On the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, Dash Through the Snow Stopping for Festive Treats Along the Way

At the village of Jackson, New Hampshire, glide from inn to inn for sweets doled out by innkeepers.

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour 2023 in Jackson, New Hampshire
via Getty Image
via Getty Image
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The soothing clop, clop, clop of horse hooves echo through the snowy village of Jackson, New Hampshire, where horse-drawn Austrian sleigh rides and handmade chocolate delights await. It’s all part of the annual Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour, a cozy inn-to-inn sleigh ride where local innkeepers dole out season’s greetings and super festive chocolates.

The village’s nostalgic approach to the holiday season is a tranquil end-of-year salve, and there’s no shame in slathering yourself in its Hallmark holiday movie vibes. After entering Jackson Village through a covered bridge (painted a barn-red hue, obviously), expect to be greeted with an old-timey general store, Flossie’s, and Ravenwood Curio Shop, a funky little place filled with gifts, glassware, and more.

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour is available on weekends through December 17, and only guests of participating inns may participate. The $45 sleigh ride begins at The Snowflake Inn, and—for the next hour—you’ll glide through the charming hamlet like an OG from days of yore as 1,800-pound horses haul the red sleighs through the snow-white scene.

Everyone shakes their jingle bells, and innkeepers come out with baskets of chocolate goodies—from luxe truffles from The Inn at Thorn Hill & Spa to the luscious chocolate bark at The Wentworth Inn. The big finale is a decadent rum-topped chocolate mousse as you warm yourself by the outdoor firepit back at The Snowflake Inn.

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour 2023 in Jackson, New Hampshire
The Jackson Village Bridge | Photo credit: Melanie Carden

Drive time:

3 hours from Boston

Eat, drink and sleep

More things to do in Jackson:

Get entirely swept up in the nostalgic snow globe life of Jackson by visiting Nestlenook Farm, a wintery paradise all its own with dazzling holiday lights, ice skating, and more sleigh rides.
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing with Jackson XC offers access to 60 square miles of trails and majestic views of Mount Washington. Plus Jackson is just 15 minutes from downhill skiing and snowboarding at Wildcat Mountain and 35 minutes from the Winter Trains on Mt. Washington.

Best restaurants and bars in Jackson: 

The Jackson XC trails conveniently pass trail-side dining like The Thompson House Eatery, a farm-to-table spot helmed by award-winning chef, Jeff Fournier, previously of 51 Lincoln in Newton, Massachusetts. Enjoy signature dishes like the Fried Property Duck Egg, Chef’s Famous Fusilli Bolognese, and Bench Risen Beignets.

When it comes to where the locals go, head to J-Town Deli & Country Store for breakfast and lunch to order up some thick cut bacon, sandwiches, salads, and daily specials. Along with general grocery items and jewelry, mittens, and other gifts made by local artisans, take-out catering is also available.

Set the navigation to maximize your time on route 153 North, where gently curving roads thread through countless ponds, lakes, and rivers hemmed in by snow banks and frost-tipped evergreens. Pack a mini cold-weather charcuterie snack because just 20 minutes from Jackson, the Swift River Bridge usually has picnic tables out. You can enjoy your cheese and steamy mulled wine under the wooden canopy of the covered bridge overlooking the river. Closer still, in North Conway, stock up for your winter getaway at Cathedral Ledge Distillery.

Where to stay in Jackson:

The iconic inn, The Wentworth, offers breakfast with their Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour package. If you've got a Nordic-inspired cardigan with elbow patches, pack it because The Wentworth has a cozy yet elegant lodge aesthetic, including a come-hither cocktail lounge and cozy corner nook with cast iron stove, wool blankets, and oodles of games.

The menu in its Alpine lounge offers casual après-style bites like burgers and Warm Bavarian Soft Pretzel Bites. Within the 1869 Room, however, you’ll find the most heavenly Maple Cider Butternut Bisque in the Northeast and an inspired locally sourced dining experience. Plus, it's across the street from Jackson’s many eateries and the Jackson XC trails.

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Melanie Carden is a private chef turned travel writer. She’s equal parts adrenaline-seeker and Golden Girls vibes. You can find her trying new things, thrifting for treasures, grinding it out on a trail, or lounging on a picnic blanket—Aperol spritz in hand. She's fickle about social, but the sporadic nuggets are worth the wait—cricket tacos, anyone?