Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Fall Favorites in the Monadnock Region

As I write this blog, autumn colors have not quite exploded, but within a few days, foliage colors will be bursting and there will be an abundance of uniquely fall things to do and see.

Aerial view of the Bridges Inn surrounded by fall colors
Aerial photo of the Bridges Inn (2021) by Jay Wold of Visual Balance Productions

Driving down side streets or anywhere in southwestern New Hampshire will be a treat. You don’t need a map or a recommended route because you will find colors everywhere. Early in the season, the most vivid colors are alongside swampy areas. Then the colors burst everywhere. Different varieties of deciduous trees change at different times, but the season always seems to go by quickly. The New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development has an online Fall FoliageTracker, which tracks the color by region.

You'll find a stay at the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House enjoyable and there's an abundance of things to do in this region. 

Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House with colorful maple trees.
Autumn at the Bridges Inn (a previous year)

Things to Do in the Monadnock Region

During Columbus Day weekend, October 8-10, the Fall Foliage Art Studio Tour gives you a chance to not only see some vibrant colors along the roads but also to visit artists’ studios where you’ll see some beautiful and colorful creations.  Check out the studios that will be open during the Columbus Day weekend and plan your route.

Brochure featuring Art Tour

Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole is magnificent at this time of year. You can pick your own apples or stop in their farm store where you’ll find not only fresh apples but other local produce, products, apple pies, and gifts. Some days there are hot cider donuts from Pat's donut truck and some delicious pizza from Little Zoe's! From the orchard, there are beautiful views of the Connecticut River Valley and Vermont. 

Photo by Alyson's Orchard

The Monadnock Table and Alyson’s Orchard will be sponsoring the second annual Harvest Festival at Alyson’s Orchard. Art, food, drinks, animals, games and more await you on Oct. 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

While you’re in Walpole, you’ll find excellent food at the Restaurant at Burdick’s for French cuisine and pure deliciousness. But note that reservations are typically required. And if you’re a chocolate lover, check out Burdick’s Chocolate for some out-of-this-world chocolate confections. For casual dining or  take-out, you’ll find pizzas, salad, Greek food, burgers, grinders, and much more at Diamond PizzaAnd if you can’t make it to these places this time, you’ll be glad to know that they’re open year-round.

One of our favorite places to dine is Papagallos Restaurant (on Route 12, at the Keene  Swanzey border) which would be a great place to include in your fall foliage tour. In addition to serving delicious Italian food, pizza, seafood, steaks, desserts, and more, Papagallos is sensitive to gluten-free diets and other dietary needs.

Entrance of Papagallos Restaurant
Decorated for fall, Papagallos Restaurant

Hiking, Walking, and Biking

Mount Monadnock is beautiful any time of the year, but hikers find Monadnock State Park glorious in early fall. For those who don't want to climb the mountain, there are numerous trails at lower elevations. Information about trails up the mountain and around the Mountain can be found on the MonadnockState Park website.

Mount Monadnock surrounded by colorful foliage and a lake at
Autumn at Mount Monadnock, our region's gem

In addition to Monadnock State Park, you can find trails at a number of places in the Monadnock Region. Visiting any of these places you’ll feel satisfied that you experienced fall in New Hampshire.

The Covered Bridges

From the Bridges Inn, you can tour the six local covered bridges in just over an hour (by car) by following our covered bridge loop directions. Although the covered bridges are beautiful throughout the year, there’s something special about the fall glow. Our favorite Thompson Covered Bridge is visible from the front yard of the inn. A trip to the Monadnock Region wouldn't be complete without seeing the covered bridges. (Shown below, the Thompson Covered Bridge from fall 2021.)

About 40 minutes from the Bridges Inn is the Hancock-Greenfield (County) Covered Bridge, spanning the Contoocook River between the towns of Hancock and Greenfield.

Other Fall Festivals and Events in the Monadnock Region

We hope you enjoy your autumn adventures in the Monadnock Region during this very special time of year. However, if you can’t get here to see the autumn foliage, many of the activities mentioned in this blog – such as the restaurants and covered bridges – are here for your enjoyment any time of the year. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What to Expect at a Bed & Breakfast

Many of our guests regularly stay at Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) and seek them out whenever they travel. But even those who routinely stay at B&Bs, there was a first time. For those who have never stayed at a B&B, I will try to explain the benefits of a B&B and why we excel at what we do. While every B&B is different, and we cannot speak for all B&Bs, we tend to share similar standards, values, and atmosphere. And for those who are familiar with B&Bs, don’t write this off as not being for you, because the Bridges Inn has its unique flavor of ambiance and atmosphere. (One of our guests found the inn so inviting that he made a painting of it.)

Painnting of the back (west) of the Bridges Inn by David Ignaszewski

As a B&B, the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House has a food service license, a NH Meals & Rentals Tax license, we comply with applicable local, county, state, and federal regulations, and we are insured, which might set us apart from Airbnbs. The Bridges Inn first became a B&B in 1996 and it keeps evolving for the better – we have been learning and improving for over 15 years since we bought it in 2006.

A B&B merges the benefits of a hotel with the benefits of a home. Many of our guests tell us that the Bridges Inn feels like home. It’s more personalized than a hotel and the guest rooms are all uniquely furnished and appointed, just like home; there are no cookie-cutter rooms. Our rooms are comfortable, attractive, and have private bathrooms.

Coombs Bridge Room

We have the amenities that you’d expect when traveling, such as TVs, hair dryers, ironing board and iron, plenty of towels, soap, shampoo, self-serve coffee and tea 24/7, and WiFi. We have a computer and printer for those wanting to print their boarding passes or other documents.  Also, because the B&B is our home, we have items that people don’t tend to pack but might need when traveling such as scissors, Band-Aids, scotch tape, thread and needles, corkscrew, magnifying mirror, and distilled water.

Our guests like our environment, offering the benefits of home, unlike an Airbnb, where you might feel like you’re in the middle of a family’s living room or kitchen, but not institutional like a hotel. You can find the balance between privacy and opportunities to socialize with others. We have many common areas, where you can play board games, read, watch a movie, sit by the fire (seasonally) or enjoy the yard and gardens (seasonally) in our porch or gazebo (seen below).

Pink flowering bush with gazebo and inn

We are a family-run B&B, known for our hospitality. We can help you with your travels, but we are not intrusive – you have as much privacy as you want or need. Because we live on the premises, we are always available to assist you or answer questions, providing a friendly and warm atmosphere not available at hotels. We can help by making suggestions about activities that interest you from outdoor hikes and recreation to shopping and restaurants. We customize our recommendations to your specific interests and needs. We are here to serve. On our website, our “About the Area” page has an abundance of information about activities, restaurants, day trips, and other pertinent information about the area. The Thompson Covered Bridge can be seen from our front yard and five more covered bridges are within easy driving distance.

Ashuelot Covered Bridge - white bridge with red roof
Ashuelot Covered Bridge

Meeting other people is something that our guests enjoy. You might be joined at breakfast with people from Europe, Canada, Australia, or any of the states in the USA. People treasure the connections they make here, but for those who prefer a bit of space, we can seat you in a separate dining area or at a different time where guests don’t have to mingle with others. We used to schedule breakfast at a time when people can dine and socialize with other guests, but since the pandemic, we have been more cognizant of allowing people to eat separately.

We take guests’ dietary requirements and preferences into consideration. We serve a scrumptious, multi-course breakfast in the formal dining room on bone china with sterling silver and cloth tablecloth and napkins. We use many locally produced ingredients and products, such as local maple syrup, locally roasted coffee, and in season, fresh herbs and vegetables from our own garden and locally grown produce. Breakfast fare is abundant. In addition to plenty of fresh fruit, we serve baked goods such as homemade bread, muffins, scones, fruit breads, apple crisp, pancakes or waffles; an egg dish; a breakfast meat, such as sausages or bacon; and often potatoes and/or vegetable accompaniments. Breakfasts are typically served family style with numerous options, so you can pick and choose, from options customized to your likes or restrictions.  

Breakfast table with china, floral centerpiece, and lots of food

At the Bridges Inn, you can come and go as you please. People sometimes ask if there are curfews. After you check in, you can schedule activities according to your needs, as you can gain access to the main entrance and have a key to your room. And if you want to leave before typical breakfast hours, we can usually make arrangements to accommodate you.

While a B&B is not for everyone, especially those who prefer the anonymity and seclusion of a hotel room, most of our guests tell us that they love it here, and many are repeat guests who come back year after year. If you haven’t yet stayed here, you might want to give us a try. Don’t just go on our word – see what our guests say about us. Below are a few samples of reviews.

     Reviews on

     Reviews on the Bridges Inn website

Visit our website ( for detailed information about the inn or give us a call at 603-357-6624 if you have questions.