Conway, five miles down Route 16 from North Conway at the south end of the scenic railroad line, is a nicer littler town, with a couple of restaurants, a post office, and the clean and friendly White Mountains Hostel (36 Washington St., 866/902-2521, $34 per person, $64 private rooms), in the heart of town. If you have your doubts about hosteling, this place is sure to dispel them; it’s as clean as it is serene, and besides saving money staying here, you’re apt to meet like-minded fellow travelers over breakfast or relaxing in the game room.

Up in the hills above Conway, off Route 16, and half a mile south of the Kancamagus Highway at the edge of the White Mountains National Forest, the Darby Field Inn and Restaurant (603/447-2181, $165 and up) is a B&B open year-round for skiing, hiking, and great après-outdoors meals.