An Active Couple’s Fall Getaway

Couples massages and poolside cocktails are nice. But if you’re one part of a pair that adheres to the philosophy of “the couple who sweats together, stays together,” then a long weekend spent in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in the fall is the ideal place to experience autumn at its most adventurous.

Day One

4:30 p.m. | Bristol
Mexico City near Newfound Lake

The quaint New England town of Bristol may not be the first image that comes to mind when you think authentic Mexican cuisine, but Cielito is changing that – at least among Lakes Region locals. Set in a small but open and airy orange building right on Main Street, the restaurant is comparable to anything you’d find south of the border, thanks to fresh ingredients packed with just the right flavors. Think margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice and top-shelf tequila, slow-cooked pork carnitas served with citrus marinade, tortilla soup, and what patrons rave about most – fresh guacamole made tableside to your specific liking.

6:30 p.m. | Plymouth
Flying Film Series at The Flying Monkey

Art deco movie house The Flying Monkey has been a mainstay in Plymouth’s nightlife since it was first built in the 1920s. While best known for its live entertainment – bringing everything from notable comedians and dance performances to Grammy Award–winning musicians – one thing locals make the regular pilgrimage to is its Flying Film Series, offering a different award-winning independent film year-round and almost daily at 6:30 p.m.

Day Two

9 a.m. | Wolfeboro
Your Own Private Foliage Tour

As if viewing the surrounding Lakes Region foliage from the unique vantage point on Lake Winnipesaukee wasn’t unique enough, when you do so via a private two-hour charter on the Millie B., you also get the privilege of cruising in a 28-foot 1928 Hacker-Craft replica. Departing from the Wolfeboro Docks, the mahogany vessel is a way to relive the golden age of boating, while also soaking in the fiery colors of the surrounding Ossipee Mountains as you putter across Wolfeboro Bay through the Barber’s Pole Channel to Moultonborough and back.

12 p.m. | Wolfeboro
Lunch Lakeside

Just a short walk from where Millie B. docks, Garwoods Restaurant & Pub is a low-key pub offering top-notch views from where it sits overlooking Wolfeboro Bay (boaters are even invited to tie up at the pub’s own dock). While it may not be warm enough to sit on the patio, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows lets diners enjoy the view from inside while tucking into a seafood menu that features a crab cake sandwich, capellini with baby clams, and an open-faced tuna melt.  

2 p.m. | Sandwich
A Hike with Some Height

While not the hardest hike in the area, the moderately ranked Eagle Cliff Trail certainly offers some interesting challenges, including a steep ascent (elevation gain is 650 feet over the .6-mile trail) as well as some hand-over-hand scrambling near the upper part of the route. But the burning you’ll be feeling in your calves and thighs will all be worth it: The rocky overlook at the 1,270-foot Eagle Cliff commands one of the finest views of Big Squam Lake and its many little islands, the Squam Range, and the twin peaks of the Rattlesnakes.

7 p.m. | Sandwich
Dinner and a Show

While the four elegant country dining rooms are notable in their own right, thanks to a menu focused on local game and produce, it’s the Corner House Inn’s upstairs pub that is the place to be if you’re looking for entertainment. That’s because on Thursday nights, starting in October, the pub hosts its famous Storytelling Dinners, bringing in storytellers from all over New England who spin tales as you dine. Come Friday, you can always expect a different live musician at 6:30 sharp.

Day Three

10 a.m. | Northfield & Meredith
Choose Your Outdoor Adventure

Pick your choice of mountain biking at Highland Mountain Bike Park or kayaking at EKAL Activity Center. The lift-accessed mountain biking park, located in Northfield, offers more than 30 miles of trails carved into the mountain, from narrow, winding wooded routes with natural rocks and berms to single-track with manmade elements, as well as a beginner wooded area with a pump track. If you’re not looking for downhill thrills, opt instead to take a single or double kayak out from the Meredith-based outfitter for a last paddle of the season on Lake Winnipesaukee.

3 p.m. | Meredith
Stroll Four Floors of Stores

You may be a bit beat after the active morning you had, so take it easy with some one-stop shopping. Located across from Lake Winnipesaukee and centered around a 40-foot waterfall, the Mill Falls Marketplace offers four floors of independent shops housed in a historic brick and barn-board building. 

4 p.m. | Meredith
Wine Then Sculpture Walk

Located behind the marketplace, Hermit Woods Winery is a boutique winery and meadery that is a must-stop for a tasting of fruit wine made entirely from New Hampshire–grown ingredients, including kiwi berries, blueberries, peaches, crabapples, and more. If you still have time before dinner, head back toward the waterfront to explore the Meredith Sculpture Walk. Here, 30 sculptures from Northeast artists can be found along Main Street, the lake, and tucked within the town’s parks and the gardens at the Mill Falls Marketplace.

Day Four

10 a.m. | Gilford
Get a Bird’s-Eye View

Home to 91 challenges suspended through eight courses which get gradually harder and higher, Gunstock’s Aerial Treetop Adventures is New England’s largest aerial obstacle course. While you begin the two-hour experience just a few feet off the ground, by the end, expect to be crossing suspended rings and zip-lining among the treetops at 100 feet!

1 p.m. | Laconia
Caribbean Digs Beside the Lake

From the fruity and frozen drinks and tropical decor to its location right on the beach, NazBar & Grill at Naswa Resort brings a little taste of the Caribbean to the heart of Laconia. While the whole venue is situated outside, it is tented with heaters and fire pits so those cooler fall temps don’t stand a chance.