Stanford White designed the big bungalow-style house on the hillside overlooking the village of Jackson, NH, one of the prettiest in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Current owners have made it into a welcoming country inn, adding enough luxuries and amenities to make it memorable without losing the sense of being welcomed into a friend’s vacation “cottage.”
We arrived at The Inn at Jackson on an evening in early winter and were welcomed by a cheery fire blazing in the big stone fireplace that provides the focal point of the front parlor. Facing it were a cushy leather sofa and inviting armchairs. It seemed downright ungrateful not to sit and enjoy the fire, and nibble on a chocolate chip cookie from the plate in the foyer.
Our room was the only guest room on the first floor, and we had our choice of entrances, from the foyer or directly from the wide porch that wraps around two sides of the building. We thought this location, however convenient, might be noisy, but once inside we were never conscious of conversation or other disturbance.
The room was spacious, with a king-sized bed that wasn’t buried in decorator pillows, but had plenty for cuddling up for bedtime reading. Facing the foot of the bed a gas fireplace added a warm glow as we drifted off to sleep under our comforter.
The next morning we looked out our big windows to a fresh snowfall, enough to cover Jackson’s valley landscape with white and to blanket the White Mountains that surround it. We admired the view across the town below from our window table in the dining room, but not before pausing to ponder the three choices of breakfast entrée that were chalked onto the blackboard art the dining room door. I began with a bowl of their house-made granola, brimming with toasted nuts, then lingered over a hearty southwest omelet.
Jackson is one of the rare towns that combines all the right ingredients for a year-round vacation or getaway weekend. The golf course that surrounds its tidy homes and shops with velvety green in the summer becomes rolling cross-country ski terrain for Jackson Ski Touring Foundation after snow flies.
Galleries -- Canterbury Hill Studio and Ravenwood Curio Shoppe -- are open year round, and in the summer, well-kept hiking trails lead across Carter Notch and up Mount Washington. A stair-stepped waterfall dropping into the middle of town makes a scenic picnic site, and a red covered bridge provides an entry that separates this idyllic world from Route 16, on its way north through Pinkham Notch.
In winter, along with the 150 km of Jackson Ski Touring Foundation trails, there is snowshoeing, an ice skating rink, and sleigh rides, not to mention two ski areas – Black Mountain in town and Wildcat just to the north. Dining choices range from family-friendly Red Parka and Shovel Handle Pub to fine dining at Thompson House Eatery.
All around are the White Mountains, with short walks to two of the state’s largest waterfalls and several of the region’s most popular attractions. And right in the heart of it all, a short walk from the village, is The Inn at Jackson. Contact them at www.innatjackson.com.