Head for the beautiful NH hills to hear great music under the stars

They say the view from Crawford Notch in New Hampshire is so lovely, you’ll hear 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 summer, the scene under the stars in Crawford Notch is all about live music in a gorgeous This family friendly, the event may just be a perfect thing to build a summer getaway around.

The concert series is the passion project of Lynda Cohen, who loves both music and the mountains. Cohen imagined a concert series where people from all oe could come together, nestled among the peaks of Crawford Notch, to experience music.

“For many years I have dreamed of a music program in Bretton Woods, accessible to everyone,” said Cohen. “I felt it would be important to bring in musicians with strong performance backgrounds and wide appeal across varied musical styles.”

This year’s concerts are set for July 9 and 23 and Aug. 6 and 20, kicking off on July 9 with Mount Washington Valley locals Bennett and Perkins.

Kathy Bennett and Thom Perkins are well known for their vocals and guitar; often accented with fiddle and mandolin. For this they’ll be joined by multi-instrumentalist Taylor Whiteside and will perform original songs with stories and music inspired by lost loves, lost lives and real life adventure.

How it works: You drive to the top of the Notch, bringing your own chairs or blankets (and a picnic dinner) and pick your spot. The artists perform under a tent twinkling with lights.

There’s so little light pollution that on a clear night, you’ll see a host of stars.

This is said to be the highest elevation outdoor music show in the state.

How to make it a getaway? Build a visit with the concert as your centerpiece.

Where to stay: The AMC does have lodging up at Crawford Notch, but this time of year, those are pretty full with hikers. No worries, though, Bretton Woods and the Valley as a whole has countless lodging choices.

Just 15 minutes up the road from Crawford Notch you’ll find the Attitash Mountain Village (https://attitashmtvillage.com) where you can book accommodations with full kitchens (great for families or a group; smaller ones are perfect for convenience even if it is just you), swim in their pool and even better: take a dip in the river from their private riverbed beach.

It’s set just across the road from Attitash Mountain Resort, giving it a quieter, tucked away feel in the summer months. But it’s only about 10 minutes to bustling North Conway, where you can dine and shop.

Navigating the concert: While the concert is completely free, the AMC does ask 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 should it cool down (most welcome in the summer months) and whatever else you like to stay comfortable.

Next, choose your meal. You can order ahead of time from The AMC Highland Center, but for ease, consider take out from one of the many great nearby spots.

An easy favorite is Joseph’s Spaghetti Shed (https://www.josephsspaghettished.com), almost directly across the road from the Attitash Mountain Village.

A long-time Valley staple, the Shed is now dedicated to take out and can have a great meal ready for your concert time.

There are endless other choices as well, from pizza from Matty B’s (https://www.matty-bs.com), walking distance from the Attitash Mountain Village, or grab Chinese, classic American or even an upscale take out meal from the Black Cap Grille (https://www.blackcapgrille.com).

Plan on arriving early, settling in and saving it all.

Other activities: There’s plenty more to do in the area before and after the concert. Consider the cool Canopy Tour at Bretton Woods (https://www.brettonwoods.com), or ride their gondola for a scenic view and a meal at the top.

You can head up to Jackson and drive – or hike – to the top of Mount Washington, splash in the waters at Jackson Falls, or take in more music at the Wildcat Tavern.

There’s tubing on rivers, mini golf, and more.

With music as your centerpiece, the Lynda Cohen Performing Arts Series might just be your best new way to escape. The hills really are alive, with the sounds of Blue Grass and more.

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