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Waterville Valley is unique. It's a year-round resort, a historic town (where visitors have been coming since the 1800s to escape the heat of the summer), and a nature preserve all rolled into one. The town is, essentially, an "inland island" surrounded by 700,000 acres of the White Mountain national forest. Fortunately, Waterville Valley is also easy to get to--a quick ride up Rt. 93, then a lovely drive along the meandering Mad River to the town.
Once you're in Waterville Valley, you can basically park your car and forget it. All roads--and paths, and trails--in Waterville Valley lead to Town Square, which is designed for pedestrians and the center of many activities, including hotels, dining, shops, and activities. From Town Square, you can walk to most activities, accommodations, and dining. For locations that are a bit further out--or if you're not up for a walk--there's a free shuttle bus that will take you wherever you need to go.
Waterville Valley is also unique in that there are no "big box" stores, no fast food places, and no chain stores--just local stores owned by people who live in the area and care about it. It's the kind of place that families come back to year after year, and children grow up to bring their own children to.
There is always something going on in Waterville Valley, at every time of year and for every type of visitor: sports (golf, tennis, skiing, skateboarding, swimming, skating, snowboarding, hockey, hiking, biking, and more); cultural activities (music, theatre, stargazing, art); activities for kids (summer camp, day camp, specialty camps, open gym). And although Waterville Valley is very family-friendly, adult visitors like that kids can find plenty to do on their own in a safe, comfortable environment--so the big kids can have some fun on their own, too!