Lakes Region

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Lakes Region - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Canterbury Shaker Village

    Established in 1792, this community 15 miles south of Laconia flourished in the 1800s and practiced equality of the sexes and races, common ownership, celibacy,...

    Established in 1792, this community 15 miles south of Laconia flourished in the 1800s and practiced equality of the sexes and races, common ownership, celibacy, and pacifism. The last member of the religious community passed away in 1992. Shakers invented such household items as the clothespin and the flat broom and were known for the simplicity and integrity of their designs. Engaging guided tours—you can also explore on your own—pass through some of the 694-acre property's nearly 30 restored buildings, many of them with original furnishings. Crafts demonstrations take place daily. An excellent shop sells handcrafted wares.

    288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury, New Hampshire, 03224, USA
    603-783–9511

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Grounds free, guided tours $25, Closed Dec.–Apr.
  • 2. Castle in the Clouds

    Resembling a fairy-tale castle, this grand 1914 mountaintop estate is anchored by an elaborate mansion with 16 rooms, 8 bathrooms, and doors made of lead....

    Resembling a fairy-tale castle, this grand 1914 mountaintop estate is anchored by an elaborate mansion with 16 rooms, 8 bathrooms, and doors made of lead. Owner Thomas Gustave Plant spent $7 million—the bulk of his fortune—on this project and died penniless in 1941. Tours include the mansion and the Castle Springs water facility on this high Ossipee Mountain Range property overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. Hiking (and cross-country skiing in winter) and pony and horse rides are also offered, along with lakeview terrace jazz dinners many summer evenings at the Carriage House restaurant, which is also open for lunch when mansion tours are offered.

    455 Old Mountain Rd., Moultonborough, New Hampshire, 03254, USA
    603-476–5900

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $20, Closed late Oct.–late May
  • 3. MS Mount Washington

    The 230-foot M/S Mount Washington offers 2½-hour scenic cruises of Lake Winnipesaukee, departing Weirs Beach with stops at Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, Center Harbor, and Meredith...

    The 230-foot M/S Mount Washington offers 2½-hour scenic cruises of Lake Winnipesaukee, departing Weirs Beach with stops at Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, Center Harbor, and Meredith depending on the day. Sunset cruises include live music and a buffet dinner. The same company operates the Sophie C. ($42), which has been the area's floating post office for more than a century. The boat departs from Weirs Beach with mail and passengers, passing through parts of the lake not accessible to larger ships. The Winnipesaukee Spirit ($30) offers summer cocktail cruises on Meredith Bay.

    211 Lakeside Ave., Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, 03246, USA
    603-366–5531

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From $42, Closed mid-Oct.–mid-May
  • 4. New Hampshire Boat Museum

    Set in a 1950s quonset hut–style former dance hall near Lake Wentworth, this small but fascinating museum and boat-building center celebrates New Hampshire's maritime legacy...

    Set in a 1950s quonset hut–style former dance hall near Lake Wentworth, this small but fascinating museum and boat-building center celebrates New Hampshire's maritime legacy with displays of vintage wooden boats, models, antique engines, racing photography, trophies, and vintage marina signs. You can also attend workshops on boat building and restoration, take sailing lessons, and go on 45-minute narrated rides on Lake Winnipesaukee in the Millie B., reproduction 1928 triple-cockpit Hacker-Craft.

    399 Center St., Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, 03896, USA
    603-569–4554

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $9, boat tours $40, Closed mid-Oct.–late May
  • 5. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center

    This 230-acre property includes a ¾-mile nature trail that passes by trailside live-animal exhibits of black bears, bobcats, otters, fishers, mountain lions, red foxes, and...

    This 230-acre property includes a ¾-mile nature trail that passes by trailside live-animal exhibits of black bears, bobcats, otters, fishers, mountain lions, red foxes, and raptors. A pontoon boat cruise offers the best way to tour the waterfront—naturalists talk about native fauna, from bald eagles to loons; dinner and sunset options are available. Kids' programs teach about insects and wilderness survival skills. The center also operates nearby 1-acre Kirkwood Gardens and maintains three short hiking trails, all of which you can access for free.

    23 Science Center Rd., Holderness, New Hampshire, 03245, USA
    603-968–7194

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Trail $22, lake cruise $27, Live-animal exhibits closed Nov.–Apr.
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  • 6. Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile

    Using a 250-gallon copper still constructed in Kentucky, this artisanal distillery set in a stately barn just a short stroll from famed Barnstormers Theatre produces...

    Using a 250-gallon copper still constructed in Kentucky, this artisanal distillery set in a stately barn just a short stroll from famed Barnstormers Theatre produces exceptional craft spirits, including Chocorua Straight Rye, Von Humboldt's Turmeric Cordial, Tamworth Garden Spruce Gin, and several flavorful cordials. If you're lucky, your stop will include a chance to sample Eau de Musc, a limited-release whiskey infused with an oil extracted from the castor glands of beavers.

    15 Cleveland Hill Rd., Tamworth, New Hampshire, 03886, USA
    603-323--7196

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Tues.
  • 7. Wellington State Park

    At this picturesque 220-acre park on the west shore of glorious Newfound Lake, about 12 miles from Plymouth, you'll find the largest freshwater beach in...

    At this picturesque 220-acre park on the west shore of glorious Newfound Lake, about 12 miles from Plymouth, you'll find the largest freshwater beach in the state park system. Enjoy the picnic and fishing areas, numerous hiking trails, and boat launch. 

    614 W. Shore Rd., Bristol, New Hampshire, 03222, USA
    603-744–2197

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5 mid-May–mid-Sept.
  • 8. Alton Bay

    Two mountain ridges frame picturesque Alton Bay, which is the name of both a narrow 4-mile inlet and village at the southern tip of Lake...

    Two mountain ridges frame picturesque Alton Bay, which is the name of both a narrow 4-mile inlet and village at the southern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee, near Wolfeboro. Cruise boats dock here, and small float planes buzz just over the bay, sometimes flying in formation. There's a boardwalk, mini golf, a public beach, and a Victorian-style bandstand, and a few basic but fun short-order eateries near the waterfront, such as Pop's Clam Shell and Stillwells Ice Cream.

    Rte. 11 at Rte. 28A, Alton Bay, New Hampshire, 03810, USA
  • 9. Ellacoya State Park

    Families enjoy this secluded 600-foot sandy beach and park on the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Ellacoya, with views of the Sandwich and Ossipee mountains,...

    Families enjoy this secluded 600-foot sandy beach and park on the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. Ellacoya, with views of the Sandwich and Ossipee mountains, has a shallow beach that's safe for small children, sheltered picnic tables, and a small campground. Amenities: parking (fee); toilets. Best for: solitude; swimming.

    266 Scenic Rd., Gilford, New Hampshire, 03246, USA
    603-293–7821

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5 mid-May–late Sept.
  • 10. Funspot

    The mothership of Lake Winnipesaukee's family-oriented amusement parks, Funspot's more than 600 video games make it the world's largest arcade—there's even an arcade museum. You...

    The mothership of Lake Winnipesaukee's family-oriented amusement parks, Funspot's more than 600 video games make it the world's largest arcade—there's even an arcade museum. You can also work your way through an indoor minigolf course and 20 lanes of bowling. Rates vary depending on the activity.

    579 Endicott St. N, Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, 03247, USA
    603-366–4377
  • 11. Hermit Woods Winery

    Stop by this contemporary downtown winery to sample the light and fruity wines and hard ciders, made with local blueberries, apples, cranberries, and honeys as...

    Stop by this contemporary downtown winery to sample the light and fruity wines and hard ciders, made with local blueberries, apples, cranberries, and honeys as well as imported grapes. Tours, which include a barrel tasting, are available, and you can order cheese, charcuterie, and other treats from the deli to enjoy while sipping outside on the deck. On weekend evenings, there's live piano in the Loft lounge.

    72 Main St., Meredith, New Hampshire, 03253, USA
    603-253–7968
  • 12. Loon Center

    Recognizable for its eerie calls and striking black-and-white coloring, the loon resides on many New Hampshire lakes but is threatened by the gradual loss of...

    Recognizable for its eerie calls and striking black-and-white coloring, the loon resides on many New Hampshire lakes but is threatened by the gradual loss of its habitat. Two trails wind from the modern visitor center through this 200-acre lakeside wildlife sanctuary, which has made great progress in helping to restore the state's loon population, which currently stands at around 550; vantage points on the Loon Nest Trail overlook the spot resident loons sometimes occupy in late spring and summer.

    183 Lee's Mills Rd., Moultonborough, New Hampshire, 03254, USA
    603-476–5666

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sun.–Wed. in late-Oct.–Apr.
  • 13. Meredith Sculpture Walk

    Throughout town, especially in parks beside the lake and at the gardens at Mill Falls Marketplace, you'll see colorful contemporary artworks. They're part of the...

    Throughout town, especially in parks beside the lake and at the gardens at Mill Falls Marketplace, you'll see colorful contemporary artworks. They're part of the Annual Meredith Sculpture walk, a year-round juried event featuring 33 distinctive pieces by renowned sculptors. Each June, a new collection of sculptures is installed. For a detailed look, take a free guided tour, offered at 10 am daily, mid-July and early September.

    Meredith, New Hampshire, 03253, USA
  • 14. Mt. Major

    Viewpoint

    About 5 miles north of Alton Bay, Mt. Major has a 3-mile trail up a series of challenging cliffs. At the top you'll find a four-sided stone...

    About 5 miles north of Alton Bay, Mt. Major has a 3-mile trail up a series of challenging cliffs. At the top you'll find a four-sided stone shelter built in 1925, but the real reward is the spectacular view of Lake Winnipesaukee.

    Rte. 11, Alton Bay, New Hampshire, USA
  • 15. Polar Caves Park

    From the attractive log cabin–style main lodge, an easy trail leads to nine granite caves that formed some 50,000 years ago, during the last ice...

    From the attractive log cabin–style main lodge, an easy trail leads to nine granite caves that formed some 50,000 years ago, during the last ice age. This family-friendly attraction begun in 1922 also contains a small petting zoo with a herd of adorable fallow deer.

    705 Rte. 25, Rumney, New Hampshire, 03266, USA
    603-536–1888

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $27, Closed mid-Oct.–mid-May
  • 16. Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm

    For 99 years (1894–1993) Dr. Edwin Crafts Remick and his father provided medical services to the Tamworth area and operated a family farm. These two...

    For 99 years (1894–1993) Dr. Edwin Crafts Remick and his father provided medical services to the Tamworth area and operated a family farm. These two houses now comprise a farm museum, with the second floor of the house kept as it was when Remick passed away, providing a glimpse into the life of a country doctor. The still-working farm features special activities, such as maple-syrup making, and has hiking trails and picnicking areas.

    58 Cleveland Hill Rd., Tamworth, New Hampshire, 03886, USA
    603-323–7591

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Pay as you wish, Museum closed Sat.–Tues. in Nov.–Apr.
  • 17. The Rocks Estate

    The estate of John Jacob Glessner (1843–1936), one of the founders of International Harvester, now serves as a 1,400-acre conservation and education center. The property...

    The estate of John Jacob Glessner (1843–1936), one of the founders of International Harvester, now serves as a 1,400-acre conservation and education center. The property is named for the many surface boulders on the estate when Glessner bought it—some were used to erect the rambling rock walls that flanks the estate's striking shingle-style restored buildings. The Rocks presents natural-history programs and has self-guided tours and hiking trails with excellent views of the Presidential Range. Come winter, cross-country ski trails and a select-your-own-Christmas-tree farm open up. In early spring, you can watch how maple syrup is made. Note that the property's trails have been closed during an extensive restoration project but are expected to reopen in summer 2023.

    4 Christmas La., New Hampshire, 03574, USA
    603-444–6228
  • 18. Wentworth State Park

    Away from the hustle and bustle of Wolfeboro on pretty little Lake Wentworth, this simple park features a quiet beach with good fishing, picnic tables...

    Away from the hustle and bustle of Wolfeboro on pretty little Lake Wentworth, this simple park features a quiet beach with good fishing, picnic tables and grills, and ball fields. Amenities: parking (no fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming; walking.

    297 Governor Wentworth Hwy., Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, 03894, USA
    603-569–3699

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $4
  • 19. Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad

    You can board this scenic railroad's restored cars at Weirs Beach or Meredith for one- or two-hour rides along the shoreline. Special excursions include fall...

    You can board this scenic railroad's restored cars at Weirs Beach or Meredith for one- or two-hour rides along the shoreline. Special excursions include fall foliage and the Santa train.

    211 Lakeside Ave., Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, 03253, USA
    603-745–2135

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: From $22
  • 20. Wright Museum

    Uniforms, vehicles, and other artifacts at this museum illustrate the contributions of those on the home front to the U.S. World War II effort....

    Uniforms, vehicles, and other artifacts at this museum illustrate the contributions of those on the home front to the U.S. World War II effort.

    77 Center St., Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, 03894, USA
    603-569–1212

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $14, Closed Nov.–Apr.

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