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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Kinsman Lodge (the best bed and breakfast) - Franconia, New Hampshire

Every year, as summer fades to Autumn and the end of September rolls around, I jump in my car and head north. I usually head to Vermont to mountain bike and hike around the Kingdom but with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions in Vermont, we decided to change things up a bit and head to the Granite State instead.  We booked a last-minute AirBnB with a credit we had, a little discouraged at first to see the limited dog-friendly options near the Whites.  I had Adam expand the search to a two-night stay and suddenly, the most perfect place showed up in our browser.  

It was Kinsmans Lodge, an 1860's farmhouse which operates as a Bed and Breakfast off a backroad in the mountain town of Franconia.  Sue Thompson, the amazing host, grew up in the area and her family has been operating out of this property since 1906.  It was dog-friendly, close to the mountains and trails we were looking at, included breakfast, and had that cozy historic home inviting feel to it.  This was my first stay at a bed and breakfast and I didn't entirely know what to expect.  

We left Connecticut around 2 pm on a Friday afternoon and after a lot of traffic and a few stops, we called the lodge to let the owner (Sue) know we would be checking in around 9:30 pm.  She told us she would be in bed, but she let us know that we could find instructions on our room in the entrance of the lodge.  

We pulled up to the cutest building on a quiet road in New Hampshire and there in the foyer was a whiteboard directing us to our room.  We also found other information including what time breakfast was served and some local information.  We walked up the insanely steep and narrow stairs which immediately told me just how historic this home was.  Our room was just up the stairs and a sweet little bedroom connected to our own private bathroom was home for the weekend.  It was nothing fancy but it was inviting and clean with a queen-size bed, a dresser, a hanging rack, chairs, and cute little touches like a "Do and Don't" sign and a little tray for trinkets.  We chose a room with a private connecting bath and happily unpacked our bags for a weekend in the Whites. 

We knew we would be missing breakfast (included with your stay) as we were heading out early in the morning to get a parking spot at the trailhead but we vowed to check out the lodge and chat with the owner when we finished our hike.  Early in the morning, we ran into Sue who graciously let us use her griddle to heat up our breakfast to go.  We arrived at the trailhead just in time to grab a spot and after a nearly 7 hour trek up, across, and down the Franconia Ridge Loop, we went back to the lodge to shower before leaving to explore the area and grab dinner.   

Back at the lodge after our hike, we had time to talk to Sue and a few other guests at the lodge.  We quickly realized just how special this place is after talking to a group of women who adored Sue and had been coming to this lodge for years.  Most of her guests are repeat customers who look forward to coming back to stay with Sue every year.  We spent some time chatting with Sue and were quickly smitten with her kindness, her hospitality, and her love of the area and the lodge.  

If you spend some time around the property, you can find Sue in the kitchen, bent over a cookbook or over the stove whipping up something for her guests.  A large split-leaf philodendron outlines the entrance to the kitchen (which you are welcome to take a piece with you!) and the big island and warmth of the place make you feel like you are at your aunts farmhouse.  There are several living room/seating areas that feature books, games, and Sue's personal guides to the area (where to eat, what to do, things to see).  A large guest log marks all the visitors who had stayed at the inn and if you carve out some time to chat with Sue, she will tell you all about the inn, how it had been in her family since the early 1900s, and she may even pull out the older ledge with guest names from the early 1900's. 

Sue is a plethora of knowledge from local hikes, dining options, and New Hampshire history.  We chatted about the neighboring towns, about the man in the mountain and the year he fell down, about local hikes and east coast skiing and so much more.  After dinner on a Saturday night (per Sue's recommendation) we sat on the porch with a pint of ice cream while another group grilled out back and another group enjoyed wine in the lodge.  

There's something special about being under the same roof with a few strangers and the most lovely hostess.  We chatted with a newly engaged couple from Connecticut and with the women's group who were out enjoying their time together in the mountain.  When Sunday morning rolled around, Sue welcomed us with the smell of bacon and took our personal orders from the kitchen.  She was making waffles (she suggested the addition of coconut) and she asked us how we wanted our eggs cooked, and if we would like bacon, toast and hash as well.  Homemade apple cinnamon muffins were also laid out on the table and large table offered coffee, tea, cocoa, fruits, yogurts, cereals, and more. 

The food was amazing and I quickly vowed to make a reservation to come back to enjoy the lodge again this winter.  Why had I waited so long to stay at a bed and breakfast?  It isn't like staying at a hotel, it's like staying with a family member who has made sure every insanely little detail has been thought out.  Oh, and they make you this amazing country breakfast to order and to your taste.  Bring your slippers, have a cup of coffee on the porch, and spend some time chatting with Sue about the area.  This was an amazing stay at the sweetest lodge tucked away in the mountains with the most wonderful host and an amazing breakfast before you went off on your day.  

I can't say enough wonderful things about this amazing spot and our stay with Sue.  The price is so affordable, especially when you take into account the amazing country breakfast. The fact that you can bring your beloved pet members with you is the icing on the cake.  If you do book, skip Airbnb and their fees and call to book with Sue directly.  Tell her Katie sent you. 

About The Lodge 

  • Pet-friendly (no additional fee)
  • Breakfast included 
  • Quiet 
  • A grill and fire pit out back (and an enclosed porch) 
  • A lovely front porch 
  • Sitting rooms/Living room with a wood stove, books, games, etc 
  • An 1860's farmhouse in the Easton Valley of Franconia. 
  • 3 single rooms for one person
  • 7 double rooms with either a queen bed or 2 single beds
  • 1 family suite consisting of 2 rooms and central bath, 1 with queen bed and the other with 2 twin beds. 
  • Option of a room with a private bathroom or a shared bathroom 
  • Only and all 5 star reviews 
  • Rates
    • Single rooms from $65.00 per night.
    • Double rooms from $105.00 per night.
    • All above rates include a full country breakfast.
    • Rates subject to 9% NH rooms and meals tax
    • *two night minimum on weekends from mid-September to early October and on holiday weekends
phone: (603) 823-5686

Kinsman Lodge
2165 Easton Road, Rte. 116
Franconia, NH 03580

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