Having as the most dramatic scenery in all of the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipesaukee stretches for about 72 square miles and comprises of 264 islands including a number of large bays and small inlets. The lake has a rich and diverse culture, even its name can be translated to at least five conflicting meaning like “beautiful water in a high place”, “good smooth water at outlet”, “land around the lake”, “lakes region”, and “smile of the Great Spirit”. All of them, however, agree that the lake is blessed with beautiful views comparable that of a paradise. With the White Mountains serving as a stunning backdrop and a wide open area of water called the broads, the lake is a popular holiday destination for travelers from all over the world.
Lake Winnipesaukee is a boating and outdoor recreation year round, it peaks during the spring and summer season, then some travelers enjoy strolling through the vibrant leaf colors in the fall season and ice fishing in the winter. The lake does not disappoint as the region is filled with fun recreational activities, shopping strips, great food finds, and some historical landmarks.
As the largest standing body of water and resting in the foothills of the White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee is about an hour and a half drive from Boston. The lake is a perfect weekend getaway to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It has seven towns that you can tour, each has its own character and charm; Center Harbor, Meredith, Alton, Tuftonboro, Moultonborough, Gilford, and Wolfeboro. Its best to drive around these towns leisurely and making sure to spend a good amount of time but do take it easy, you can always go back and have some wonderful “lake time”.
Whether it’s your first time visiting Lake Winnipesaukee or a returning traveler looking for a new getaway spot, here are some the best picks on this amazing lake.
Lake Winnipesaukee houses some of the best independently owned artisan shops and country stores. Try visiting the famous Pepi Herrmann, an artisan who mastered the art of cutting crystal. Visit the very charming shop in Gilford and be amazed in shelves upon shelves of amazing crystal artwork including Champagne flutes, bowls, vases, and earrings. Then there are the knitting shop of Keepsake Quilting and Patternworks located at the Center Harbor near the north side of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Cool off in Kellerhaus located in Laconia to taste some of their decadent ice cream creations. This 1906 shop also offers great jellies, candies, maple syrup, and homemade jams. To those who like their drinks a little bit more tasteful, hop on to Hermit Woods Winery in Meredith where they make impeccable fruit wines paired with crabapple and strawberry-rhubarb delicacies.
To really enjoy Lake Winnipesaukee you try a day hike tour at Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford where you can get amazing views of the lake. But no trip would be complete without hopping into a boat taking an excellent cruise around the lake. There are marinas in the area that are offering motorboats and other tour services. But if you are following a strict schedule then you can just pack a picnic and enjoy the profound tranquility of Lake Winnipesaukee.