If you’re a fan of the classic comedy What About Bob?, Lake Winnipesaukee is already familiar to you. But did you know it’s actually a real location? It’s the largest lake in New Hampshire, and a beautiful area to visit. Plan your next vacation to New Hampshire, and have these 8 places on your checklist.
1. Weirs Beach
Weirs Beach offers attractions for the whole family. It has a great beach on the lake with lakeside restaurants and sweetshops. Kellerhaus is a local sweetshop where you can find anything from a sundae bar to a pancake buffet. There’s also a boardwalk that extends onto the lake, which provides amazing sunset views, for the amateur (or professional) photographers out there.
Another fun thing to do in Weirs is head to one of the last outdoor theaters in the US. The Weirs Beach Drive-In Theater has four screens, and each shows a double feature. If you want a fun, nostalgic activity, definitely set aside a few hours one evening/night to head to the drive in.
2. Castle in the Clouds
The Lucknow Estate, also known as the Castle in the Clouds, is a historic site and mansion located in Moultonborough. It’s open daily from late May to mid October every year, with additional holiday events for people who want to create even more special memories at this architectural gem.
You can enjoy a meal at the scenic restaurant (that has amazing reviews), visit the art gallery located in The Carriage House, go hiking on some of the hiking trails on the property or even ride horses on some of the guided trails.
3. Mount Major
Mount Major is located in Alton Bay, near Alton. There are three trails that go the summit of the mountain, each originating at the same parking lot but taking a different route up to the summit. Be sure to read about the trails before heading out since some of the trails require climbing at times. You definitely don’t want to tackle a trail that’s too challenging for you.
4. Monkey Trunks
Monkey Trunks provides an adventurous experience you’ll never forget. There are three parks located in the area, and the zipline park is one of the best you’ll ever come across. If you and your family love monkeying around, this is the perfect adventure.
5. Cotton Valley Rail-Trail
The Cotton Valley Rail-Trail is a railroad-turned-hiking trail perfect for a relaxing walk along the lake. You can even bike and horseback ride on the trail. Or, if you visit the area in the winter, you can snowmobile and cross country-ski. The trail extends from Wakefield to the Wolfeboro Train Station.
6. Abenaki Tower
The Abenaki Tower offers some of the most breathtaking views of the lake you can find. The tower is near Tuftonboro, and it’s accessible by a short 5-10 minute hike from the parking lot. Be careful going here, though, since the parking lot is located right past a sharp bend in one of the main roads through the area. You don’t want to get into an accident in the middle of your vacation. Once you get up to the tower, you’ll experience a great overview of the lake, with views as far as the eye can see from any direction.
7. Allen Albee Beach
Allen Albee Beach is a clean and beautiful beach in Wolfeboro. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer from 10am to 4pm, making for a safer swimming environment. There are picnic tables available too so you don’t have to worry about getting sand in your food. It’s a great place to spend a sunny day.
8. Belknap Mountain
Head to the southern part of the lake and explore the beauty of Belknap Mountain. You’ll find hikes with incredible lake views. Like Mount Major, there are multiple trails that go up the mountain, heading up from different directions. Each trail varies in difficulty, so once again, make sure to look into the trails to pick the one that’s best for your skill level. Once at the summit, there’s a fire-watch tower you can climb to see stunning views of the lake and surrounding area.
With so much to see in eastern New Hampshire, it’s easy to see why they chose it as the location for one of the best Bill Murray films ever made. Hopefully your experience won’t be similarly wrecked by someone like Bob tying himself to your sailboat though.