Engage all your senses and discover the Granite State by partaking in one of these five food and beverage tours. From savory snacks to sweet treats, there’s something for the most discerning of taste buds.
1. Annual Inn-to-Inn Holiday Cookie and Candy Tour
White Mountain area inns offer holiday cookies and candies to sweet tooths during this self-guided tour. While visiting the inns, you may also see handmade gingerbread sculptures, collector’s ornaments and recipe collections. Participating inns include the Darby Field Inn in Albany; the Bartlett Inn in Barlett; Riverbend Inn and Brass Heart Inn in Chocorua; Inn at Crystal Lake and Pub in Eaton; Admiral Peary House in Fryeburg, Maine; Covered Bridge House in Glen; Notchland Inn in Hart’s Location; the 1785 Inn and Glen Oaks Inn in Intervale; Inn at Ellis River and Inn at Jackson in Jackson and Eastman Inn, Old Red Inn and Cottages and Wildflowers Inn in North Conway. That may seem like a lot of traveling, but not to worry – each inn is no more than 15 minutes from the next. Tickets are $27 for the two-day tour held Dec. 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. You can purchase tickets Dec. 1-Dec. 7 by calling 383-9339 or 800-233-8309. Tour tickets are available in advance by reserving a lodging package at a participating inn. For more information, visit countryinnsinthewhitemountains.com.
2. Harney & Sons Holiday Tea Tasting and Inns Tour
Care for a spot of tea? Eight New Hampshire inns have it covered. During a two-day self-guided tour, six different Harney tea blends will be available at each inn, along with a light snack. John Harney, owner of Harney & Sons Teas, along with his son Mike, will be stopping by the inns to dish about their gourmet teas and sign books. Participating inns include the Highland Lake Inn in East Andover, the Inn at Pleasant Lake and Colonial Farm Inn in New London, Henniker House in Henniker, Candlelite Inn and Rosewood Country Inn in Bradford, Blue Goose Inn in Newbury and the Blue Acorn Inn in Sunapee.
The tour runs Dec. 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. On the first day of the tour the Harneys will give an informative tea tasting at the Highland Lake Inn, Inn at Pleasant Lake and the Colonial Farm Inn and will then visit the other inns. The second day is for guests to explore any of the inns they not seen on the first day. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 735-6426 after Nov. 23. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank. To guarantee your spot now, purchase a lodging package at any of the participating inns for that weekend. To book a package, visit any of the inns websites or call.
3. Wine and Cheese Trails
The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food has put together three wine and cheese itineraries. You can journey alongside the ocean on the Near Coast trail which includes four vineyards, six wineries and a stop at Brookford Farm in Rollinsford which offers cream cheese and fresh mozzarella among other dairy delights. If you want to explore the Connecticut River Valley area, look up the Valley Vineyards itinerary which includes a visit to Barnett Hill Vineyard in Walpole, four wineries and three dairy stops. If you think the Merrimack Valley and Lakes Region are where it’s at, discover two vineyards, three wineries and three dairy stops during the Meander the Merrimack trail. Most of the places listed are open year-round.
Since you choose where to go, you can spread out an itinerary for a romantic weekend or just make it a daytrip with your friends. Visit visitnh.gov for a full list of suggested stops and more information.
4. Chocolate and Martini Tour
If martinis are more your style, the Division of Travel and Tourism also put together a chocolate and martini tour to tickle your taste buds. Suggestions range from a Stoli and Kahlua martini at Roosevelt’s Lounge inside the Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle to Belgian chocolate bonbons at Unbridled Chocolates in Marlborough. If you prefer your martinis without the sweet stuff, go to Cotton in Manchester and ask for the Dirty Bleu Martini – a traditional dirty martini garnished with blue cheese stuffed olives. Just be sure to save room for a trip to Van Otis Chocolate Factory, also in Manchester, for a bite of Swiss fudge. Much like the wine and cheese trails, the Chocolate and Martini tour is done at your own time and pace.
Visit visitnh.gov for more information.
5. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the village of Jackson and enjoy homemade chocolate treats along the way. Stops include the Wildcat Inn and Tavern, J-Town Deli, Thompson House Eatery, Inn at Jackson, Snowflake Inn, The Wentworth and Flossie’s General Store. Can you imagine a better way to discover this charming and scenic New Hampshire village? Be ready to indulge on Saturday, Nov. 28; Sunday, Nov. 29; Saturday, Dec. 5; Sunday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 12. Tours run hourly starting at 11 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 4 p.m. Tickets are $18. Children on mom or dad’s lap not taking chocolates can ride free. This event often sells out, so purchase your tickets now by calling 800-866-3334 or 383-9356. For more information, visit jacksonnh.com.