It's All About the Water

Passionate Boaters Love New Hampshire’s Lakes

With a name like “the Lakes Region,” visitors expect great boating from New Hampshire’s popular tourism spot. And it is great – some might say the best in New England. Many visitors don’t realize all the options available to boating enthusiasts while exploring the beautiful Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Boaters use the lakes not only for traditional swimming, fishing, and watersports, but also for daily transportation, nature exploration, sightseeing, and more.

The biggest and most popular boating destination in the Lakes Region, and the state for that matter, is Lake Winnipesaukee. Whether your boating passion is for sailing, cruising, fishing or even sleeping, you’ll find the perfect spot on this huge lake that has captivated travelers from all over the world for decades. Many towns along the shores of Winnipesaukee, like Meredith, Alton Bay, Wolfeboro, Weirs Beach, Gilford, and Center Harbor, have town docks that allow visitors to access favorite shops, restaurants and attractions nearby right from their boat.

Getting around the lakes these days is relatively easy, with an app called “LakeWinni” that helps boaters navigate the “Big Lake” as well as GPS routing on many of the other lakes in the area. Many people who reside on the lake’s islands use their boats for day to day living as well as recreation. There is even a full-service mail boat that serves residents on the islands: the M/V Sophie C, the only mail boat on an inland waterway in the entire country.

While there is plenty of great shopping and dining to be had along the 288 miles of Lake Winnispesaukee shoreline, there are also gorgeous natural sights to be seen (many of them for free). The Lakes Region Conservation Trust, a local environmental association, has a number of areas accessible to the public by water, including Stonedam Island’s wildlife preserve on Winnipesaukee that can only be visited by boat. Stonedam has nature trails, a picnicking beach, scenic views and more. Free maps of the area can be acquired by contacting the Lakes Region Conservation Trust.

There are more than 270 lakes and ponds in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and Lake Winnipesaukee is only one of them. For those who prefer a quiet atmosphere, there are public boat launches on most of our smaller lakes, which are perfect for kayaking, fishing, canoeing, etc.

Some people actually love boating in the Lakes Region so much that, instead of staying in a hotel or renting a vacation home, they get a long-term boat slip at a local marina and sleep right on their boat. Short- and long-term dock rentals are available at many marinas around the region, with everything from exclusive yacht clubs with bars and cabanas to basic hourly docks : Below are just a handful of options.

Y-Landing Marina
Shep Brown’s Boat Basin
Meredith Marina
Meredith Bay Marina
Alton Bay:
Irwin Marine

Goodhue & Hawkins Navy Yard
Weirs Beach/Laconia:
Akwa Marina Yacht Club
Irwin Marine
Fay’s Boat Yard

Asquam Marina
Riveredge Marina

The lakes in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region give visitors lots of unique options, with no two lakes being exactly alike. To find all the information about the Lakes Region of New Hampshire in one place, visit for listings of attractions, marinas, restaurants and more. For suggestions and ideas on how to make a vacation on Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire truly unforgettable, contact the Lakes Region Tourism Association.


There are so many fabulous places to stay in the Lakes Region!


When you travel to the Lakes Region, there’s always plenty to keep you entertained!


You’re sure to find appetizing choices on your getaway.


Tax free shopping and an abundance of commercial and artisan wears!