Unveiling Lake Sunapee: Your All-Season Guide to Adventure, History, and Gastronomy

Looking for a hidden gem in the heart of New Hampshire? Nestled amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Granite State, Lake Sunapee might just be your next perfect getaway. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and those who simply want to unwind.

Key Takeaways

  • Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire is a prime vacation destination, offering an array of outdoor activities including boating, sailing, and hiking trails with breathtaking views.
  • For family fun, Lake Sunapee provides sun-soaked beaches with kid-friendly amenities and adventure parks with recreational facilities for all ages.
  • Winter at Lake Sunapee is a paradise for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, while other activities like ice fishing and snowshoeing provide serene joys.
  • The area around Lake Sunapee hosts numerous art galleries, historical sites, and museums for enriching cultural experiences.
  • There are farm-to-table restaurants and local eateries available, offering a variety of delicious dishes sourced mostly from local farms.
  • For shopping enthusiasts, there are charming boutiques and lakeside shops offering unique souvenirs, artisan crafts, and vintage home decor items.

Exploring Lake Sunapee: A Guide to Outdoor Activities

Embrace the wind in your hair and the sun on your skin as you venture into the heart of Lake Sunapee. From thrilling water sports to tranquil nature walks, explore an array of outdoor activities that promise to keep your spirit high and your heart content. Remember, no two experiences are the same here!

Boating and Sailing on Crystal Waters

Skim across clear waters, surrounded by lush, green foliage. Boating and sailing in Lake Sunapee’s crystal waters offer an exhilarating experience you can’t miss. Motorboats, sailboats, kayaks, and paddleboards are at your disposal. Imagine maneuvering through the waves on a hydrocycle or lying back in a canoe, soaking in the beauty of the shimmering lake.

Hiking Trails with Breathtaking Views

Get your heart pumping with nature’s treadmill – hiking trails. Explore textured paths that snake through forests, ascend uphill, opening up to vistas that snatch your breath away. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a favorite among locals, enclosing 75 miles of linked paths. Another fantastic stretch is the Mount Sunapee Summit Trail, offering panoramic views of the lake below. Lavish your senses with the symphony of rustling leaves, birdsong, and don your explorer’s hat for a journey truly worth embarking on.

Family Fun at Lake Sunapee

After exploring the outdoors at Lake Sunapee, continue your adventure with offerings that cater to every family member – from sun-soaked beaches to thrilling adventure parks. Lake Sunapee’s multiplicity in the tourism sector guarantees unforgettable memories.

Beaches for Summer Relaxation

Sun-drenched beaches around the lake provide ideal locations for summer relaxation. Dewey Beach, with its sandy stretch and clear waters, serves as a perfect spot for families. Grasp a tan on the sun-soaked sand or dive into the cool waters for a refreshing swim, and if you’re up for it, build a castle out of sand.

Public sanitations, showers, and lifeguards patrolling the beaches hold your safety paramount, making Dewey Beach your family-friendly retreat.

Adventure Parks and Recreational Facilities

Pair tranquillity with thrill in the embrace of Lake Sunapee’s scenic Adventure Parks and Recreational Facilities. The stands-out among them is arguably the Sunapee Adventure Park. Zip-lining through the lush forests, navigating aerial obstacle courses, and reaching the summit with the Quad chairlift ride are only the tip of thrilling activities offered at the park. For your young ones, the park provids a children’s playground and mini-golf.

Similarly, Mount Sunapee State Park introduces a snowboarder’s paradise during winters: the acclaimed Sunapee’s Ski Resort. Embark on adrenaline-pumping rides down the meticulously maintained ski and snowboard trails.

Explore the park’s well-marked hiking trails during the off-season. Marvel at the diverse wildlife and plant species inhabiting the region along the trail, containing enriching experiences for nature enthusiasts.

An integral part of your Lake Sunapee adventure includes these facilities offering more than just vistas and outlets for thrill-seekers but also avenues for bonding, appreciating nature’s beauty, and creating lifelong memories.

Winter Joy at Lake Sunapee

Winter transforms Lake Sunapee into a snowy paradise, offering a sleigh-full of exciting activities. The lake’s winter wonders invite you for memorable experiences amid the powdery landscape. The point of focus here draws its line to skiing and snowboarding adventures, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.

Skiing and Snowboarding Adventures

As winter descends, Lake Sunapee becomes a snowy playground, offering trails perfect for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. Mount Sunapee, standing complacently near the lake, is home to over 65 ski trails. From easy paths for beginners, like the ‘Learning Area Trails’, to challenging routes like ‘Ridge and Blastoff trails’ for seasoned experts, the mountain caters to all ski and snowboarding ability levels. And for a riveting night-life experience, bring the after-dark thrills to life at the Bonfires at Mount Sunapee, paired with some hot cocoa under the star-lit sky.

Ice Fishing and Snowshoeing

If skiing isn’t up your alley, Lake Sunapee’s other winter activities might spark interest. Ice fishing on Lake Sunapee’s ice-covered surface provides a serene, yet exciting, experience. Outfitted with proper ice auger and insulated boots, you’re set for a refreshingly cold fishing adventure. Local bait shops, such as Pete’s Tackle Shop, prove an excellent source to equip yourself with the necessary gear, and maybe some tips from experienced anglers.

For a blend of exercise and tranquility, Lake Sunapee’s trails welcome snowshoe enthusiasts. The Winslow State Park Winter trail, woods draped in a blanket of snow, presents a beautiful spot to strap on your snowshoes. Clad in warm clothing, embark on a peaceful stroll soaking in the serenity of the winter wonderland around you.

Lake Sunapee, a paradisiacal landscape in warmer months, morphs into a fun-filled winter haven teeming with invigorating activities. Envelop yourself in Lake Sunapee’s Winter Joy, taking away unforgettable memories and experiences.

Arts and Culture Near Lake Sunapee

Adding another layer to the charm of Lake Sunapee are the numerous art galleries and historical sites within its vicinity. Explore the local artistic scene or immerse yourself in the rich history rooted in this beautiful area.

Local Art Galleries and Workshops

Browsing the local art galleries near Lake Sunapee presents an opportunity to revel in the artistic talents of the area. There’s the Library Arts Center in Newport, displaying works from local and regional artists, presenting painting workshops for enthusiasts. Up next is the Bar Harbor Fine Arts Gallery located in nearby Newbury, showcasing a curated collection of paintings, prints, and sculptures.

For hands-on experience, you might want to consider visiting Sunapee Historical Society’s ‘Latchis Arts Workshops’. Here, artists offer workshops and classes in various art forms, assuring you walk away with a new skill or at least an appreciation for the nuances of the art.

Historical Sites and Museums

Surrounding Lake Sunapee are landmarks that understand the beauty of wear, tear, and time. Two of the most notable historical attractions are the Fells Historic Estate and Gardens and the Sunapee Historical Society Museum. The Fells, nestled on the eastern shore of the lake, once was the home of U.S Secretary of State John Hay, now stands as an epitome of preservation and hospitality, complete with gardens, walking trails, and captivating views of the lake.

However, a comprehensive glimpse into Lake Sunapee’s past calls for a visit to the Sunapee Historical Society Museum. With exhibits on boating history, local craftsmen, and vintage photos from yesteryears, it’s as close as you can get to touching the texture of Lake Sunapee’s history.

When you find yourself in Lake Sunapee, remember, there’s more to it than clear waters and the adventure it envelopes. Take a day or two to wander a little off the track. Unearth the stories captured in canvases and etched in stones.

Dining and Shopping Around Lake Sunapee

After immersing yourself in the natural delights and cultural richness of Lake Sunapee, replenish your energy at local eateries and pick up unique souvenirs at nearby shops.

Farm-to-Table Restaurants and Local Eateries

Satiate your palate with the exciting dining options dotting the streets around Lake Sunapee. Numerous farm-to-table restaurants serve up a delightful array of dishes, sourced mostly from local farms. A visit to the Anchorage at Sunapee Harbor offers a distinct culinary journey, with an impressive menu of fresh seafood and American fare.

Step into Marzelli Deli for an assortment of freshly prepared sandwiches and homemade pastas, or visit Bubba’s Bar and Grille for comforting pub grub and a cozy atmosphere. For those with a fondness for sweet treats, Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream can’t be missed, as they serve delectable homemade ice cream that’s churned right on the farm.

Quaint Boutiques and Lakeside Shops

Delve into the shopping scene surrounding Lake Sunapee by venturing into the charming boutiques and lakeside shops. The New London Barn Playhouse Gift Shop offers an eclectic mix of artisan crafts and local products. Or if you’re in Sunapee Harbor, the Prospect Hill Home and Antiques shop features a treasure trove of vintage goods and unique home decor items.

For an extraordinary shopping experience, make your way to the Kearsarge Indian Museum Gift Shop, brimming with beautiful Native American crafts, clothing, and jewelry. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, gifts, or simply wishing to treat yourself, the local boutiques and shops around Lake Sunapee provide a unique shopping experience set against the backdrop of stunning lake views.


So, you’ve discovered the magic of Lake Sunapee. It’s a place where you can immerse yourself in nature, engage in thrilling outdoor activities, and explore historical landmarks. The lake’s transformation from a summer paradise to a winter wonderland ensures there’s something for everyone, regardless of the season. And let’s not forget the local art scene, farm-to-table dining, and unique shopping experiences that add to its charm. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or an adventure trip, Lake Sunapee promises a memorable experience. It’s not just a destination, but a journey into nature’s bounty, culture, history, and the simple joys of life. So, pack your bags and set your course for Lake Sunapee – an adventure awaits!

Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire is a year-round destination that offers a blend of outdoor activities, historical sites, and delightful dining options. In the summer, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and hiking trails like the John Hay National Wildlife Refuge, which offers scenic views and diverse wildlife (Visit New England). During the colder months, skiing at Mount Sunapee Resort and exploring local history at the Fells Historic Estate & Gardens are popular activities. For dining, you can savor local flavors at restaurants such as Wildwood Smokehouse.

Frequently Asked Questions

What outdoor activities are available at Lake Sunapee?

Lake Sunapee offers numerous outdoor activities including boating, sailing, and hiking during the warm months. In winter, it transforms into a snowy paradise perfect for skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, and snowshoeing.

Does Lake Sunapee offer any family-friendly attractions?

Yes, Lake Sunapee provides family-friendly beaches and Adventure Parks. Mountain trails are also accessible for young hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Are there any skiing facilities available at Lake Sunapee?

Mount Sunapee, situated near Lake Sunapee, offers various ski trails catering to all skill levels. Thrilling night-time experiences can also be enjoyed at Mount Sunapee’s Bonfires.

What are some places to explore around Lake Sunapee?

Visitors can explore the numerous art galleries, attend painting workshops, and visit historical landmarks like the Fells Historic Estate and Gardens, and the Sunapee Historical Society Museum to learn about the area’s rich history.

Where to eat near Lake Sunapee?

Farm-to-table restaurants like the Anchorage at Sunapee Harbor and local eateries such as Marzelli Deli and Bubba’s Bar and Grille are great dining options. You can also visit Sanctuary Dairy Farm Ice Cream for dessert.

What options are there for shopping near Lake Sunapee?

Shopping enthusiasts can visit boutiques like the New London Barn Playhouse Gift Shop and Prospect Hill Home and Antiques shop for artisan crafts and vintage goods. The Kearsarge Indian Museum Gift Shop is recommended for Native American crafts and jewelry.