Summers in New Hampshire’s picturesque Lakes Region offer the perfect opportunity to indulge in delightful sweet treats with your family.
As the sun dances on the pristine waters and the gentle breeze rustles through the lush greenery, the region becomes a haven for those seeking moments of pure joy and relaxation – with a tasty treat in hand, of course! Whether you’re savoring a creamy scoop of homemade ice cream, sinking your teeth into a perfectly flaky pastry, or sipping on a refreshing fruity cocktail, the Lakes Region entices the whole family with its delectable offerings. Here, we share eight spots to indulge your sweet tooth and sip your way through ’til sunset in the Lakes Region!
A Few Sweet Treats in the Lakes Region
When visiting this local spot, which was voted the “Best Ice Cream and Best Candy Shop” in the Lakes Region in 2023, you can rest assured knowing it will be really good. Kellerhaus has been a Weirs Beach staple for the past 117 years, and it has earned its place in locals’ hearts as the spot to go to for a sweet treat any time of the year. There’s something to be said about the candy shop’s decadent holiday sweets, but this time of year, its homemade ice cream steals the show. Since the staff makes it all themselves, they can concoct brilliant seasonal flavors like French Toast – a maple cinnamon flavored ice cream topped with French Toast cereal and a sweet syrup swirl. Kids (and adults!) flock to pile on their choice of toppings at the sundae bar, creating masterpieces that almost look too good to eat. Whether you stop in for a box of homemade fudge, a pint of ice cream, or an array of candy, you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a satiated stomach.
2. Liliuokalani’s Ice Cream & Coffee Bar
Show up in style when you arrive via boat to Liliuokalanis – a family-run ice cream shop nestled on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee – or simply drive up and park right out front. As soon as you step inside the retro pastel-colored shop, you’ll be greeted by the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the sight of creamy ice cream flavors beckoning to be savored. From classic favorites like chocolate and vanilla to unique creations like lavender honey and maple walnut, Liliuokalani’s boasts an impressive selection that caters to every taste. Behind the counter, the ice cream shop’s employees take great pride in their craft, using only the best ingredients to create each frozen dessert. Whether you choose to enjoy your treat in a freshly made waffle cone or as a sundae adorned with decadent toppings, a visit to Liliuokalani’s promises a sweet experience that will keep you coming back for more.
3. Sawyer’s Dairy Bar
After spending the day towing the kids around Weirs Beach, a leisurely stroll on the pier with a cold cone in hand brings a welcomed change of pace. Sawyer’s Dairy Bar is a haven for ice cream enthusiasts in New Hampshire. The menu is a delightful tribute to summertime sweets – from classic homemade hard ice cream flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry to creative specialty options such as Salted Caramel Pretzel and Cookie Dough Explosion. The secret to their success? Locally sourced ingredients which adds an extra layer of freshness to every scoop. But if you’re not in the mood for a chilled treat, there are other sweet offerings here: milkshakes, sherberts, and homemade pies. In addition to its ice cream offerings, Sawyer’s also provides a variety of mouthwatering treats like milkshakes, sherberts, and homemade pies. With a welcoming atmosphere and dedication to serving up the freshest frozen treats, Sawyer’s Dairy Bar has rightfully earned its reputation as a beloved destination for ice cream lovers in New Hampshire.
4. Hope Made Desserts at NASWA Blue Bistro
Dessert is always a “yes” after a meal at NASWA Resort’s Blue Bistro. Hope Makris, matriarch of the NASWA Resort, is a community icon for many reasons, one of which is her famous “Hope Made” desserts. These treats are made by Hope herself, who at 98 and a half, is still in the kitchen baking every day. Some of her innovative treats include the Mile High Mud Pie, Key Lime Pie, Carrot Cake, Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake, and the fan-favorite Tommy Bahama Cake. Offered exclusively at the NASWA Resort’s Blue Bistro and NazBar & Grill, you’ll want to make room on your summer itinerary for this iconic destination.
The Best Summer Cocktails in the Lakes Region
Summers in New Hampshire’s enchanting Lakes Region offer a welcomed opportunity to unwind and enjoy refreshing cocktails on the lake. As summer unfolds, the region becomes a captivating backdrop for cherished moments with friends and family. Whether you’re lounging by the shore, basking in the warmth of sunset, or gathering around a cozy lakeside bonfire, sipping on a cool cocktail adds a touch of luxury to these idyllic summer days. From fruity concoctions bursting with local flavors to sophisticated mixology creations, the Lakes Region’s bars and restaurants are ready to cater to your desires. Check out these four spots for a seasonal sip.
1. Akwa Marina Beach Bar
Known for more than just drinks by the water, this marina is also home to the “Best Lobster Roll in the Lakes Region”. Make Akwa Marina Beach Bar one of your stops along the lake on your next boat day and elevate your evening of dinner and drinks with a meal filled with local flavors and stunning scenery. The eatery is located in a spacious gazebo that overlooks the lake and features a one-of-a-kind bar built from a 1904 27′ Wooden Sloop. Indulge in classic New England dishes and a variety of summery cocktails like its Blueberry Basil Lemonade with Titos Vodka or a refreshing Pina Colada.
2. Town Docks
Nestled in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, this waterfront restaurant is a popular destination thanks to its breezy, lakeside atmosphere and classic summer dishes. The menu is a celebration of coastal flavors and culinary creativity, featuring a variety of seafood dishes, from fresh oysters to succulent New England lobster rolls. In addition to the seafood delights, Town Docks offers burgers, salads, sandwiches, and an ice cream stand on site. Plenty of its cocktails come with a seasonal twist and are served to impress. For example, the Sand Pail Punch, featuring a mix of flavored rums and fruit juices, comes garnished with fruit and is served in a nostalgic plastic sand pail. Town Docks also has local and handcrafted options, classic cocktails, draft brews, canned beverages, and non-alcoholic options to sip on while taking in the bustling environment and live entertainment by the water.
3. The Gazebo Beach Bar at Margate Resort
The Margate Resort’s dining experience provides an authentic New England culinary journey in an idyllic east coast setting. Situated on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, this waterfront resort combines stunning views with delectable cuisine. The menu blends diverse flavors and locally sourced ingredients, featuring an extensive selection of dishes crafted to satisfy every palate. Choose from a selection of specialty cocktails, like a Pavilion Punch, Happy Landing Lemonade, and a Margate-A-Rita, or select a craft beer from the tap to pair with your fresh seafood dinner, succulent steak, or vegetarian dish. This is the spot to unwind and enjoy yourself amidst the picturesque scenery.
4. Boardwalk Bar & Grill
With ample sun and plenty of shade, the Boardwalk Bar & Grill in Laconia is an ideal spot to spend an afternoon dining on delectable cuisine and sipping on handcrafted cocktails. Whether you dine indoors or on the outdoor patio, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Lakes Region, creating a tranquil backdrop for a memorable summer experience. Here, you don’t have to choose between dessert or a drink when you order the Girl Scout Cookie – a sweet blend of Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint served Frozen with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Or keep it simple with another one of the specialty cocktails, the Lake Codder – made with Vodka, Flag Hill cranberry liqueur, and a splash of soda. At The Boardwalk Bar & Grill, you’re encouraged to sip back and relax. It’s summer, after all!