Pros: Beautiful scenery!!
Cons: Limited indoor recreation in area in case of inclement weather
Franconia Notch was one of our stops in our NE trip. I am glad we chose to stay there instead of the more developed North Conway. This was the first time I was in NH during the summer time. The views are beautiful without the snow and even without the fall foliage.
My husband and I also have a 3 years old and a 1 year old with us. We rode up the Mt. Cannon on the tramways. My 3 years old was thrilled. The walk up to the top of the tower was very manageable with the two small kids. We then went to the Flume Gorge. At the last minute, we decided to hike back after taking the shuttle. I had the 1 year old at my baby carrier. With frequent breaks, the hike was not too difficult. Our 3 years old didn't mind walking as much. My husband only needed to carry him once in awhile. They both had great naps after the outing. The flume gorge views were definitely worth the hike. There were slopes and stairs.
The "Old Man" on the Mountain was gone in May. Though we didn't get to see the profile at any view outlook points, there was write-ups and pictures posted at most of those viewpoints. We saw flowers and letters left by locals and visitors to memorialize the loss of the "Old Man".
We didn't go to the Echo Lake but we stopped at a few lakes to watch fishermen doing fly fishing. The environment was just very pristine. We only spent two nights and one full day there. Franconia Notch is a small little town that is very pretty, charming and thankfully, not very commercial. For outdoor enthusiasts, it is a wonderful place to do hiking or camping. We were happy with the range of activities we could do with our small kids. It really made you relax at your lodging after a full day of physical activity.
We stayed at a lovely motel, Gale River Motel. It was one of the loveliest motel we had stayed. The owners were absolutely friendly and hospitable. The motel grounds were well kept; so was the pool. There were many accents that made this place above and beyond what you would expect from a 'motel'. The views were great as well.
The restaurant choices were limited especially with little kids. We were lucky that we had great weather with great visibility at the mountain top. Otherwise, with limited indoor recreation area, it may be difficult with young kids.