Whether it’s fall foliage reds, yellows and oranges or the purple, pink and white hues of June’s lupines, when it comes to the White Mountains, Mother Nature never lets us down. Once again, the inns and B&Bs in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire and neighboring Franconia, Lincoln, Bretton Woods and Bethlehem are poised to celebrate the Fields of Lupine Festival, June 1 – 15. Now in its 20th year, the schedule of events has expanded far from the humble beginnings of this event when Mike Coyle of the Sunset Hill House in Sugar Hill created a simple Lupine Package for guests of the inn in 1994.
For the past two decades, the lure of the lupines has brought tens of thousands of visitors to the area during the first two weeks in June to view an incredible vista of colorful lupines with mountain views in the backdrop. While Memorial Day weekend brought snow, temporarily interrupting the budding process, Steve Allen of the Sugar Hill Inn assured me that the lupines appear like clockwork at the beginning of June and delight visitors for the next two weeks. Indeed on a recent visit to Sugar Hill, I found a few, and warm temps this weekend will spur the growth temporarily halted by spring snows.
Many of the inns in the region are holding free daily tours during the Fields of Lupine Festival. Visit the Adair Inn in Bethlehem daily from noon to 4pm from June 1st through 15th. The Sunset Hill House will also offer complimentary afternoon tea and cookies and an inn tour at 1:00pm daily. Dine on the deck or in the tavern or enjoy fine dining in the dining room and receive discounts on your meals with the Fields of Lupine book.
The Sugar Hill Inn is hosting a number of Lupine Festival events:
Saturday, June 1, 10am-4pm: Artist’s Open House and Reception – Original works of art on display for sale by the area’s best artists.
Saturday, June 8, 4:00pm: Sparkling Wine and Champagnes Tasting – Sample sparkling wines from around the world, learn how champagne is made and enjoy local cheeses with Steve Allen, Sugar Hill Inn owner and wine connoisseur. Reserve in advance. $18 per person.
Saturday, June 15, 4:00pm: White Wine Tasting – Taste a variety of refreshing summer white wines and local cheeses with Steve Allen. Reserve in advance $18 per person.
Purchase a $5 Fields of Lupine Festival book from businesses throughout Bethlehem, Franconia, Sugar Hill and Lincoln. Participating businesses are identified by the lupine flag. The book is filled with Lupine Festival offers and discounts from stores, restaurants, inns, attractions and more. You’ll also find a complete schedule of events there too.
When you go
Lupine Festival is a busy time of year for the area’s inns and B&Bs. Call or check online for availability. For fine dining and accommodations with gorgeous views, consider staying at one of the Sugar Hill inns.
Sugar Hill Inn, 116 New Hampshire 117, Sugar Hill, NH 03586, Phone:(603) 823-5621, www.SugarHillInn.com.
Sunset Hill House, 231 Sunset Hill Rd, Sugar Hill, NH 03586, Phone:(800) 786-4455, www.sunsethillhouse.com.