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Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog


Message from the Manager

The Center Harbor Inn is excited to announce that this summer season’s preparations to our lakeside beach are just about complete and ready for guests to enjoy. We recently finished installing our swim line, mooring field, and swim raft for the brave ones ready to immerse themselves in the inviting waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. The beach furniture, fireplace seating, and our fleet of kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats are now available just in time to begin enjoying summertime fun as the warmer weather finally arrives.

Come out and experience the magnificent sunrise each morning while enjoying a fine cup of locally roasted coffee offered at our continental breakfast. Sit out on our 200 feet of sandy beach and spot all the new wild birds returning from the South to enjoy the early summertime weather. You may even catch a glimpse of our resident otter swimming around the boat docks.

If you are a boat owner, don’t leave her behind. Your boat is welcome to stay in one of our 16 boat slips or 8 moorings where you can unleash her to roam 71 square miles of New Hampshire’s largest lake. From sightseeing, to water sports to casting out your line, you are sure to find it all right here off of our beautiful shores.

When the day winds down you can ease right into the night with a relaxing soak in our year-round, lakeside, outdoor hot tub or sit around our lakeside fire pit to catch the night falling over the lake.

Make your reservations early and try not to miss out on all that the Big Lake has to offer. Make this summertime your summertime.

Thank you,
Denis Longchamps

Lake Winnipesaukee Ice Out

If you haven’t heard yet, Ice out was declared on Lake Winnipesaukee for the 2018 season on Thursday April 26 at 5:40 pm. Which means it is officially Spring in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and Summer is just around the corner! The sounds of boats, laughter, and splashes in the water are soon to come.

The Ice Out date is defined by the moment the ice melts enough so that the M/S Mount Washington cruise ship can navigate between Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. Residents and tourists anxiously await Ice Out as they can regain access to the beautiful waters. The Ice Out date has been recorded for over 130 years and though it is not a scientific calculation it is determined by an observer in a small plane that flies over multiple times a day and once the pilot makes his final call that is considered the official day of Ice Out. Ice out has even been as late as May 12!

At the Center Harbor Inn we are already preparing for what will be our second Summer season since we purchased the Inn and underwent renovations through the early Winter of 2017. The watercraft and beach lounge chairs will be put out in the next couple of weeks! Though the water may still be freezing cold, on a nice sunny day we encourage our guests to go ahead and take one of our pedal boats to explore Lake Winnipesaukee by water. To see how much Lake Winnipesaukee has melted for yourself check out our Live Webcam overlooking the harbor. The bay is open and the birds are chirping.

We are anticipating a busy summer season, so we highly recommend making reservations as far in advance as possible. Take advantage of one of our packages and make the most out of your trip to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. The Center Harbor Inn is the perfect setting for a romantic summer getaway or a family adventure right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Don’t forget we offer dock slips and moorings if you want to bring your own boat along with you!

Restaurants in Meredith, NH

If you’re staying with us at the Center Harbor Inn, then you are in luck, because we are just down the road from some of the greatest restaurants in the New Hampshire Lakes Region. These restaurants in Meredith, NH offer something for everyone and every occasion. So, take your pick from the list below and let us know what your favorite is!

Giuseppe’s Pizzeria:
Giuseppe’s Pizzeria is a restaurant located in the heart of Meredith, NH directly across from Lake Winnipesaukee and offers a festive Italian atmosphere. Though they have some of the best pizza around, they also specialize in seafood, sandwiches, pasta, steak, and desserts! We love Giuseppe’s so much we have partnered with the restaurant to offer a Romantic Winnipesaukee Getaway package with the Center Harbor Inn. The package includes 10% off accommodations for each night of your stay and a $75 gift certificate to Giuseppe’s.

Camp:
Camp is a restaurant in Meredith, NH on Daniel Webster Highway Just across the road from Lake Winnipesaukee. Camp offers a unique, rustic experience that will bring back those memories of spending endless summers at camp on the lake. Signature dishes are meant to be shared including Camp crackers, family style salad starters, famous buttermilk fried chicken, and everyone’s favorite dessert which is the Camp’s very own take on s’mores. If you’re feeling a little summer camp nostalgia we highly recommend Camp.

Lago:
Lago specializes in rustic Italian-American cooking inspired by the travels of Marco Polo. With beautiful views overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee this restaurant in Meredith is located right on US Route 25. Guests have the option to dine in the dining room, on the patio, or in their lounge, all of which boasts views toward the lake. We recommend Lago for a date night out or a special occasion. Only the freshest ingredients and seafood are used to give you a rustic Italian meal that you won’t forget.

Harts Turkey Farm:
Hart’s Turkey Farm located on Daniel Webster Highway in Meredith is a Lakes Region staple. Locally owned and operated this restaurant specializes in… you guessed it, turkey! Here It’s Thanksgiving year-round. But that’s not all they serve up, from pasta to seafood there is something good for the whole family. After dining, don’t forget to stop by their New Hampshire made gift store, you can even pick up one of their turkey pies to-go.

Town Docks:
Town Docks, a seasonal, outdoor, lakeside bar and restaurant, is THE place to be during the summer. This dining option offers free boat tie-ups and a Tiki Bar situated on a beautiful sandy beach area. Get your classic summer favorites here such as a choose your own lobster dinner, fried seafood, and clam chowder. They also feature their very own homemade ice cream with dozens of different flavors. Their delicious specialty drinks are sure to cool you down on a hot summer day. Enjoy an afternoon of fun, food and more at this restaurant in Meredith, NH located on Daniel Webster Highway.

Lakehouse Grille:
The Lakehouse Grille offers a unique dining experience with an Adirondack style setting and beautiful views overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, NH. Specializing in classic New England Style cuisine, you can get your favorites such as Lobster Corn Chowder, fresh seafood, and delicious hand-cut steaks. During the New Hampshire growing season, they use fresh local produce as much as possible. It doesn’t just stop at dinner as you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Lakehouse Grille.

George’s Diner:
George’s Diner is a local mom and pop kind of diner where their motto is “Just Good Food.” With this alone, you know you’re in for a real treat. Serving Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner they use fresh and simple ingredients that pack a lot of flavor. Don’t forget to try out one of their homemade desserts and be sure to try something new and check out their nightly specials which the staff come up with daily!

The Center Harbor Inn Wins Golden Trowel Award

Each year the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce holds its annual membership meeting where local businesses get recognized for their economic development, construction or improvements in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. We are proud and honored to be nominated and presented with the 2017 Golden Trowel Award for the Center Harbor Inn.

The Center Harbor Inn was purchased in March of 2016 and underwent extensive reconstruction and remodeling under new ownership. The renovation process involved stripping the building down to its studs and completely rethinking the structure. Key changes included the addition of Douglas fir clad beam work to frame out the new decking system, new accent gables to break up the roofline and two large decorative cupolas along the center of the main lodge roof (which became a key piece in the design of our logo).

The interior work echoes the appearance of the exterior with an emphasis on both modern and rustic features. Inside, the main lodge bathrooms were completely gutted and fully tiled with a modern glass panel divider. All new plumbing fixtures were added, custom hickory vanities and floating shelves finished off these spaces. Guest rooms were fixed with all new carpeting, custom furniture and beautiful floor to ceiling hickory headboards with floating nightstand shelves.

The improvements of amenities included a complete refurbishment of the nearly 200 feet of sandy beachfront along Lake Winnipesaukee and the construction of a four-season, outdoor hot tub overlooking the lake surrounded by heated walkways. The new walkways offer direct access to the building including an all new fitness center in the interior common space with an adjacent sauna facility.

With the completion of this extensive renovation, the hotel now provides a high-end, lakeside hospitality experience allowing guests to enjoy wading into the big lake from the sandy beach or walking into town to experience all that Center Harbor has to offer.

We want to thank the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce for presenting us with this award, it is a true testament to all the hard work that went into this extensive renovation project. We also want to thank Conneston Construction, Stewart Associates Architects, Frances G Hodges Interiors, and Stephens Landscaping for making our vision a reality. Lastly, we want to thank the community and our guests for making the Center Harbor Inn such a resounding success.

Ski Areas in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

Located directly on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, enjoy the full experience of Winter in the Lakes Region at the Center Harbor Inn, where we are close in proximity to great ski areas in New Hampshire. Enjoy discounted ski tickets to Gunstock Mountain, Loon Mountain, and Waterville Valley.

Wake up in the morning from the comfort of your room and look out the windows on your private balcony to beautiful views over frozen Lake Winnipesaukee. Head down to our continental breakfast room and start your morning off with a locally sourced continental breakfast including bagels and coffee before heading out for a day on the slopes.

For a ski mountain close by, head to Gunstock Mountain in Gilford, where you can take on the slopes with breathtaking views overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. With 55 trails snowboarders and skiers can ride at any level. Make the most out of your trip and take advantage of our ski and stay package with 20% off accommodations and 25% off ski tickets to Gunstock Mountain each night of your stay.

If you are looking to head into the White Mountains, Loon Mountain is a great option. Located in Lincoln, NH the mountain offers over 60 trails with a variety of terrain to match your ski or snowboard level. The mountain has a total of three peaks, South Peak, The North Peak, and Loon Peak with each catering to something different whether it be a terrain park, backcountry or typical New England skiing. Take the gondola up and enjoy beautiful views of Franconia Notch and Mt. Washington.

Waterville Valley is a beautiful ski town and has over 265 acres of terrain. Deep in the White Mountains of New Hampshire you can ski as a beginner, intermediate, or expert and never get bored.

After a long day on the mountains head back to the Center Harbor Inn and head out to our four-season outdoor hot tub with heated walkways to relax and warm up. Enjoy a great night of sleep in one of our king or queen beds, wake up, and hit the slopes again!

Lake Winnipesaukee Ice Fishing Derby

With Lake Winnipesaukee frozen over, ice fishing enthusiasts from all over are flocking to New Hampshire’s Big Lake for a chance to catch their share of lake trout. When all the boats are stored for the season, there is still plenty of opportunity to throw a line in and enjoy a refreshing beer or beverage. Ice fishing offers the perfect activity to enjoy all of the beautiful scenery in the heart of winter on Lake Winnipesaukee. You certainly don’t need to wait until summer to get your fish on.

Aside from the peace and relaxation that comes with ice fishing, the sport includes plenty of opportunities for social interaction. So, bring out the friends and family, spark up a charcoal grill and enjoy cooking lunch on the lake with a hot cocoa or cold beer in hand.

Another added benefit of this winter sport is how much cheaper it is to ice fish. With the surface frozen over, you don’t need a boat to get out into the middle of the lake. With no boat, comes no cost for fuel or repairs, just take your equipment and head on out.

If ice fishing is your thing and you’re interested in earning more than just a fish then you’re in luck, because it’s Fishing Derby time in the Lakes Region! So, join us at the Center Harbor Inn located right on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, just down the road from the derby site in Meredith, NH. The Derby is taking place on February 10 – 11, 2018. With over $50,000 in prizes this is an event you won’t want to miss. The Center Harbor Inn is offering a fantastic promotion on rooms during the event which includes 15% off accommodations of two or more nights. For more information on the package check it out here.

Besides being directly on the Lake, the Center Harbor Inn offers a delicious and locally sourced continental breakfast, a four-season outdoor hot tub with heated walkways to unwind in after a day on the ice, a relaxing sauna and a fitness center. Don’t miss out on this year’s Fishing Derby and stay in style at the Center Harbor Inn!

New England Pond Hockey Classic Lodging

As winter fast approaches and the water freezes over, pond hockey players from all over New England will gather for the return of the 9th Annual New England Pond Hockey Classic taking place February 2 – 4, 2018. Taking over the nearby town of Meredith, the tournament brings tourists from all over the country to experience winter in the Lakes Region. Although the area is known as a summer lakeside destination, we are proud to be able to show off a side that not many people get to experience. The Center Harbor Inn is a great option for New England Pond Hockey Classic lodging.

Just five minutes down the road from the tournament site in Meredith, NH we offer a great Pond Hockey Package as well as group rates so the whole team can stay together. The Pond Hockey Package includes 10% off your choice of accommodations for two or more nights. Amenities at the Inn include continental breakfast to fuel up before a busy day of skating on the ice. Breakfast selections offer locally roasted coffee and locally sourced bagels, as well as fruit cups, hard boiled eggs, homemade granola, yogurt, cereal, and energy balls.

Aside from the great continental breakfast, a favorite amongst guests is the four-season outdoor hot tub with heated walkways and views that overlook beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee. After a long day on the ice, the hot tub is a great way to warm up and continue to enjoy winter by the lake while relaxing those sore muscles.

Heading to the area and aren’t familiar with the town of Meredith? Check out our previous blog on Things to Do in Meredith NH for a list of restaurants, activities, and shopping options.

Things to do in Meredith, NH

The bustling town of Meredith is Located just 5 minutes down the road from the Center Harbor Inn. During the summer months the area is a popular destination for tourists, making The Center Harbor Inn an ideal location as it has the benefits of being within close proximity to the area without actually being there. So, what are some things to do in Meredith? With an abundance of shopping, restaurants, and attractions it can get overwhelming. Take a look at the list below for some of our favorite things to do in Meredith.

The Common Man:
The Common Man is a family of restaurants that offer different themes and have options for every price range. Luckily, the town of Meredith offers four different Common Man restaurants that include: Lakehouse, Camp, Lago, and Town Docks. For a romantic date night out, we recommend Lago, known for its rustic Italian specialties they offer some of the best seafood and steaks around. Camp, brings back all of those memories of going away to a camp on the Lake, they serve up great comfort food and offer desserts including S’mores to bring you right back to your childhood. For dinner and a view, head to the Lakehouse where they offer New England favorites with a twist such as Lobster Corn Chowder. If you are looking for a party, Town Docks is the place to be. This outdoor Tiki Bar offers specialty cocktails and is only open during the summer months, but we promise this is a stop you want to make.

Winnipesaukee Playhouse:
For a great, local theatre company, check out the Winnipesaukee Playhouse. The playhouse offers community and professionally based productions all year long. Current showings offer their holiday professional show, Snow White, and upcoming shows for the 2018 season include, The Jungle Book and Ghost: The Musical. This is your destination of choice for great live performances in the New Hampshire Lakes Region. The Playhouse also offers light snacks and refreshments during intermissions with both matinee and evening performances. For more information on upcoming shows check out their website here.

Crack the Code:
If you haven’t had the chance to try out an Escape Room, you are in luck as one is located right in the heart of downtown Meredith. An escape room is a team building adventure game where players need to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and clues to complete an objective and escape the room. Crack the Code is meant to last for 60 minutes and currently offers two rooms: Blackbeard’s Revenge and KGBe Careful. So, bring your friends and family along for an hour of fun and see if you can Crack the Code! For more information, check out their website here.

Meredith Sculpture Walk:
If you’re looking for something to do outside that isn’t on the Lake. Check out the sculpture walk, an annual exhibit of sculptures that are placed all around downtown Meredith. Sculptors from all around the Northeast are juried each year to participate. The walk includes 33 sculptures placed around the gardens of Main Street. During the summer months, July through September, you can take a guided tour or simply use the map to guide your own tour any time of year! Check out the website here for more information and a self-guide tour map.

Hermit Woods Winery:
Who doesn’t love a glass of wine? Head to Hermit Woods, a favorite local winery open year-round. Wine tastings are $8 per person and includes your choice of six selections, you also get to take home a souvenir tasting glass. If you want a little more education on the winery they offer full tours for $20 per person and it includes a 30-minute tour of the facilities along with a tasting. Hermit Woods has recently opened a deli adjacent to their tasting bar where you can order a glass of wine and select food items including charcuterie plates and panini’s. Grab a bottle to enjoy back on your balcony at the Inn while soaking in the beautiful views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Visit the Hermit Woods website for more information on their wines and tours here.

BarnZ Cinemas:
On a rainy summer day or cold winter night, nothing beats a classic like going to the movies. BarnZ Cinema’s offers blockbuster hits all year-round. Evening tickets for adults are $9.00, children and seniors are $7.00 and they are running a bargain Wednesday special where all tickets are $7.00 per person. You can catch a matinee before 5pm for $7.00 per ticket. The Center Harbor Inn is currently running a special dinner and a movie package, if you are interested you can check it out here.

Giuseppe’s Pizzeria:
For a great pizza joint, we highly recommend Giuseppe’s pizzeria located in the heart of the marketplace in Meredith. They specialize in gourmet pizza, salads, sandwiches, and amazing desserts. With two full bars and live music seven nights a week this popular spot is a favorite amongst tourists, so we definitely recommend making a reservation ahead of time to avoid long wait times. For a menu and list of live entertainment check out their website here.

Hobo Railroad:
If being on the water isn’t your thing you can check out the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. Enjoy a one or two-hour excursion along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee with amazing views. Open during the months of May to October you can select an experience catered to your interests, whether you want to catch the Fall Foliage or take a caboose ride, this is a great way to soak in all the sights of the New Hampshire Lakes Region by train. Check out the website here for more information and tickets.

Innisfree Bookshop:
This small and inviting book store located in the marketplace of downtown Meredith, carries a great selection of books, games, and gifts for all ages. Aside from their product selection they also offer educational events throughout the year. Whether it’s meeting an author, an art project, or meeting Santa at the holidays, the Innisfree Bookshop brings a lot of fun to the area. We are proud to support small businesses and hope you make this a regular stop on your visit to Meredith, NH!

League of NH Craftsman (Meredith):
Support local artists by taking a trip to the League of NH Craftsman Art Gallery in Meredith, NH. The gallery offers traditional and contemporary art pieces designed by juried members from the area. Visitors can find a variety of gift items from jewelry and pottery to glass and metal work. They also offer classes, demonstrations, and events throughout the year. Be sure to check out their website here for more information.

New Hampshire Lakes Region Breweries


New Hampshire may be a small state, but the craft beer scene is alive and well. Beer enthusiasts from all over are flocking to the state to get a taste of the local microbreweries that have been booming over the last few years. So, come join us at the Center Harbor Inn where you can be in close proximity to tour some of the best breweries in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.

White Mountain Brewing Company:

Located in Ashland, NH this brewery is small but packs a big punch. As you drive up you may be confused by the attached garage, but once inside you will see the charm of the rustic style bar. They brew their beer in 1.5-barrel batches and currently offer five different ales including a Pale Ale, Porter, English Brown Ale, IPA, Irish Stout, and also a German Lager. White Mountain Brewing Company is open four days a week, Wednesday through Friday 4:30pm-7:00pm and Saturdays 12pm-4pm. For more information check out their Facebook page here.

Hobbs Tavern and Brewing:

Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Company located in West Ossipee, NH offers a countryside tavern and brewhouse at the foot of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. They are open daily starting at 11:30am and offer breakfast on Sundays starting at 8am. Their beers on tap are constantly changing which sets this place apart from others as every time you go in you can try something new. While you can enjoy a cold beer by the glass, they now also offer canned six-packs and half-gallon growlers to go. Aside from crafting their own beer, they have a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, and they constantly have events going on from paint night and trivia to a murder mystery dinner. Make sure to check out their website here for more information.

1766 Brewing Company:

1766 brewing is handcrafted and brewed in Plymouth, NH. It started off with two guys who wanted to create something bigger for themselves, their family, and the community. They specialize in small batch artisanal beer and draw inspiration for their flavors from both the West coast and East coast, offering a rotating selection of beer based on the season and whatever their current inspiration is. The brewery is in the process of creating a tasting room and roof top deck, but for now you can taste their beers on tap at The Last Chair, an awesome wood-fired pizza joint. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 4pm-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11:30am-9pm and Sunday 11:30am-8pm. For more information on the beers check out their website here, and for more information on the restaurant check out their info here.

Lone Wolfe Brewing Company:

The Lone Wolf Brewing Company is one of Lake Winnipesaukee’s first craft breweries. Located on Mill Street just walking distance from downtown Wolfeboro they offer a 100-seat beer hall with 10 rotating draft beer lines. Having started out as a small nano brewery relying on a one-barrel system, Lone Wolfe has worked their way up to a 15-barrel system offering a wide selection of beers. Enjoy a sampling of craft beers with easy access to the all of the shops and restaurants in the quaint lake town of Wolfeboro. Check out their website here for more information.

Burnt Timber Brewing and Tavern:

Burnt Timber Tavern is located in Wolfeboro, NH and offers delicious eats and draft brews created on site. They are open for dinner on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm-10pm and Saturdays they offer lunch and dinner from 12pm -10pm. The food menu is simple but filling, offering pub bites and various sandwiches and salads. With roots as a small farm based brewery, Burnt Timber specializes in high quality, small batch brews. They offer a variety of their beers on draft and rotate the selection depending on the time of the year. Check out their website here for more information.

New Hampshire Fall Festivals

If you love everything pumpkin spice, scarves, and fall, you’ve come to the right place. There is no better way to see fall foliage than in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Luckily with a stay at the Center Harbor Inn, you will be centrally located to all of the fun fall fun happenings in the area.

Sandwich Fair:

Located just down the road from the Center Harbor Inn, the Sandwich Fair will take place October 7-9, 2017. The fair is centered around the state’s agricultural roots, and each day you can attend competitions and demonstrations of a variety of animals. Special events include parades, a dog show, and an Oxen pull. On October 6th, admission will be free from 4pm-9pm for an opening night ride preview where you can pay $20 to go on all the rides. Admission all other days is $10 for adults, $3 for children 8-12, and children under 7 enter free. So, whether you go for the food, animals, special events, or the games and rides, you can’t go wrong with the Sandwich fair. Make sure you check out their website here for information on ticket sales and a schedule of events.

Pumpkin Festival:

The NH Pumpkin Festival, previously located in Keene, NH, has moved to Laconia and this will be its second year at this the new location. This The Pumpkin Festival has been a great addition to the Lakes Region and we could not be more excited for its return. Taking place on October 13th from 4-8pm and October 14th from 12-8pm admission is free to all. You can drop off your carved pumpkin or carve one out at the carving station, or just stroll the streets admiring all of the designs. For those 21+ there will be a beer garden, and plenty of amusement and kiddie rides for everyone. On the Saturday of the event, there will be live music playing all day long. There will also be a 200’ zip line attraction and horse drawn hay rides around the downtown area. Make sure you stick around later in the night for a Guinness world record attempt and the pumpkin dump derby. Check out their website here for more information on events.

Beans and Greens Corn Maze:

For Fall festivities, look no further than Beans and Greens located in Gilford, NH. They have been offering the Lakes Region some of the best corn mazes for over 15 years. Designed to last for about an hour, this one is for all ages. The corn maze is typically ready for visitors during mid-September and is open every day of the week, and Friday & Saturday night by reservations. The night maze is fun as they add a haunted element and is only for those brave enough to enter. While you are there you will want to check out the farm stand for a local taste of the freshest New Hampshire eats. The corn maze and farm stand stay open through Halloween Weekend. Make sure to check out their website here for more information.