We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Which North Conway hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
17 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
Smugglers Notch and fall colors

We have an opportunity to stay at Smugglers Notch in North Conway in the last week of September. It seems early for fall colors and we were wondering about that and the overall quality of Smugglers Notch. Any tips or suggestions?

Lincoln, NH
Level Contributor
2,416 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Hmm. Smuggler's Notch is in Vermont.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
17 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

My mistake. I have been reviewing quite a number of possibilities and obviously confused my locations. I live in Florida so I am not familiar with that part of the country but would really like to enjoy the fall colors and the small town atmosphere of New England (not to mention the cooler weather). Any suggestions on best weeks and favorite locations?

Thanks.

Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,689 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

So will you be staying at Smuggler's Notch in VT or another place in N. Conway in September?

Hollis, New...
Level Contributor
4,669 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Generally speaking, September is early for fall color, although there will be some in higher elevations/northerly locations. Usually the first two weeks of October are best in NH and VT.

For small town atmosphere, North Conway is probably not your best bet, because of all the outlet shopping. I don't know Smugglers Notch at all. There are hundreds of places to go, though. A lot depends on the usual considerations like budget, general interests, whether you want to drive around a lot or stay put in a lovely spot, and so on.

Just because I'm going back there this weekend for a second straight early-December stay (we always get our Christmas trees at the Rocks Reservation across the road), I'll drop the name of the Adair Country Inn in Bethlehen, NH. It's beautiful. Not cheap. http://www.adairinn.com/

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
17 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Either is a possibility. I should have finished my coffee early this morning when I wrote my question, as I messed up the location of Smugglers Notch by referencing North Conway. Both areas look appealing. If late September is too early for fall colors (have a timeshare exchange possibility for Smugglers) then please make any suggestions. We want a home base and to take day trips to various locations. Ideally we would do an exchange of our timeshare unit here in Florida for one in VT, or NH, maybe Maine. Thanks again.

Bristol, New...
Level Contributor
133 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

I'm a little confused; is the last week of September set in stone or are you flexible with your dates? As others have mentioned, the first two weeks of October are much better for fall colors.

I would avoid North Conway if you're looking for that quaint small town New England atmosphere. I think the other side of the White Mountains is a bit better for this kind of feel, including Sugar Hill, Bethlehem, and Littleton. This is a good location because it also puts you close to many charming towns and beautiful scenery across the river in Vermont.

Smuggler's Notch is nice but note that this isn't really a "town," just a mountain pass with a ski resort. The main town in the area is Stowe, which is certainly quaint and charming although it does cater to a tourist crowd. The mountains in Vermont aren't really quite as impressive as the mountains in New Hampshire, but Vermont does have a lot more farmland which means beautiful open views.

I do love Stowe's proximity to Lake Champlain and Burlington, but overall I would probably recommend the Sugar Hill/Bethlehem/Littleton area in NH if you're going to be spending a week in one place. This area just gives you more flexibility because it's more centrally located, allowing you to easily reach the White Mountains, the quaint villages of eastern Vermont, VT's Northeast Kingdom, and even NH's Lakes Region.

Some of the best places and small towns to see from your base in this area:

-Franconia Notch State Park

-Crawford Notch State Park

-Weeks State Park / Mt. Prospect

-Kancamagus Highway

-Peacham & Cabot VT

-Burke Mountain

-Mt. Washington Auto Road

-Lake Willoughby

-Squam Lake area (Ashland, Sandwich, Tamworth)

Central Maine
Destination Expert
for Maine
Level Contributor
6,672 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Not sure if your timeshare is with RCI or II..... but would suggest you consider the following trades for the first or second week in October (if you have that flexibility -- or the end of September if you don't)....

Smuggler's Notch -- sorry, not familiar enough to comment...

Suites at Eastern Slope Inn, North Conway, NH -- (Do not confuse this with Eastern Slope Inn - the suites are newer units located further back from the street and are much nicer and quieter; the "Inn" units are in the original building and are smaller -- sometimes much smaller -- and closer to street noise and activity). Suites units are in newer buildings; resort has a nice indoor pool; great staff; and the resort is located at the north end of the compact business district with easy access to some local shops and restaurants -- and a bit of distance from the outlet shops that make North Conway so congested).... While it will be more congested than some other locations which don't offer the timeshare option, North Conway does make a good base for fall foliage day-tripping with easy access to Crawford Notch, Pinkham Notch and the Kankanmaugus Highway....

Bethel Inn, Bethel, ME -- In the heart of some of Maine's best foliage country, with day-trip possibilities in both Maine and New Hampshire... Timesahre units line the fairways of the resort golf course so are away from some of the busy-ness of the Inn itself, but still offer access to the indoor-outdoor pool and other facilities.

Believe there are one or two other timeshare options in Bethel and nearby Newry, but am not familiar enough with them to comment....

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
17 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

A great amount of advice. I will certainly explore these options in greater depth. We are flexible on the dates and will shoot for the October 10th to 20th timeframe for this vacation. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
17 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Great. I will check out these locations and lodging options. We are RCI members and I have been reviewing many options. While here are reviews posted, it helps to get feedback on the area in general and the inside scoop from those who know the area, not just a one week visitor.

Thank you very much for all the information.

Westerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,689 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Smugglers Notch and fall colors

Oct 10 - 20 is an ideal time frame to visit. Depending on weather conditions you should hit peak color somewhere between the White Mtns and southern NH. If you decide to stay in a b&b, hotel, inn, etc, don't wait until the last moment to try and book a place.

Get answers to your questions about North Conway