Great Shopping Awaits in Waterville Valley, NH

“Wicked” Good Shopping at Waterville Valley
"Dammit Dolls" from Dreams and Visions
photo courtesy of waterville valley and sean curtin

Whew, you survived the holidays, the extended family dramas and the last-minute guests. It’s a new year and time to put you a little higher up on the family radar screen. Give yourself permission to go into fantasy orbit and head to Waterville Valley, New Hampshire’s equivalent of Oz. Take Rte. 49 East (oh, just for fun, let’s call it the “yellow brick road”), travel about 11 miles to the end of the road and you are in Waterville Valley. It is that simple. Waterville Valley is a planned four-season community full of indulgence. Here, you are allowed and encouraged to eat, drink, be merry, savor winter outdoor activities (ski, cross-country ski and snowmobile) and, yes, shop! Go ahead, close your eyes and click your heels together.

Tucked between ski slopes, condominiums, villas and luxury accommodations is the Waterville Valley Town Square; this is your one-stop shopping destination.

Dreams and Visions is an upscale gift shop full of fabulous gifts and home décor. You’ll find cards, entertainment ware, Norwegian wool sweaters, toddler footie pajamas and a great selection of fun moose and bear items. The jewelry selection dazzles and dangles. Stock up on body care products to soothe aching feet, pick up a Yankee Candle for a romantic bath and play kissy-face under a classic blanket from Denali Home. Don’t leave without a “Dammit Doll” — it might be just the item you need ($14.95) to deal with a boss who thinks he/she is boss of the universe.

Toad Hall Toys and The Bookmonger are two shops in one and both worth spending some time in. Send the kids to the toy section (Toad Hall Toys) while browsing for a good winter read in The Bookmonger. The toy section is vast and has something for all ages, including games, puzzles, books and unusual items such as Nature Calls Alarm Clocks ($19.95), the teachable clock that has an alarm with the sound of a wild animal. There is a bin section with low-priced goodies ($1.50), which is easy on the wallet. In The Bookmonger you will find all the NY Times best-sellers, magazines, newspapers, local authors and more.  This is your weekend and maybe the only opportunity in a while to actually delve into a great book without life’s interruptions. Splurge.

The retro Pigpen Ice Cream & Candy
photo courtesy of waterville valley and sean curtin

Oops, forgot to bring your ski goggles? No problem, you’ll find goggles galore and so much more (clothing, footwear, socks, helmets) at 1829 Outfitters. Look for all things North Face (which means “yikes” if you have teens), Timberland, Smith and Oakley. The Pillsbury Doughboy-like snowsuits for toddlers are just adorable and solid for outdoor fun. When it comes to ski fashion apparel and accessories for all ages, this is the place to outfit the whole family.

So what if it’s January, is there truly a time to not have ice cream? Look no further than Pigpen Ice Cream & Candy, the newly renovated (retro cars) shop, featuring an ice cream bar (funky and fun ice cream flavors) and a candy counter. Expect lots of kids, giggling teens and overindulgent grandparents who like to park themselves here for hours.

The Jugtown Country Store is not to be missed. This is the area’s supermarket and a whole lot more. You’ll find freshly baked bread and pastries, mouthwatering sandwiches from the deli, warm soups, entrées to go, local cheeses, an amazing collection of craft beer and a whole cooled cellar stocked with wine from around the world. Bring memories home with an official Jugtown hat, tee or mug.

There are plenty of places to eat in Waterville Valley, from pizza to prime rib, from casual to elegant and somewhere in between. If you only have time for a glass of wine or a bottle of beer, stop by the Blue Moon Café and check out the toboggan bar. You’ll find fun menu items, twinkling white lights, a welcoming atmosphere and a few good “pick-up” lines.

Before Heading Out

Do yourself a humongous favor and check out the Pemigewasset Chamber of Commerce and Information Center off I-93 at Exit 28. You’ll find rows and rows of pamphlets and brochures about the entire Pemigewasset area as well as Waterville Valley. You can also register snowmobiles and pick up trail maps. In addition, there’s a terrific little store within the center that offers unique gifts and locally made items. Be sure to check out the earrings made from old New Hampshire Turnpike tokens, New Hampshire quarters and more. The mittens (made out of recycled old wool sweaters) are super warm and colorful. Look also for maple syrup, goat’s milk soap and other New Hampshire-made products. The staff is knowledgeable and welcoming.



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