Golden Ponds and Yankee Towns
Beginning at the Maine border and spreading west, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region consists of 273 lakes and ponds, a pristine wilderness where unspoiled Yankee towns, rustic summer camps, and charming cottage communities hug the water’s edge.
On the eastern shore of 72-square-mile Lake Winnipesaukee (“Smiling Waters,” the largest in the state), the town of Wolfeboro bills itself as the “oldest summer resort in America” on the basis of a colonial governor’s country home, which was built here in the 1760s. The town is the departure point for a three-hour cruise aboard the 230-foot Mount Washington, which explores the quiet beauty of the area.
Hollywood chose the smaller Squam Lake as its location of the classic 1981 film On Golden Pond. Because the lakefront land is privately owned by families who pass down modest lodges from generation to generation, the lake itself is off-limits to the public, unless they book at the Manor on Golden Pond, an English-style country estate built in 1907 on 14 acres (2 of which are lakefront) as the refined summer home of a prosperous European businessman.
Chandeliers, leaded glass, hand-carved oak woodwork, and fireplaces in most rooms and cottages showcase the original owner’s to-the-manor-born aspirations. A cozy pub and the ritual of afternoon tea top off an ambience that is quintessentially British, and the Manor’s restaurant is considered one of the best in the Squam Lake area.
Repair to the corner Buckingham Room for ultimate pampering, courtesy of a king-sized canopy bed and private veranda with lake views. Although primarily a summer destination (with leaf-peepers filling the house till late October), the Manor becomes a winter wonderland when decked out for Christmas or during any of the snowy months, when Nordic and alpine skiing are never more than a slush away.