Lake Winnipesaukee towns certainly have one thing in common—the beautiful waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire's largest lake. Long-time lake area residents know, however, that each lake town has its own personality and atmosphere. Are you researching towns and deciding where to buy? In this post, we're focusing on Meredith and Wolfeboro. In future posts, we'll present our short course what makes other Winni towns special.
Meredith offers a lake-centric appeal three times over. The town borders Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee as well as Lake Waukewan and Lake Winnisquam. While the junction of Route 3 and Route 25 makes Meredith a busy and bustling summertime community, residents love Meredith for its variety of restaurants and other amenities and for the convenience of its downtown district. In Meredith, you can tie up at the town docks and walk to get lunch and groceries.
Mill Falls Marketplace
did its part to revitalize Meredith's downtown district when it opened in 1984. What was once a dilapidated linen mill is now the site of a four-story marketplace housed inside a restored mill building. Today the complex includes four inns, a spa, restaurants, shops, and a waterfall, plus grand views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Among the many restaurants in Meredith, Town Docks
is a community mainstay and summertime gathering place, the place to people watch as you dig into a lobster roll. Their homemade ice cream is a summer tradition for residents and visitors alike.
Settled in 1766 and incorporated in 1768, Meredith was named after Sir William Meredith, a British member of Parliament who never saw the 13 colonies but opposed colonial taxation.
A life-sized statue of comic strip character Archie sits on a bench in Community Park. The statue honors Bob Montana, who lived in Meredith and drew Archie Comics from 1942 to 1975.
Community Amenity Spotlight
In its sixth year in 2019, the Meredith Sculpture Walk
places dozens of sculptures throughout downtown Meredith for residents to discover.
Wolfeboro's town motto is "The Oldest Summer Resort in America." The claim goes all the way back to the late 1700s when British colonial governor John Wentworth built the first summer country estate in northern New England. It wasn't until the end of the Civil War that Wolfeboro's tourism industry developed, however. Launched in 1872, the Wolfeboro Railroad brought tourists from Boston and points south. Generations of visitors have spent their summers in Wolfeboro. And for the town's full-time residents, life is a resort vacation all year round.
Wolfeboro boasts a Lake Winnipesaukee waterfront lined with lakeside homes, the town's Carry Beach, and town docks and private marinas centered around Wolfeboro Bay. Route 109 marks the divide between Wolfeboro Bay and Back Bay and is also the location of the historic Wolfeboro Railroad Depot.
History and tradition loom large in Wolfeboro's character. The town is home to the Wright Museum of World War II
and the New Hampshire Boat Museum
. Wolfeboro's community theater, the Village Players
, has been treading the boards since the 1930s.
Life on the lake dominates Wolfeboro's personality, but the community offers land-based activities that residents treasure. There's the 12-mile Cotton Valley Rail Trail
that begins in Wolfeboro and extends to Wakefield. The Sewall Woods Trail Network
wanders around the Sewall Woods Conservation Area flanked by downtown, Jockey Cove, and Wolfeboro Bay. Headquartered just off Main Street, the Great Waters Music Festival
stages summer music events at the Congregational Church, Kingswood Arts Center, Anderson Hall, and the Barn at the Inn on Main.
Scroll through Wolfeboro's storied past by viewing the Wolfeboro Public Libarary Postcard Archive
Famous summer residents in Wolfeboro include former Massachusetts governor and current U.S. senator Mitt Romney. Princess Grace, Kurt Vonnegut, and Jimmy Fallon are among its celebrity visitors.
Community Amenity Spotlight Kingswood Golf Club
has been part of the Wolfeboro community since 1915. This semi-private course features a Donald Ross-designed 18-hole course.