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Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog


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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!

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.

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!

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.