Spring Shopping in North Conway

Nostalgia rules the retail scene in this charming mountain town

Vintage Red Sox sign from Simply Primitive

North Conway is magical and a visit here is  somewhat of a step back in time. This is a happy place. Many people who grew up here never left. They stayed, giving up long commutes and corporate boardrooms, finding plenty of ways to make a living and even prosper. These are the keepers of the enchanting mountain town.

Explore White Mountain Highway by foot, car or bike. If the tires are low and the wheels squeak, head in to Stan & Dan Sports. These two buddies opened the ski and sport business in 1987, and everyone in town knows them. Need a tune-up? Just call.

The North Conway 5¢ and 10¢ Store has been in business since 1939, carrying things only your grandparents might recognize for the kitchen or workshop. This is where your kids will find unique toys to fight over. Discover 30 different kinds of fudge and a 75-foot-long candy counter with (ahem) “penny” candy.

If you remember Woodstock, or at least have heard of it, stop in to World Magic Gifts. The candles and incense will remind you of your first girl-boy dance. This is the place to wish upon a star.

It’s all about home décor, and yes, a little nostalgia at Simply Primitive. Sure, you’ll find lovely items to warm a home, but don’t be fooled. This is where you’ll find your favorite team, waiting for a ride home in your back seat.

Cupcakes from White Mountain Cupcakery

Remember bringing cupcakes to class on your birthday? At White Mountain Cupcakery, “these are not your mother’s!” Look for oversized lemon-filled cupcakes, red velvet, coconut and about 30 other flavors.

For those of us who didn’t grow up here, it only takes a few visits to become a regular, to build new memories and loyalties. Such is Spruce Hurricane, a high-end, sophisticated retail shop where you’ll find personal service, friendship and an invitation back.

Head to North Conway for the day or a weekend. Ride the Conway Scenic Railroad from the Station (1874), savor an all-day lollipop from Zeb’s General Store (1991), enjoy a Bloody Mary at Horsefeathers restaurant (since 1976) or hang out for a Red Sox game at Delaney’s Hole in the Wall Sports Bar (1994 and, yes, there is a hole in the wall).

Editor's Note: The Conway Scenic Railroad opens for the season on April 16.

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