Short time at Lake Winnepesaukee

Aug 20th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Original Poster
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Short time at Lake Winnepesaukee

We will have a day and a half in the Lake Winnepesaukee area in mid-September. Anyone have opinions on whether Meridith, Gilford or Wolfeboro are best to stay in? We will probably visit the Castle in the Clouds on our way down from the White Mountain area, but also like small quaint towns with antique/unusual shopping, and a decent restaurant at night. We would like to also spend time ON the lake, possibly renting a kayak. Note: we are not experienced kayakers, so would do a small commercial boat cruise as long as it wasn't too touristy-tacky. Where's a good safe area for kayaking, or the best bet for a boat cruise or tour that won't take up more than half a day?
travelerwife is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:07 PM
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It depends on whether you like a busier atmosphere or more quiet. The Meredith area is more built up/larger town and Wolfeboro is smaller (not really "quieter" esp in the summer, but more small town atmosphere). I'm partial to Wolfeboro and when you are going most of the people should be gone. Up until about 7-8 yrs ago we used to go every summer--so I'm no longer up on tours etc. But there are lots of restaurants in the area.
Miramar is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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xxx30 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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I;d say Meredith, would be a great place to stay and do a bit of exploring, from there you could tour Center Harbor, The Weirs and Laconia. There is a lovely Inn right ON the lake with a good restaurant on site, and some good restaurants close by. A stop for lunch would be Harts Turkey Farm, a local legend. There's some shopping, and a lovely artist colony in the area for local gifty items. Also the Annalee Doll Factory is in Meredith, and you will see the dolls all over the area. I grew up with Annalee everywhere, and so it brings some nice memories when I see them. I can even find the here in NY sometimes.

Have a GREAT time you will love the area.
travelbuff is offline  
Aug 20th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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I'd probably suggest Wolfeboro first, although Meredith isn't so bad, either. It's a little bit bigger / busier, but mid-September isn't exactly high season so either area should be relatively quiet. Overall, though, the eastern side of the lake (the Wolfeboro side) is the quieter one.

Gilford probably isn't what you're looking for - the town "center" is pretty isolated and far from the lake, and overall it's more commercialized and less quaint.

The one and only cruise I know of is on the Mt. Washington boat from Weirs Beach to Alton Bay. It's a really nice ride when the weather's clear!

Here's a map of public access points for boating on the lake (look at Belknap and Carroll counties): -- I don't kayak on the lake myself so I can't recommend good areas, but since you'll be there in the low season I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding a relatively quiet area.
TerrMys is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 03:37 AM
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I agree with Meredith or Wolfboro as places to stay. I would not rent a kayak on Lake Winnipesaukee, it's too big and crowded. Friends who live in Wolfboro kayak a lot but on some smaller lakes. I googled kayak rentals - Squam Lake is close to Meredith NH and is a much quieter lake
also very beautiful because there is very little commercial development in that area. For my 2nd ever kayaking trip a friend took me on the Merrimack River in Boscawen NH. There's also a rental place that does this same section of river. Drops you off, picks you up. Lots of interesting birds, friendly people, the river is very shallow right now, there are lots of sandy beaches so you can stop for a picnic lunch, pretty scenery. This is convenient to Rt 93 if you are heading south from Lake W.
The SS Mt Washington is the grand lady of the lake but you can find some other cruises. I liked the Lake Sunapee cruise better. The one on Squam Lake with the science center was small with an ecological narration.

Drive thru Center Sandwich, one of the prettiest small towns. There is a League of NH Arts and Crafts shop in Meredith. Small boutique type shops in Meredith around the Inn.
dfrostnh is offline  
Aug 21st, 2010, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I agree that Squam Lake is probably better to kayak on, although I'm not sure how heavy boat traffic is on Winnipesaukee in mid-September...

With this in mind, I might suggest Meredith as the best location because you can always decide whether you want to hop up to Squam Lake and kayak there (it's just a few minutes' drive) or whether you want to stay on Winnipesaukee and take the Mt. Washington boat cruise (also just a few minutes' drive to Weirs Beach).
TerrMys is offline  
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