Lake Winnipesaukee lies in eastern New Hampshire about 11 miles east of the Maine border as the crow flies. It is further if when are driving through the Ossipee Mountains on the northeast, the Belknap Mountains on the southwest, and the foothills of the White Mountains on the north side of the lake. This lake is full of big and small islands, 365 of them with 274 habitable.
Why Is Lake Winnipesaukee so Clear?
Lake Winnipesaukee is a glacial lake. Glaciers moving at the end of the ice age formed glacial lakes. They typically have clear and clean water or are beautifully colored with hues of blue, green, pink, and purple. The water’s colors come from glacial flour, which is microscopic sediment particles floating in the water from snow runoff that refract sunlight.
Eight subterranean natural springs fill Lake Winnipesaukee with crystal clear water twice a year. Its shoreline is 98% forested. Tree leaves, branches, and roots all help to filter rain water before it reaches the forest floor. Tree roots help to absorb harmful, water-polluting nutrients.
Is Lake Winnipesaukee Worth It?
Lake Winnipesaukee tourism contributed over $17 billion to the state of New Hampshire’s economy in 2021. Lake Winnipesaukee’s real estate was estimated to be worth $16 billion in property values in the region that year. Tourism in Lake Winnipesaukee brought in $249 million and boating/fishing reaped $109 million in 2021.
Pristine waters, towering forests, mountains, and quaint waterfront towns with homey entertainment like the Weir’s Beach boardwalk with bumper cars, penny arcades, and chewy saltwater taffy surround Winnipesaukee’s shores. This gorgeous region attracts thousands of visitors annually.
Is it Safe to Swim in Lake Winnipesaukee?
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NH DES) designates Lake Winnipesaukee as having high-quality water. There are ten designated swimming beaches at Lake Winnipesaukee and more swimming holes and areas around the lake.
Although New Hampshire Lakes have experienced a rise in cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae blooms, in recent years, Lake Winnipesaukee is safe to swim in. If you are concerned about algae blooms, contact the NH DES for up-to-date safety information.
What Movie Was Filmed at Lake Winnipesaukee?
There is a rumor that the movie, What About Bob, was filmed at Lake Winnipesaukee. What About Bob stars Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. It follows a psychiatrist slowly losing his mind after his patient, with obsessive/compulsive disorder (OCD), finds his family on vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee.
The 1991 movie, What About Bob, is only set at Lake Winnipesaukee but actually filmed at Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. The movie Click in 2006 portrays a flashback depicting Adam Sandler as a kid playing on a beach at Lake Winnipesaukee. While researching IMDB, we did not find any movies that were filmed at Lake Winnipesaukee.
What Is the Nicest Town on Lake Winnipesaukee?
Alton, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro are the waterfront and closest towns to Lake Winnipesaukee. Each of these historic towns displays their own identities. It is difficult to say which Lake Winnipesaukee town is the nicest one.
Moultonborough is one of the best loved towns on Lake Winnipesaukee. Alton is the largest with a resort. Gilford is a winter ski town and a summer concert destination. Laconia is popular for Weir’s Beach and its annual motorcycle Bike Week. Meredith features the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. Wolfeboro offers America’s “oldest summer resort”.
Moultonborough is popular for its mountain mansion, Castle in the Clouds, and the historic Old Country Store and Museum. Tuftonboro sports a popular vacation village on Melvin Bay featuring antiquing and waterside lodging. Wolfeboro is known for celebrity sightings. It is worth it to take a tour of each of Lake Winnipesaukee’s charming New England towns.
Lake Winnipesaukee Things to Do
Lake Winnipesaukee itself provides for a great number of water sports and outdoor activities, but there is a lot more to do in the Lake Winnipesaukee region that pairs well with its natural attractions. To get the very most out of a trip to Lake Winnipesaukee, three days is the least amount of time recommended for a visit to the area.
Lake Winnipesaukee towns offer much more than what we mentioned above. It is a big lake! Lake Winnipesaukee covers 44,500 surface acres. Plenty of options for family and adult entertainment are live at Lake Winnipesaukee. Kids love Laconia’s Weir’s Beach, drive-in movie theater, and Funspot Arcade.
The Funspot Arcade in Laconia hosts the American Classic Arcade Museum, which features a vast collection of arcade games from the 1970s and 1980s and unique niche games. It features 600 arcade games, with 300 retro games. It also provides a tavern and a restaurant that popularly hosts birthday parties.
Weir’s Beach itself features a fun swim area, and the boardwalk starts at Lakeside Avenue and runs the entire length of Weirs Beach. There are five sections to the boardwalk dotted with benches to rest on. You can check out the information center and buy tickets for the cruise boats or historic train rides.
The M/S Washington offers scenic tours of Lake Winnipesaukee in May and June, brunch cruises May to October, and dinner cruises on select dates in May and June and on select evenings July through October. The U.S. Mail Boat offers two-hour cruises twice a day, Monday through Saturday, mid-June to mid-September.
The M/V Winnipesaukee sets out on four daily one- to two-hour cocktail cruises from late June to Labor Day. There are special event cruises offering one-, two-, and three-hour cruises featuring dinner, dance, family, foliage, fireworks, and sunset-themed adventures. Tiki Hut Boats at the Winnipesaukee Pier in Weirs Beach are available for 90 minute express cruises, two-hour private charters, and a Reggae night on Wednesdays.
Buy tickets for the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad at the depot in Meredith or the satellite ticket booth on the boardwalk at Weir’s Beach. The famous Boston, Concord & Montreal line that dates back to 1848 now operates at Lake Winnipesaukee. This one- and two-hour historic train rides take one and two hours along the western shore travels between Meredith to Weirs Beach.
Laconia hosts year-round winter, spring, summer, fall, and historical events and arts and crafts shows. For nightlife, Weir’s Beach offers establishments serving up live bands and cocktails, along with eateries plying fresh seafood, an Italian-style slice of pizza, a four-course meal, and more dishes from around the globe.
Two shiny retro 1950s diners, the Route 104 Diner in New Hampton and the Tilt’N Diner in Tilton represent mid-20th century eateries serving all day breakfasts. Plenty of scrumptious restaurants are scattered all around Lake Winnipesaukee. In the summertime, ice cream stands rule.
If you support local bookstores, Meredith is home to a charming Irish-themed bookstore selling a collection of New Hampshire and New England-themed books, popular books, and bestsellers. It also sells games, puzzles, gifts, and New Hampshire souvenirs. From there, you can continue on to the fabulous Mills Falls Marketplace.
Lake Winnipesaukee Accommodations
Whether you are looking for luxury, B&B, mid-range, or budget accommodations, Lake Winnipesaukee has your back. Almost 60 results pop up for B&Bs, inns, resorts, and spas when you search for Lake Winnipesaukee resorts. Camping is a great option for budget-minded visitors.
Lake Winnipesaukee Cabins
All you need to do to find cabins with mountain views to secluded lakeside retreats is go to Vrbo.com and type in Lake Winnipesaukee. They come in sizes from large to small, ADA accessible options, and an assortment of amenities.
Lake Winnipesaukee Rentals
Visitors can also find as many vacation home rentals as cabins on or near Lake Winnipesaukee. Over 20 boat and personal watercraft rental services operate around Lake Winnipesaukee. Visitors can rent party pontoons, ski boats, fishing boats, and PWCs from the rental services and also at many of the almost 20 marinas and marine services at Lake Winnipesaukee.
Lake Winnipesaukee Hotels
Expedia advertises in 2023 that visitors can find a hotel room for as little as $71 a night and kayak.com found rooms as low as $41 a night. The lodging continuum ranges from budget all the way up the scale to expensive luxury resorts and five-star hotels.
Lake Winnipesaukee Fishing
Angler’s fish Lake Winnipesaukee for primarily largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, crappie, cusk, perch, salmon, redbreast sunfish, brook trout, lake trout, and rainbow trout. In the winter ice fishing season, lake trout are the biggest fish up through the ice holes.
Catching fish year-round is the norm on Lake Winnipesaukee. Spring is spawning season for bass and crappie, the time when lake trout spread out, and productive for crappie and landlocked salmon.
In the summer, the bass and salmon move to deeper waters, crappie hole up in fish structures in shallow water, and lake trout are more concentrated in July, August, and early September. Winter is good for cusk, perch, lake trout, and rainbow trout.
Whatever fish you want from Lake Winnipesaukee, be sure to check the New Hampshire fishing regulations for your preferred game species. Navigational markers show boaters where the hazards are. Anglers can easily find current New Hampshire fishing regulations on the State of New Hampshire’s Fish and Game website.
Lake Winnipesaukee Real Estate
As of April 2023, of the top ten housing markets in the USA, seven of them are located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The New England real estate market is hopping. At Lake Winnipesaukee, Moultonborough has the most prized real estate.
The median price for waterfront homes at Lake Winnipesaukee has risen to almost $2.9 million in 2023. Homes can go for up to and over $6,000,000. The prices decrease for homes as they are located further and further from Lake Winnipesaukee.
Lake Winnipesaukee Weather
From the end of May to mid-September 16, the average daily high temperature reaches 70°F and above. The hottest month of the year at Lake Winnipesaukee is July, with an average high of 80°F and low of 61°F. The cold season lasts from early December 2 mid-March 12, with an average daily high temperature below 39°F. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average low of 14°F and high of 30°F.