Life along the waterfront at Lake Winnipesaukee provides both summer visitors and year-long residents an opportunity to take in the natural beauty of New Hampshire’s largest lake, all while enjoying all the fun and excitement this area has to offer. With its location nestled among the foothills of the White Mountains, many would claim that taking in the scenery of Lake Winnipesaukee is more than enough to keep any visitor or resident occupied.
However, for those who want to truly take in the best that this stunning lake has to offer will find that there is plenty to do in the greater Lake Winnipesaukee area. From strolling through the local antique stores to racing through the lake on water skis, there is something for every personality at this New Hampshire gem. Here are ten of great activities to do around the Lake Winnipesaukee area.
1. Take A Cruise Aboard the M/S Mount Washington
Those who want to take in the beautiful scenery that has made Lake Winnipesaukee one of New England’s most popular vacationing spots can hop aboard a leisurely cruise on the M/S Mount Washington. This massive 203 foot boat has activities, gourmet meals and guided tours that will make your day on the water one you won’t soon forget.
With more than 44,000 acres to explore, there is no telling the sights cruisers will take in while aboard the M/S Mount Washington. Consider hopping aboard one of these guided tours in the fall to take part in the Mount Washington foliage tours to take in the bold colors of New England’s infamous autumn season.
Cruises run Spring through Late October, for directions and tickets, visit their website www.cruisenh.com.
2. Soak Up Some Rays at Weirs Beach
Sometimes nothing can beat spending an afternoon soaking up the sun on a beach. Around Lake Winnipesaukee, there is no waterside retreat that is as popular as Weirs Beach. In addition to having one of the biggest sand beaches in the area, it is also home to a 1300 foot boardwalk and plenty of family attractions.
3. Delight Your Inner Child at the World’s Largest Arcade
No matter how young, or old, you may be, Funspot is sure to amaze. Located along Weirs Beach, Funspot is the world’s largest arcade and is sure to offer hours and hours of fun for visitors. Whether you want to play one of their 300 classic arcade games, or one of their 600 total gaming systems, Funspot is sure to delight. This entertainment haven even has a 20 lane bowling alley, indoor mini golf and its own tavern for adults to enjoy post-gaming libations.
4. Tour the Area’s Best Museums
This stunning area of New Hampshire actually has a very long and detailed history, and is home to several premier museums. Learn about WWII at the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro, live like the Shakers at Canterbury Shaker Village or see some of the most unique vintage boats in the country at the NH Boat Museum. This area is also home to the American Police Motorcycle Museum, located in the heart of Meredith, New Hampshire.
At the Loon Center, guests can learn about New Hampshire’s wildlife and the role that native loons have had on the area. Meanwhile the nearby Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center offers stunning grounds, trails and a three story historic barn and education center for wildlife enthusiasts to explore.
5. Take in a Romantic Date Night at the Drive-In
While sun-filled romps along the waterfront are wonderful ways to spend the day at Lake Winnipesaukee, when the sun goes down, locals and visitors alike can take in a romantic date night at the local drive-in. As one of the area’s only remaining drive-ins, the Weirs Drive-In Theater offers fun evening experience for all types of movie goers. The box office opens at 7 Pm, while double feature movies start every evening around dusk.
The Weirs Drive-in is locates at 76 Endicott St N, in Laconia, NH, and is open in the Spring and Summer months, for tickets and box office times visit their website weirsdrivein.com
6. Feel the Adrenaline Rush of the Lake’s Best Water Sports
Aquatic adventurers will find that Lake Winnipesaukee has no shortage of opportunities to enjoy some of the most exciting water sports around. Professional guides offer excursions and lessons for those looking to try new activities such as traditional water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, knee boarding and barefoot skiing. Those who want to give windsurfing a try will find local stores that offer lessons and rentals, while scuba divers can find two different dive shops servicing the greater Lake Winnipesaukee area.
7. Indulge in a Scoop of Kellerhaus’ Famous Ice Cream
While Lake Winnipesaukee is home to several premier restaurants, most locals will agree, nothing can quite compare to the decadent taste of Kellerhaus ice cream. This local establishment has been part of the community for more than 100 years. Here, you can not only get a scoop, or two, of ice cream but satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh made fudge, rich chocolates, nuts, candies, jams and jellies.
8. Spend the Day Shopping at Mills Fall Marketplace
Lake Winnipesaukee has more to offer than just water activities, take a break from the beach and visit the Mill Falls Marketplace for some of the best shopping in the area. With 11 distinctive shops dotted along the marketplace’s brick lined walkways, you are sure to find something unique at this area shopping destination.
From jewelry stores to candy shops and some of the area’s best restaurants all in one location, Mills Fall Marketplace can fill an entire day with fun. Visit year round at 312 Daniel Webster Hwy, Meredith, NH 03253, for hours and directions visit their website www.millfalls.com.
9. Soar Through the Sky at New England’s Largest Zipline Course
Gunstock Mountain Adventure Park is the perfect destination for thrill seekers looking for some out-of-the-water adventure. This Gilford area park is home to New England’s largest ropes, aerial and zip line course. With more than nine acres of activities and 91 unique challenges, kids and adults alike will find plenty of activities to keep them busy.
If you’re not into these physical challenges or simply want a more low-key experience along Gunstock Mountain, this park also offers off-road Segway tours of the area and summit lift rides to the top of the mountain.
10. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad
One of the most beautiful parts of Lake Winnipesaukee is not only the water, but the mountains and natural wildlife that surround this stunning spring-fed lake. Take a tour around the shores of lake by train and gain a unique perspective on the beauty of this area. History buffs will love that this railroad line was first constructed in 1849 as part of the Boston and Maine Railroad. Hop on the train at one of several locations, as the track runs from Lakeport all the way to Meredith.
Plan your visit, stop by at the Winnipesaukee RR, 154 Main St. Meredith, NH 03253 and 211 Lakeside Ave Weirs Beach, NH 03247 online at Hobo Railroad.
As Lake Winnipesaukee continues to grow and bring new exciting activities, store and eateries to its residents, it is safe to say this list only scratches the surface of what this New Hampshire haven has to offer. What is your favorite “must-do” activity along the lake?