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Lake Winnipesaukee Villages & Marinas

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Mt. View Yacht Club | Winnipesaukee | Gilford, NH
Mt. View Yacht Club | Winnipesaukee | Gilford, NH

Nestled at the foothills of the New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Lake Winnipesaukee is surrounded by stunning mountain views. Around the lake, pockets of remote wilderness are punctuated with villages and marinas offering everything an active family could need for a great vacation. Read more about the lake's villages, marinas, and accommodations here.

Wolfeboro Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Wolfeboro Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

At 21 miles long, Lake Winnipesaukee is large. There are five areas where many of the rental properties are located (Alton Bay / Gilford, Weirs Beach / Paugus Bay, Meredith, Center Harbor, and Wolfeboro). Each has its own personality. Our post includes the information you need to decide which of the villages has the right personality for you, and help you find a marina to suit your needs.

Lake Winnipesaukee Villages & Marinas At-A-Glance
Click on Table of Contents for a Carousel of Photos

For more information on traveling to New Hampshire read our articles on:

Mill Falls Marketplace | Meredith, NH
Mill Falls Marketplace | Meredith, NH

LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE TRAVEL TIPS


WHERE TO STAY: Along Winnipesaukee’s rocky shores and islands, there are tiny cottages that have been in the same families for generations as well as brand new million-dollar mansions for rent. There are also loads of hotels, motels, and condos. Here are the 5 major areas that properties congregate around:

Cottages on Alton Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Cottages on Alton Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Alton Bay / Gilford:

Part of the town of Alton, the bay is a 4-mile-long cove. It has a small village and marina. There are few small shops and restaurants. Lots of families love this lowkey area.


The town of Gilford has Gunstock Resort, great hiking, malls, and miles of shoreline with properties for rent. However, there is no village along the lake. There are large grocery stores, chain stores, and restaurants in this area. Hiking on the Belknap Mountain Range is close by, as is Ellocoya State Park with a large sandy beach.

In this area, you find many camps, houses, condos, hotels, and motels for rent along the shore, in nearby associations, and on the hills of Gunstock mountain.

Alton Bandstand & Gilford Docks  | Winnipesaukee
Alton Bandstand & Gilford Docks | Winnipesaukee

Weirs Beach / Paugus Bay:

These areas are part of the city of Laconia. They are busy, happening locations, where people go to ‘see and be seen.’


Weirs Beach has a large public beach and boat docks. There is also ample parking for cars. The Boulevard is lined by a boardwalk and pier. Trips on the M/S Mount Washington and Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad pass through the location. There are restaurants, bars, arcades, souvenir shops, a drive-in, and marinas in the area.

Weirs Beach | Lake Winnipesaukee | Laconia, NH
Weirs Beach | Lake Winnipesaukee | Laconia, NH

Paugus Bay attaches to the lake on a short tributary next to Weirs Beach. It is fun to stand on the bridge between the two bodies of water and watch the antique boats, cigarette boats, and jet skis pass by.


Fun-seekers will love this area. There are many large hotels, motels, resorts, and condos on the lake, and in the surrounding hills.

Paugus Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee | Laconia, NH
Paugus Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee | Laconia, NH

Meredith:

Meredith is a major resort town that sits upon a pretty harbor. Many of its historic buildings have been renovated into upscale dining and shopping venues giving the area a distinctive personality and charm.


There are large town docks, a park overlooking the bay, and waterside dining. The Mill Falls complex includes 4 hotels, with attached fine dining and shops scattered throughout town.

Meredith Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH
Meredith Bay | Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Behind the hotel, there is a small, interesting Main Street and the Hermit Woods Winery. Lake front Hesky Park hosts many free concerts and festivals. There are also several commercial developments with a large grocery store and movie theatre in town.


In Meredith, you will find many hotel rooms at the Mill Falls complex. Away from town there a large number of cottages and homes for weekly and monthly rental. There are also motels scattered along the road ways.

Mill Falls Church Landing | Meredith, NH
Mill Falls Church Landing | Meredith, NH

Center Harbor:

Center Harbor is a small village north of Meredith. In the village there are several shops including a grocery and hardware store. You will also find a number of take-out and small dine-in restaurants. There is a public beach, playground, and dock facility close to the village green.


In this low key, family-friendly area there is one beachside, upscale hotel. There are also many cottages, homes for rent, and nearby motel rooms.

Speedboat |Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Speedboat |Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Wolfeboro:

Along the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, the town of Wolfeboro is distinguished as being the oldest summer resort in the country (dating back to the 1700s!). There is a lovely main street with upscale shops. The harbor boast a lakeshore park with a gazebo and benches, large town docks, and great views. There is a nice assortment of fine dining and take-out establishments.

Main Street | Wolfeboro, New Hampshire
Main Street | Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

Like Meredith, Wolfeboro is a four-season resort town with year-round shopping, dining, and busy accommodations. In and nearby the village, you will find a number of fine inns and resorts. There are also a large number of motel rooms, cottages, and house for weekly and monthly rental.


HELPFUL LODGING WEBSITES:


Go to https://www.visitnh.gov/places-to-stay/hotels-motels and https://www.lakesregion.org/stay/cabins-cottages-condos-motels/ to search for condo, hotel, and motel rooms. Expect to pay extra for lakeside accommodations in high season.


For vacation rental companies try At the Lake Vacation Rentals or Bayside Rentals for weekly or monthly cottages and houses for rent. We have had good experiences with both of these agencies.

Cate Park & Public Docks | Wolfeboro, NH
Cate Park & Public Docks | Wolfeboro, NH

ACCOMMODATIONS QUICK GUIDE:


Hotel Room: If you are looking lake-side, best bets are Meredith Bay, Wolfeboro Bay, and Center Harbor. Other non-lakeside rooms available throughout the region. Daily rentals.

Motel/Single Room Cottage: Located throughout the region. Daily rentals.

Condos: Look in Weirs Beach/Paugus Bay and Gilford regions. Usually weekly rentals.

Cottages/Houses: Many choices along the rim of the lake and in nearby neighborhoods. Area around Alton Bay/Gilford/Weirs Beach tends to be more developed. Areas around Center Harbor/Moultonborough/Tuftonboro more remote. Meredith and Wolfeboro in-between. Usually rented by week or by month.

Public Docks | Wolfeboro | Lake Winnipesaukee
Public Docks | Wolfeboro | Lake Winnipesaukee

BOATING: There is no better way to explore Lake Winnipesaukee than out on it!


Marinas: There are marinas scattered around the lake. Many offer boat and jet skis rental, and gas. Of these some will offer delivery to your rental property. For a fee, some marinas offer day or weekly docking, and/or will let you put in and take out. If you plan on bringing or renting a boat or jet ski from a marina it is best to have a reservation. Here are a few well-established marinas in the area:

  • Goodhue Boat Company – Meredith & Wolfeboro (603) 569-2371

  • Lanes End Marina Services Department – Melvin Village (603) 544-2000

  • Melvin Village Marina – Melvin Village (603) 544-3583

  • Meredith Marina & Boating Company – Meredith (603) 279-7921

  • Mountain View Yacht Club – Gilford (603) 293-0059

  • Parker Marine – Alton Bay (603) 875-2600

  • Paugus Bay Marina – Laconia (603) 534-1233

  • Trexler’s Marina – Moultonborough (603) 253-7315

  • West Alton Marina – Alton Bay (603) 875-7788

  • Wolfeboro Corinthian Yacht Club – Wolfeboro (603) 515-9914

Lee's Mill Boat Launch | Moultonborough, NH
Lee's Mill Boat Launch | Moultonborough, NH

Public Launches:


There are a number of public boat launches around the lake. Go to LakeWinnipesaukee.net for a listing of launches. Note, many launch sites have limited day parking. If you are bringing a boat, plan to put in / take out at the public launch and park at your accommodations.


Enjoy the lake, Laura and Randy

For more information on traveling to New Hampshire read our articles on:



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