Laconia is the largest city on Lake Winnipesaukee, where just under 16,000 people reside. It's also probably the most well known city, due to its annual hosting of the worlds oldest motorcycle rally each June. Tucked up in the northern corner of the city bordering Meredith to the west and Gilford to the east sits Weirs Beach. There, you'll be treated to arcades and attractions, and not to mention stunning views across the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee to the Ossipee mountains in the distance. Weirs Beach is the home port of the Mt. Washington cruise line.
Wolfeboro is located on the northeastern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, and is the spot for peace and quiet, relaxing, and enjoying that quaint small town atmosphere. From the town docks, you can enjoy impressive vistas across the lake looking towards the Belknap mountains. You've probably heard Wolfeboro referred to as "The oldest summer resort in America," and this claim to fame is true. People have been coming to Wolfeboro for over 200 years, following in the footsteps of colonial governor John Wentworth, who built a summer home there.
Meredith is home to the Mill Falls Marketplace, boasting numerous shops filled with gifts and foods and everything in between. It's the ultimate in that quaint small town New England'y feel. For the non-shopping type, a casual stroll along Meredith Bay in Hesky Park is as relaxing as a deep massage and when you add in the scenery, it just doesn't get much better. You'll find some of the Lakes Regions most upscale lodging accommodations here in Meredith, and many of the rooms feature a view of the lake.
Gilford has gained nation-wide name recognition due to the explosive growth of Meadowbrook. While the Lakes Region may not seem like the most likely place you'd expect to find music's biggest stars, Medowbrook has consistently netted a summer concert series that is laced with headliners. Past performers have included Blues Traveler, Alan Jackson, Meatloaf, Kiss, John Mayer, Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and other performers like Bill Cosby and the Boston Pops. Gilford is located along the southwest side of the lake and offers great views along Route 11.
Tilton is the undisputed shopping capital of the Lakes Region. Once just a town that people passed through to get someplace else,Tilton has become a destination that attracts people from hundreds of miles away. With over fifty of the most popular department stores at the Tanger Outles, there is enough shopping in Tilton to keep you busy for months.
Holderness is a sleepy little town best known for Squam Lake, but chances are a certian hit movie from many years ago has you thinking it's called Golden Pond. Squam Lake is one of the Lakes Region's most beautiful and pristine lakes, boasting a large loon population. The Squam Lake Natural Science Center also makes its home here, and if you've never had a chance to see a bear, bobcat, deer, fox, otter, eagles and several others, this place is a must.
Alton Bay with a population of about 3,500 year round residents, sits at the southernmost tip of Lake Winnipesaukee in the far eastern side of the Lakes Region. The M/V Mount Washington makes several cruises all the way down the bay, providing a convenient and scenic way for visitors to see the sights. Alton Bay's scenery and lengthy list of things for visitors to do has made it a popular stop for those visiting the Lakes Region. The town’s boundary envelopes the five-mile long Alton Bay, southeastern point of Lake Winnipesaukee, and the largest islands in the southeast end of the lake. Alton’s nearly 20 miles of inland water area is the highest among the cities and towns in New Hampshire.
Center Harbor has a meager population of just slightly over 1000, making it one of the smallest Lakes Region towns. Located at Lake Winnipesaukee's northwestern tip and nestled near the foot of Red Hill, Center, or "Centre" Harbor became an independent town in 1823. Center Harbor gets its name from two sources: from its location, centered between Meredith and Moultonborough, and also for the Senter family, who were owners of a large amount of property in the area. From the town docks and beach, you can enjoy amazing views down the length of the lake.
Moultonborough with it's population of just over 3,000, is best known for its quiet and seldom acknowledged presence on the northwestern corner of Lake Winnipesaukee. Moultonborough's biggest draw is the extraordinary Lucknow estate, better known as Castle in the Clouds. A trip to Castle in the Clouds will take you high into the Ossipee Mountains, where you can explore the magnificent Castle and it's stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee. The castle is not the only thing to do on the estate, you can feed the giant trout in Shannon Pond, grab some food, do some horseback riding, and view the waterfall.