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New Hampshire has been called the “Switzerland of America” due to its eye-popping mountain views, and the “Mother of Rivers” because five major streams that run throughout New England originate right here in New Hampshire. Add to this the fact that the state’s borders contain no less than 1,300 lakes and ponds, and is abundantly forested with elm, beech, oak, pine, and several other species of trees, the views change with the coming of each new season making New Hampshire a nature lover’s idea of heaven on earth.
Starting in Meredith, you’ll find yourself surrounded by eight lakes, so your opportunities for finding a secluded spot to enjoy some waterborne activity are plentiful. Lake Winnipesaukee is a particular favorite for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and swimming, which is only some of the fun to be had in any of these bodies of water. Take a lake cruise at sunset with a loved one for a shared experience never to be forgotten. There are also several hiking trails good for some exercise, though some of them tend to be closed in the winter months. Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant is a favorite of return visitors and locals alike; it’s a classic-style restaurant that claims to serve up more than a ton of turkey a day, which is good news for turkey lovers but bad news for the bird itself. There are also several antique shops in the area, so be sure to take advantage of New Hampshire’s sales tax-free status and grab that extra little knick-knack your place has been needing!
Moving northeast on SR-25, cruise a little over 20 miles until you come to the southbound SR-16, which you’ll stay on for 6 miles, and enter the city limits of Center Ossipee. This is a quiet, out-of-the-way place with a friendly local population and plenty of areas to set up a secluded campsite. Nearby Ossipee Lake is fed by three different rivers that branch in from the north, and is a popular spot for vacationers.
Wolfeboro is only a 14-mile drive via the southwest-bound Highway 28, and is a must-see stop in that it proclaims itself to be “The Oldest Summer Resort in America.” The city itself has a peaceful, small-town feeling, and has a picture-postcard feel to it, with a row of quaint shops lining both sides of the central street and public docks at the water’s edge. Among the many points of interest, Wolfeboro is home to the Libby Museum of Natural History, which has several exhibits dedicated to New England wildlife, as well as an array of Abenaki Indian artifacts. The New Hampshire Boat Museum is located a stone’s throw from downtown Wolfeboro, and features a fleet of boats that range from canoes to Chris-Crafts, from paddle-driven to steam and outboard engines. The Wright Museum is an excellent facility devoted to America’s involvement in World War II. Some of the highlights include a fully-operational assemblage of vehicles, along with an ever-changing multimedia program showcasing the conflict in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific.
When you’re ready to get back on the road, a quick 15-mile hop down Highway 11 gets you to the northbound Route 3, which runs for 2 miles before leading you into Laconia, the final stop on this trip. Laconia is known as “The City on the Lakes,” and is located on the southwest tip of Lake Winnipesaukee. Laconia is a town that knows how to have fun, and hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. Local favorites include Laconia Motorcycle Week, which runs for nine days in June and concludes on Father’s Day. This is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country, and draws visitors from all over the nation to take part in the fun. Another favorite is winter’s Sled Dog Derby, which takes place each February. This three-day event isn’t something most of us see every day, and is filled with excitement for the whole family.
No doubt about it, if you pick New Hampshire as one of your destination spots this vacation season, you’ll be treated to an eclectic array of activities and events that will keep you coming back just to see what they’ll come up with next!
Other Area Sponsors in New Hampshire: