There is so much history in this region. Tourists have been coming to the Weirs Beach area since 1948. The Boston, Concord and Montreal railroads reached Weirs Beach, making is easily accessible to New Englanders. In 1849, a shrewd business move to increase rail passenger traffic to Weirs Beach, the railroad purchased the steamship the Lady of the Lake. From its home base in Weirs Beach, the vessel offered regular, comfortable service to the Lake Winnipesaukee ports of Wolfeboro, Center Harbor, and Alton Bay until 1893. The Mount Washington a longer, faster more luxurious ship began service in 1872, it was a wooden side-wheeler. Today’s M S Mount Washington has enjoyed locals and tourists alike as it majestically travels to its 5 ports.
Endicott Rock is a state park located on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in Weirs Beach. The large rock was rediscovered in the 19th century and is incised with lettering in 1652 by surveyors. The rock is now protected by an enclosure for viewing. Admission to the park is free and the area is perfect for family picnics. Weirs Beach has been popular for thousands of years….as long ago as 8000 B.C. The native Abenaquis, members of the Penacook tribe called their village Aquedoctan, meaning “place of good fishing”. They built a special type of basket called a WEIR to capture the fish, the origin of the name of the famous destination.
Visitors to Lake Winnipesaukee are sometimes surprised when they look across the lake and see a giant boat crossing the waters, dwarfing smaller speedboats, sailboats and fishing boats. That boat is the M.S. Mount Washington, a 230-foot excursion ship that travels between the lake’s top ports each day in the warmer months. The boat, which docks at its home on the bay in Center Harbor, takes visitors between that town and Meredith, Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro and Alton Bay. The cruise ship’s crew provides daily scenic cruises and dinner dance cruises each evening. It has a maximum passenger capacity of 1,250 and features a 500-seat banquet hall. The current steam-powered boat replaced the original ship, which was built and launched in 1872, in 1940.
Lake Winnipesaukee is also known as the Smile of the Great Spirit. Weirs Beach and the historic boardwalk is filled with fun and entertainment for the entire family. You can spend time at the Public Sandy Beach with a playground and picnic area, walk to mini golf and climbing walls, bumper boats or perhaps stroll along the boardwalk for fried dough, cotton candy, games, shops, and restaurants. Choose from Mexican at Crazy Gringo’s, seafood at the famous Weathervane Restaurant, Sal’s Pizza, BBQ or sit down overlooking the lake at the Pier. After shopping and dining, board the train for a lakeside scenic train ride. Enjoy the lake on the lake! Sign up to take an afternoon cruise, a dinner dance cruise or a fabulous Sunday Jazz Brunch cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee.
The Mount Washington is one of three ships in the company’s fleet. The second, the U.S. Mail Boat Sophie C., is “the oldest floating post office in the United States” is also the only U.S. Mail Boat on an inland waterway. The 76-foot boat has provided mail service to residents on five of the lake’s islands since 1892 and carries 125 people on lake tours twice a day during warm months.
Weirs Beach is home to the only floating post office in the United States. http://www.cruisenh.com/sophie.php
The 74’ Motor Vessel Sophie C, is the oldest floating post office in the United States, and is also the only U.S. Mail Boat on an inland waterway. Each season she provides mail service on the lake, a tradition dating back to 1892. Both of Sophie’s daily mail runs takes her to 5 islands where her staff delivers mail to the island residents and summer camps.
The third ship in the fleet is the 68-foot M.V. Doris E., which provides scenic tours of the smaller islands adjacent to Weirs Bay in two daily one-hour cruises. The boats are known for offering some of the lake’s best vantage points and tours, offering nostalgic, romantic experiences for their passengers.
Funspot, which has one of the largest collections of the late-1970s to mid-1980s arcade video games in the world as well as bowling and other activities, offers fun for kids of all ages.. There are several state parks on the lakes, including Ahern State Park on Lake Winnisquam in Laconia and Ellacoya State Park on Winnipesaukee in Gilford have some of the best beaches in the region. In the winter months, Gunstock Mountain Resort in Gilford offers high-level skiing and snowboarding and is open year around with special events, hiking, ziplining, concerts and craft fairs. Closer to downtown, the Lakes Region Sled Dog Club hosts the World Championship Sled Dog Derby in late February.
Since 1906, Kellerhaus has delighted visitors with handmade chocolate and candies. This year-round destination is the perfect spot to take a tasty break and experience their gifts, candies, gift baskets and maple products to take home! Don’t be surprised if you see a tour bus pull into Kellerhaus…they have visitors from all over the world to see this unique shop.
For more, visit:
– M/S Mount Washington – www.cruisenh.com
– The Kellerhaus – handmade chocolate and candies since 1906 – http://www.kellerhaus.com/
– Funspot at www.funspotnh.com.
– Weirs Beach at http://weirsbeach.com/.