New Hampshire isn’t the type of place that’s usually associated with islands. Here at Lake Winnipesaukee, however, in the central part of New Hampshire, over 258 islands spring from New England’s third largest lake. This vacation community has been a popular getaway since the middle of the 1800s, as a place to escape the summer heat as well as ski in the winter months when the mountains are blanketed in white. It’s a place that pulses with outdoor adventure, whether it’s relaxing on the sands of Weirs Beach and strolling the 1300 ft. boardwalk, or tackling the forested hiking trails to the summit of distant Mount Major. As one of America’s oldest summer resorts, you can step back in time by boarding “The Mount,” or the classic Mount Washington steamship, and riding the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad between the towns of Meredith and Lakeport. Snowshoeing, ice skating, and cross country skiing are all popular activities in winter, and the fall foliage surrounding the lake can compete with the best in the country.
Lake Winnipesaukee is located an hour north of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and two hours north of Boston. The commercial hub is the town of Laconia, with about 16,000 residents, and the ice usually breaks up sometime in April—with 78° water by late summer.