They say the view from Crawford Notch in New Hampshire is so beautiful you’ll hear the music.
If you visit at the right time, nature will have backup.
Following last summer’s successful launch, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is hosting its now annual Lynda Cohen Performing Arts Series at the AMC Highland Center in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
For four nights over the course of the summer, the stage under the stars at Crawford Notch is given over to live music in a beautiful setting. This family event may be perfect for planning a summer getaway.
The concert series is the passion project of Lynda Cohen, who loves both music and the mountains. Cohen envisioned a concert series where people from all walks of life could come together, nestled among the peaks of Crawford Notch, to experience the music.
“For many years I dreamed of a music program at Bretton Woods that was accessible to everyone,” Cohen said. “I thought it would be important to bring in musicians with a solid performance background and broad appeal in a variety of musical styles.”
This year’s concerts are scheduled for July 9 and 23 and August 6 and 20, kicking off July 9 with Mount Washington Valley residents Bennett and Perkins.
Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins are well known for their vocals and guitar; often accented with violin and mandolin. For this, they will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Taylor Whiteside and will perform original songs with stories and music inspired by lost loves, lost lives and real adventures.
How it works: You drive to the top of the Notch, bring your own chairs or blankets (and a picnic lunch), and choose your spot. The artists perform under a glittering tent of lights.
There is so little light pollution that on a clear night you will see a host of stars.
It is said to be the highest outdoor music show in the state.
How to make a getaway? Build a tour with the concert as the centerpiece.
Where to stay: The AMC has accommodation in Crawford Notch, but at this time of year it’s pretty packed with hikers. No worries, though, Bretton Woods and the valley as a whole have countless accommodation choices.
Just 15 minutes up the road from Crawford Notch is the Attitash Mountain Village (https://attitashmtvillage.com) where you can book accommodation with full kitchens (ideal for families or a group; smaller ones are perfect for more convenience even if it’s just you), swim in their pool and even better: take a dip in the river from their private riverbed beach.
It’s located directly across from Attitash Mountain Resort, which gives it a quieter, tucked away feel during the summer months. But it’s only about 10 minutes from bustling North Conway, where you can dine and shop.
Navigate the concert: Although the concert is completely free, the AMC asks that you make a reservation (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lynda-cohen-performing-arts-series-at-crawford-notch -free-concert-series-tickets-249745885667).
From there, be sure to pack a chair (beach chairs or other types work best), a blanket to sit on, sweatshirts if it gets cold (welcome in the summer months ) and everything you like to stay comfortable.
Then choose your meal. You can pre-order from the AMC Highland Center, but for convenience, consider picking up from one of the many locations nearby.
An easy favorite is Joseph’s Spaghetti Shed (https://www.josephsspaghettished.com), almost directly across from the mountain village of Attitash.
A longtime staple of the Valley, the Shed is now dedicated to take-out and can whip up a great meal for your gig.
There are also countless other choices, from Matty B’s (https://www.matty-bs.com) pizza, within walking distance of the mountain village of Attitash, or grab a Chinese, classic American or even a high-end takeout meal from Black Calandre (https://www.blackcapgrille.com).
Plan to arrive early, settle in, and savor it all.
Other Activities: There is plenty more to do in the area before and after the concert. Consider the cool Canopy Tour in Bretton Woods (https://www.brettonwoods.com), or ride their gondola for panoramic views and a meal at the top.
You can drive to Jackson and drive – or hike – to the top of Mount Washington, snorkel in the waters of Jackson Falls, or listen to more music at the Wildcat Tavern.
There are river tubing, mini golf and more.
With music as its centerpiece, the Lynda Cohen Performing Arts series just might be your best new way to get away. The hills are truly alive, with the sounds of Blue Grass and more.