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Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog

Lake Winnipesaukee Hotel Blog


Tag Archive for 'New Hampshire Lakes Region'

The Perfect Date Night

Are you searching for ideas to have the perfect date night? Look no further, as we have all the elements for an evening you won’t soon forget! Whether you are looking to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or your just need some inspiration in your relationship, let us help you plan a romantic lakeside staycation.

When you book a stay at the Center Harbor Inn with our Dinner and a Movie package, you will bring the spark back to your love life and have the opportunity to enjoy an amazing getaway together. After visiting the front desk to check into the Inn, stop by your room to drop off your luggage and get a glimpse of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee from your private balcony. This special promotion includes a $50 dinner certificate for a romantic dinner for two at Giuseppe’s Pizzeria & Ristorante and two adult movie tickets to BarnZ’s Cinema. While relaxing at the Inn, take advantage of our free WIFI to peak at the menu and view all of the delicious offerings of the Italian-styled restaurant. While finishing up your first cup of complimentary coffee, don’t forget to check the showtimes of the movies currently playing at BarnZ’s Cinema, just a three-minute drive from Giuseppe’s and an eight-minute drive from the Center Harbor Inn. Once your night has been planned, let the date begin!

Giuseppe’s, located in the heart of our neighboring town of Meredith, New Hampshire, is a full-service restaurant providing gourmet pizza, pasta specialties, seafood, steak, chicken, veal, sandwiches and a variety of gluten-free options. Giuseppe’s offers two full bars serving a diverse selection of beer, wine and spirits and provides live musical entertainment every night of the week. Enjoy a romantic dinner with your significant other with the easy listening of an acoustic or piano performance playing in the background or sing a duet for some live karaoke on Thursday evenings downstairs in The Grotto.

Post dinner, head down the road to the recently renovated BarnZ’s Cinema, offering blockbuster hits throughout the entire year. Relax in their spacious new reclining seats while watching the latest box office favorite. Whether you choose a horror, action or romantic film for your date night, watching a movie with your significant other is a great way to spend time together. After the movie, head on back to the Inn to share a moonlit soak in our four-season outdoor hot tub or retire for the night in the comfort of your king or queen sized bed.

A NH Foliage Vacation

There is no better place to be in autumn than the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Foliage season is a magical time on the lake, with the ability to see brilliant colors from all different vantage points while not feeling rushed along the way. When you join us for a fall getaway at the Center Harbor Inn, you can have an authentic seasonal vacation while experiencing the striking phenomenon of peak foliage.

When planning your fall getaway to the Center Harbor Inn, be sure to reference the New Hampshire foliage tracker to figure out the perfect time to book your trip. The tracker pinpoints the time of peak foliage across the state of New Hampshire and will provide a solid timeline to reserve your room at the Inn. Once you arrive to your vacation destination you can continue to use the tracker for scenic drive ideas, whether you decide to stay local and take the Lakes Region Tour which will loop around Lake Winnipesaukee (the largest lake in New Hampshire) or travel a little north to view the intense colors along the Kancamagus Highway on a White Mountains adventure drive.

Be sure to pack your digital camera and tripod for this special retreat as you will want to capture all the fall colors that northern New England has to offer. While traveling along your Lakes Region foliage tour, take a pit-stop at Mount Major located right off of NH-11 E for a moderate hike to one of the Belknap Mountain Range’s most popular summits. Mount Major is a heavily trafficked hiking destination with a couple different trail options ranging in difficulty levels but each leading to the same summit providing spectacular, unparalleled, panoramic views of Lake Winnipesaukee. Some hikers enjoy a picnic lunch atop the summit while others are content with snapping a few photos of the remarkable views before descending. If you are ambitious enough to take multiple hikes or nature walks during your stay with us, view the list of our favorite spots here, all of which including amazing fall colors along the way!

Once you return to the Inn after your foliage tour around the lake, take one of our kayaks out to view nature’s fireworks from a different perspective. The lake is lined by various trees providing all different colors including yellows, oranges, purples, and brilliant reds and crimsons. While on the lake, keep an eye and ear out for the Common Loon, a native bird of North America. Loons, also known as great northern divers, are tuxedoed birds known for propelling themselves underwater to catch fish. Loons have a very unique call that can be easily distinguished as they echo across the water. Loons tend to stay on the lake as late as November before migrating to the Atlantic Ocean for the winter. To learn more about this beautiful bird, visit the Loon Preservation Committee, only a twelve minute drive from the Center Harbor Inn!

Paddle back to the Inn and relax your muscles in our four-season outdoor hot tub while you let the brisk autumn air flow through your lungs and take some time to reflect on the beautiful fall day you were able to experience. When you take advantage of our Fall into Romance package, you can receive 20% off your stay for two or more nights as well as a $75 gift certificate towards dinner at the delicious Canoe Restaurant, located just walking distance from the Inn.

Sandwich Fair Lodging

Autumn is fast approaching which means we have an abundance of fall festivals and fairs taking place here in the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire. One fall attraction that cannot be missed this season is the Sandwich Fair, located within a fifteen-minute drive from the Center Harbor Inn. The Sandwich fair, celebrating its 109th year, is an annual event held on Columbus Day weekend and is open Saturday through Monday during the extended holiday weekend.

The Sandwich fair, originally agriculturally based, continues to focus on the state’s farming roots with exhibit halls presenting award winning vegetables, oxen and horse showing rings, tractor pulling areas and many more agriculturally founded activities. Whether you are living in the area or just vacationing in the Lakes Region, the Sandwich fair provides a great experience that brings the community together.

The fairground offers free parking for attendees and general admission tickets to enter the fair are reasonably priced at $12 for guests twelve years or older and children under twelve are free! Once you enter the gates there is an abundance of attractions to keep you occupied throughout the day and well into the evening. Grab a fairground map, or print one in advance, to plan your day accordingly. (You can find the fairgrounds map here). The Sandwich Fair offers many exhibits, attractions, and events including: 4-H animal showings and judging, Disc Dog presentations, clowns, comedians, juggling, musical and ventriloquist acts, parades and much more. Be sure to view the full list of the schedule of events throughout the long weekend to get more information to plan your day. In between events and showings, take advantage of some of the traditional and unique fair concessions like: fried dough, candied apples, blooming onions, tacos and burritos, and soup in a bread bowl. The rides at the midway are always a popular attraction and provide both a fun and exhilarating experience for all ages!

Many fair visitors find just one day spent at the fairgrounds is much too short and they cannot take advantage of the various activities, or they are stuck deciding between the Antique Auto Parade on Saturday or the Grand Street Parade on Sunday. Throughout the month of September there is an advance ticket sale where a 3-day pass is only $24. Why not attend all three days and get the full experience? The Center Harbor Inn is conveniently located just fifteen minutes away and is the ideal lodging location for people planning a visit to the Sandwich fair, whether they are attending just one day or all three. By staying at the Inn, you can spend more time enjoying the fair and less time stuck in traffic. Once you arrive back at the hotel after a fun-filled day exploring the fair, relax in our four-season outdoor hot tub or stargaze from our Adirondack chairs near the warmth of our fire pit.

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!

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.

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.