New Hampshire Lakes Region

A New Hampshire lake vacation is unique thanks to the abundance of places to explore and things to do. Across the state, nearly 1,300 ponds and lakes are waiting to be discovered, including the real life inspiration for On Golden Pond to the summer playground of Lake Winnipesaukee.

For travelers who visited as a child, a New Hampshire lake vacation is sure to bring back fond memories of a time filled with sun and fun. For others who are making their first trip to the lakes in New Hampshire, the experience will be just as rewarding. On the shores of the many lakes, vacationers will find an array of attractions, campgrounds, restaurants, resorts, state parks, and places for recreation, all the components needed for the perfect getaway to the lake.

The New Hampshire Lakes Region in the central portion of the state, is the first choice for many when planning a vacation at the lake. Easy to access from Manchester, Boston, and the seacoast, the region offers visitors many possibilities for fun along the shore as well as on the water no matter what the season. Best known for Lake Winnipesaukee, the New Hampshire Lakes Region is also home to Squam Lake, Newfound Lake, Ossipee, and Lake Winnisquam. The smaller Duncan Lake, at 114 acres, was a favorite fishing hole of Grover Cleveland when he came on summer vacation. One of its quintessential New England villages, Wolfeboro, called the Oldest Summer Resort in America, has been a vacation haven since the 1770s.

Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest of all of the lakes in New Hampshire and surrounded by three mountain ranges, can be explored along the shore or by boat, including the M/S Mount Washington, a vessel well equipped for scenic excursions. Many of the communities along the shores, Wolfeboro among them, have parks, beaches, and docks that provide access to the lake. Weirs Beach is home to arcades, waterslides, and boardwalks, just what you'd expect for a New Hampshire lake vacation. Visitors also will find tax-free shopping, amusement parks, and a scenic railway here, too.

Squam Lake was featured in the 1980s film, On Golden Pond, which starred Katherine Hepburn and Peter Fonda. This is one of the best places in the New Hampshire Lakes region to explore nature, watch wildlife, and get outdoors. The Squam Lakes Natural Center is an excellent place to discover the region; visitors can take boat tours, follow hiking trails, and see live animals up close and learn about their habitats. Other natural places to explore include the lovely Kirkwood Gardens, Moon Island, and the Chamberlain-Reynolds Memorial Forest.

Beyond this region, travelers will find even more places to spend time along the lakes of New Hampshire. The Lake Sunapee region, located east of the Vermont border, offers four-season adventure, quaint towns, and outdoor spaces, in addition to some of the loveliest lakes in New Hampshire. It's also known for its state parks, including Mount Sunapee and State Beach and Pillsbury State Park. Rollins State Park and Winslow State Park are both known for breathtaking views, including trails to the summit of Mount Kearsarge. Travelers can enjoy time at the beach at Wadleigh State Park. After the snow has fallen, visitors flock to Mount Sunapee Resort for skiing, boarding, and other winter sports.

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