302 toward Conway. You'll pass by such sights as the historic Mount Washington Hotel and travel through beautiful Crawford Notch. In Conway, take Rt 112 West (the Kancamagus Highway) toward Lincoln. Dramatic mountain vistas and lovely forests scenes highlight this segment. In Lincoln, take I-93 North. This part of the tour passes through spectacular Franconia Notch and the famous "Old Man of the Mountain". Exit 40 off I-93 will bring you back to Bethlehem.

Prospect Mountain Road Scenic Byway

Located a short distance from Bethlehem, this 1.5 mile auto road leads to the summit of Prospect Mountain in Lancaster's Weeks State Park. Beautiful forests and scenic turn-outs highlight the tour, with a 360 degree panoramic view at the summit. From Bethlehem, take Rt 302 East to Twin Mountain. Turn left onto Rt 3 North toward Whitefield. Weeks State Park is located off Rt 3 between Whitefield and Lancaster.

Sugar Hill - Franconia

The Sugar Hill/Franconia area is a short, scenic drive from Bethlehem. Leave Bethlehem on Rt 142 South. In Franconia, turn right on Rt 118, pass through Franconia Village, and turn left on Rt 117 to Sugar Hill. You can make this an easy loop trip by continuing on Rt 117 to the junction of Rt 302. Turn right on Rt 302 (East) and return to Bethlehem.

Pinkham Notch

This loop drive affords some spectacular views of the Presidential Mountains and surrounding countryside, including Mt. Washington. From Bethlehem, take Rt 302 East to Twin Mountain. Turn left onto Rt 3 North and then right onto Rt 115 to Jefferson. At the junction with US Rt 2, go right toward Gorham. (Special Sidetrip: For a spectacular view of the Presidentials overlooking one of the oldest golf courses in NH, turn left at the junction of US Rt 2 and head ~5 miles to Jefferson. Retrace your route to continue the loop tour.) Follow Rt 2 to Gorham and then turn right onto NH 116. Traveling along NH 116 will take you past the Mt. Washington Auto Road (incredible sidetrip!) and Pinkham Notch Visitors Center. Continue along NH 116 to the junction of Rt 302 and turn right (West). Follow Rt 302 back to Bethlehem, passing through Crawford Notch.

"Moose Alley"

Though you're apt to see moose on any of our roadways, there is a stretch of road north of Bethlehem where moose watching can be particularly fruitful. Best times for moose viewing tend to be early morning or dusk. Please drive defensively, as the moose may dart into the road. Also, please observe the moose from a distance and do not try to approach the moose. They are large, unpredictable animals. To reach Moose Alley, leave Bethlehem on Rt 302 East to Twin Mountain and turn left at the junction of Rt 3 North. Follow Rt 3 North to Pittsburg (~65 miles). Moose Alley is Rt 3 North beginning in Pittsburg and extending to the Canadian border (~22 miles).

Great North Woods

This drive will take you through beautiful, unspoiled forests with ample wildlife viewing opportunities. Begin in Bethlehem on Rt 302 East to Twin Mountain, and turn left at the junction of Rt 3 North. Follow Rt 3 North to Colebrook. In Colebrook, turn right on Rt 26 toward Errol. Rt 26 will take you through Dixville Notch and past the beautiful Balsams Grand Hotel. In Errol, turn right (South) on Rt 16 toward Berlin/Gorham. Much of this route is along the picturesque Androscoggin River. Connect with US Rt 2 West in Gorham and follow Rt 2 to Jefferson. Turn left onto Rt 115 until it intersects with Rt 3 in Twin Mountain. Turn left (South) on Rt 3 and then turn right (West) at the junction of Rt 302. Follow Rt 302 back to Bethlehme.

COVERED BRIDGES

There are more than 20 historic covered bridges within an easy drive of Bethlehem. Below are a few of the closest:

Lancaster - Lunenburg, VT

This 266'-3" bridge spans the Connecticut River between New Hampshire and Vermont. Built in 1911. The bridge is located on NH 135, 5 miles West of Lancaster.

Lancaster - Mechanic Street

Built in 1862, this 94'-3" bridge spans the Israel River in Lancaster. The bridge is located off Rts. 2 and 3 in Lancaster village.

Haverhill - Bath

This bridge, built in 1832, is the oldest authenticated covered bridge in New Hampshire. The 256'-3" bridge spans the Ammonoosuc River and is located on NH 135 (off Rt 302) in Woodsville.

Lincoln - Flume

This 50' bridge spans the Pemigewasset River and was built around 1871. Foot traffic only. The bridge is located in the Flume Reservation off Rt 3/I-93 in Franconia Notch State Park (admission charged).

Lincoln - Sentinel Pine

Another bridge located in the Flume Reservation off Rt 3/I-93 in Franconia Notch State Park. This 60'-5" bridge spans the Flume Gorge and Pemigewasset River at the Pool. Built in 1939, foot traffic only. (admission charged)

Bartlett - Bartlett

This 166'-10" bridge spanning the Saco River is now closed to traffic. Originally built in 1857. The bridge is located on Rt 302 between Bartlett and Glen.

Bath - Bath

The 374'-6" bridge is one of the oldest in New Hampshire, built in 1832. The bridge spans the Ammonoosuc River and is located off Rt 302 in Bath.

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