Sweet Simple Things

Ok, so we know the combo of “relaxation” and kids don’t always go together. But we may have just the right remedy. A calm, perhaps, completely unplugged family vacation. Toes in the sand. Swimming and rock collecting. Campfires, kites and stargazing. That sort of thing.

We’ve got two words to help put you in that New Hampshire summer state of mind: lakeside escapes. We’re talking crystal clear, shining waters. Mountain views. What’s not to love? Here are some low-key activities that’ll complement your stay.

Settle In

The Cottages at Wolfeboro

First, you’ll want to find your ideal summer home away from home. Rent a campsite in one of New Hampshire’s state parks, or find comfortable lodging in one of the Lakes Region’s many cottages and hotels. Then you’ll want to suss out some of the best places to grab a bite to eat. For dinner, our Facebook fans love Local Eatery in Laconia and the family-owned Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant in Meredith. For a sweet ice cream treat, they recommend trying Bailey’s Bubble in Wolfeboro.

Go Fish

Lake Winnipesaukee

There’s a reason fishing has been a treasured American pastime for so many generations. Maybe it’s the fresh air, the calm, uncomplicated connection with nature or all the teaching, learning, and conversation. And it’s not without excitement either. Trust us, after a few fun catches, your kids will be hooked. Lake Winnipesaukee, the third largest lake in New England, is just one of the prime fishing spots in New Hampshire, and most town docks in the Lakes Region permit shoreline casting. But first, get your family New Hampshire fishing licenses!

Set Sail

Lake Sunapee

Well not sail per se. But you can enjoy relaxing scenic cruises on Lake Winnipesaukee all summer long. Fridays are “Family Fun Day” and kids are free on Wednesday evenings! Then there are the picturesque Squam Lake cruises, including Bald Eagle Adventure and Lake Explorer Family Cruise options. And just a short drive away at  Lake Sunapee, you can catch a cruise on the MV MT Sunapee II.

Ride the Rails

The Mount Washington Cog Railway

Choo! Choo! Sit back and enjoy the view. The historic Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad winds around Lake Winnipesaukee, and if you’re up for a short road trip, The Mount Washington Cog Railway (recommended by National Geographic’s “Digital Nomad” Robert Reid!) Hobo Railroad or Conway Scenic Railroad will take your breath away.   

Scenic Adventures

Rollins State Park

A quick trip from the lakes is Rollins State Park, Winslow State Park, or one of New Hampshire’s other state parks in the area. Or head northwest to Mount Sunapee State Park or Dartmouth College’s beautiful Ivy League campus. There you’ll also find spots to shop local souvenirs for the kids. Reid also recommends grabbing a bite to eat at Lou’s Diner or Molly’s.

The above recommendations are from the VisitNH Social Media Communities that provided their favorite New Hampshire hot spots.