Located in the heart of New England, Lake Winnipesaukee near Gilford, New Hampshire, is a tranquil retreat that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventure. 

This destination is ideal for nature lovers and thrill-seekers with its crystal-clear waters, stunning scenery, and diverse recreational activities. Whether you’re looking to go boating, fishing, hiking, or simply relaxing on the beach, Lake Winnipesaukee has something for everyone.

Fun Facts About Lake Winnipesaukee

  • Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It’s approximately 21 miles long and from 1 to 9 miles wide.
  • The lake contains at least 264 islands, half less than a quarter-acre in size. Imagine having your private island for a day!
  • The center area of the lake is called The Broads. It’s like a giant natural swimming pool!
  • Winnipesaukee means “smile of the Great Spirit” or “beautiful water in a high place.” That’s quite poetic, isn’t it?
  • The lake is home to many species of animals, including otters, beaver, muskrats, mink, fishers, moose, deer, black bears, coyotes, and bobcats. Keep an eye out for these creatures during your visit!

Endless Recreation at Lake Winnipesaukee

Spanning over 72 miles, this expansive lake offers opportunities for boating enthusiasts, kayakers, and even paddleboarders. 

Embark on an exploration of the hidden coves with your paddle. Rent a boat to cruise the tranquil waters while taking in the awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains.

Lake Winnipesaukee is teeming with fish species, including trout, bass, and salmon. Cast your line. See if you can reel in the day’s catch while enjoying the sun-drenched shores.

For those craving excitement and adventure on the water, take advantage of thrilling water sports like water skiing and tubing. Experience the exhilaration as you glide across the water, feeling the wind in your hair and laughter filling the air. 

For a slower pace, step aboard a sailboat and let the gentle breeze carry you away to a state of pure bliss. As you navigate through the crystal waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, you’ll encounter an abundance of beauty.

The lake is encompassed by forests, creating a backdrop for aquatic escapades. Keep a lookout for wildlife since this area is home to various bird species like ospreys and bald eagles. You might even catch sight of a loon gracefully gliding across the water’s surface or witness an otter playfully diving beneath it.

The Beaches of Lake Winnipesaukee 

When it’s time to take a break from the water activities, stroll along the beaches that hug the lake’s shores. Feel the sand between your toes as you bask in the sun and listen to the gentle sound of waves lapping against them. Bring a picnic and relish a meal with your loved ones amidst nature’s breathtaking beauty.

Tourist Picks of the Top Beaches on Lake Winnipesaukee

Waukewan Beach: This beach is a great choice for those with disabilities, as it is fully accessible and provides shaded picnic tables and a bathhouse. It is open for visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Weirs Beach: This beach is a great spot for families with small children as it has shallow waters ideal for wading. It’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing and also offers a playground for children, a bathhouse, and picnic tables. The beach is open to visitors from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Albee Beach: This beach is the perfect place to relax and swim. You’ll have everything you need for a great day with a long shoreline, picnic tables, restrooms, and a concession stand. Plus, there’s plenty of parking available.

Ellacoya State Park: Check out this great spot on Lake Winnipesaukee! Swim in the large sandy beach overlooking the broads, enjoy the breeze, and take advantage of the RV park with 38 campsites, a bathhouse, a store, and a picnic area. All this for a very reasonable price!

Endicott Park: Looking for a popular swimming spot around Lake Winnipesaukee? Look no further than the Weirs Channel! This small but bustling area connects Paugus Bay with the larger part of the lake and is conveniently located near the boardwalk, where you can find plenty of entertainment and food options. Don’t forget to grab a souvenir before you leave!

Local Attractions

For those who appreciate history, make sure to visit Lake Winnipesaukee Museum. Immerse yourself in exhibits and displays that showcase the heritage of the lake and its surrounding communities.

Explore the captivating narratives of the tribes that once inhabited this region and the early pioneers who shaped its rich history. Develop an understanding of the significance of Lake Winnipesaukee and its pivotal role in the region’s evolution.

Dining Around Lake Winnipesaukee

After a day filled with thrilling adventures and discoveries, treat yourself to a dining experience at one of the charming waterfront restaurants adorn the shoreline. Delight in savoring seafood, succulent steaks, and heavenly desserts while relishing lake views. Immerse yourself in the flavors unique to this area. Raise a toast to a fulfilling day spent in this haven.

Our Top 5  Favorite Restaurants in the Area

  1. Nolans Brick Oven Bistro: Located at 39 N Main St, Wolfeboro, NH, 03894. It has a rating of 4.0 with 270 reviews.
  2. O Bistro at The Inn on Main: Located at 200 N Main St, Wolfeboro, NH, 03894. It has a rating of 4.4 with 174 reviews.
  3. Bailey’s Bubble: Located on Railroad Avenue, it’s 4.3 miles from Lake Winnipesaukee and is known for its incredible ice cream.
  4. Patrick’s Pub & Eatery: Located at 18 Weirs Rd, it’s 5.9 miles from Lake Winnipesaukee and offers American, Irish, Bar, and Pub cuisines.
  5. Jon’s Roast Beef & Deli: Located at 1367 Union Ave, it’s 8.4 miles from Lake Winnipesaukee and offers American, Deli, and Soups cuisines.

Taking a Cruise on the M/S Mount Washington

Embark on a journey aboard the M/S Mount Washington to truly grasp the magnificence of Lake Winnipesaukee. This grand vessel has gracefully sailed these waters since 1872, offering visitors a perspective on its beauty.

Step aboard. Prepare for a voyage as you glide along the glistening lake. Unwind on the sun-drenched deck and soak up vistas. Let the gentle sounds of water wash away your worries. As you traverse the lake, listen as our captain shares captivating tales from history, creating an informative expedition. Make sure to treat yourself to the cuisine onboard the M/S Mount Washington. Whether you prefer a dinner cruise or a relaxed lunch outing, you’ll have a range of dining options. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes while taking in the surroundings.

Once the M/S Mount Washington sets sail, you’ll encounter the awe-inspiring beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee. The lake’s crystal clear waters stretch out as far as the eye can see, perfectly mirroring the blue sky above. The surrounding mountains, adorned with forests, create a stunning backdrop against which peace and tranquility thrive.

Keep your eyes peeled during your cruise for the wildlife that calls Lake Winnipesaukee home. From loons gracefully gliding across the water’s surface to otters playing in and out, there’s always something fascinating to behold. Bird enthusiasts will be captivated by bald eagles soaring overhead with their wings spread wide against the canvas of blue sky.

As your journey unfolds, you’ll be enchanted by stories from our captain about Lake Winnipesaukee’s history. Discover tales about tribes that once inhabited this area and brave pioneers who ventured into untamed wilderness to establish thriving communities.

Uncover the tales and folklore handed down through generations, adding an element of mystery and fascination to the captivating surroundings.

For those looking for an experience, the M/S Mount Washington offers themed cruises tailored to specific interests. From wine and cheese tastings to live music performances, there is something to suit everyone’s preferences. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an era during the Jazz Age Cruise, where you can sway to the rhythm of a jazz band and savor classic cocktails.

As the sun begins its descent, casting a hue over the lake, the M/S Mount Washington docks again. Reluctantly, you step off the boat with tranquility and contentment from a journey just experienced. The memories of awe-inspiring vistas, delectable cuisine, and captivating narratives will linger after departing Lake Winnipesaukee shores.

Top Golf Clubs on Lake Winnipesaukee

Here are some top golf clubs near Lake Winnipesaukee:

  • Lake Winnipesaukee Golf Club: This is a private, 18-hole championship golf course designed by Clive Clark, a golf course architect and one of Britain’s greatest golf legends. The club is located at 1 Lake Winnipesaukee Dr, New Durham, NH, 038551. It has a rating of 4.4 with 147 reviews.
  • Kingswood Golf Club: This is a semi-private, classic Donald Ross (18 hole – par 72) championship course located at 24 Kingswood Rd, Wolfeboro, NH, 038942. It has a rating of 4.3 with 111 reviews.

Castle in the Clouds and Lakeside Beauty

Perched above Lake Winnipesaukee lies Castle in the Clouds—a must-see attraction that offers a glimpse into luxury from days gone by. This enchanting estate provides views of both the lake and mountainscape—a utopia for photographers.

As soon as you step onto the Castle in the Clouds grounds, you are instantly transported to a time of grandeur and sophistication. With its towers and intricate design, this castle stands as a testament to the craftsmanship of a forgotten era. Every corner of the estate is rich with history and allure, encouraging visitors to explore and unravel its hidden treasures.

Take a stroll through the kept gardens, where vibrant flowers burst forth in an array of colors. The fragrance of roses fills the air as butterflies gracefully flutter from one blossom to another. The maintained lawns create a setting for a romantic walk or peaceful contemplation.

Step inside the castle. Be whisked away into the past. The restored interiors display the opulence and luxury that once graced these halls. Marvel at the woodwork, ornate chandeliers, and exquisite artwork adorning every wall. Each room narrates a story inviting you to imagine the lives led by those who once called this place their home.

After your enchanting adventure, descend to the lakeside and immerse yourself in nature’s breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. Lake Winnipesaukee stretches before you, its pristine waters mirroring the sky above.

For those seeking adventure, swim in the waters of the lake. Feel your body enveloped by its inviting coolness as you glide through, leaving behind all your worries. The lake offers opportunities for water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and fishing. There’s something for everyone.

As daylight wanes, find a spot to sit and witness the sun gracefully descending over the lake. The sky transforms into an awe-inspiring display of oranges, pinks, and purples that cast a glow upon the water. It’s a moment—a reminder of nature’s exquisite beauty.

The Castle in the Clouds, paired with Lake Winnipesaukee charm, is a combination that allows you to delve into history while connecting with nature.

Whether interested in history, enjoy capturing moments through photography, or simply crave tranquility, this captivating destination will leave a mark on your heart.

Year-round Excursions in the Lakes Region


Don’t be deceived by the idea that summer’s the ideal time to visit Lake Winnipesaukee. The Lakes Region offers abundant activities throughout all seasons, ensuring you can relish this lakeside paradise no matter when you call.


During autumn, the landscape transforms as vibrant foliage paints a mesmerizing tapestry of colors. Embark on a drive along the shores of the lake. Immerse yourself in a breathtaking spectacle of reds, oranges, and yellows. As you navigate winding roads, glimpses of towns nestled amidst trees will enchant your senses. 

Make a stop at a farm stand. Savor a cup of hot cider from freshly picked apples thriving in this region. The crisp air and the picturesque fall foliage create a setting for capturing cherished memories with your camera. 


Once winter arrives, Lake Winnipesaukee becomes an exhilarating playground for snow enthusiasts. Gear up with skis or snowboards. Get out on the slopes at one of the ski resorts.

The soft, powdery snow and meticulously maintained trails create conditions for skiing or snowboarding on the mountain. 

Suppose you’re looking for a winter activity; put on your ice skates and gracefully glide across the frozen lake. The ice is incredibly smooth and precise, providing an experience as you effortlessly slide over its glistening surface. For those seeking adventure, give ice fishing a try. 

And, if you’re into ice fishing, prepare your fishing equipment. Patiently wait for a nibble beneath the depths. It’s a thrilling way to catch dinner surrounded by the peaceful winter landscape.


As spring arrives, the region bursts with blossoming flowers and the soothing sounds of nature. Experience the rejuvenation of the landscape as you embark on a hike through the forests that encircle the lake.

If being on the water is more your style, sail across Lake Winnipesaukee’s tranquil waters. Feel the breeze against your face as you navigate through waves, taking in breathtaking views of nearby mountains. Spring offers an opportunity to reconnect with nature and embrace the tranquility of this lakeside retreat.

Experiencing All that Lake Winnipesaukee Has to Offer

Whether you’re searching for water sports, enchanting cruises, castles, or year-round adventures, Lake Winnipesaukee offers it all. 

Let this captivating lakeside gem capture your heart just as it has captivated visitors before you. The stunning beauty and irresistible charm of the Lakes Region will leave you in awe. 

The memories forged here will be cherished for a lifetime. Don’t hesitate any longer; start planning your visit to Lake Winnipesaukee today.

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