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White Mountains & Meredith, NH

New Hampshire’s Lake Region provides a photogenic escape. Whether it’s a day trip or longer, you’re sure to find an excursion, restaurant or location that pleases everyone, any time of year. 

This popular tourist destination comprises Belknap County and the surrounding edges of Carroll, Grafton, Stratford, and Merrimack counties.

The town of Laconia hosts Motorcycle Week every June, when the streets are lined with the bikes of enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the annual event.  Touted as the oldest national motorcycle rally, the event offers rides like the rolling Rally in the Valley, races, food and live music.   

After the rally’s wrapped up, many of the participants head to Weirs Beach (known locally as “the Weirs”) to soak up some rays.  Kids can stake out their favorite games at Funspot, named “The World’s Largest Arcade” by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2008.

Meredith, in Belknap County, is a picturesque town with stunning views.  Located on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, the White Mountains loom in the distance providing a glorious backdrop for this scenic spot. Mills Falls at the Lake boasts four separate inns on the water’s edge, some with indoor/outdoor pools and pet-friendly rooms as well as a spa for winding down at the end of a busy day exploring. Mills Falls has its own marketplace as well as several restaurants that range from casual to fine dining.

Ascend to the Castle in the Clouds, the Lee Mountain aerie once known as the “Crow’s Nest.”  Lucknow mansion looms far above the fray. With 16 rooms and over 5,000 acres, the mansion is open daily from Memorial weekend through October and offers horseback riding, hiking and activities for children at Shannon Pond.  With a museum, art gallery and restaurant, it’s a great choice for an unforgettable afternoon.

After the summer rush comes to a close, richly colored foliage signals the change of season.  A kayak adventure down the Saco River is the perfect excuse to take in the autumn canopy. Purity Spring Resort in Madison offers a package tour that includes meals and a lobster bake on Purity Island.  The hotel also offers hiking, mountain bike trails, and guided tours – perfect for a memorable summer vacation.  The towns of Alton and Milton offer their own alternatives for a foliage fiesta.

The Lakes Region doesn’t shut down for the winter.  At Gunstock Mountain Resort, you can slip on your skis and head downhill, trek cross-country on 32 miles of trails or wander around in your snowshoes. Snowboarders are also welcome. If dogsledding is your fancy, you don’t have to go to all the way to Alaska. The New England Sled Dog Club Sled & Skijor Race takes place in February in Tamworth on Lake Chocorua in Tamworth.

There is so much to explore in this gorgeous locale.  You might stumble upon something new or revisit the tried and true.  It’s definitely worth a look, or several.

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