You’ll find Bethlehem, New Hampshire, to be one of the most charming New England towns in the Mount Washington region. Your visit will be even better when you choose to stay at one of these three fantastic inns in Bethlehem NH.
With its fresh air, beautiful lakes, and outdoor activities, Bethlehem has been a popular travel destination for centuries. It’s no wonder this hillside village continues to be a northern New Hampshire gem hidden in plain sight.
Below, you’ll learn about the best places to stay in Bethlehem, along with plenty of recommendations for great things to see and do while you visit.
Continue reading below to plan your trip to Bethlehem, NH!
CONTENTS — In this article, you will learn about the best inns in Bethlehem NH and fun activities you’ll enjoy while you’re in town. Here’s what you need to know:
- Experiencing Bethlehem, New Hampshire
- Should You Visit Bethlehem, NH?
- A Brief History of Bethlehem NH
- When to Visit Bethlehem NH
- Getting to Bethlehem NH
- Favorite Attractions and Activities in Bethlehem
- Best Accommodations in Bethlehem NH
- Which Inn in Bethlehem NH Should You Choose?
- Additional Lodging Options in Bethlehem
- More Things to See & Do in Bethlehem NH
- Where to Eat in Bethlehem NH
- Final Thoughts on Inns in Bethlehem NH
- Next Steps
Travels to Bethlehem, New Hampshire
Some of my favorite memories are driving through New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch on my way to the quaint New England town of Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
I’ve easily visited half-a-dozen times or more over the years.
That’s because friends host an annual music party at their lovely Bethlehem home. It’s given me an opportunity to explore the area in depth.
These visits also led me to stay at some of the finest New England bed and breakfasts, which I’m excited to tell you about.
That way, you can plan an adventure to the “North Country” of New Hampshire and know the best options when you’re deciding where to stay in Bethlehem, NH.
You’ll want to read to the end of this article because I’ll also share:
- Some of my favorite things to see and do in the Bethlehem area
- Popular attractions you should consider
- The best place for food and drink in and around Bethlehem
So, let’s get to it!
Why Visit Bethlehem, New Hampshire?
There’s something about the air once you get up north that is so restorative, especially in Bethlehem.
In fact, in the post-Civil War era, many traveled to Bethlehem, New Hampshire for a respite from city heat and smog, and to enjoy the pollen-free air.
Conveniently located halfway between Boston MA and Montreal, Canada, Bethlehem is one of the most quaint towns in NH to visit. This northern tip of New Hampshire in which Bethlehem lies is the Great North Woods Region.
Locals call it simply the “North Country.”
Nestled in the White Mountains just north of Franconia Notch, Bethlehem is surrounded by untouched natural beauty and darling towns and villages.
When you explore New Hampshire, you’ll come to love these small towns. And while there’s no shortage of picturesque villages in New Hampshire… there’s no place like quite Bethlehem.
It’s in the heart of The White Mountains.
Among the good reasons to visit is that Bethlehem, NH is a haven for artists and musicians. [Shown: 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center]
5 Reasons You Should Plan a Trip to Bethlehem, NH
Here’s why Bethlehem makes for a perfect vacation in the mountains.
- Scenic Beauty and Photo Opps – The winding roads that ribbon through Bethlehem and New Hampshire’s White Mountains offer stunning views, as do the panoramic mountain views from the hilltops.
- Ideal for Outdoor Enthusiasts – Bethlehem is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all seasons, given the mountains, trails, and the Ammonoosuc River. Nearby, you can ride the Cog Railway up Mount Washington, or golf at Bethlehem’s “gold” golf courses. Bethlehem is also a short distance away from the Appalachian Trail.
- A Haven for Art and Music Fans – Bethlehem is home to many artists and musicians. You can appreciate local art at Wren Gallery, 42 Maple Contemporary Art Center, and also showcased throughout the town in area hotels and restaurants. You’ll find live music events in town, too!
- Love Shopping and Craft Beer? – Then you’ll enjoy antiquing, visiting unique shops, and touring one of several breweries in the area. The palette of delightful small towns bordering Bethlehem (Littleton, Sugar Hill, Franconia, Whitefield) are also excellent stops for further treasure hunting.
- Great Wellness Retreat – Bethlehem has the highest elevation in New Hampshire, as you’ll see posted on a sign in the village. In the Gilded Age, Bethlehem became a popular destination for hay fever relief with its low pollen count. Plus, a trip north clears more than just your lungs—it clears your head. Few will argue the fact that getting “back to nature” is good for your body, mind, and spirit.
Best Time to Visit Bethlehem NH
Not only does Bethlehem, New Hampshire suit many diverse interests, it’s a destination for all seasons.
Bethlehem’s natural beauty offers a peaceful retreat during the warmer months. When you visit, you’ll experience Bethlehem’s expansive natural scenes, including mountain elevations, lovely meadows, cooling rivers, and placid ponds.
You can be assured that any time you visit Bethlehem, you’re in for a treat.
- Spring is an ideal time to visit Bethlehem for fishing, camping, and nature walks.
- In the summer, you can enjoy kayaking, scenic hikes, and views of the White Mountains.
- Autumn is a perfect opportunity to take in all the beautiful New England fall foliage, apple picking, and fairs & festivals in the region.
- If you visit Bethlehem in winter, you’ll find several snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails that traverse the town. It’s close to several popular ski-resorts, as well. Bretton Woods and Cannon Mountain are just a short drive away. (Plus, the landscape frosted in snow makes for amazing photographs!)
No matter when you visit Bethlehem, you can enjoy the best of the season. Just be sure to prepare for New England weather conditions, should you plan a wintertime trip.
A Brief History of Bethlehem NH & Grand Hotels
Before you embark on you’re trip, let’s take a look at how the hotel industry in Bethlehem has changed over the years.
At the height of the grand hotel and tourism industry, the small town of Bethlehem prospered with an influx of visitors to the areas.
Between 1880 and 1910, in an era famous for the Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains, Bethlehem was home to multiple large and lovely hotels. Noteworthy grand hotels included the Maplewood (750 guest capacity) and Sinclaire (300 guest capacity), as well as numerous other smaller hotels that flourished.
But, by the early 20th century, a changing tourism market, economic factors, and the accessibility of travel by car reduced interest in extended stays in these grand resorts. In addition, fire destroyed many a hotel, as it was a common hazard in those days.
Sadly, only four of the grand hotels of the White Mountains remain today in the region:
- Eagle Mountain House
- The Mount Washington Hotel
- The Wentworth Hotel
- Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa
Even though the era of “grand hotels” is gone, as many as 30-40 hotels shaped the resort community of Bethlehem over the years.
And, while there aren’t many so-called grand hotels left in the area, you’ll discover a wonderful selection of great places to stay in Bethlehem that won’t disappoint. You’ll find some great options, below.
But first, some logistics.
Getting to Bethlehem NH
Conveniently located halfway between Boston and Montreal, it’s easy to get to Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
To give you some points of reference, Bethlehem is approximately:
- 100 miles from Portland, Maine
- 150 miles from Boston
- 320 from New York City
- 200 miles from Montreal, Canada
Here are the driving routes you might consider (although I highly recommend using GPS):
- From Boston, you’ll take I-93 North to Exit 40. Then, take Route 302 East to Bethlehem.
- From points south, like Connecticut and New York, take I-91 North to Exit 17 (Vermont), then Route 302 East (31 miles). You’ll pass through Woodsville and Littleton before reaching Bethlehem.
- From Canada, Take Route I-91 South to I-93 South to NH Exit 40. Then, you’ll take Route 302 East to Bethlehem.
As you can see, Bethlehem is a very doable drive from any of those locations.
If you’re flying in, the nearest major airport to Bethlehem NH is Lebanon Airport (LEB), about 85 miles away.
Nearby regional airports include:
- Twin Mountain Airport
- Franconia Airport
- Mt. Washington Regional Airport
One you arrive, there’s plenty to see and do in Bethlehem NH.
My Favorite Things to Do in Bethlehem: Nearby Attractions and Activities
Having visited this lovely New Hampshire town multiple times, I can recommend several of my favorite things to see and do in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
You’ll find a full list of activities at the end of this article, but here is a taste of what you can expect to see and do in Bethlehem, NH.
- See The Notch (Franconia Notch): “The Old Man of the Mountain” was an iconic rock formation once profiled on the side of Franconia Notch. I remember seeing it many times as a child, and was sad to hear it crumbled in 2003. Still, you’ll still notice the effigy on the New Hampshire state route signs, the state quarter, and on license plates. And, you can still see the “Old Man” through a clever art simulation at the Memorial Park. The Notch itself is a breathtaking mountain pass in itself, and a ‘must-see.’
- Dip Your Toes in the Ammonoosuc River: This rushing, clean river is a great place to dip your toes at the water’s edge or for swimming. You can enjoy more thrilling activities, like tubing, canoeing, and kayaking, here too. You’ll find many public access points throughout Bethlehem, so bring your swim suit and a towel!
- Take a Drive Up Sugar Hill (Sugar Hill) – As a New Englander, it’s easy to forget how breathtaking the White Mountain range is. The natural beauty of this area is awe-inspiring! Be sure you take some time to drive through the back roads of Sugar Hill to find some of these stunning panoramic views.
- Mount Washington (Bretton Woods) – A trip to the iconic Mount Washington hotel is a must-do when you’re in Bethlehem. Whether you overnight at The Omni Mount Washington Resort, have lunch in their elegant dining room, or stroll the magnificent wrap-around porch for stunning views of the mountains, you won’t want to miss it. You’ll see views of the mountain range throughout the Bethlehem region, but this is one of the best places to immerse yourself in the magnificence of it all.
- Enjoy the Placid Streeter Pond (Sugar Hill) – Sometimes the most idyllic scenes are unexpected. Streeter Pond is one of those places. We stumbled upon it while meandering New Hampshire’s country roads when our boys were looking for a fishing hole. This is a perfect place for casting a line, and for setting up a few chairs to relax within this peaceful setting.
- Grab a Brew at Rek’-lis (Bethlehem) – This Main Street brewery and restaurant is well-loved by the locals and visitors alike. Stop in for a beer and some good bar food. You’ll want to check their schedule for live music, too.
- Stroll the Latest Art at Wren (Bethlehem)- You’ll find an eclectic collaborative art and gift shop right in the Bethlehem city center. Hosted by the Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network, Wren gives back to the community by helping NH creatives get funding, training, and support they need to succeed. Here, you’ll find some wonderful souvenirs and gifts, as well as a welcoming staff.
- Get a Tasty Treat at Crum Bum (Littleton) – If you’re looking for excellent coffee and baked goods, head over to downtown Littleton. It’s a short drive from Bethlehem. That’s where you’ll find Crum Bum, a quaint coffee shop with delicious offerings, including gluten-free and vegan options with friendly wait staff. This place has a great vibe.
- Treasure Hunt at the Antique Places – In Bethlehem and Littleton, you’ll want to stroll through several antique shops. In the historic center of Bethlehem, Lonesome Woods has a well-curated mix of antiques, apothecary, kitchen, and vintage wear. For more pickings, head to downtown Littleton. There you’ll discover several more interesting shops, including a two-story collection packed with fun finds, from small novelty items to elegant country and Victorian furniture. Give yourself some time to scour the wares for a nostalgic trip to the past. You may just go home with a new treasure!
- Get a Smoothie at The Maya Papaya – For breakfast, lunch, espresso, and more, stop into The Maya Papaya. They use fresh, local ingredients and were voted the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in New Hampshire by Delish.com.
You’ll find 25 more great things to do in the Bethlehem area, including places to eat, near the end of this article. It’s hard to believe, but this small region offers you a lot to see and do!
But before that, let me give you my insights into three beautiful inns of Bethlehem.
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Best Country Inns in Bethlehem, New Hampshire?
Bethlehem is situated ideally within the White Mountain range, so you’ll have plenty of choices when it comes to idyllic lodging.
And staying in a cozy inn will provide a more intimate experience than other hotel choices.
In my experience, these three inns offer high quality and their own unique charms:
I’ve stayed at each of them and you really can’t go wrong when choosing from these lovely places to stay in Bethlehem.
Let’s look at each one in more detail.
1. Adair Country Inn & Restaurant in Bethlehem NH
Adair Country Inn & Restaurant is by far the most luxurious of three inns in Bethlehem NH, yet affordable. You can expect a casual elegant atmosphere at this AAA-rated 4 star hotel (“diamond”).
The inn is about 7 minutes outside downtown Bethlehem and even closer (5 minutes) to nearby Littleton. (Littleton is another darling little town you’ll want to explore when you visit this area.)
The Adair is a majestic three-story Colonial Revival Manor with a wrap-around porch overlooking the inn’s expansive grounds.
Built in 1927, the property was originally a private residence. In fact, it was a wedding gift to Dorothy Adair Guider from her father, who initially owned it. In 1992, they converted this stunning residence to the magnificent inn it is today.
The Scenic Grounds of the Adair Country Inn
As you approach The Adair, you’ll notice the green knoll, gardens, and walking trails designed by the Olmsted Brothers. Along with the meandering stone walls, lovely ornamental trees, and a small pond graced by a weeping tree, this green space makes a wonderful first impression.
If you arrive at The Adair after dusk, you’ll find the grounds are lit most invitingly, too!
As soon as you walk through the front door of The Adair, you’ll notice the elevated vibe.
The foyer gives way to a graceful downstairs area, complete with classic furniture, an upright piano, and arrangements of fresh flowers. Wainscoting, crown molding, and chair rails further define the rich interior of this beautiful estate.
When you ascend the beautifully carved staircase to your guest room, take a moment to admire the extensive hat collection on display in the landing.
Dorothy Adair Guider’s Hat Collection
Topping an extensive library of books, the hat collection includes several 1920s vintage styles, plus pith helmets, an officer’s military cap, and fedoras.
You see, Dorothy Adair Guider was a hat collector of sorts.
Bowlers, netted pillbox hats, and an assortment of curious styles mark some interesting hat trends through the years!
About The Guest Rooms at The Adair
With nine bespoke guest rooms designed with elegance in mind, you’ll feel completely pampered within the refined luxury of the Adair.
You’ll enjoy the inn’s historic ambiance with all the modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi, television, digital alarm clock, hairdryer, and more.
We stayed here with three of our late-teen children in tow. (It’s worth noting that children under 12 are not allowed.) The inn is also pet friendly.
The Adair Country Inn hosted our party of five in two rooms: The Franconia Suite and the Lafayette Suite.
Here’s an inside look at each, below.
The Franconia Suite
The room we stayed in on the second floor, The Franconia Suite, is tastefully adorned and features a small balcony and large soaking tub. It made for the perfect romantic retreat.
Ensconced in soft pink walls with a corner fireplace reminiscent of the Victorian era, this spacious suite is a soothing retreat. A comfortable King feather bed and refined sleigh bed complement the antique writing desk and other period furniture in the room.
But it is not without modern conveniences, like a smart TV, refrigerator, a 2-person jetted tub, and walk-in shower.
The private balcony with views to the Dalton Mountain Range is a perfect setting to enjoy your morning coffee with a view, or for relaxing ambiance at day’s end — in the plush robes provided by the inn, of course.
Here, you’ll have views north, south, and west to mountains and an overlook to the properties pond and garden features.
This magnificent room will not disappoint!
The Lafayette Suite
The Lafayette Suite, where our children stayed, provides spacious and elegant accommodations.
This room is outfitted with beautiful bed linens on a King feather bed, chintz prints, tasteful furniture, and a large bathroom with a 2-person soaking tub.
You’ll also find a Vermont cast-iron stove in the corner with a cozy love seat.
And, for a small fee, the inn provides a rollaway bed (or two!) in this room, which worked out perfectly for our three teens. The room comfortably sleeps up to four guests.
You’ll love staying in The Lafayette Suite, a lovely, bright room with views of the front gardens and pond, bedecked with extra amenities.
Other Elegant Rooms at The Adair Country Inn
W occupied two of the inn’s rooms on the second floor, but all the rooms we peeked into were equally (if not more) luxurious than the next.
Truly, you can’t go wrong when staying in any room at The Adair Country Inn.
Special Touches & Amenities at The Adair Country Inn
While the rooms we stayed in provided all the creature comforts one could want, it was the little things that showed that the innkeeper went out of her way to make the experience special. In fact, The Adair pays uncompromising attention to every detail.
A few of them worth mentioning include:
- Chocolate truffles
- Classical music playing by the beside
- Inspirational quote cards left on the bed
- Luxury toiletries and black make-up cloth
- Upscale travel magazines and books in the guest room
- Tea time and baked goods in the lobby
- Complimentary tea, coffee, and water in the rec room
Staying at The Adair offers an experience of comfortable refinement that can’t be beat when you’re looking for a bespoke place to stay in Bethlehem, NH.
The Grounds of The Adair Country Inn
Outside the Adair Country Inn is just as splendid. The grounds consist of about 200 acres of gorgeous private property.
In fact, the landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Boston’s Emerald Necklace, New York’s Central Park, and many other well-known urban projects.
While the gardens at the Adair have evolved from their original glory, it’s easy to recognize the structural bones of such genius, as they are lovingly restored. The grounds, too, were created as a wedding gift for Dorothy Adair Guider.
You’ll enjoy strolling around the gardens of the fishpond and the white garden, adorned by a beautiful wrought-iron gate.
Relax at the scenic patio overlooking the backyard, or cradled in the Adirondack chairs poised beneath the stately pergola.
You’ll also have easy access to many peaceful trails and paths nestles within the surrounding woodlands. That’s a whole other aspect of this graceful property you can explore.
Dining at The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant
Whether you stay at The Adair or not, both the Library Pub and the Restaurant are open to the public. And it’s worth a visit to sample the delicious offerings intimate dining room prepared by Executive Chef, Steve Learned.
We loved having a drink in the cozy Library Pub bar, clad in rich wood.
Seated in the lovely dining room with fireplace the next morning, we likewise enjoyed delicious gourmet breakfast entrees, including fresh-made popovers and expertly prepared egg dishes.
When you make dinner reservations, you’ll be delighted by a dinner serving up New England cuisine with a fresh twist. Just be sure to book ahead for this experience.
Then you can enjoy some of the best dining in Bethlehem!
The Adair’s Game Room
Downstairs in the Adair, you’ll find a game room with all the makings of a fun night in.
When you enter, you can almost imagine the gentlemen of the house retreating to this spacious entertainment room in the 1930s during the Prohibition movement. (In my opinion, it would have made a great speakeasy!)
With leather furniture, a pool table, an upright piano, and board games, this recreation area was a brilliant spot for us all to relax as a family, play a bit, and enjoy each other’s company.
The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant: Recap
The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant is a little pricier than the other inns presented here, yet still quite affordable as one of the best hotels in Bethlehem.
This comfortable, historic inn with all the modern conveniences is truly an elevated experience that provides exceptional value.
It’s a perfect retreat for a romantic getaway and an elegant experience for anyone who appreciates the finer things. You might even indulge in their romantic getaway package, which includes extras like fresh flowers, candles, and sparkling wine to complement your experience.
In fact, it’s no surprise that The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant is award-winning. Among the awards, the inn has received accolades from Yankee Magazine, including Best of New Hampshire and the Editors’ Choice Awards for Best Romantic Getaway.
If you don’t stay here when you visit Bethlehem, do make reservations for dinner in their fireside dining room. You’ll enjoy a creative twist on flavorful New England style cuisine prepared to excellence. Alternatively, dine al fresco on their outdoor garden patio in season, or in the cozy library pub.
When you do, it will certainly become a treasured memory of your trip to Bethlehem, NH!
The Adair Country Inn & Restaurant
80 Guider Lane | Bethlehem, NH 03574
Check Current Rates & Availability
2. The Inn at Bethlehem (Formerly The Mulburne Inn)
When we last visited this beautiful New Hampshire bed-and-breakfast, it went by the name of “The Mulburn Inn.”
Now known as The Inn at Bethlehem, it’s not the first time this beautiful English Tudor style estate has undergone a name change.
In fact, it’s been called The Ivie Estate, Vining Cottage, and the Woolworth Summer Home over the years.
But as the saying goes, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
The Inn at Bethlehem was built in 1908 by Sylvanus D. Morgan, who also architected the famous Mount Washington Hotel. Two wings and additional bedrooms were added to this building in 1913, for a total of seven beautifully appointed guest rooms.
It’s easy to see why this enchanting bed & breakfast in Bethlehem NH has hosted many famous visitors and social elite throughout its vibrant history.
Among the most well-known guests are:
- Thomas Edison
- Marilyn Monroe
- Joe DiMaggio
- The Rockefellers
- Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton (on their July 1942 honeymoon!)
Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect when you stay at the Inn at Bethlehem.
About the Inn at Bethlehem
Conveniently located less than a mile from downtown Bethlehem on three acres of land, a visit to The Inn at Bethlehem is a like stepping back in time.
This majestic Victorian home is lavish.
You’ll find beautiful period details, such as:
- Rich dark wood throughout
- Incredible architecture and high ceilings
- Tiffany stained glass windows
- Many original, operational light fixtures
- A working fireplace in the common room
- Beautiful antique furniture throughout
Nostalgic nods to the past also include working butler call buttons that raise a flag in the kitchen, and a 1924 Edison Company Hotpoint electric stove. This ‘modern’ appliance was a gift from inventor Thomas Edison himself!
Sweeping Wrap-Around Porch – Perfect for Relaxing!
Besides the romantic turrets and lovely stone-work at The Inn at Bethlehem, one of the best exterior features here are the sweeping wrap-around porches. Beautiful curved stone walls topped with slate hug the covered porch, making a great beverage stand and complementing the inn’s curved windows.
Imagine reclining in the comfortable rocking chairs with a good cup of coffee or an afternoon glass of wine, taking pause to watch the world go by.
That’s just what I did.
I loved having my morning coffee here on the front porch, enjoying a new day come to life in Bethlehem.
While historic, The Inn at Bethlehem is not without plenty of modern conveniences. You’ll enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, a hot tub, and television in the common living room.
Luxurious Accommodations at The Inn at Bethlehem
On our last visit to the then “Mulburn Inn,” we stayed in the Madison Room.
The Madison room is perched in the corner of the house with curved windows, a tufted settee at the end of the majestic bed, and a walk-in shower. The room makes for a delightful stay.
This gorgeous space is adorned with mahogany woodwork and has a round turreted area with a hand-carved Queen size mahogany bed before it. According to the inn’s history, the bed was acquired through an auction of the Kennedy Estate.
A night stay in this soft-as-a-cloud, four-poster bed within the turret is the stuff of fairytales!
Breakfast & Refreshments at The Inn at Bethlehem
As a guest of the inn, I especially enjoyed the afternoon snacks and tea set out in the parlor. Refreshments included home-baked goods, fresh lemonade, and sangria!
The full country breakfast, served to order, was delicious, too. It’s served in the spacious dining area, where you’ll also find glowing oak tables and Victorian press-back side chairs.
Staying at The Inn at Bethlehem Today
Today, the inn no longer hosts individual guests.
Instead, you can look to the Inn at Bethlehem to host you for your wedding, special occasion, and small group gatherings. Imagine renting out the entire venue for you and your guests.
It’s the perfect venue in which to make memories of the future!
The Inn at Bethlehem
2370 Main Street | Bethlehem, NH 03574
Check Current Rates & Availability
3. The Wayside Inn in Bethlehem NH
Our first time staying at The Wayside Inn was in 2016, just before the current owner (Sarah) took the property under her wing. At that time, I’d say it needed some serious “TLC.”
Sara and her family have made considerable updates to the inn, including infrastructure improvements, room updates, a new patio. They have future plans to purpose the large river side field at the inn for weddings and special events.
It just keeps getting better.
Today, The Wayside Inn is a thriving, welcoming bed & breakfast that is one of the best country inns in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
About the Wayside Inn
The Wayside Inn is a family-run, family-friendly farm house in which you’ll love to stay. In fact, many of the guests come back year after year.
Situated the Ammonoosuc River, you’ll find comfortable accommodations in both the main inn and the annex.
With the main inn’s sloping floors and vintage decor, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back to a time when good company was the best entertainment.
In short, a stay at The Wayside Inn is simply charming.
It’s true, this 180-year-old country inn is a bit quirky, with a few idiosyncrasies that speak to its age. But, modern conveniences like air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and ongoing upgrades compliment the inn’s history. It’s ideally located on the river.
The Wayside Inn retains old-fashioned charm, from the period furniture and collection of old keys on display, to the fireplaced sitting area with tin ceilings, to the inviting swing on the wrap-around front porch.
Just a 5 minute drive from downtown Bethlehem, The Wayside Inn is ensconced in a quiet riverside setting that’s perfect for family vacations, a weekend getaway, and more.
Note that the inn is on a main road (in New Hampshire terms). So, if you prefer to fall asleep to the sounds of nature, opt to stay in one of the river view rooms.
It’s safe to say the inn offers the ultimate in long-weekend relaxation and country charm.
Staying at The Wayside Inn
Over the years, we’ve stayed in both the main inn and the annex. Here’s what you can expect when you visit the Wayside Inn.
The Rooms at the Main Inn
The main inn of The Wayside Inn offers 14 lovely rooms. Each uniquely decorated in a traditional New England style, including vintage furniture, quilts, and nostalgic nods to the past. The rooms, on two floors, glow with original hardwood flooring.
Some rooms are outfitted with clawfoot tubs, others with brass beds or canopied four-posters.
Of the rooms we’ve stayed in at the main inn, the Queen Bed with Street View is among my favorites. This spacious corner room is on the street side of the house, but it offers a cozy retreat.
It’s decorated with period oak furniture and a comfortable seating area. Vintage Victorian paper featuring wildflowers adorns the walls.
Finally, the front window provides you with a sweeping view of the front lawn and maple tree.
The White Frame Annex
In the annex, you’ll find more of a New England motel room, but better. You can choose from street view or river view options at these affordably priced accommodations.
If you opt for a river view room, your balcony overlooks the beautiful Ammonoosuc River. It’s an ideal setting for repose, where you can enjoy your morning coffee to the soothing sounds of the river.
One year, we stayed in a room composed of three comfortable beds that each sleep two people. One double bed is tucked into a small room off the main living space for additional privacy. This river view rooms also include cable TVs, a small refrigerator, and a private balcony.
This was a perfect arrangement for us, traveling as a blended family of six.
These 12 annex rooms are also “pet friendly” if you happen to be traveling with your dog.
The Grounds at The Wayside Inn
Outdoors, you’ll want to embrace the community gathering space complete with fire pits and local events in season hosted on inn’s property. Or, make yourself at home in the common area to watch TV or read by the fireplace.
If you stay at The Wayside Inn in the winter, you’ll have direct access to snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails. And in the summer, you can enjoy floating down the river with inflated tubes provided by the inn.
In addition, the beautifully landscaped grounds feature colorful gardens in the front and back of the inn. Also on the premises, you’ll find a basketball hoop and horseshoe pits.
Just a few steps down the road is the Pierce Bridge, a historic steel truss bridge that crosses the Ammosoonuc River. The bridge was constructed in 1928 to provide car access to the Teddy Roosevelt Trail and Route 302 after regional flooding.
A newer bridge now accommodates the influx of visitors to the White Mountain region. But you can still stroll the Pierce Bridge. It’s open to foot traffic and a great place for trout fishing and photography!
Breakfast & Dining
When you dine at the Wayside’s restaurant, expect to find tasty, home-cooked meals and a view of the river. The picture-windowed dining room overlooks the river, which is home to a variety of wildlife. In season, you’ll marvel at the hummingbirds that buzz the feeders at the riverfront garden patio. You’ll have wonderful views of the outdoors!
If you’re an earlier riser, you can help yourself to morning coffee served in the front reception area at 7am.
The complimentary breakfast served in the dining room is generous, delicious and included with your stay. You can look forward to a hearty New England breakfast at The Wayside Inn. As an overnight guest, you’ll have a selection of fresh eggs with bacon, sausage, ham and toast, quiche, buttermilk pancakes or waffles with wild blueberries, with real maple syrup and more.
In fact, if you have a chance to enjoy dinner at The Wayside Inn, the dishes crafted by Executive Chef Joshua Beemer are excellent. Choose from delicious starters and light fare, salads, generous entrees, and plenty of Gluten-Free options
Later, take a seat at the small bar on the premises. It’s a friendly and comfortable place to enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or a specialty cocktail—and a great way to round out your evening.
The Wayside Inn also hosts some fantastic special packages you should consider that will enhance your stay. Presently, they include a Wine Tasting Weekend and a Christmas Package.
The Wine Tasting Weekend package presents a gourmet dinner and excellent wine pairings. The Christmas Package includes a Christmas tree of your choosing from Finnegan’s Firs or the Rocks Estate, a wreath, and an ornament.
When you book your room, be sure to checkout what’s on offer at the time.
Y’All Come Back, Now
The Wayside Inn is one of those places that will become immediately familiar. It’s a great family-friendly, pet-friendly, affordable option with plenty of room to explore in a natural setting. If you love a rustic, laid-back vibe by the river, you’ll want to stay at The Wayside Inn in Bethlehem NH—time and time again.
The Wayside Inn & Restaurant
3738 Main Street | Bethlehem, NH 03574
Check Current Rates & Availability
Which NH Bed and Breakfast Should You Choose in Bethlehem?
So, which of these three inns in Bethlehem is right for you?
Here’s my suggestion when it comes to choosing between these three lovely Bethlehem NH hotels.
- For romantic getaways and an elevated but comfortable experience, opt for The Adair.
- If you’re planning a special occasion for a group, make reservations at the Inn at Bethlehem.
- For a more relaxed or family getaway, choose the Wayside Inn.
Each of these inns in Bethlehem offer you quality, comfort, and a delightful experience.
Other Places to Stay in The Bethlehem Area
If you want to check out some other hotels near Bethlehem NH, here are several more places you might consider for a stay in and around Bethlehem:
- The Chandler at White Mountains – From foodies to families, adventure seekers to those looking to relax, The Chandler at White Mountains is a luxury, boutique hotel beckoning visitors who enjoy a contemporary experience. 30 Arlington St., Bethlehem, NH (Ascend Hotel Collection)
- Presidential Mountain Resort – Presidential Mountain Resort is the modern nod to a historical White Mountain experience. Located on the footprint of the historical Baker Book Cabins in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, the newly updated Presidential Mountain Resort delivers the authentic wholesome mountain vacation experience that dates back to another era and guarantees cherished family memories. 1108 Main St., Bethlehem, NH
- Sherman Inn – 2000 Main St., Bethlehem, NH
- Historic Littleton Inn – Thayer, 423 King Street Littleton, NH
- Sugar Hill Inn – 116 NH-117 Sugar HIll Rd., Sugar Hill, NH
- Omni Mount Washington Resort – 310 Mount Washington Hotel Rd., Bretton Woods, NH
- Franconia Inn – 1172 Easton Rd., Franconia, New Hampshire
More Things to Do in Bethlehem Area
When you visit Bethlehem NH and the surrounding towns, you can look forward to plenty of tax free shopping, antiquing, and outdoor activities. Try your skills at skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, fishing, and even horse riding in season!
As promised, here are 25 more things you will enjoy when you’re in the Bethlehem NH area.
25 Bethlehem Area Attractions
Plan your Bethlehem NH itinerary with these area attractions in mind when you’re looking for fun and interesting things to see and do.
- Bethlehem Country Club (Bethlehem)- This 18-hole public championship golf course designed by the legendary Donald Ross. Book your tee times at Bethlehem Country Club. Alternatively, look to Maplewood Golf Course, another Donals Ross course in Bethlehem.
- Bethlehem Heritage Society – Free admission. Discover Bethlehem’s rich history as the premier White Mountains resort destination (Bethlehem Visitors Center, 888-845-1957).
- Bethlehem Outdoor Concerts – On Sunday evenings, head to Gazebo Park, where you’ll enjoy free performances, including bands, musicians, and performing artists. This 20-year tradition continues rain or shine, mid-June through Labor Day weekend.
- Bretton Woods Canopy Tour (Bretton Woods) – Glide through one of the longest canopy tours in the US, which descends 1000 feet of elevation! Traversing zip-lines, suspension bridges, and hiking trails, this is a perfect adventure for nature-lovers looking for an adrenaline rush!
- Bretton Woods Ski Area – Visit New Hampshire’s largest ski area, just 15 minutes from Bethlehem by car. Enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding or take lessons on this award-winning, 464-acre ski resort.
- Bretzfelder Memorial Park (Bethlehem) – Find the historical white pine tree among the trails and picturesque pond at this recreation area in Bethlehem. You may see some beavers re-engineering the space in this habitat, teaming with wildlife!
- Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (Franconia) – In just 10 minutes, you can be at the 4,080 summit of Cannon Mountain when you take the 80-passenger aerial tramway. This is New Hampshire’s only aerial tramway, taking you high above the tree line. It’s also the first aerial tramway in North America. Take in the spectacular views! On a clear day, you can see as far as Quebec.
- Cannon Mountain Ski Area – This state-owned ski resort provides 265 acres of skiing with 10 lifts in Franconia Notch State Park. It’s just a 15 minute drive from Bethlehem.
- Dog Chapel – Celebrate the love or grieve the loss of your beloved pet when you visit this unique chapel, by artist Stephen Huneck. Here, hand-written messages and photos fill the Remembrance Wall and beyond in a moving testament to the joy shared with our beloved pets. Be sure to check the calendar of events for dog-parties and more. All breeds are welcome!
- Farmers Markets – On Saturdays, you can enjoy fresh local food from Bethlehem and the surrounding areas. You’ll find produce, local arts, crafts, and more on Main Street in Bethlehem. On Sundays, Littleton offers the same. Saturdays. In Littleton/Sundays. Popular for fresh food, local arts and crafts.
- Franconia Artwalk (Franconia) – Stroll this delightful outdoor art exhibition that of architecture, ceramics, sculptures, mosaics, paintings, and acres of gardens in bloom. Along the way, you’ll also enjoy lovely views of the mountains and river as you follow the Franconia Artwalk.
- Franconia Notch Bike Path (Franconia) – Ride this well-marked, paved bike path that is perfect for families, with picnic areas on the 7 mile route. You’ll cross the Pemigewasset River through Franconia Notch and end at the Profile Lake.
- Franconia Soaring Association (Franconia) – Soar in thermals in a glider plane at New Hampshire’s only soaring club. You’ll enjoy the quiet thrill of the ride and the incredible views of the region.
- Horseback Riding – The Omni Mt. Washington Resort offers guided trail rides through the White Mountains of New Hampshire on horseback, pony, or carriage. Contact Bretton Woods Stables to arrange this unique experience!
- Muddy Paw Dog Sled Tours – Make reservations for year round dog sled tours with Muddy Paw Sled Dogs. More than 70 canine athletes provide family-friendly sledding adventures in the White Mountains. The rides are hands on, depending on your comfort level.
- North Country Chamber Players – Enjoy exquisite chamber music performed by ten prestigious musicians comprising the North Country Chamber Players. They tour the local area as part of the White Mountains Music Festival, including Bethlehem and beyond. Check their schedule for the latest dates and locations.
- Outback Kayak (Lincoln) – Spend a few hours taking a kayaking tour! Choose a relaxed paddle or more ambitious whitewater adventure with the guidance of experienced tour guides.
- Pondicherry Sanctuary (Whitefield) – Hike an easy 5 miles round-trip within this small wildlife preserve. You can enjoy plenty of birdwatching, cross-country skiing, fishing, and, of course, scenic beauty.
- The Colonial Theatre (Bethlehem)- Visit one of the longest continuously operating movie theaters in the US, built in 1915. You can enjoy independent and foreign films, concerts, children’s events, and performing arts at The Colonial Theatre, named “Best Vintage Movie Theatre” by Yankee Magazine.
- The Flume Gorge (Lincoln) – This 2 mile round trip hike through The Flume Gorge navigates through the falls, the gorge, two covered bridges, and incredible wildlife scenes. Flume Gorge: On your way to Bethlehem or as a short day’s drive, check out Flume Gorge. It’s a natural waterfall that delivers a rush of cool water down from the mountain tops. The woodland trail is a lovely take.
- The Frost Place (Franconia) – Get a look at the collection of Robert Frost’s works, including signed first editions and other memorabilia at The Frost Place. In addition, this sanctuary offers incredible views of the White Mountains. You can follow the half-mile nature trail and, along the way, read plaques showcasing Frost’s poems, composed while he stayed in Franconia.
- The Mount Washington Cog Railway (Mt. Washington) – Take an exciting ride up Mount Washington on The Mount Washington Cog Railway! This is the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway (1869), where you’ll enjoy beautiful views while riding a steam locomotive. Traverse some of the steepest existent railway tracks to the peak. It’s an absolutely thrilling adventure!
- The Rocks Estate (Bethlehem) – Get into the holiday spirit at this popular Christmas tree farm! The Rocks Estate is also a great spot to stroll the or picnic in the public gardens and enjoy the surrounding wildlife and views. This 1400-acre property is Home to the North Country Conservation & Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Sign up for one of their nature programs, while you’re at it!
- The White Mountains – This famous segment of the Appalacian Mountains offers more than 1,200 miles of trails in the mountain’s forest. The White Mountains are the most rugged in New England, where you’ll even find Alpine tundra at the highest peak. Take a scenic day hike or schedule a multi-day trek while you’re here.
- Weathervane Theatre (Whitefield) – You’ll find classics, modern plays, and musicals performed at the Weathervane Theatre throughout the summer within converted farm buildings. This award-winning theatre is one of the few alternating repertory theatres of its kind.
Restaurants of Bethlehem
In addition to the great dining at The Wayside and Adair (both open to the public, whether you’re a guest or not), here are some other cafes, lunch and dinner options. They will give you a wider flavor of the local cuisine in Bethlehem.
- Cold Mountain Cafe – Casual cafe and gallery with eclectic menu, from simple sandwiches to rack of lamb. Enjoy a relaxed vibe but bring cash; they don’t accept credit cards.
- Maia Papaya – Downtown cafe with excellent expresso and coffee drinks, smoothies, light breakfast and lunch, and delicious home-baked goods.
- The Inkwell Coffee & Teahouse (Littleton) – Charming coffee and tea house with light fare and sweets. Perfect place for writing!
- Crumb Bum Bakery (Littleton) – Artisanal bakeshop with fantastic coffee drinks, too!
- Bethlehem Village Store Supermarket – Deli sandwiches and pre-made items to go.
- El Mirador Restaurante – Family owned restaurant with Mexican and American cuisine.
- Rosa Flamingos – Classic Italian comfort food, pizza, and homemade desserts.
- Rek’•lis Brewing Company – Craft beer, tacos, bowls, handhelds, and entrees.
- Bailiwicks (Littleton) – A wine and martini bar with a great vibe; exposed brick walls, sophisticated décor, and plush leather seating.
- Chang Thai (Littleton) – A blend of traditional Thai and contemporary flavors.
- Tim-Bir Alley (Littleton) – Five-course menu paired with wine; an exquisite farm to-table experience. You’ll want to make reservations in advance due to limited seating.
Final Thoughts on Inns in Bethlehem NH
While I love visiting new destinations, there are a few destinations that are worth repeating, like Bethlehem, New Hampshire. Those places come to feel like a home away from home.
Having been to Bethlehem at least half a dozen times over the years (perhaps more), I’ve enjoyed staying at each one of these beautiful inns in Bethlehem NH. I treasure memories of thoroughly exploring the region with loved ones.
At the time of this writing, we who traveled together as a blended family have gone our different ways—growing up, moving afar, or growing apart. The post-COVID world and empty-nesting has brought on a new season of life. Yet, it should be easy to see why I treasure Bethlehem as a magical place we shared!
Because of it, I’m happy to provide inspiration for your trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
As you plan your own trip to Bethlehem, you can look forward to the beautiful experiences and memories ahead when you choose a memorable historic New England inn. There’s plenty to see and do, and three wonderful inns that are ready to welcome you with open arms to Bethlehem, New Hampshire.
For more on visiting New Hampshire and the surrounding area, read these articles next:
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- Can You Guess Where You’ll Find the Best Wineries in New England?
- Your Packing Checklist for Fall in New England
- 5 Must-Visit Lake Towns You’ll Love for Water Sports Activities!
- Portsmouth NH Boutique Hotel is Oh-So Elevated (But Affordable)!
- You’ll Love This Monadnock Region NH Hotel: Jack Daniels Inn Review 
- Summer Vacation in the Mountains: 5 Compelling Reasons You Should Do It!
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