Part of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, the 21-mile long Lake Winnipesaukee in Belknap County and Carroll County is the most expansive lake in its state, and the third-largest in the New England area. It is encompassed by numerous bays including Winter Harbor and Moultonborough Bay, and boasts more than 250 small natural islands such as Three Mile Island, Rattlesnake Island, and Governors Island. With its cool, moderate temperatures during the peak seasons of late spring through to early fall, Lake Winnipesaukee has served as a prominent vacation spot for many decades.
The towns surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee exude a warm and friendly charm. The Lakes Region’s most sizable town is Alton which is in Belknap County. Originating as a farming community, Alton has grown to become a noteworthy tourist destination. Points of interest in the town are the Alton Historical Society and Museum; Alton Bay State Forest as well as Mount Major State Forest; and the family-friendly Alton Bay which has multiple eateries, an ice cream shop, and arcade.
Also nestled in Belknap County is another small town named Gilford. This cozy town offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation on account of being home to Governors Island, one of Lake Winnipesaukee’s natural islands; Belknap Mountain State Forest; and Ellacoya State Beach. Furthermore, the town offers the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook, an outdoor amphitheatre that hosts seasonal concerts.
Between Lakes Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam lies the city of Laconia in Belknap County. From the heart of Lake Winnipesaukee, Laconia is situated about an hour’s drive in a southwestern direction. During particular seasons, the city is known for its exciting rallies and festivals. The Laconia Motorcycle Week, a 9-day event featuring shows and races, takes place every June. Each winter, there is the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby. Accordingly, in autumn, Laconia offers the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival. Year-round attractions in the city are the Belknap Mill Society Museum, Funspot Family Fun Center, and Winnipesaukee Playhouse.
Accessible with approximately an hour and a half’s worth of driving southward from the lake is Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire. The most notable aspect of the city is its downtown’s skyline and impressive architecture. Additionally, other distinguished places in Manchester are the Valley Cemetery, a 1840s garden-style graveyard; Currier Museum of Art, and Palace Theatre.
Ranging from gorgeous waterfront homes to welcoming cottages to apartments located in the humble suburbs, comfortable rental properties around the Lake Winnipesaukee area are abundant. Whether visitors are seeking a secluded cabin for relaxation or a lake house with a dock for easy access to outdoor activities, the perfect property is available to rent no matter the budget or lifestyle.
Due to the sprawling layout of the cities and towns around the lake, there is not a standardized, reliable public transit system in place for visitors. Driving a car would be the most efficient way to travel to and from the lake and its surrounding areas.
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