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Lake Winnipesaukee Places To Stay > About > Lake Winnipesaukee

About Lake Winnipesaukee

Information for New Hampshire Vacations in Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest of the lakes in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, about 21 miles long by up to 9 miles wide. There are 253 islands on the lake, and combined with several peninsulas, the lake has 288 miles of shoreline. The vacation rental homes, summer rentals and country inns of the area have been a summer holiday destination for tourists from New York and Boston for over a century. Lake Winnipesaukee is a glacial lake that drains most of the central portion of New Hampshire, flowing west in the Winnipesaukee River into the Merrimak River, through Massachussets and into the Atlantic.

About Lake Winnipesaukee | Lake Winnipesaukee History


Lake Winnipesaukee offers a nature oriented outdoors getaway with a variety of summer rentals, vacation homes, hotels, and country inns. Choose an accommodation near any of Lake Winnipesaukee's local attractions that offers comfort while making the most of the beautiful mountains and beaches at affordably priced rates.

View our Lake Winnipesaukee Vacation Rentals or Lake Winnipesaukee Resorts


Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park provides family fun with camping, swimming, a beach, minigolf, and great entertainment. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad runs along Meredith Bay to Weirs Beach, to Paugus Bay, then onto Lakeport, providing spectacular views of Lake Winnipesaukee and its islands. New Hampshire International Speedway is New England's largest sports facility, with NASCAR, IRL, AMA, Vintage and amateur racing from April through October. A cartoon green dragon on billboards for miles around direct you to Funspot, the largest game arcade in the world. Polar Caves Park offers spectacular views and a network of caves. These caves, unlike the typical caves most people think of, were not formed by water but by glaciers over 50,000 years ago.


Two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races are held at the New Hampshire International Speadway. Close to 100,000 people attend each of the 300-lap races, including the annual Lenox Industrial Tools race held late June, and the annual Sylvania race, which is the first race in the final ten-race "Chase for the Cup" in September. Visit the Lakes Region Fine Arts & Crafts Festival in late august for arts and crafts exhibition and sale featuring high quality works of over 110 artists and craftspeople. The Festival is held in Meredith, among the Meredith Village Shops and the Mill Falls Marketplace where you will enjoy a weekend of crafts, music, entertainment and food. Four boats are among the various prizes awarded at the annual Lake Winnipesaukee Fishing Derby. The Laconia Motorcycle Week takes place in June, beginning with a Vintage Motorcycle show and race and includes a bikes only "Ride to the Sky" up Mount Washington.

Mountain Activities

The nearby White Mountains in New Hampshire are known for the world class ski resorts, but they do not have to be covered in snow to enjoy. While well known for the skiing and snowboarding, in the summer and fall they offer spectacular backgrounds for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, camping, and fishing.

Lake Activities

During the summer, water sports and boating are, of course, very popular. Taking a lake charter cruise on the MS Mount Washington, a 230-foot cruise boat, swimming, fishing, or renting jet skis are some of the recreational activities.


There are many private or public golf courses to choose from, all the way from a smaller 9 hole to a 18 hole country club. Some Lake Winnipesaukee golf courses have PGA and LPGA professionals available for lessons. Great championship courses, beautiful greens and scenery, lakes, soft hills and trees, are just a couple of reasons why visitors worldwide take golfing vacations in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.


Martin Pring from Bristol, England, was the first recorded European to lead an expedition to present-day New Hampshire. In 1603, his ship anchored in a bay, and he charted some of the Piscataqua River. In 1614, John Smith passed by along the coast during a mapping expedition and recorded the area as very heavily wooded with great mountains to the west, and he reported very favorably on what he saw. In 1622, the king granted Captain John Mason ownership of much of the land in present-day New Hampshire. In honor of his homeland Hampshire, he gave the name "New Hampshire" to his large tracts of land. In 1622, he and Sir Ferdinando Gorges founded the Company of Laconia to support colonization and development of Mason's holdings

With the widespread advent of railroads after the Civil War, competition from midwest farmers reduced the demand for produce from New Hampshire. In spite of agricultural reverses, however, New Hampshire's rural areas were not without options. In the late 1800s, New Hampshire turned to commercial logging. Logging railroads were built into once-inaccessible forests. Meanwhile, urban areas around Boston and Portland needed daily shipments of perishable foods. By 1870, New Hampshire's railroad network was largely complete, and farmers near the various rail depots found a ready market for dairy and poultry products, as well as fresh fruit. The same railroads that brought produce to Boston and Portland also brought tourists from those urban centers. New Hampshire's natural splendors attracted artists, poets and writers, scientists, and a host of curious sightseers throughout the 1800s. Tourists came from all over the United States and Europe.






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