My family has been going to Franconia, New Hampshire since I was a kid. It's the place that my mother's family vacationed, and then we vacationed and hopefully someday Ricky & I will vacation with our future family. There are incredible mountains to hike, tons of lakes to swim & boat in, amazing biking trails and much more. My Aunt & Uncle have a home up there that looks right at the beautiful mountain ranges and it often brings up the conversation, "Buying a vacation home or traveling the world" (for those of us who don't have the luxury of both options of course)? This is totally a matter of opinion and I'm not sure Ricky & I have the answer just yet. While we're young and don't have any kids, we want to travel and see as much of the world as we possibly can. As we get older, if we determine that there is one location in the world that we would go to over and over again, it may be worth it for us to invest in a vacation home.
It's all about location, location, location. An investment in Franconia, NH is totally different than an investment in Los Angeles, CA (for those of us that live in MA or NY). A vacation home should be somewhere you're going to get to often for weekend trips or whenever you have time off. You'll have to think about the taxes and additional payments that you need to make on the home while you aren't there and it isn't being used. And it's important to weigh the option of renting it out while you aren't there. Franconia is a great base location to go in the winter for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and other winter activities. It's also wonderful in the spring, summer & fall for hiking, biking, etc. If you could rent the home during these seasons but also make use of the house whenever you want to vacation there, it could end up being a significant investment. OR if you plan on being there yourself every weekend, it might be totally worth it as well based on how much you got it for (a how much you enjoy it)!
There is also the conversation of vacationing with children. My family went to New Hampshire for most of our vacations growing up (and Ohio, Pennsylvania, & Michigan where our extended family lives). My sister & I have still never been to Disney World but it was never something we cared about going to growing up. Many families in our home town went to Disney World every year or every other year. Instead, my parents saved that money and we did one "BIG TRIP" to Hawaii when my sister & I were in high school. Because my parents had been saving for all of those years, we were able to travel to three of the islands, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai, when we were at an age to enjoy it and remember it. I think that is, to date, my parent's favorite trip that they've ever taken and it's something my sister and I will never forget.
Some of our favorite activities in Franconia, New Hampshire:
*Hiking the Franconia Ridge
*Echo Lake (swim, kayak, canoe & you can rent here as well)
* Streeter Pond
*Artist Bluff Trail (Easy for children)
*Sugar Hills Sampler (Cute boutique-y store to go in!)
*Harman's Cheese & Country Store
*Ice Cream Delights in Lincoln, NH (about 20 minutes away) is our favorite Ice Cream spot!