Reporting Dan Rea
For a budget-friendly escape from Boston, few one-tank trips beat a day at Lake Winnipesaukee. Spend time on the beach, enjoy dining and shopping, stroll the apple orchards, or hike the nearby trails, but don’t miss out on this perfect day trip right near home. The views of the lake are spectacular, and outdoor activities abound, making this New Hampshire getaway a must.
A drive up I-93 with a connection to Route 3 will take you through Laconia to the Weirs Beach section of Lake Winnipesaukee in about two hours. An alternate route up I-95 with a left onto Route 16 and a connection to Route 11 and then Route 28 will take you into Wolfeboro Bay, again, in about two hours. Both rides are just more than 100 miles, and either is a great choice for scenic views of New Hampshire.
Laconia, NH 03246
Weirs Beach is the busiest and most well known of the Lake Winnipesaukee beaches. A boardwalk runs the full length of the beach, giving easy access to the docks, as well as views of the mountains and the lake. Just a short walk from the boardwalk, enjoy penny arcades, bumper cars and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. After a long day in the sun, cool off at the Weirs Beach Waterslide, where the sliders pass around and through a giant volcano.
Morrissey’s Front Porch
286 S. Main St.
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
This casual, family restaurant serves up fresh, homemade food with a taste for every palate. Dishes range from salads to pasta to chicken, and everything in between. Seafood lovers should try the two-pound lobster, fresh from the chemical-free ocean tank. Dine comfortably knowing this green restaurant recycles, works to reduce water consumption and never uses styrofoam. Visit its sister venue, Club 59 on the grounds of the Kingswood Golf Club for specialties including the lobster grilled cheese and tomato, or stuffed turkey sandwiches.
Lakeside Boat Rentals
Route 11 D
Alton Bay, NH 03810
Price: $125 Sea Doo rental per hour/click here for boat rental prices
A trip to Lake Winnipesaukee is not complete without a cruise on the water. Rent a boat or a jet ski to take a tour of the lake you’ll never forget. Before you head out, get a navigation chart to show where the buoys and shallow water are. They also show where to avoid rocks, and where the public docks and beaches are. Boat back and forth across the lake, sail around the islands or stop at the beaches along the way.
4 N. Main St.
Wolfeboro, NH 03894
Price: $30 one-tank dives on Fridays (rental gear included in price)/$60 wreck charter dives on Sundays, two dives on two wrecks $60 Sunday/$450 open water dive certification plus gear
This scuba gear store will provide everything you need for your adventures on the lake. It also offers a variety of scuba training courses and lake charters for those who would like to see the most popular dive sites. After stocking up on equipment, browse the other Main Street shops, including Black’s, Hampshire Pewter and The Straw Cellar. Find a wide variety of gifts, food and local goods at these dockside shops.
Lake Winnipesaukee Museum
503 Endicott St.
Laconia, NH 03246
Price: $10 optional yearly membership
The Lake Winnipesaukee Museum aims to preserve the history and heritage of the local area with exhibits for any visitor. Its collections include “Souvenirs From the Past,” “The Steamboat Era” and “Summer Camps on Lake Winnipesaukee.” Learn the history of the local towns and the changing ways Americans have spent their summer vacations here. The museum itself is a historical landmark that represents the hospitality that is so vital to the area.
Kim Vareika is the owner of Vareika Personal Training and Yoga in Plainville. She has been in the fitness industry for over ten years, and believes that wellness is about more than just physical health. When she is not teaching, practicing, or writing, she resides in Bridgewater where she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her nephew Caesar. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.