An Insider's Guide to the Après-Ski Lifestyle at Loon Mountain Resort

Apres ski options about at Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery.
Apres ski options about at Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery. Jim Baumer
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Loon Mountain Resort, located in Lincoln, New Hampshire, is only three miles from Exit 32 off I-93, a major north/south corridor capable of whisking skiers out of Boston (two hours) and other points, particularly from the south.

Lincoln is the more commercial of the two adjoining New Hampshire towns straddling the exit (the other being North Woodstock). With an assortment of strip malls and shops along Main Street, as well as small, locally-run eateries and stores, the town’s main drag is surprisingly bustling. And if you decide to take your après-ski adventures off the mountain, you're bound to find something to suit your tastes in Lincoln.

Of course, you could choose accommodations at The Mountain Club on Loon, the only lodging on the mountain. This a 234-room hotel resort and accompanying spa. It’s nestled on a slope-side bluff with amenable views of the Pemigewasset River. Guests enjoy ski-on, ski-off access, the convenience of garage parking, along with the Viaggio Spa & Health Club. The club also features two heated pools (one indoor, one outdoor), a whirlpool and saunas, as well as a host of other fitness amenities. With so many things offered, you might be forgiven if you forget that you came here to ski or snowboard. The Black Diamond Bar and Grille features fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

Other Loon Mountain après-ski options feature a logging legend motif; the Paul Bunyan Room and Babe’s Blue Ox. The Paul Bunyan Room is located upstairs at the Octagon Lodge, at the base of Loon Peak. Babe’s Blue Ox can be found on the upper level of the Governor Adams Lodge. Both are renowned for their atmosphere, and food service. And Babe’s features live entertainment.

There's always a party at Loon Mountain Resort
There's always a party at Loon Mountain Resort Loon Mountain Resort

Off the mountain is an array of lodging and dining in Lincoln, and fewer places in North Woodstock, located on the west side of I-93.

A great place to start your day and fuel up with coffee and a bagel is White Mountain Bagel Co. They open at 6:30 and also serve deli sandwiches and wraps. Half Baked & Fully Brewed serves coffee all day if you need a caffeine boost after your day on the mountain. They also have breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.

Whether you are staying at Loon Mountain, at one of the ubiquitous condominiums dotting the mountainside, or at any other lodging in Lincoln, Black Mountain Burger Co. is within walking distance of most, or at the very least, a short car ride. And it's a can't-miss spot.

Hearty burgers come in several varieties. Want an adult beverage? There are rotating taps of local, craft beers, as well as a full-service bar. And if burgers aren’t your thing, then they offer numerous non-burger options too, including soups, salads, sandwiches, and a variety of other options. Black Mountain Burger Co. is a fun place with a great atmosphere.

Gordi’s Fish & Steakhouse, in the center of Lincoln, is another popular eatery for hungry downhillers after a day on the slopes. Many consider it the area's quintessential ski bar, with race bibs hanging from the beams and mementos from the skiing careers of owners and former Olympians Gordi and Karen Eaton.

The Gypsy Cafe is a funky eatery in Lincoln with an eclectic menu. Try their bri and bacon grilled cheese fondue for an appetizer. Opt for a main course of Greek lamb chops over hummus, or Navajo pumpkin pasta with turkey meatballs.

For shopping and browsing, Main Street has shops like Lahout's Discount Warehouse—the oldest ski shop in America. Lincoln isn’t North Conway, but upstairs at Lahout's you can find apparel bargains to rival any outlet store. Lincoln has two bookshops, Innisfree and the Mountain Wanderer Map & Book Store.

North Woodstock is a small village with a walkable Main Street. It possesses a New England quaintness and charm that most people can't resist.

Nothing better than a little live music after a day on the slopes
Nothing better than a little live music after a day on the slopes Loon Mountain Resort

Contributing to that lived-in small town vibe is the Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery . Located in a former railroad station from the late 1800s, it’s a cozy place to have a drink and/or a meal after a busy day on the slopes. If craft beer is your thing, you’ll want to saddle up to the ample bar area for a sampler. Guests can mix and match their signature beers, including award-winning Pemi Pale Ale and Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, along with a number of seasonal brews—more than a dozen beers are always on tap.

Or if you prefer; grab a seat in the main tavern near the fireplace, especially when there’s live music.

The restaurant menu (available in the pub, too) is extensive offering fish, burgers, pizza, ribs, and other seafood options. Lighter fare is also available. And much like Black Mountain Burger and Gordie’s, you are made to feel like a regular on your very first visit.

There are pool tables in the upstairs of Truant's Taverne in North Woodstock and live music most nights. Their menu isn’t anything fancy—mainly pub food, along with burgers, as well as flatbread pizza—but it's delicious after a day on the slopes.

Compared to other bigger and more storied resort towns, Lincoln and North Woodstock might be characterized as “sleepy.” But together they serve up some seriously excellent options for après-ski fun and fare.

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