Waterville Valley: A Self-Contained Community
One way in, one way out. That's how many people describe the geographic characteristics of Waterville Valley. Visit here and you'll soon discover it's much more than that. From the moment you exit the highway, there's a sense you are approaching someplace special. After passing through the one and only traffic light, you're engulfed, within minutes, by the White Mountain National Forest. To your left is the Mad River, rushing in and out of view, while the peaks of mountains such as Welsh & Dickey tower above before momentarily disappearing behind the passing pines. 12 miles in you get the sense you're traveling into the heart of the wilderness, only to be greeted, seconds later by the welcoming Waterville Valley sign, aptly proclaiming, "for a vacation or a lifetime." Soon now, you get the sense you've reached an oasis in the mountains. The landscape clears to unveil the rooftops of hotels and condominiums, tastefully constructed around a town center, the "Town Square" which appears with breathtaking surprise, a beautiful white and green structure nestled between a blue pond and white mountain landscape (often lit up with fireworks on Saturday nights).
When you check in to your inn, hotel or condominium, you'll be given a map and quickly learn that everything is within walking distance: All the shops, restaurants and activities (other than skiing) is just minutes away by foot. And if you'd rather not walk, a free shuttle bus will take you just about any place you want to go. The ski area encourages you take the "schuss" bus, complete with exterior ski racks for your equipment, rather than drive your car. It drops you off right at the base of the mountain, assuring you won't have to do much walking with all your gear. It will be there to pick you up at the end of the day and drop you off at your doorstep. And when you're ready to enjoy all the other activities the valley has to offer, the bus is at the ready right into the evening. Rarely is there ever a need for your car once you've unpacked for your vacation. Families with different interests can split up and go off to enjoy their own favorite activities because it's safe and easy to get around and simple to navigate. One way in - one way out means it's hard to get lost.
Waterville Valley truly is self-contained in every sense of the word. We're not one of those strip resorts, complete with busy roads, traffic lights and street crossings. We're a place families come to relax, have fun and reconnect. An oasis in the mountains providing a sense of place, especially important in this day and age when life, even at home, can become too harried and hectic.