Gorham is about 20 minutes north of Pinkham. If your coming from the North (such as Canada, and aren't going to be staying at Pinkham Notch, this is probably your best bet to stay. We usually stay at the Gorham Motel (603-466-5069), however, there are several other places. You don't have to book ahead more than a few days in advance, considering that the town is fairly quite until June.
Gorham has one or two good night spots (forget their names), so if you're up to celebrating after your trip up to Tuckerman, you should be able to find some good beer.
Best night life is in North Conway.