scenery in Meredith, New Hampshire, on Lake Winnipesaukee

A mere two-hour drive north of Boston lies the gorgeous Lake Winnipesaukee region. Lake Winnipesaukee offers snowy slopes in winter, invigorating hikes in the spring, sun-drenched beaches and water sports during the summer, and vibrant foliage each autumn. It’s a challenge for our family to decide on the best season to visit Winnipesaukee — we are year-round lake-life enthusiasts! 

Where to stay

Our family of five typically rents a house or a condo when we travel — our standbys are Airbnb and VRBO. Lake Winnipesaukee spans eight charming cities, offering plenty of rental options. Meredith and Laconia are convenient locations to stay in for easy access to the lake, mountains, restaurants, and shopping. If you prefer a hotel, Mill Falls at the Lake is a great option. Centrally located in Meredith, Mill Falls is within walking distance to restaurants and shops, and it offers water sports activities and stunning lakefront views.

What to do

There is no shortage of outdoor activities in and around Lake Winnipesaukee. Visit Castle in the Clouds and experience a mountaintop mansion built in 1913. The property boasts an array of wildlife, hiking and walking trails, waterfalls, scenic paths, and Shannon Pond (a man-made pond home to many friendly ducks and trout).

Explore Mount Major for a family-friendly hike with incredible panoramic lake and White Mountains views. Mount Major is a 3.6-mile loop with some steep sections but accommodates all levels of hikers.

Weirs Beach is Lake Winnipesaukee’s most popular beach and is more than just a spot to relax, swim, and picnic. The activities and attractions at Weirs Beach include the scenic railroad and cruises on the M/S Mt. Washington. Both offer an exciting way for the kids to explore the lake along with spectacular views. Weirs Beach also includes a drive-in theater and the boardwalk to Winnipesaukee Pier for arcade games, food, ice cream, and shopping.

Be sure to visit the Old Country Store & Museum. This classic country store has been open for more than 200 years. The store is filled with a penny candy section full of nostalgia and sweets, local jams and syrups, and toys, antiques, and New Hampshire souvenirs.

Where to eat

Many restaurants in the Lake Winnipesaukee region are family focused. Indulge in summertime nostalgia at Camp — think buttermilk fried chicken with s’mores for dessert! You’ll feel like you’ve walked into a throwback summer camp with delicious food and a campside vibe. 

Twin Barns Brewing Company offers a fun, casual, and delicious experience for the whole family to enjoy. Dine in the outdoor beer garden or head inside to eat in the barn — be sure to grab one of their board games to play while you wait for your food.

Giuseppe’s Pizzeria & Ristorante is a family favorite. You can grab a pizza for a picnic by the lake or enjoy delicious Italian cuisine with live music inside their comfy and inviting atmosphere.

After you’ve filled up on a delicious meal, you may want to stop for dessert. Visit Kellerhaus and experience the legacy of New Hampshire’s oldest ice cream, candy, and chocolate maker. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to create your own sundae masterpiece at the make-your-own sundae bar. For candy lovers, try Lee’s Candy Kitchen for chocolates, fudge, and just about every candy you could wish for!

Torry Katsiroubas Stamm
Torry grew up in Needham where she currently lives with her husband and three children. Torry earned her BA in Communications from Boston College and her MBA from University of Massachusetts, Boston. Torry returns to UMASS Boston every year as a guest lecturer and enjoys being back on campus to work with students. Torry is the 4th generation co‐owner of her family food distribution business, Katsiroubas Bros. Torry took the helm of her family business alongside her brother Ted after their father Nick passed away from ALS in 2013 in honor of whom she founded the Nick Katsiroubas Foundation. The mission of the Nick Katsiroubas Foundation is to continue her father’s legacy of giving with its current mission to support food insecurity in the community. In 2022, Torry Co-Founded, Morrissey Market a local co-packer for various grocery and food as medicine programs. Torry is passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs, especially women and students, to start small businesses and bring products to market. Torry serves on the Massachusetts Food Policy Council and also on the Advisory Board for the Beth Israel Hospital in Needham. Torry enjoys spending time outdoors with her family - and taking time for herself to practice yoga, meditate and write. Torry never leaves home without a good book in her bag!