20 Best Things to Do in Laconia, NH
At the heart of Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake, you will find Laconia City, which boasts different attractions for all ages!
Whatever the season, this city offers different recreational activities, annual events, and festivals that fit the atmosphere and mood you are looking for in a place.
You can spend your day soaking up the sun, hiking in the trail, boating in the lake, or spending your afternoon in museums, castles, and arcades.
For sure, you will enjoy your time, and you will never run out of things to do, so here are the 20 best things to do in Laconia:
Soak Up the Sun All Afternoon at the Weirs Beach
In the northern part of Laconia lies the most well-known beach in the region, where you can soak up the sun, enjoy the beach, and try many recreational activities.
The Weirs Beach is a nice little spot to swim or build your sandcastle, and then you can do exercise after your day in the sun.
Some lifeguards check the area, and some staff grooms the place to keep the sand clean and suitable for everyone.
Discover the place's natural beauty and walk and stroll along the boardwalk adjacent to the beach and the pier with boat rentals, arcades, shops, and food stores.
If you go to the boardwalk over 1,300 feet long, you can see the stunning view of Ossipee mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee.
You don't need to worry about the parking because there are many spaces in the parking kiosks along Lakeside Avenue.
Paint Your Pottery in Art Escape
It's time for you to let your creativity flowing and curiosity to the highest level.
Make sure that you have the time to visit Art Escape in Laconia, one of the DIY Art Studios where you can paint your canvas, ceramics, pottery, or throw a memorable art party for your friends and family.
Let your inner artist out and start to use the paint colors, brushes, palettes, aprons, tape, stickers, tracing materials, and pencils for your next artwork.
Art Escape is truly heaven where you can leave your work behind and enjoy the activities you can do.
Do not forget to buy one of the art kits and you can make Art at home.
Check Out Funspot
Funspot was once named by Guinness World Records as the "World's Largest Arcade" in 2008.
It was established in 1952 as a sports center, but it developed into an indoor arcade and a miniature golf course, and the rest was history.
You'll be amazed and entertained as Funspot offers 300 arcade games, 18-hole indoor mini-golf, driving range, bowling, cash bingo, 20 lane ten-pin, pinball machines, and an array of fun activities for the whole family and friends.
This place provides quality entertainment, and it has a particular room of working vintage in the 1970's and 1980's games.
It is an excellent place to have team-building as you can have many fun activities, and the staff will directly serve the food to your group.
Funspot is also available for your birthday parties, anniversaries, wedding, award ceremonies, family reunions, and other functions as the seating capacity is over 180 people and the events areas are inside the arcade so you can play without spending a dime.
Go to the Historic Belknap Mill
Belknap Mill represents an essential stage of the Industrial Revolution, and it has been operating as a cultural arts center, event venue, and museum for the community.
This mill made up of brick, post, and the beam is the oldest and nearly unaltered brick textile mill in the United States.
Even though the machines are not working anymore, you can still see the evident past and history of the place, and you can be involved in many educational programs about the region's industrial heritage.
Go to the Belknap Mill Museum for free and check out the three exhibits they have, such as the Powerhouse Exhibit, Knitting Machine Exhibit, and the Mill building built in 1823.
These exhibits are about the industrial history and heritage of the mill, its vital role in the American Industrial Revolution, how hydroelectric power worked, and the people who worked there for many years.
You can also have your meetings, private events, or even wedding in the riverside park of the mill as there is a beautiful brick structure with a refreshing ambiance for your special occasion.
Stroll in the Ahern State Park
Along Lake Winnisquam, you'll find a gem that spans over 128 acres of land.
Ahern State Park often gets overshadowed by other fun places to go in Laconia, but if you're willing to explore and discover the site, you'll realize that this state park is worth your time, and there's something to do for every kind of adventurer.
If you prefer to stroll or walk along the wooded trails, you may do so, or if you want to enjoy the lakeside view and the quietness of the place, you may go near the shoreline of Lake Winnisquam.
You can also bring your pets to the park as long as they are on the trails.
If you visit the parks in the summertime, the weather is warm, and there's a whole different vibe you will surely enjoy, but the state park is open throughout the year so that you can head out for a day trip any time of year.
Revisit History at Lakeport Freighthouse Museum
Lakeport has a long and colorful history, and you can revisit the past here in the Freighthouse Museum, which houses many memorabilia and artifacts.
You can see Victorian clothing, railroad collections, knitting machinery, wooden water pipes, treasured boxcar, and Bob Fortier's memorabilia.
With intense labor and outpouring donations and support, the Lakeport Community Association welcomes the public as it opens its door for the much-awaited museum in October 2012.
In the past, the association raised funds and gathered support to restore and preserve the integrity of the freight house and advocate to preserve the history of the Lakeport Freighthouse established in 1899.
Lakeport Freighthouse is the last remaining building of a busy railway center in the past, and it once served as a large terminal with a turntable.
Enjoy the Trail Rides in Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad
If you want to try to ride an old-fashioned train, going to Meredith village is the way to go as you will find the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad there.
The train travels from Meredith along Meredith Bay, passing through the area where you can see the view of Mount Belknap, up to Lakeport along the shore of Paugus Bay.
The two-hour roundtrip train ride starts at 154 Main Street, Meredith, but if you only want a one-hour trip, you must depart in Weirs Beach Station located at 211 Lakeside Avenue.
Reservation is required, and you must arrive at least 20-30 minutes before the departure of the train.
You can bring a picnic lunch on the train or choose the Hobo Picnic lunches, but make sure that you clean the area as you go and do not litter.
Make sure to visit the Meredith Station Gift Shop to buy postcards, apparel, train-related collections, treats, and snacks.
Try an Adventure Pack in Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center
If you want a place full of fun, discovery, and connectivity to nature and the environment, you should go to Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center.
Try out different educational environment programs in this center to learn about gardening, crafts, customs, and making deep connections to nature.
You can plan a visit and start your adventure pack in these 160 acres of land and check out walking trails, heritage gardens, ponds, natural playspace, and the newly renovated historic barn.
There are Wildquest vacation camps for children ages 4-14, Fledging nature-based preschool, community connection programs, and volunteer opportunities for all ages.
It's open from Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM throughout the year.
Visit the Endicott Rock State Historic Site
The Endicott Rock is one of the oldest public monuments in New England. You can see “John Endicott” inscribed on the rock and the initials of the commissioners and surveyors.
For many years, the existence of the rock was unknown until the people dredging the Weirs Channel discovered it in the 19th century.
The people once believed that the rock state was once the marker of Merrimack River headwaters and the northernmost head of the river.
Still, it is now evidence of the European incursions of Europeans in the area.
If you are near Weirs Beach, visit the historical site and one of the principal attractions as it's just within the area.
You can visit the site when the park is open and take this opportunity as admission to the park is free, and there are picnic facilities in the place.
Just take note that pets are not allowed in the park.
Buy Your Ultimate Souvenir in Laconia Antique Center
If you are looking for treasured items and unique finds, you have come to the right place!
Please go and check out Laconia Antique Center at 601 Main Street or in the former Newberry's Department Store, as it's full of handmade items, souvenirs, collectible, antique collection, and hard-to-find things that will surely add an extra touch to your house.
This 22,000 square foot antique center features over 150 quality items dealers that you can't find anywhere else.
Visiting the store feels like going back in time and searching for history and many unique items as you will find vintage books in aisles.
There are also many options in choosing furniture, glassware, coins, bottles, movie posters, war memorabilia, nautical items, stoneware, lamps, art, maps, and even a Victorian embalming table.
Take a break and go through these extensive collections of the past, and don't forget to enjoy an assortment of cookies, sandwiches, and ice cream on Connie's counter right in the store.
Swim in the Opechee Park Cove Beach and Opechee Point Beach
Take a dip and swim to the Opechee Cove Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Lake Opechee, enclosed in a cove.
It is alongside North Main Street, and the cove keeps the beach in the place and does not move as often as others.
There are picnic areas, soccer fields, baseball fields, a playground, a rubber track, and a concession stand near the beach.
On-site dressing rooms and restrooms are available in the area.
Spend a Fun and Exciting Day at Daytona Fun Park
Daytona Fun Park offers fun activities suitable for families and likely enjoyable for all ages.
It gives a lot of fun and excitement for the whole family, big groups, or even birthday parties!
Try their air hockey, hoop shooter, or automated scoring bowler games if you're more athletic.
Check out the park's bouncy boats, go-karts, and outdoor ropes adventure course if you're seeking some adrenaline.
The park also has an 18-hole mini golf facility bordered by lovely surroundings for those seeking something more relaxing.
The batting cages and various arcade games are also accessible to visitors.
See Breathtaking Views at Winnipesaukee Pier
Another of Lake Winnipesaukee's most iconic spots is Winnipesaukee Pier.
The Winnipesaukee Pier, situated on the lovely Winnipesaukee Lake, is where tourists may find a variety of interesting retailers and entertainment.
It is one of the lake's most famous and significant locations and was first constructed in 1924 to hold live performances and music.
The boardwalk's breathtaking views and a variety of local businesses, including an arcade, a pizza parlor, a ski area, and many more, have made it a favorite among tourists.
The Pier is fairly festive and is decorated with various themes throughout the year, so visitors can always find something fresh happening.
Sailboat, paddleboard, and canoe rentals are available at the Pier.
Tour around Belknap Mill
The Belknap Mill, constructed in 1823, is the country's oldest, substantially unmodified brick textile mill and a key example of Industrialization.
For more than 200 years, Belknap Mill has served as a hub of activity.
Although the machines have been silent for a while, they still include the arts in many of Mill's activities.
The Mill engages with schools to bring the area's industrial past to life with academic activities for students of all ages.
Visitors can take supervised or self-guided tours to view the permanent industrial history display and the art gallery.
Special events, festivals, talks, seminars, and activities are held at the Belknap Mill all year.
Attend the Famous Laconia Motorcycle Week
The Laconia Motorcycle Week often takes place in June each year and is referred to as the "Oldest National Motorcycle Rally" and "America's Original Riding Rally."
Its beginnings can be traced to a Gypsy Tour that assembled at Weirs Beach on the picturesque beaches of Lake Winnipesaukee over several days in 1916.
Over 90 years, the event has included lakes, hills, build-offs, bike displays, competitions, and sweepers.
The motorbike mountain climb contest, exhibits, and races are all part of the Laconia Motorcycle Week events.
Furthermore, Class-A riding takes place during the motorcycling event.
Ski or Play Golf at Bolduc Park Golf and XC Ski Park
Bolduc Park is immaculately maintained and provides participants of all ages and skill levels with a fun and difficult round of Par 3 golf with nine holes.
Daily operations are available at Bolduc Park Golf and XC Ski Park.
Its fields and courses are professionally tended to provide players with the greatest playing experience imaginable.
A 9-basket Disc Golf layout and hiking paths are available in Bolduc Park.
Bolduc Park provides cross-country ice skating, snowmobiling, and disc golf during winter.
Additionally, a Pro Shop offers golf-related items for sale.
Visitors may hire various equipment, featuring pull carts, motorized carts, swings, and discs.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Visit Castle in the Clouds
Just 40 minutes away from Laconia, you can visit the Castle in the Clouds, a mansion with 16 rooms that offer a majestic and breathtaking view of the Ossipee Mountains and Lake Winnipesaukee.
If you stroll in the garden, you will see nature's spectacular views, and it feels like you are on top of the world, but if you want to hike on the trails, you can see waterfalls.
You can do many things, such as taking a tour of the Lucknow Mansion, exploring the Castle's basement, or going to the exhibit gallery and the gift shop.
If you want to go, take note that you can only buy tickets until 4 PM in the ticket booth, and it is open daily from 10 AM to 5:30 PM.
Relax in the White Mountains National Forest
If you are a nature lover or want to enjoy the peace and relaxation of what nature brings, it's best to go to the White Mountains National Forest.
The forest is among the highest mountains in the Presidential Range, located in New Hampshire's central plateau.
There are a lot of nature-related activities you can enjoy such as running, walking, hiking, sightseeing of wildlife, and even camping.
Laconia is one of the breathtaking and charming cities in New England as this town offers many great places to visit and activities to do.
Relax on the sandy shore, stroll along the pier and boardwalk, visit castles, and enjoy the view in Laconia.
You will indeed have the best time of your life going to the pristine beaches, beautiful trails, lakes that are all worthy of being explored.
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