Castle in the Clouds

There is always something you can do while visiting the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. One standout attraction that cannot be missed during your next vacation to the Center Harbor Inn is Castle in the Clouds located in our neighboring town of Moultonborough, just a fifteen-minute drive from the Inn. Visiting this beautiful estate will give you the opportunity to stack your day full of fun activities and adventures creating a memorable experience for all ages.

The property is over a century old and is chock-full of history, art and nature. With over 5,500 acres situated on a mountaintop and an elevation of 1,300 feet, Castle in the Clouds has unparalleled views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains. The castle, initially named the Lucknow estate by the mansion’s original owner, offers daily tours from late May until the end of October. There is an orientation to begin the tour then you may grab a floor plan and navigate the historic mansion and gardens on your own and have the opportunity to learn more from one of the many knowledgeable museum guides throughout the mansion. The castle has recently opened up their basement for guided tours as well which will give you a unique glimpse into how the mountaintop castle was built in 1914.

After your tour is complete, enjoy a meal on the terrace at the Carriage House Restaurant. Their wide-ranging menu includes soups, salads, starters, sandwiches, tacos, seafood and has options for both vegetarians and gluten-free individuals. If you just want to grab a small bite to eat or make your sweet tooth happy, swing by Cones in the Clouds featuring delicious, locally produced Kellerhaus ice cream, pizza, wraps and more! Once you are fully fueled, take an adventure and explore over 28 miles of hiking and walking trails on the property, managed by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The estate has trails for all experience levels and offers amazing views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake and the nearby mountains. The trails within the network include sights of waterfalls and signage to teach visitors about the history, ecology and geology of the land.

Other highlights of the property include Shannon Pond, a pond stocked with trout which you can feed, an exhibit gallery located within the carriage house which is currently showcasing restoration stories and information, a gift shop so you can take home a souvenir and of course there is Riding in the Clouds, a unique and beautiful way to explore the land via horseback. The mansion also hosts special events throughout the year including live music nights, solar gazing, guided hikes, mountaintop yoga and many other enticing activities. Be sure to check out their event calendar for the full list and to purchase your tickets in advance.

The Center Harbor Inn has partnered with Castle in the Clouds for an exclusive deal for the 2019 season. Our guests’ tickets are only $13 each for up to four people, with the normal adult admission rates $18, saving you up to $20 for your next trip to the mansion! Be sure to stop by the front desk to inquire more about our discount program during your next stay at the Center Harbor Inn.

Hiking in the Lakes Region


Vacationing at the Center Harbor Inn gives you many opportunities to explore the Lakes Region and experience an authentic Lake Winnipesaukee getaway. The adventures of staying lakeside are endless: kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, swimming, and boating just to name a few. However, the Lakes Region has much more to offer than just the lake right outside your balcony. In addition to the lakes, tax-free shopping, and many popular area attractions, we are lucky enough to be the home of an abundance of hiking trails and mountains in close proximity to the Inn.

Having the opportunity to get out and enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature walks and mountaintops is an experience you will not want to miss while on your next Lakes Region vacation. Along with taking in the fresh mountain air, there are many additional benefits from hitting the trails including enjoying a great full-body workout, lowering your stress levels, and communing with nature. The region offers trails that cater to all skill levels. Take a look at our top 10 favorites listed below, all of which are located within a half-hour drive from Center Harbor Inn!

Lakes Region Conservation Trust
Located in the Center Harbor Woods, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust is just a three-minute drive from the Inn. There is 224 acres of land which include a network of multiple trails that lead you through the scenic forest where you will be surrounded by the natural habitats of numerous native species.

Belknap Woods
Another option right here in Center Harbor is exploring the Belknap Woods. The Beaver Pond Loop is an excellent choice for all skill levels and can be used for trail running as well. The hike is a 2-mile loop which takes you through 90 acres of land and travels around a pond where there is a good chance you could see some wildlife.

Chamberlain Reynolds Forest
The Chamberlain Reynolds Forest is a 157-acre forest in Center Harbor. The forest holds over 4 miles of gentle hiking trails including the Wister Point Trail, which takes you along the shoreline of Heron Cove on Squam Lake. Other trails include a boardwalk that passes directly over a swamp, direct access to campsites, swimming spots, and beautiful views of Red Hill and Rattlesnake Mountain (keep reading to learn about those hikes!)

Proctor Wildlife Sanctuary
Proctor Preserve is a 47-acre protected area which is maintained by the New Hampshire Audubon Society located in Center Harbor. There is a 1.5-mile loop trail that leads alongside multiple streams and is a good choice for all skill levels. Be sure to pack a lunch as there are picnic tables available in the midst of a beautiful natural setting.

Red Hill
A moderately difficult hike, Red Hill is only a 7-minute drive from the Center Harbor Inn, situated in our neighboring town of Moultonborough. The full loop trail is 3.5 miles in length and reaches an elevation of 2,029 feet. Many advanced hikers will take advantage of the well-maintained trails and use them for trail running. As you approach the summit, you will notice a large fire tower lookout that is easily accessible with panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges, Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee.

Castle in the Clouds
Just a 15-minute drive away, Castle in the Clouds offers over 5,500 acres of land with 28 miles of trails to traverse including a range of options for all difficulty levels. Many of the trails offer remarkable views of (over 7) waterfalls, historical sites, Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam Lake and the wilderness beyond. Each Wednesday throughout the summer, Castle in the Clouds hosts Wellness Wednesday where there is a guided hike of the scenic Brook Walk. Be sure to visit the front desk at the Center Harbor Inn before you venture out and ask about our partner coupons for Castle in the Clouds. Although there is no charge for accessing the hiking trails at Castle in the Clouds Conservation Area, the coupons provide reduced admission for the castle tours and exhibit gallery located in the carriage house.

West Rattlesnake Mountain
Just short of a 2-mile round trip, West Rattlesnake Mountain is a popular destination for hikers of all skill levels. Situated in Center Sandwich, within a 25-minute drive, West Rattlesnake has unparalleled views overlooking Squam Lake. The Old Bridle Path is an out-and-back trail which ascends to a rock covered summit which you could spend hours on, taking in the beautiful scenery.

Mt. Morgan and Percival Loop
Sharing a parking lot with West Rattlesnake Mountain, the Mt. Morgan/Percival hiking entrance is just across the way from West Rattlesnake’s trailhead. This 5-mile loop trail is labeled as more of a moderate/difficult hike including two peaks, ladders to climb on, open ledges to traverse and caves to crawl through.

Lockes Hill
Located just 24-minutes away in the nearby town of Gilford, Lockes Hill is a loop trail which measures just under 2-miles long. The hike is great for all skill levels containing peekaboo views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Tread lightly as New Hampshire’s state wildflower, the Lady’s Slipper, is known to grow along the trail edges.

Gunstock Mountain
Sitting amidst the Belknap Mountain Range, Gunstock Mountain, also located in Gilford, has an extensive trail network catering to difficulty levels of all hikers. Gunstock is primarily known as a skiing mountain but they are much more than that. We have partnered with Gunstock Mountain to offer our guests additional discounts to their summer Adventure Park. Be sure to stop at the front desk to inquire about your coupon to use at Gunstock and carve out some time to experience Gunstock’s Premium or Discover Adventure programs where you can zipline, take a Segway tour, ride the mountain coaster, and so much more!

Museums in the Lakes Region

If you are staying at the Center Harbor Inn, there is no shortage of things to do and places to go. Of course, you have 71 square miles of Lake Winnipesaukee to explore which includes 258 islands and eight bordering towns. Within those towns, live some of New Hampshire’s best museums. Why not turn your vacation into an educational getaway and experience the best museums the Lakes Region has to offer? Take a look at the list of our favorite local museums.

Wright Museum of World War II
The Wright Museum of World War II has an ambitious mission: “To provide a vivid perspective on the profound and enduring impact of the World War II experience on American society.” The museum (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!) is a non-profit educational institution which houses over 14,000 memorabilia items that are representative of the battlefield and home front throughout the years 1939 – 1945. The museum has a “Time Tunnel” to experience life on the home front throughout the years of WWII and also exhibits and displays fully operational military vehicles including tanks, motorcycles, airplanes, and more. Throughout this calendar year, the museum will be hosting three special exhibits: Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II, Esquire Magazine: The World War II Years, and The Last Good War: The Faces and Voices of World War II. If you are a history buff, check out the latest exhibits and events here.

New Hampshire Boat Museum
Since you are staying right on the lake, why not take a second to understand and appreciate a bit of the boating heritage of the fresh waterways of New Hampshire? That is the mission of the NH Boat Museum, and they pride themselves on being much more than your typical exhibition hall. There are characteristic displays and exhibits of a variety of boats and history. The museum also offers guests a chance to experience the excitement of riding in a vintage boat . Visitors can also take part in many programs through the museum including community sailing, boat building lessons, children’s summer camp programs, lecture series and so much more.

Lake Winnipesaukee Museum
Lake Winnipesaukee has been one of New Hampshire’s primary visitor destinations for over 150 years. The Lake Winnipesaukee Museum houses in-depth, historical information about the Big Lake as well as artifacts, photographs, souvenirs from the past, trophies, memorabilia and much more. To get a little bit of insight on the history of the lake you have been enjoying for days, or years, stop into the museum and take advantage of their organized historical information and knowledgeable staff.

Libby Museum of Natural History
The oldest natural history museum in New Hampshire, the Libby Museum of Natural History is the home to an impressive collection of artifacts and wildlife that dates back thousands of years. The museum displays a life-size moose, many different bird species, plant specimens, minerals and so much more. There is a nature trail equipped with a butterfly garden at the museum as well as free live animal shows every Wednesday in July. New to the museum this year are wildlife sketching and landscape painting art classes. Visiting the Libby museum is an experience you do not want to miss out on!

A Message From The Manager


Ice Out was officially declared on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 5:24am. That can only mean one thing, summer is at our heels. So what are you waiting for? Get that summer gear and beach attire out of storage and bring yourself to the Center Harbor Inn. That’s all you need; we’ll provide the rest.

Our staff lost no time getting out our fleet of watercraft, which includes kayaks, paddleboards, and pedalboats. Adirondack chairs are front and center around our lakeside fire pit, beach loungers have been laid out across our 200 feet of sandy beach, and our gas grills are fired up for your cooking pleasure. We didn’t forget the Cornhole equipment for the lawn either and of course, we even have the tanning lotion.

Come out and experience the magnificent sunrises each morning while you enjoy a fine cup of locally roasted coffee. Sit out on our sandy beach and spot all the birds returning from the south to enjoy the early summertime weather with you. You may even catch a glimpse of our resident otter swimming around our boat docks.

If you are a boat owner, don’t leave her behind. She can stay in one of our 16 boat slips or 8 moorings where you can unleash her to roam 72 square miles on 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 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 just sit back around our lakeside fire pit to catch the night falling over the lake. Let our big comfortable beds lullaby you into a restful night’s sleep. In the morning be sure to enjoy our complimentary breakfast to get your day started just right.

Make your reservations early and don’t miss out on all that the Big Lake has to offer.

Thank you,
Denis Longchamps

2019 Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee declared the annual “Ice Out” at 5:24am on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Ice Out is the moment in which the ice on the lake melts enough for the M/S Mount Washington cruise ship to leave its port in Center Harbor and travel to all other ports located around the lake in Alton Bay, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. Traditionally Ice Out is known as the unofficial start of spring and boating season in the Lakes Region.

Here at Center Harbor Inn, we have had the luxury of viewing the regal 230-foot ship all winter, as it sleeps a little over 100 yards away at the Center Harbor dock awaiting springtime for the first cruise of the new year. Throughout the winter season, some guests were able to rent snowshoes from the Inn to traverse along the snow-topped ice to get a closer look and snap a few photos of the ship in all it’s glory. Viewers are not able to get too close, however, as the port installed bubblers in the water around the cruise ship to prevent the water directly surrounding the boat from freezing which protects the ship from ice and weather damage.

Each year, Emerson Aviation flies over the lake multiple times a day to identify the exact minute of Ice Out, a routine that has been carried out by the Emerson family for forty years now. Dave Emerson from Emerson Aviation was unfortunately unable to take flight the morning of April 24th due to visibility issues but examined the waters from shore and released this message, “I went to the Center Harbor port to inspect the bay from shore. The ice has melted around the Mount and is no longer a hinderance to it’s navigation. Finally we can now welcome spring.” The tradition of tracking Ice Out began back in 1887 and has continued annually with Ice Out dates ranging at the earliest date of March 18th to the latest date of May 12th.

Guests who were unable to make it up to view the beauty of our Lakes Region winter firsthand, had the opportunity to watch for Ice Out via our real-time webcam. Now that the ice has cleared the bay, we can finally kick-off spring and boating season. In honor of Ice Out we are starting our Lakeside Watersport Retreat Package a little early! The package includes 10% off our nightly rate plus access to hours of fun on Lake Winnipesaukee with two half day rentals of one of the hotel’s watercrafts for each night of your stay. Picture yourself gliding through the waters on either a pedal boat, paddle board, or kayak then relaxing in our four-season hot tub once your day of fun on the lake winds down. Celebrate Ice Out and springtime with us here at Center Harbor Inn.

Barrel Tasting Weekend in NH

If you are a craft beverage enthusiast, clear the calendar for the weekend of May 3 – 5, 2019. The Barrel Tasting Weekend event is coming back to the lakes and mountains region of New Hampshire. This is a special opportunity to tour production facilities, sample over 60 craft wines, beers and spirits and the chance to win over $5,000 in prizes, including a possible future stay at the Center Harbor Inn!

Barrel Tasting Weekend originated in 2011 and was held annually through 2015. The organization has modified the event to now include breweries and distilleries in addition to local wineries and has scheduled the weekend to take place in the spring season rather than autumn. This year there are ten participating businesses, most of which are within a 45-minute drive from the Center Harbor Inn. Guests visiting the properties will have the unique experience to try creations straight from the oak barrels that are used to ferment and age the products, meet the producers, and also learn in detail about the process of how their beverages are made. Many of the businesses will include other vendors whom will be offering items ranging from clothing, food and other wine and beer related merchandise for sale.

Hermit Woods Winery & Deli, located in our neighboring town of Meredith, is one of the companies participating in the Barrel Tasting Weekend. Just a ten-minute drive away, you can start your adventure here and meet the original organizer of the event, Bob Manley and his team. There will be a large tent located right outside of the winery where visitors will sign in and get their passports stamped. From there, you will be given the opportunity to tour the facility where you will learn about the filtration and aging process and engage in delicious a wine tasting.

The Center Harbor Inn is located centrally to many of the participating businesses and is offering a fantastic promotion on rooms during the event. Our Barrel Tasting Weekend Getaway Package includes 10% off accommodations of two or more nights and two tickets to the event. For more information on the package check it out here.

After spending the day touring multiple wineries, bring back some wine of your own to savor while you relax and watch the sunset over the lake on your private balcony.

NH Ski Area Discounts

As the lake begins to freeze over right before our eyes, we are thrilled to jump into some winter sports and activities! Soon enough visitors will be out ice skating, snowshoeing and snowmobiling just beyond our very own beachfront. While waiting for the ice to thicken, guests are welcome to take advantage of other great snow sports in the area with hugely discounted skiing and snowboarding tickets from our partner ski areas: Gunstock, Waterville Valley and Loon Mountain.

Gunstock Mountain, located in the neighboring town of Gilford, is a short 30-minute drive away. Guests taking advantage of our Gunstock Ski and Stay package enjoy 20% off the accommodations of their choice and 25% off tickets to Gunstock which can be used for downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or cross-country skiing. One of the closest large ski mountains near Boston, you can appreciate the beauty of Gunstock’s panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding Belknap Mountain range from the summit. Once you finish your runs at the mountain, make your way back to the Inn and into our four-season outdoor hot tub, while enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee locally roasted by Wayfarer Coffee Roasters. You cannot go wrong choosing us for your Gunstock Lodging.

If you are planning to head a bit further north into the White Mountain National Forest, there are two more excellent ski areas that we offer discounts for. Located 45 minutes away in Lincoln, New Hampshire, Loon Mountain is a perfect choice for riders of any age and skill level. Keep an eye on their website for exciting upcoming events at the mountain! Last on our list is Waterville Valley. Waterville is a quaint town tucked away in the national forest known for skiing. This pristine New Hampshire mountain attracts many winter sporting enthusiasts. Be sure to check out their extensive cross country trail network in addition to their 62 alpine trails.

After as many trips down the mountain as you can handle, come back to the Inn to enjoy some stargazing from your personal balcony and relish in the comfort of your king or queen sized bed before retiring for the night. Get a great night’s rest and in the morning head down to the front office and check out all of our ski discounts while enjoying our continental breakfast to get you fueled up for another amazing day on the slopes.

Center Harbor Inn Wins Community Pride Award

On October 25th, the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual meeting which included an awards ceremony where local businesses were honored for making a positive impact in the community. With our recent renovations of the inn just behind us, we are very grateful to have been presented the 2018 Community Pride Award for the rehabilitation and reopening of the Center Harbor Inn.

Chamber board of director member Julie Hayward of Hayward & Company presented the award plaque to long-term Path Resorts employee Jill Ober. Julie stated, “Throughout the renovation, they partnered with a number of local businesses to ensure the inn’s style and amenities were true to the area and best met the needs of the community and the visitors. The work took longer and cost more than expected (there’s a shock if anybody’s renovated anything because that is always the case) they were committed to restoring the inn to its glory and filling the large void in a growing and vibrant community of Center Harbor. Today the fully restored inn’s Adirondack facade brings new charm to the town along with many new and returning visitors. Guests enjoy upscale amenities and professional staff; the inn has fully reclaimed its place as a premier lakeside luxury resort.”

In March of 2016 Path Resorts purchased the Center Harbor Inn and immediately kicked off extensive renovations. The building was completely restructured with new exterior decks, douglas fir clad beam work and decorative cupolas to highlight the new Adirondack style. Interior work included complete modernization of the bathrooms and design updates incorporating rustic tones. Hotel amenities were improved with the addition of a four-season outdoor hot tub including heated walkways, as well as complete refurbishment of the nearly 200 feet of sandy beachfront. After all the updates the only thing that remained the same was the name of the property. Less than a year later, in January of 2017, the extensive renovations were completed and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to mark the grand opening.

We are honored to accept such a significant award and would like to thank the Meredith Area Chamber of Commerce for presenting it to us. It is wonderful to hear that the community is just as proud of the hard work that went into our widespread renovations as we are. We are committed to providing an upscale hospitality experience that does justice to the beautiful lakeside town of Center Harbor.

S’mores Three Ways at the Center Harbor Inn

At the Center Harbor Inn one of our lakeside favorites on a cool summer or fall night is a classic campfire. What’s better than sitting around a cozy fire unplugged from the world surrounded by family and friends? We can think of something… adding in a good old-fashioned s’more! We have taken the traditional s’more and upgraded it with a few twists of our own. Watch our video or check out the recipes below for our special concoctions. If you’re looking for ingredients, head across the street from the Inn to EM Heath’s Grocery Store for everything you might need. Just ask the front desk when you’re ready to start a fire and they will be more than happy to help!

The Classic: A straight up classic, if you have no idea what a s’more is, let us introduce you!

Ingredients:
2 Pieces of Hershey’s Chocolate Bar
2 Graham Cracker Halves
1 Marshmallow

Peanut Butter Lovers: Who doesn’t love Peanut Butter? For those who can’t get enough, try this one!

Ingredients:
1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
2 Graham Cracker Halves
1 Marshmallow
Spread of Peanut Butter

Chocolate Covered Pretzel: For extra crunch try out this twist on the classic.

Ingredients:
2 Chocolate Covered Pretzels
2 Graham Cracker Halves
1 Marshmallow

Canoe Restaurant in Center Harbor, NH

When you stay with us at the Center Harbor Inn you can expect to be immersed in the small lake town life where everything is a short walk away. One of our favorite places and hotel partners, Canoe Restaurant, is located within walking distance of the Inn. Canoe features laid-back American cuisine in a boathouse-inspired setting. This Spring they recently completed a full renovation that will be sure to bring in new guests year after year. They may have renovated the restaurant but when you walk in you still feel like you are at the same place it’s been for years.

The bar area has been completely redone with high top tables so you can look over the window sill to see lake views. They also purchased a wood fired oven which can be seen from just about anywhere in the bar area adding a rustic feel to the space and delivering excellent flavors for your meal. For the women pocketbook hooks were placed under the bar, so no worrying about draping it behind your seat or placing your bag on the floor anymore. In the main dining area, the dividing wall was opened up to provide the whole room with a view. Six-person booths were added for larger groups and a newly redesigned ceiling adds character to the room.

Check out our Midweek Winnipesaukee Romance package for a great deal which includes 15% off accommodations of your choice during two or more midweek nights and receive a $75 gift certificate to the wonderful Canoe Restaurant.

Guests can expect a casual and communal experience. In the bar there is 80s music playing, sports on tv, and local craft beer flowing from the tap tree. In the dining room you can have a more romantic and private, slow-paced experience. During the warmer months you can dine in their three-season porch and enjoy the fresh air. There has been nothing but positive feedback on the renovations and we highly suggest Canoe Restaurant on your next trip to the Center Harbor Inn. They are open seven days a week for dinner, and lunch is served Friday – Sunday.