Traveling With Kids: Huttopia White Mountains
I have long believed that camping is a powerful thing for families to do together—it’s an awesome way to unplug, experience nature, and work on some life skills. But I will say that camping gear is a barrier to entry for me, and many people! Were I not married to someone who is super into camping gear, camping would not even be in the realm of possibility for me...which I will admit, kind of bugs me as a feminist.
Enter, Huttopia White Mountains, which we visited this past weekend. Here are 9 reasons why I think you should book your camping/glamping trip immediately! They are open May to October (this year, until October 21).
1. Location, location, location
Want to escape from home but don’t want to spend a million hours in the car? Huttopia is just two and a quarter hours north of Boston.
2. Huttopia is perfect if you want to camp but don’t have all the gear
If the whole gear situation has deterred you from trying camping—or if you have all the gear but need a break and are in the mood for amenities (hello, ESPRESSO BAR)—Huttopia is an awesome option. They offer four “ready-to-camp” options that can accommodate 2-6 people. We stayed in a Trappeur Tent, which sleeps 5 and includes a bathroom (complete with shower, washbasin, and toilet) as well as a small fridge + sink + a propane stove on the deck and firepit!
3. Huttopia is awesome for hybrid camping families
As I mentioned, Jon is a camping guy; he is the kind of guy who winter camps. I’d say that Violet is next in line in terms of enjoying roughing it, followed by me, followed by Laurel, who most definitely prefers fully appointed accommodations. I wasn’t so much worried about the kids (because hello, these kids are already living their best lives) but I was wondering whether Huttopia would fill Jon’s camping heart enough. And it did! We were all totally happy, and even Jon admitted that it was pretty great to be able to get a shower after our long, sweaty hike on Saturday.
4. having everything on site means Less to pack
Given all the amenities on site (e.g., bed linens and towels, utensils, plates, cookware, firewood, a small store with food and beverages, picnic table, camp chairs...you can even reserve a crib and high chair) all we needed to pack was our clothing, bug spray, 2 extra camp chairs, snacks, and swim towels (because we weren’t sure whether they would have towels poolside). Jon of course brought a box of camping extras and I will say that the headlamps were great for reading in bed at night but we could have gone without them.
5. The campground areas are car-free
One of the first things Jon and I noticed and appreciated was that the campgrounds are car-free. You park near the campsites but then there are wagons available to transport to your actual site. This made the campgrounds feel so much more peaceful and is especially awesome so you don’t have to worry about traffic while your kids are roaming around.
6. Plenty of activities on-site
We are super into the slow elements of camping (we spent an extraordinary amount of time around the campfire!) but Huttopia also has lots of great activities on-site. There is a heated pool (OMG the girls were so excited about this!), a game room, play structure, and volleyball net, in addition to canoe and paddleboard rentals. During peak season, they also have summer programming for kids.
7. Access to hiking
There are various local attractions in striking distance of Huttopia, but given the location we were all about enjoying the beauty of the White Mountains. It turns out that White Ledge Trail (via the White Ledge Campground) is just a quarter mile from Huttopia and it was no joke. I was huffing and puffing and was so impressed that the girls made it up to this gorgeous vantage point (not quite the summit, but close enough!). For those looking to give it a try, it’s 1.7 miles to the summit so you can go up and back, or you can do the full 4.2 mile loop. I would say the vantage point below was maybe 0.2 to 0.3 from the summit. So, we did about 3 miles total with a squad including 7, 14, 42, and 44 year-olds.
8. Airstream FTW
OK, so seriously, Huttopia has an Airstream cafe and it was the most awesome thing ever. Over the course of the weekend we sampled their pizza, crepes, smoothies, and coffee (basically, almost all the categories they offered) and OMG I LOVE DRINKING ESPRESSO IN THE WOODS. It was so fabulous. Everything was delicious.
9. French accents = magic
Huttopia originated in France and many of the employees in at Huttopia White Mountains were French, and a number of guests were speaking French too. And I swear, something about the French accent and the cheerful, relaxed vibe of the staff just made things so lovely and civil. For example, a couple of times the Airstream was only staffed by one person and he had his hands full and he was apologetic and everyone was like, “No problem, take your time...it’s all good!” which is, as we know, basically the opposite of how a lot of things work anywhere else in the world.
In a nutshell, Huttopia is fabulous for families. It was, in fact, perfect for our family and I can’t wait to return. I actually loved being there off-peak because I’ll be honest, I like being around LESS people. And also because the mosquito situation wasn’t bad!
Disclosure: Huttopia invited me to explore their property and comped our lodging. I paid for all other expenses; including many visits to the Airstream!