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Where to Go

Over 40 communities surround the lake. Among the highlights are the boardwalk and waterslide at Weirs Beach, the stunning homes and croquet club in elegant Wolfeboro, the galleries and boutiques in the restored mill village of Meredith and the antique center in Laconia. There’s a zip line in Gilford, a Shaker village in Canterbury and the Castle in the Clouds Estate in Moultonborough. The 150-kilometer Lakes Region Tour Scenic Drive circumnavigates the lake and passes through most of the towns.


Out on the Water

Take a dinner cruise and see why this lake is called the most scenic in New England, or charter a boat and head out to one of the larger islands on the lake for hiking or picnicking. Swimming is also possible in summer, when the water temperature hovers between 20 and 26 degrees Celsius. Fishermen can find salmon, trout, bass, pickerel, perch and several other species. The lake is also a family recreation spot in winter, when ice fishing and ice boating are both popular.


Adventure on Dry Land

Nature and the outdoors can be enjoyed in cold or warm weather. When it’s nice out, head to one of the three major nature preserves in the area: Loon Preservation Center and Markus Wildlife Sanctuary, Stonedam Island or Knights Pond. Learn about the flora and fauna of the Lakes Region at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. Visit the beach at Ellacoya State Park in Gilford. Go hiking and catch a great view of the lake at Belknap Mountain, Mount Major, West Rattlesnake Mountain, Red Hill or Abenaki Tower. When the snow starts piling up, go snowmobiling, ice skating or cross-country skiing. Some of the top downhill ski areas include Gunstock, Loon and Attitash mountain resorts.

Fun Fact

Aerial view of Lake Winnipesaukee
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What’s in a name? Depending on who you talk to, Winnipesaukee means "smile of the great spirit" or “beautiful water in a high place.”

Aerial view of Asheville, North Carolina
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Nearby Experiences

Official Lake Winnipesaukee Travel Site