Instagrammed pic of Gunstock’s great view
With the blizzard of 2013/Nemo blanketing Boston under two feet of snow, my mind is now on snowboarding and heading up to Vermont or New Hampshire for some time on the slopes. One great destination that is a quick and easy drive from Boston (once the roads are clear) is Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire.
Greg and I received a great gift from his parents this past Christmas: lift tickets to Gunstock and a stay at the Fireside Inn and Suites in Gilford. We took advantage of that gift a couple of weeks ago and had a great weekend away. Less than a two hour drive from Boston, Gunstock is the perfect commute for a quick getaway.
Typically, for a weekend of snowboarding, I’ll head to one of my favorite bigger mountains in Vermont, like Mount Snow or Killington. Don’t get me wrong, I love those mountains, but Gunstock was a breath of fresh air. The weather that Saturday was perfect for skiing, sunny, temperatures in the 20s, not too windy, but surprisingly the mountain was not very busy. The conditions were perfect. Only one or two trails that we went down were just slightly icy, and there were no lines for the lifts at all. It felt like we were able to take 10 times more runs than usual. To make the day even better, when we headed into the lodge for lunch around 1:00 pm, we quickly found open seats. Nothing’s worse than getting into the lodge and hoping to relax and eat for a little bit after hours of skiing and having to trudge up and down, back and forth, throughout a lodge to find two open seats.
After splitting a decently tasting and decently priced mountain lunch of a chicken fajita wrap with waffle fries and calm chowder and warming up for a few minutes by the lodge’s roaring fire, we headed back out ready for some more runs. The conditions stayed nice throughout the afternoon, and the sunny skies were the perfect backdrop for the views of the lakes and mountains seen from the summit.
After a long day of snowboarding, we drove a couple of miles to the Fireside Inn and Suites in Gilford. At check in, we were handed homemade whoopie pies, and in the mornings, they served a complimentary continental breakfast. As everyone knows, any free food is a plus in my book. Other hotel amenities include an indoor pool, hot tub, and a fitness center (not that I used it). Our room was large, comfortable, and clean, ideal for relaxing after a day on the mountain. Add in their affordable rates, and I’m definitely planning on staying there next time!
There are plenty of options for good food around Gunstock Mountain. Lucky for us, Patrick’s Pub is located right across the street from where we stayed. Featuring a slightly more formal dinning room and a more casual bar area, Patrick’s Pub boasts a large menu with options for any appetite, a good selection of draft beer, and other tasty drink options. Super hungry after all the snowboarding, we stuffed our faces. I had baked haddock with a baked potato and veggies, at least I started off decently healthy! And, Greg had prime rib. For dessert, we decided on chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.
On the way home from the mountain, we stuffed ourselves once again. This time at the Tilt’n Diner, located 20 minutes from the mountain. The diner is decorated in true fifties fashion and has a typical diner menu that includes all-day breakfast, milkshakes, burgers, fries, etc. My large veggie omelette was incredibly filling and tasty, and, of course, I wanted to finish my breakfast off with some dessert. Greg had been to this diner many times growing up and always talked about how good their Toll House Cookie Pie is. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this big, warm cookie with ice cream all week. Unfortunately, we were informed by our server that they were out of the pie! Kind of disappointing. We’ll have to go back so that I can finally try it.
All this writing about snowboarding and food…I’m definitely craving another trip away. Now, I just need to finish digging my car out of the piles of snow, and maybe we’ll make it skiing again sometime before spring.