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Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

The Largest Lake in New Hampshire

The Native American word for Winnipesaukee translates to “smile of the great spirit” or “beautiful water in a high place.” It is fitting!

Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding area, known as the Lakes Region, is a wonderful place to visit. The area is a year-round ideal vacation region and there is an abundance of activities. Every day can be a new adventure.

For example, a scenic cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee is an excellent way to enjoy the stunning beauty of the New Hampshire Lakes Region. Water cruises are available from Mount Washington Cruises as they offer a wide variety of daytime, sunset and specialty cruises. Guests can choose a cruise that includes a romantic dinner, a serene Sunday brunch or a fun dance party. All cruises have the amazing views of the crystal clear water and the three surrounding mountain ranges.

Below are some towns in the Lakes Region that are worth a visit. 

Alton, New Hampshire

Alton is located on Alton Bay, a 4-mile-long cove of Lake Winnipesaukee which forms the southernmost point on the lake. The village is part of the Lakes Region. MS Mount Washington and its predecessor ships on Lake Winnipesaukee have made Alton Bay a stop since 1872.

The population is 5,267 and Alton is in Belknap County. It has a rural feel to it and most residents own their homes. In Alton, there are a lot of coffee shops and parks. Many retirees live in Alton and residents tend to lean conservative. The public schools in Alton are above average.

Laconia, New Hampshire

First explored in the 1620s, Laconia was, for many years, part of Meredith and Gilford and known as Meredith Bridge. Early explorers had hoped to follow the Piscataqua River north to Lake Champlain, in search of the great lakes and rivers of Canada told of in Indian lore. These explorers were known as the Laconia Adventurers.

The city was incorporated in 1893 and today Laconia includes the villages of Lakeport and Weirs Beach. “Weirs” is the name of primitive fishing devices discovered at the outlet of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Laconia, situated between Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake, includes the villages of Lakeport and Weirs Beach. Each June for nine days beginning on the Saturday of the weekend before Father’s Day and ending on Father’s Day, the city hosts Laconia Motorcycle Week, also more simply known as ‘bike week’, one of the country’s largest rallies, and each winter, the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.

The community of Laconia is also the site of the state’s annual Pumpkin Festival since 2015.

Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding lakes area communities offer vacationers an opportunity to ski some of the finest powder in New England, snowmobile across miles of well-maintained trails, camp at some of the most beautiful wilderness settings, and boat on our many pristine lakes.

Enjoy nature camping or find a lodge, chalet, condo, or house rental. There really is no better place to spend time with family and friends. Right now, whichever the season outside our window, there are countless adventures awaiting you in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.