A Simpler, Quieter Life

Unwinding at the Old Red Inn and Cottages


In 1810, well before breathtaking landscapes by famed artists like Thomas Cole and Thomas Hill showed the beauty and majesty of the White Mountains to the world and 60 years before the first railroad made travel to the Mount Washington Valley, a sea captain built his family home in North Conway. During the era of the grand hotels, the large home became an inn, and then with the advent of the family automobile, the house was joined by ten cozy cottages. Today the Old Red Inn and Cottages is a bed and breakfast that evokes an era when life was simpler.

Old Red Inn


Old Red Inn

Old Red Inn

Old Red Inn

Old Red Inn

A simpler, quieter life is appealing. Innkeepers Richard and Susan LeFave set the stage with handmade quilts and antiques in the seven rooms in the inn and the 10 cabin. Most of the rooms feature cozy gas fireplaces, inviting visitors to cuddle up and spend a quiet evening reading or playing board games.

When it was built, the Captain’s home was a hard two-day carriage ride from the coast. Crawford Notch was opened for passage just a few years before and the Mount Washington Valley was booming. A short stroll away, the shops of North Conway were springing up – the corner where the North Conway 5 and 10 Cent Store is now has been occupied since 1813. But while the ability to walk wherever you wanted was essential in 1810, it’s a pleasure for visitors to the Inn during the modern era. Once visitors are tucked away into their comfortable rooms, they leave the car parked and visit downtown North Conway’s shops and restaurants afoot.

After an afternoon of exploring afoot, North Conway’s restaurants are there for dinner. The Muddy Moose Restaurant and Pub, with its log cabin lodge décor, is a great choice for a family-friendly dinner. Burgers, steaks, seafood, and pastas dominate the menu, but they have kid’s dishes, salads, and desserts to enough to keep anyone filled and content. And, of course, they have a broad selection of brews to go with the rack of ribs or bowl of beef and bean chili.

Then, full and content, a very short stroll back to the Inn to relax even more. Under the exposed beams in the Old Red Inn’s living space is a piano that invites remembering the days of parlor music and long relaxing evenings.

Of course relaxing in a cozy Inn that helps you live the quieter life doesn’t mean giving up the comforts of the modern day. Televisions and property-wide WiFi provide the interconnectivity that most of us find difficult to do without while the cabins have microwaves for warming treats and small refrigerators for leftovers.

Then, after a night snuggled under the hand-sewn quilts, Richard and Susan cook a hearty country breakfast. The rotating menu stays with familiar comfort foods like French toast, eggs, sausage, bacon, and fruit in yogurt. Susan makes a special effort for the gluten-intolerant, making sure that they can enjoy gluten-free versions of her breakfast specialties.

Fueled with a hearty breakfast, perhaps it is time to explore farther afield, maybe have some outside adventure. Depending on the time of the year, it might be time to discover the area’s maple sugaring operations, watch water rushing over cascading waterfalls, hike through the White Mountains, or maybe go skiing.

And afterward, back to the Inn to relax, sleep, and then breakfast again.


Visit their website to discover more about the Old Red Inn and Cottages, including their pet-friendly policies and special offers.

Old Red Inn and Cottages – www.oldredinn.com
Muddy Moose Restaurant – www.muddymoose.com
Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce – www.mtwashingtonvalley.org

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