THINGS TO DO
While Sunset Vista is mere minutes away from Sunday River Ski Resort, there is plenty to do and explore around the Bethel area. Here are some of our favorite things to do throughout the year.
SKIING AT SUNDAY RIVER
Sunday River is one of the largest and most visited ski resorts in the Northeast. In other words, it's badass. Lots of terrain means there's something for everyone. Head over to Jordan Bowl to avoid the crowds and hit the trees or stay on the green runs near South Lodge. Be careful on White Heat...it's a doozy.
Apres Ski is its own sport now. True story. Make sure to check out the Foggy Goggle post ski and then head to the Matterhorn for dinner. You won't be disappointed.
NORDIC SKI BETHEL VILLAGE TRAILS
Bethel Village Trails is a network of pathways through the woods that is maintained by local volunteers throughout the year. The community holds many events from nordic skiing to mountain biking. Learn more here.
VISIT SANTA'S VILLAGE
Santa's Village is a Christmas-themed amusement park located in Jefferson, NH (about an hour from Bethel). Most of the 23 rides have Christmas or winter-themed names, such as "Rudy's Rapid Transit Coaster" and "The Great Humbug Adventure". The rides are designed for families with children under age 13. Learn more here.
SNOWSHOE TO TABLE ROCK
There are a ton of places to snow shoe in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range. Table Rock is a 1.8 mile loop that boasts a great view from the top. See AllTrails link at the bottom of the page for more info.
EXPLORE THE MAINE MINERAL MUSEUM
This may sound like a pretty random suggestion, but the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum in downtown Bethel is actually a world-class museum featured in the New York Times. They have some the largest moon rocks in the world, very rare meteorites and and incredible gem collection. This is a great option for a rainy day.
HIKE STEP FALLS
Step Falls is one of our favorite places to hike and cool off during the summer. The base of the hike is flat, but the terrain becomes steeper as you approach Step Falls. You can climb on the rocks and lay in the waterfalls and even find a lagoon to jump into. The hike is short and easy-to-moderate, but most people should be able to handle it. The views from the top will be well worth the climb!
HAVE A PICNIC AT SCREW AUGER FALLS
Screw Auger Falls is right off Rt. 26 making this the perfect place to visit for all ages. There is a flat rocky area that has to be one of the best picnic spots in the world. There's even a small natural water slide and a pool to cool off in. The Falls themselves are spectacular and fun to explore.
VISIT LOST RIVER
Lost River is a very unique hiking experience in Lincoln, NH (about an hour from Bethel). The hike is intermediate level (some steep stairs) and has some really cool (and tight!) caves to explore!
GO CLIFF DIVING AT FRENCHMAN'S HOLE
Frenchman's Hole is a really unique spot that you can drive right up to. There's a 30 foot jump off the side of a waterfall that is a lot of fun. And if you don't have the chutzpah to make the jump, there is nice swimming pool and river to explore.
TAKE THE KIDS TO STORYLAND
Storyland is a old-school amusement park that really has charm. It is not too expensive and they keep the place really clean. If you have young kids this place will leave an indelible impression on them. The rides are fairly basic and small, but the magic is in the atmosphere.
DAY TRIP TO WHALE'S TALE WATER PARK
Whale's Tale Water Park is a great way to cool down on a hot summer's day. They've got some really interesting slides, including the "toilet bowl" (you'll have to go to see what we're talking about...;). There's lots of space to relax and grab a bite to eat if you're not into the slides.
DAY TRIP TO NORTH CONWAY
North Conway is a great town packed with shopping and restaurants. Make sure to check out The Flatbread Company for wood-fired pizza and Moat Brewery for some tasty beverages. There is also a train station and water playground for the kids.
FLOAT THE DAY AWAY AT THE "S"
On your way to Frenchman's Hole you will see about six parking spots on the right hand side of the road. Park there and cross the street and walk down to the river. Bring chairs, floats and snacks you will be set up for a memorable day. The river turns here and makes a crystal clear pool that's perfect for swimming. You can also walk up and down the river and explore the rocks.
TUBE THE ANDROSCOGGIN RIVER
There's actually no Sunday River, but the Androscogging River IS real and tubing down it is pretty fun. The Bethel Outdoor Adventure rents tubes and will bus you up the river so you can float back to the camp. They also have a sluicing station where you can sift rocks for rare minerals.
DAY TRIP TO CLARKS BEARS
Clarks Bears is a quaint amusement park in Lincoln, NH. It's known for its performances where bears eat ice cream, shoot basketballs and much more. Though they have waterslides, climbing walls, train rides and neat "downtown" to explore. The park is very clean and is not too expensive.