visitor story

The Beginner’s Guide to Lake Winni

To put it gently, I’m really a newb when it comes to the Northeast corner of the U.S. Hailing from a southern town where hyper-commercialized beaches are the weekend getaway of choice, there were a lot of things that surprised me about New England. If you’re like me—woefully unaware of how to prepare for a northern vacation—you’ll need this handy beginner’s guide for your trip to Lake Winnipesaukee.

Here are some tips I recommend you consider before leaving for your trip:

Have a Wicked Great First Day
The Lakes Region is just two hours from Boston—I’m a sucker for a good day trip and I loved stopping into the city for lunch and a quick photo op at the public garden on my way into New Hampshire.

Bring This
Okay, sorry – let’s start with the obvious. The lake gets really bright during the day! The sun reflects so intensely off the water that taking a selfie against the lake is almost impossible without sunglasses.

Tennis shoes
There’s so much to do and experience in Lake Winnipesaukee, and some of my favorite moments involved hiking in the woods or ziplining from the peak of Gunstock Resort. Don’t get caught without some reliable sneakers to get you through the more physical activities (even if it’s just doing the shopping loop at Mill Falls Marketplace).

A GPS enabled phone, your phone charger, and some tunes
I’ll be really honest, I was taken totally by surprise by how huge the Lakes Region is. If you’re planning on visiting a lot of the great tourist attractions in the area (Need suggestions? Read about [link] The Many Faces of Lake Winnipesaukee), you could find yourself driving hours in one day. Make sure you’ve got a full battery on your GPS enabled device and be ready to spend some time in your car—which is certainly not a bad thing, considering how plentiful the views are from many of the major roads.

Take Your Time
The few days I spent there were seriously unforgettable, but I wish I’d had more time to really soak in the lake. I would recommend making a whole week of it—don’t rush yourself!

Make Good Use of our Xplore Team
As mentioned above, there are so many amazing things that you can’t miss at Lake Winnipesaukee, and a lot of them are quite far apart. Arm yourself with a really great itinerary to make sure you’re experiencing the greatest hits without having to drive all over the region. The Xplore Team would be happy to advise you on the musts of Lake Winni and the surrounding communities, and how to organize your day around those excursions.

Don't miss these good eats!


Holy Grail of the Lakes, Laconia

It's a bar! In a church! With an Irish theme! And it's totally delicious - I recommend the Bangers & Colcannon (an Irish twist to an English classic).


Town Docks, Meredith

The "Common Man Family of Restaurants" is right on the water and serves up some of the best lobster in New England.


Giuseppe's Pizzeria, Meredith

Italian fare in the Mill Falls Marketplace with incredible house made bread. The gluten-free pizza is phenomenal - you won't be able to tell the difference!


Dunkin Donuts, everywhere

Dunkin is a New England classic. To blend in with the locals, order an iced coffee in a Styrofoam cup to catch the condensation - it's a northern ritual.