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Boats on Lake Winni with the mountains in the background during the summer.
Jonbilous | Adobe Stock

The Ultimate New Hampshire Summer Weekend Guide

Can’t decide between a relaxing lakeside getaway or an active mountain vacation? Plan a trip to New Hampshire, home to the White Mountains and the Lakes Region, where you can have both in one weekend. 

With hundreds of miles of hiking trails, 93 state park properties, and plenty of lakes and beaches to explore, the Granite State is a paradise for outdoor adventurers. 

Follow this guide to plan the perfect New Hampshire summer weekend trip.


Mount Washington Hotel exterior on left. Mount Washington Hotel room on the right.

Northern New Hampshire is an easy drive from Boston—you can save your vacation time, leave after work on Friday, and arrive in time for dinner. 

Check into the Omni Mount Washington Resort, New Hampshire’s most iconic hotel. The sprawling, red-roofed property can be spotted from many viewpoints in the state. This historic resort was built in 1902 and has since undergone many renovations to make it the timelessly elegant property it is today. The most recent renovation expanded the hotel to add 69 modern rooms and suites in the Presidential Wing—book a room in this section to enjoy mountain views from your private outdoor space, oversized soaking tubs, and a brand-new feel.

The Omni’s main dining room was recently updated as well. Reserve a table by the window in this elegant space (there is a dress code) for a special dinner. The dining room’s picture windows offer stunning sunset views over the mountains and surrounding forest while you eat. 


Center Harbor Inn exterior on left, Center Harbor Inn room on right.

Start your day off right with a buffet breakfast in the Omni’s main dining room, or, for lighter fare, take advantage of the Omni’s complimentary coffee service and pair a cup with a pastry (don’t miss the incredible cinnamon rolls) from the hotel’s Morsels cafe. 

New Hampshire is by far the best state in New England for hiking. Experience a classic New Hampshire 4,000-footer by tackling Mount Eisenhower. Part of the White Mountains’ famous Presidential Range, this moderately challenging trek will reward you with 360-degree views at the top. The 3.3-mile (one-way) Edmund’s Path trail is the most direct route to the summit.

By the time you’ve finished the hike, you’ll be ready for a hearty lunch. Refuel at Wicked Fresh Craft Burgers in North Conway. Get the milkshake (made with local milk) and the fries (topped with fresh herbs)—you’ve earned it.

Check into the Center Harbor Inn. Perched above a private sandy beach on Lake Winnipesaukee, this hotel puts you in the heart of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. Opt for a water-view room with a private balcony for a truly luxurious stay.

Head down to the hotel’s outdoor hot tub where you can soak your tired muscles while overlooking the water. 

Walk across the street to Poggio’s Craft Kitchen & Taphouse for dinner, where chef Kaylon Sweet serves up an ever-changing menu based on fresh, local ingredients. If the weather’s nice, sit outside in the restaurant’s beautiful new biergaten space. 


top: Hiking signs for different trails. bottom left: the mansion at Castle in the Clouds. bottom right: interior of the mansion with a table, couch and rug.
Castle in the Clouds

Stroll over to Gusto’s Italian Cafe for a leisurely Sunday morning breakfast. Grab a sandwich and coffee—and don’t forget to add in one of the homemade pastries involving Nutella—and bring your feast back for a picnic on Center Harbor Inn’s private beach.

After carboloading and caffeinating, rent a kayak from the hotel and paddle around Lake Winnipesaukee before checking out. 

Take a short drive to Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. Built as a private estate in 1913, this elaborate property once spanned an incredible 6,300 acres. Now, the mansion and grounds occupy 135 acres of prime real estate overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. 

Tour the carefully-preserved 16-room Lucknow estate for a fascinating example of how the wealthy lived in the early 20th century before having lunch in the on-site restaurants (housed in the converted stables). 

Cap off your trip with a walk through Castle in the Cloud’s many scenic walking trails—the short (0.8 mile) Brook Walk trail takes you past seven beautiful waterfalls. 

Editor’s Note: The author of this story was hosted by Visit New Hampshire.

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