For more Great Things To Do in New England, click here to read the VisitNewEngland blog!

Find interesting Great Things to Do in Lakes region: cruises, sports, shopping

The Lake’s region is swimming in family fun 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.
Sweet Sunset - Lakes Region Association - New Hampshire
Lakes Region Tourism Association

61 Laconia Road Tilton, NH, 03276 Phone: 603-286-8008 Toll-Free: 800-605-2537

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.
Fire Pit New Hampshire Campground Owners Association
New Hampshire Campground Owners Association

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.
Lakeside View - Mill Falls at the Lake - Meredith, NH
Mill Falls at the Lake

312 Daniel Webster Highway Meredith, NH, 03253 Phone: 877-574-5935

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.
MiniGolf Course - Chuckster's Family Fun Park - Alton Bay, NH
Chuckster's Family Fun Park - Alton Bay

5 Mount Major Highway Alton Bay, NH, 03810 Phone: 603-875-4263

Play a round of mini golf, then get out on the water with a paddleboard, kayak

There’s nothing like playing a fun 18-hole round of mini golf on a beautiful sunny day or warm evening under the lights. It’s even better when you’re playing on a Chuckster’s course. At the Chuckster’s in Alton Bay, the former Jay’s Bayside course has been reclaimed by Chuckster’s and offers holes that challenge and entertain, with plenty of fountains, bridges, stone obstacles and shade. Bring your food and cooler to this substance-free family facility and don’t forget to leave room for ice cream (in dozens of flavors). Adjacent to Chuckster’s is SUP-NH, New Hampshire’s most experienced paddleboard company, where you can rent a paddleboard or kayak and take a lesson or just go for a tour.
loon center moultonborough nh
Come Watch the Loons

It’s hard to exaggerate the fascination inspired by loons and their mournful cries in the early morning and at dusk. To learn about these beautiful birds and to spend time in their habitat, visit the Loon Center at 183 Lees Mill Road in Moultonborough, which offers displays, video, The Loon’s Feather Gift Shop, and plenty of delightful walks along nature trails in a 200-acre sanctuary on Lake Winnipesaukee. Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. from July 1 to Columbus Day and reduced hours during the rest of the year. Phone: 603-476-LOON (5666).
old country store moultonboorugh NH
The Old Country Store; Old History Stage

You can buy treats and trinkets of all kinds at the Old Country Store on Whittier Hwy. in Moultonborough. And if you have all your senses tuned up, you might feel the stories of long ago in this place, built in 1781 on land given to Jonathan Moulton for his service during the Revolutionary War. The place also has served as a library and a post office and has hosted town meetings. Today, go there for candles, toys, shoes, local products, kitchenware, and penny candy, with a pickle barrel, maple syrup, and a good dose of John Deere merchandise. Kids will love it. 603-476-5750
Winnipesaukee river trail
Biking Alongside Winnipesaukee History

The Winnipesaukee River Trail is just right for people interested in taking a walk or bike ride on a scenic historic trail -- yet with the feel of wilderness -- close to the downtowns of Franklin and Northfield. This five -mile trail connects Tilton, Northfield and Franklin along the Winnipesaukee River and passes the historic Sulphite upside-down covered bridge. Walkers on the trail can view mill ruins and remaining portions of dams that tell the history of the five mills that operated on this river in the mid-19th century. Access points: Central Street in Franklin (under the railroad trestle); Cross Mill Road in Northfield; Old Surrette Battery property off from Park Street in Northfield (across the street from the library); 142 East Main Street off Route 3 in Tilton; Route 140 at Railroad right-of-way just past McDonalds. Email: innirivertrail@gmail.com. Trail brochure and map.
Boating Fun on Squam

Squam Lake, northwest of Lake Winnipesaukee, is a crystal-blue wonderland. Experience Squam on 859 US Route 3 in Holderness offers private boating excursions tailored to the tastes of the company. Boaters may choose to zoom or putter along, anchor in quiet coves, jump off infamous Jumping Rock, tour historic Church Island or sites where “On Golden Pond” was filmed. Phone: 603-968-3990
new hampshire foliage trains
Train Ride in the Foliage

A fun and memorable event that just oozes autumn in New England is a trip on the fall foliage excursion trains of New Hampshire. Hobo Railroad and the Hobo Harvest Time Express departs from Lincoln and travels along the scenic Kancamagus Highway. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad departs from Weirs Beach and offers one- and two-hour foliage excursions along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee.Another option is the Meredith Foliage Dinner Trains, departing from Meredith, serving turkey dinner while you travel along the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee. A longer trip is the four-hour foliage train from Meredith and into the White Mountains, offering several station stops. See website for detailed schedules and reservations. 603-745-2135.
Ellacoya State Park in Gilford
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.
Weirs Beach in Laconia NH
Beach Life with Glitter at Weirs

Weirs Beach (“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.
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness NH
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.
lakes region scenic drive tours
Byway, Not the Highway, By the Lakes

So, what’s so great about traveling by car? To take in great sweeps of Lakes region scenery, get in your vehicle and tap into the Lakes region scenic driving tours. Several self-guided driving and walking tours are described by the people who know the area best -- the Lakes region tourism association. Scenic drives take you along Lake Winnipesaukee and around the general region, presenting grand views, lakeside villages and fun places to eat and shop. Take you time and explore the very vacation-y lakeside towns of Alton, Gilford, Weirs Beach, Meredith, Holderness, Center Harbor and Moultonborough. Plan ahead and take an afternoon or even to cruise the lake on the M/S Mount Washington out of the town of Weirs Beach. [ photo: NH Dept.of Resources and Economic Development ]
tarbin gardens in NH
Tarbin Gardens Are a Restful Retreat

Tarbin Gardens, at 321 Salisbury Road in West Franklin started as one family’s passion to carve English-style gardens from the woodlands, and ultimately evolved into a public attraction open to people who love flowering plants. Come to enjoy the Flowering trees, shrubs and perennials; observe bird, butterflies, and other fauna; take photos, draw, and learn. There is always something new in the five acres. Authentic English cream tea is served from June through September in the Rose Garden Patio. The gardens are open May through September, daily except Tuesdays. Allow at least one hour to explore the gardens. You are welcome to bring a picnic. 603-934-3518.
shopping in the Lakes region of NH
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.