North Country sweets and sweet dreams

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to enjoy a weekend in New Hampshire’s North Country surrounded by beautiful views, cozy accommodations and sweet treats?

Country Inns in the White Mountains will host the annual Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour next month, giving visitors the chance to enjoy sweet dreams and dreamy sweets as they travel from inn to inn tasting holiday confections.

The doors to 17 inns from Hart’s Location to North Conway and Tamworth, N.H., to Fryeburg, Maine, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8-9 to visitors in search of holiday treats.

“People love this event. It’s clearly the highlight of the holiday season for many people,” said Marti Mayne, spokesperson for Inn to Inn in the White Mountains, a consortium of North Country inns working to bring visitors to the White Mountain region of New Hampshire. “Each year we have people from all over the country attend the Inn to Inn Cookie Tour. We’ve had people come from as far as Honduras. I’ve already heard about a couple coming from California just for the Cookie Tour.”

With annual favorites, including Exotic Double Chocolate Chippers from the Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, Walnut Toffee Triangles from the Covered Bridge House in Glen and Ginger Froggers from the Notchland Inn in Harts Location, it’s easy to understand why the annual Cookie Tour was named the “Best Sugar High” by New Hampshire Magazine, and has become a holiday tradition for many people since its inception 11 years ago.

The tour is a great way to discover new favorite recipes – recipe cards are given out at each inn – and create sweet gifts you know will be enjoyed and not exchanged.

In addition to its assortment of sweets each inn is adorned in its holiday best for the tour, boasting collectors’ ornaments and gingerbread sculptures. Tour-goers will have the opportunity to vote for his or her favorite gingerbread creation and the three garnering the highest number of votes at the end of the weekend will earn local charities a $500, $350 or $250 donation.

Tour goers also will receive a brass keepsake ornament, the second in what participating innkeepers hope will become a collection of Cookie Tour ornaments in the years to come.

All of the inns included in the weekend tour are no further than 15 minutes apart, and many are even closer. The easy drives promise to deliver spectacular views and just enough time to make room for another cookie or two.

Cookie Tour packages are available through participating inns. While packages vary, all include a two-night stay and breakfast for two along with two tickets for the self-guided inn-to-inn tour. Many inns have added dinner for two and cookie-baking classes to their packages and everyone captures the essence of a White Mountain winter holiday in its own special way.

Day tickets for the self-guided two-day Cookie Tour are available for $25 and can be purchased the day of the event at select inns. Only 400 tickets will be sold. Day tickets are limited to those available after Cookie Tour lodging packages are sold, so the only way to guarantee tickets to the sweet event is to book your stay.

For more information about Country Inns in the White Mountains, the 2007 Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour and lodging packages, or to make reservations visit