Find interesting Great Things to Do in Lakes region: cruises, sports, shopping
The Lake’s region is swimming in
all year round from beaches with action packed water sports to scenic driving tours. There’s majestic fall foliage, celebrated winter sports activities, and tax-free shopping. Outdoor and indoor attractions
are abundant. Hike and bike through rustic villages and towns or take a lake cruise. Stroll antique shops, art galleries and English gardens. Discover great chocolate and pottery and every kind of natural setting your soul could wish for.
312 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith, NH, 03253
Lakes region activities in a vibrant New Hampshire community
Discover great food, culture and the many pleasures of the Lake’s Region at this unique lodging on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Four distinct Inns, each with views of the lake and surrounding mountains, offer smoke free rooms, coffee makers, refrigerators and Wi-Fi. Relax in indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, on sandy beach areas and there are docks for your boat. The Mills Falls Marketplace features 11 unique shops and 8 eateries serving tasty regional cuisine from morning til night. Savor the world class Cascade Day Spa and stop in at the EKAL Lake Activity Center for canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and chartered boat cruises. Be sure to walk Meredith’s vibrant Main Street Community adjacent to Mill Falls.
Route 171 - 455 Old Mountain Road
Moultonborough, NH, 03254
Inspiring Arts & Crafts House in the Mountains Transports Your Senses
Castle in the Clouds is an inspired name for this Arts & Crafts-style mansion in the Ossipee Mountain Range, overlooking New Hampshire’s gorgeous Lakes region. Built in 1914 by a wealthy shoe manufacturer and originally named Lucknow, the architecture displays hand-crafted details that honor natural forms. Take a winding road up to the property, passing vistas and a waterfall, and finish with a trolley ride from the parking area to the house. Explore the period furnishings and even the mistress’s wardrobe, find mementos in the gift shop, enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant, and browse a revolving display of artwork in the Art Gallery. Children are welcome. Hiking trails beckon you into the mountains and horseback riding is allowed. Open weekends through May and daily from June to October.
Enjoy endless activities from New Hampshire’s campgrounds
Get away from the everyday with a visit to a New Hampshire campground. Stay in a tent, RV, cabin, cottage, lodge – even a yurt! – and enjoy activities from horseshoes and fishing to snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Hike, bike or take a cog railroad up a pine-scented mountain or kayak a pristine pond, river or lake. From your camping site in the woods, near the ocean or in a meadow, check out the Granite State’s historic sites, quintessential New England towns and acres upon acres of natural splendor. Visit our website for a handbook with all the details for individual parks, from whether they are pet-friendly to which ones have cottage rentals, pools, fireplaces, tennis courts, live music – or cable TV.
61 Laconia Road
Tilton, NH, 03276
Lots to love, lots to do, when winter hits the lakes region
Summer’s not the only season to celebrate the glories of central New Hampshire’s lakes and mountains. When the temperatures drop and the snow falls, the Lakes Region is alive with skiers, snowboarders, ice-skaters, snow-tubers and skimobilers, visiting the nearby slopes; taking guided tours out onto the frozen lakes to catch a few fish; winter-hiking parts of the Northern Rail Trail; or enjoying sleigh rides across frozen fields. But you don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to enjoy winter here. Arrange for a spa day, take advantage of tax-free shopping in the region’s outlets and boutiques, explore a covered bridge, visit a winery or brewery; or just hunker down before the fire at one of many scenic inns.
Riding in the Clouds at Castle in the Clouds
Many of us are acquainted with Castle in the Clouds
(the Lucknow estate) in Moultonborough
, a 1913 house composed of a unique and charming mix of Arts and Crafts architecture. Do you know you can take a horseback ride
on the grounds of this mountaintop estate. Guided horseback trail rides through the wooded property are offered year-round. The trail ride passes Shannon Pond, small waterfalls, and displays gorgeous views high above Lake Winnipesaukee. Rides are about one hour long in duration and are a relaxing walk only. For riders age 8 and older. Reservations are required, at 603-476-8350.
Antique Goods in an Antique Location
The Laconia Antique Center
at 601 Main Street in Laconia
is appropriately housed in a former Newberry’s Department Store built in the 1950s. What can you find here? Take a breath: vintage books (in a comfortable reading area); furniture, lamps, glass- and dishware, include Depression glass; primitives; estate jewelry; coins; ephemera, and on and on. One last enticement: the store has an ice cream and soda fountain and juke box. Open year round; hours vary by season. Phone: 603-524-9484.
Beautiful Lakes; Beautiful Shopping
The Lakes Region of New Hampshire is a place of great natural beauty year-round. For people who want to or need to shop
, the interior sights are grand, also. Visitors find excellent (and sales-tax-free) shopping at places like Tanger Outlets in Tilton, with 50 designer outlet stores, and, at the other end of the spectrum, antique shops in almost every town. A vast quilting store is Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, with its adjacent knitting supply store, Patternworks. Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith, right at hand, has 14 shops (including a candy store, clothing stores, and a bookstore) in a historic mill. The Kellerhaus in Weirs Beach, is one of the few candy makers still making ribbon candy and candy canes onsite. Drop in to taste the homemade ice cream and make-your-own sundae.
Stretch Out on the Sand
For a day trip to the beach or for overnight camping, local people recommend Ellacoya State Park
at 280 Scenic Drive in Gilford
on Lake Winnipesaukee. The long sandy beach, with views of the Sandwich and Ossipee mountains, is just right for family swimming and picnicking. There is a bathhouse, a souvenir store, and a small boat launch. The campgrounds offer RV hookups and showers.
Escape to Laconia; Escape In Laconia
In summer, especially, we escape to Laconia
because, well, it’s on Lake Winnipesaukee… and need we say more? For a deeper adventure (it’s indoors, so good for a rainy day) try the Escape Room Experience
at 555 Main Street. You’re heard of escape rooms: they present a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room where they receive clues to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. Great fun for families, couples, and groups. The Laconia escape room offers various themes, like solving a puzzle initiated by the mysterious Leonard DaVinci or unraveling the escapades of a lost night in Vegas. Get some pals together and find your inner Indiana Jones. 603-366-6296.
Explore Squam by Pontoon Boat
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center hosts these fun and informative cruises
of this pristine lake of northern New Hampshire. Learn about the natural history of the lake, its plants and animals, and the people who have lived in this region for more than 5,000 years. See scenes from the movie “On Golden Pond.” Watch for loons, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Cruises are an hour and a half in duration, on canopied pontoon boats, leaving from the dock on Route 3 at the bridge, next to Walter's Basin Restaurant in Holderness
. Binoculars are available for free. Reservations are recommended. Fees are $21-$25. Daily, May 17 to October 13. 603-968-7194.
Beach Life with Glitter at Weirs
(“Where Lake Winnipesaukee Begins!”) in Laconia
offers a wide, sandy beach and lots of summery beach activities for people who aren’t looking for too much serenity. The attached park is landscaped with picnic areas and play areas as well as a jetty for watching an endless parade of boats A real wooden boardwalk jumps with fun: arcades, boat cruises, railroad rides, waterslides, miniature golf, go-carts, balloon flights, a drive-in movie theater, fireworks, live music, and special events. A family favorite for generations.