Family Boating On
Lake Winnipesaukee

Family boating on Lake Winnipesaukee for me is peaceful, relaxing and a lot of fun. Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire offers boaters a variety of places to go and things to do.

You can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Weirs and the Channel in and out of Paugus Bay.

Then there's family boating in the quietness of smaller coves all around the lake. 

Here you can relax in a peaceful setting and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding areas.

For those who need to rent a boat there are many places to choose from. Once you get the boating bug, you'll want to go out and buy your own.

Family Boating Lake Winnipesaukee

Navigation Chart

Before you start family boating on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, you should buy a map or navigation chart.

The chart shows where all the buoys and shallow spots are and places to avoid because of rocks. It also shows public docks and beaches.

We've been Lake Winnipesaukee boaters for years and never go without our navigation chart. When we decide to cruise some place we haven't been to in awhile it's nice to have the chart.

Family Boating - Navigation Chart

My first date with my husband was cruising Lake Winnipesaukee. We spent all day going from one end of the lake to another.

We went around islands, visited Weirs Beach, stopped for ice cream in Wolfeboro and visited people in Alton Bay.

Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is like paradise to me. I grew up away from the water yet, I had a love for boating. Especially sailing.

I know the first time I went for a boat ride on Lake Winnipesaukee that this is the place I wanted to be.

Every spring, summer and fall we spend most weekends and some weekdays family boating on Lake Winnipesaukee.

We have a small ski boat and take it everywhere. Our girls have become lake girls. We usually bring a tube, floats or something so that we can stop and swim somewhere to cool off and play in the water.

The Weirs

Family Boating LakeWinnipesaukee

Our daughters' favorite place is the Weirs. They like watching all of the boats and the M/S Mt. Washington come in and out of port.

We stop and visit the arcades, look for flattened pennies on the railroad track, get ice cream and just enjoy people watching.

We usually go to the Weirs via the channel under the Governor's Island Bridge.

It's a no wake zone, so you must go slow. The slowness gives you the opportunity to enjoy everything around you.

Just past the bridge on the south side of Governor's Island, is a place to anchor and swim. When we're out family boating, we stop here a lot when it's hot.


Another favorite place is Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Dock space is hard to get sometimes. Since our boat is small we usually go under the bridge to the Back Bay. There's usually dock space over there. It's also quieter.

There are also a couple of restaurants you can dock at and have lunch or dinner. In addition, the Back Bay holds water ski tournaments, which are fun to watch.

Family Boating - Wolfeboro

Wolfeboro has a lot of shops and ice cream places to visit. We enjoy walking around and checking everything out.

Over by the town docks they usually have craft fairs, music or some kind of entertainment.

Wolfeboro also has a lot of antique wooden boats and is host to a boat show in September.

Alton Bay

Family Boating - Alton Bay

Many times we take a family boating escapade down to Alton Bay, New Hampshire. There are restaurants and ice cream places to stop at.

There's a small bandstand in the park where summer concerts are held.

There's also a floating bandstand, but it's usually too difficult to put a band and all of their equipment out there.

Meredith and Center Harbor

Another great place to stop and visit stores and have ice cream is Meredith, New Hampshire.

There's a park where you can enjoy a picnic lunch as well. Sometimes there are craft fairs and other events happening in the downtown area.

Family Boating - Center Harbor

Center Harbor, New Hampshire which is in the northwest corner of Lake Winnipesaukee is a small town with a beach and some shops to visit.

The M/S Mt. Washington usually comes into port as well as spending the winter here.

There are so many places to see while family boating on Lake Winnipesaukee other than visiting the main towns.

Sometimes we just like to look at the houses or mansions being built. I always daydream that I'll have a nice house on the lake someday.

Places to See While You Cruise Lake Winnipesaukee

  • Sally's gut over by Meredith Bay is an interesting place to go. It's a narrow waterway between two islands. Boaters must go slowly and when you come out you're at Stonedam Island, which is a wildlife preserve. Click here for a list of some wildlife preserves around Lake Winnipesaukee.

  • Winter Harbor is a quiet place to go for the day. It's on the north side of Wolfeboro Neck and the water is calm over there.

  • Forty islands is a fantastic place for kayaking, canoeing or snorkeling. Every summer, our family does a snorkeling trip there. We maneuver between the rocks and anchor. Since we're on a larger boat, we bring kayaks, snorkeling gear, food and quite a few people. We have a blast. You must be careful though, there are many rocks just below the surface of the water.

  • Another famous place is "the Witches." This is a place you don't want to take your boat. There are a lot of rocks just below the surface. Buoys help guide you around them safely. I have heard many stories about boaters getting caught in the witches at night. The witches are east of Governors Island and south of Timer Island.

  • On the other side of the lake, you'll find the Barn Door Islands. This is a calm area away from the wind. We like to anchor and swim over here in the summer. There is a Loon Sanctuary over here as well.

  • The Broads is the great open space in the center of the lake. This is the fast way for cruising across Lake Winnipesaukee. It's the best place for sailing too. When it's windy, it could be pretty choppy. Because we have a small boat, we usually stay closer to shore to get places. Otherwise, our boat ride would be just too bumpy.

Sand Bars

There are two popular sand bars where many boaters spend the day. West Alton, New Hampshire between Sleepers Island and the mainland has a small area where you can anchor your boat and play in the water.

Because it's shallow, you can stand and play ball or chat with friends. Kids love it because they can stand up most of the time.

Braun Bay, a sand bar on the other side of the lake, offers the same thing. Anchor your boat and play in the water. Braun Bay is located near Moultonboro Neck in the northwest corner of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Family boating on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, offers a lot for the vacationer and the locals looking for something to do or to just enjoy the outdoors.


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