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The Lakes Region:
Major Towns

.....Along Lake Winnipesaukee

Photo of Town in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire
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Major Towns




How to Get Here

Activities & Attractions



Covered Bridges & Scenic Drives

Campgrounds & State Parks

Lakes / Boating / Marinas

Tour & Guide Services

... Chambers of Commerce

Laconia/Weirs Beach

Laconia is the Lake Region's principal city. As well as serving as the area's retail hub, it also is the home of various artistic, dramatic, and historic exhibits and performances throughout the year. Laconia's restored Belknap Mill is one of the town's chief attractions, staging many cultural programs for the public. Laconia can be found at the intersection of Routes 3 and 11, along the southwestern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Weirs Beach, Laconia's northern neighbor, is located along Route 3 on the western shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. This popular resort town features a large number of waterparks, arcades, recreation centers, and family attractions. The town hosts fireworks, parades, concerts, and many special events throughout the summer and the year, and is a good place to make the kids happy. Other attractions in town include train rides, cruise boats, and a beautiful sandy beach stretching along the big lake. Weirs Beach also has more motels and cottages than any other village in the Lakes Region. This town is the biggest hub for vacationers and fun seekers alike, and has enough attraction to keep visitors busy for days and great bed and breakfast lodging choices.

Wolfeboro/Wolfeboro Falls

Another of the major cities in the Lakes Region, Wolfeboro has a classic New England-style downtown area, complete with church steeples, specialty shops, quaint homes, lovely restaurants, and the campus of the Brewster Academy. The town sits along a corner of Lake Winnipesaukee known as Wolfeboro Bay, and has its fair share of marinas, beaches, and even a yacht club. The town is home to Wentworth State Park, which has a public beach and an archaeological site. A decent share of the shops, restaurants, and attractions of the Lakes Region is to be found in this town, as well as a tour guide service, and The Laker, one of the region's local newspapers, headquartered in Wolfeboro Falls. While Wolfeboro doesn't have quite as many motels and cottages as Weirs Beach, it has more overall lodging options than any other town in the region, when motels, cottages, inns, and vacation rentals are all collectively considered. Special events are held in town throughout the year, including concerts during the summer. Wolfeboro can be reached on Routes 28/109 on the southeastern side of Winnipesaukee, directly across the lake from Weirs Beach and Laconia.


Gilford lies a little to the east of Laconia, on the southern side of Lake Winnipesaukee. The town is home to Gunstock, the Lake Region's major alpine and Nordic ski area, which also stages events and programs throughout the year. Gilford also features the beautiful Ellacoya state park, with its lakeside beach and RV camping areas. If you enjoy hiking, Gilford is a good place to visit, as it is home to a variety of trails that wind through the countryside. There are also plenty of resorts, cottages, and restaurants here, as well as the Laconia Municipal airport.

Alton Bay

Alton Bay sits at the very southeastern tip of Lake Winnipesaukee, where a narrow finger extends down from the main body of the lake. This charming town features a boat launch, public beach, and a unique on-the-water bandstand. Community events are hosted here throughout the summer, including a barbershop concert and an Old Home Week packed with activities. Nearby Mt. Major, to the north of town, has breathtaking views of the region from its summit at 1,780 feet, and is a good excuse for an invigorating hike or bike ride. Alton Bay and environs is wedged between Routes 28 and 11.

Center Harbor/Moultonboro

Center Harbor and Moultonboro rest on the northern side of the big lake and are accessible on Route 25. These quiet country towns have plenty of peaceful lodging options; inns, cottages, and motels. There is also a marina and a small airport, from which scenic flights can be booked to get a bird's eye view of the Lakes Region. The area also features North America's largest quilt shop, Keepsake Quilting, and the resort area of Castle Springs, with its "Castle in the Clouds" and miles of horseback riding and hiking trails. Guided tours of Center Harbor can even be booked here through a special guide service.

Melvin Village/Tuftonboro

Along the eastern edge of Lake Winnipesaukee, these towns can be reached by following Routes 109 or 171. Abenaki Tower, in Melvin Village, reveals beautiful views of the lakes and the western slopes of the circular Ossipee mountain range. Antiques and quaint cottages abound in these towns, as well as a marina.


Meredith is set on the northwest side of Winnipesaukee, along Routes 25 and 104. The town also encompasses the smaller lakes of Waukewan and Wickwas. Meredith features such attractions as a marketplace and inn spanning an old millrace, plenty of lakefront space, docks, and boat launches. The town also has a large number of galleries, museums, public parks, campgrounds, golf courses, theaters, and plenty of specialty shops.

Other Areas of the Lakes Region

Newfound Lake and environs

Newfound Lake lies at the western side of the Lakes Region, and can be reached by following Route 104 to 3A from the Weirs Beach area. Wellington State Park occupies the western shore of Newfound Lake, and features a beach, boat landing, and places for fishing and swimming. The surrounding towns of Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Hebron all are quaint and unspoiled, with lovely cottages, motels, and fine restaurants. Ragged Mountain ski center lies a little to the west in Danbury, and natural preserves abound for walking and hiking.

Plymouth, New Hampshire, lies north of Newfound Lake, close to I-93. This college town features caves open for tours, collegiate sports events, motels, restaurants, and cultural events all year long. Nearby Rumney has hiking trails in the Baker Valley. Waterville Valley is located north of Plymouth and features areas for mountain biking and skiing, as well as plenty of lodging.

Squam Lake Area

Squam Lake is the very same lake as featured in the film, "On Golden Pond." To commemorate this, there are guided boat tours available across this pristine lake. Holderness and Ashland are the two main towns on Squam Lake, complete with many lovely cottages, restaurants, inns, and a covered bridge over the Squam River. The Science Center of New Hampshire is located in Holderness, and features a huge wildlife trail where you can see all varieties of animals living in their natural habitats while undergoing physical rehabilitation. Squam Lake lies to the northwest of Winnipesaukee and can be reached by following Route 3/25 North from Weirs Beach.

See list of Chambers of Commerce

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