The Grande Dame of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is beautiful, blue Lake Winnipesaukee, a year-round vacation destination that offers beaches, swimming, and every imaginable water sport (including ice fishing in the winter). The lake, which covers 72 square miles and includes 253 islands, is a monster in size, but it should not overshadow the equally lovely Squam Lakes. This group, consisting of Big Squam Lake, Little Squam Lake, and White Oak Pond, is where the Hollywood movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed. The Squam Lakes, at the base of the White Mountains, includes some of the most pristine bodies of water in New Hampshire. When the winter snows arrive, the area draws cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.
Major towns in the region include Wolfeboro, on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. The town, which claims in its motto to be “the Oldest Summer Resort in America,” is rustic and homey, and is a popular summer destination for families with kids. Rentals of water sports equipment are widely available. The town, which encompasses the Wentworth State Park, is an easy drive from Boston and southern New Hampshire. Another notable town in the region is Moultonborough, which touches Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake.
Moultonborough also is home to Castle in the Clouds. Built in 1913-1914, this stone mansion is a prime example of the Arts and Crafts architectural style of the early 20th century. Visitors to the 5,500-acre estate may tour the castle, walk to cascading waterfalls, hike mountain and carriage trails, ride the trolley, and feed the trout on Shannon Pond. Meredith is another lovely lakeside town where visitors can rest, walk, dine, and shop. Throughout the region, the fall foliage is spectacular, framed by blue sky and water. In the winter you can watch ice boats race or walk among the villages of ice-fishing shacks.