My heart will forever be in New England. There is something about your childhood home that always calls you back. When you visit, all those nostalgic emotions and feelings bubble up inside you. The good and the bad. With maturity and time, the good memories always seem the most real.
For my birthday, my family sent me plane tickets for a 7 day New Hampshire Getaway. Last year, my parents sold my childhood home and moved to Lake Waukewan. This visit was to experience everything their new place had to offer. I wasn’t disappointed.
If you aren’t familiar with the Lakes Region of NH, Lake Waukewan is located in the towns of Meredith, New Hampton and Center Harbor. It feeds Lake Winnipesaukee via a waterfall you can visit at Mill Falls Marketplace.
This blog is to share my personal adventures with the hope that your New Hampshire summer vacation might include a few of these simple, yet enjoyable activities.
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Day 1: lunch and sunsets
If you are flying from Charlotte to NH, American Airlines has a direct flight into Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. It’s two hours, just long enough to catch a free movie.
fratello’s italian grille – Gluten Free
I arrived at noon and my long time friend from high school picked me up. We re-connected over a gluten free lunch at Fratellos Italian Grille. They have an extension gluten free menu. I had the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad. However, there were several Italian options such as pizza and pasta. This would be a difficult restaurant if you have dairy allergies.
After lunch, we made the trek up north to Center Harbor, NH. It’s about an hour from Manchester. I received the tour from my folks, had dinner and hopped in the car to catch my first sunset on the lake.
lake waukewan sunset
What a gorgeous night for a sunset photo shoot! The water on Lake Waukewan was calm, there was a variety of clouds and the colors were so vibrant.
day 2: coffee, veterans and shopping
wayfarer coffee roaster
I woke up extra early to catch my brother for a coffee in downtown Laconia. If you are in the Lakes Region area, check out Wayfarer Coffee Roasters on Main Street. They open at 6:30 AM.
I ordered a latte with almond milk and purchased a canned Nitro cold brew for later. The coffee shop is quaint and the decor makes you feel like you are sitting in someone’s home. The barista was friendly and made a strong latte.
nh state veterans cemetery
If you follow my blog, you know I lost both my grandparents last year. We were quite close and the loss was devastating. While in NH, I wanted to pay my respects so we planned a visit to the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery.
It is a peaceful, beautiful location. You don’t have to have friends or family there to visit and honor the veterans. A Memorial Walkway with monuments was designed in a small garden tucked away on the property. You could spend 30 minutes walking the trail and stopping to read each plaque.
tanger tilton outlets
On the way back to Center Harbor, we hopped off Interstate 93 to do a little shopping at the Tanger Tilton Outlets. It broke up the trip and gave us time to browse the end of summer sales.
day 3: wallis sands, rye nh and Lake Sunsets
August is a wonderful time to visit the seacoast of New Hampshire. It’s about 75 minutes from Meredith, NH, and should be on your list of places to visit. My mother is 65 so she was able to park for free at Wallis Sands State Park. Tip: If you are a senior citizen, save $15 by showing your license at the gate.
We spent the entire day walking the beach and wading in the ocean. The weather was warm, breezy and partly cloudy. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect day. Here’s a link to the red, octopus kite.
After a full day at the ocean, I was tired, salty and still in my bathing suit when my dad suggested we hop in the convertible to go catch the sunset. I am always up for a landscape photography shoot!
I captured this shot using my remote: RFN-4s Wireless Remote Shutter Release for Nikon DSLR. As you can see, it works from quite far away.
day 4: cafe breakfast and lake fun
waterfall cafe – Gluten free
If you are visiting the Lakes Region, you can find Meredith NH lodging at The Mills Fall properties. I used to work as a desk clerk and spent time in each location. My favorite Meredith inn was Church Landing; however, I’ve included links to each so you can decide for yourself.
The Waterfall Cafe is located in the Inn at Mill Falls building. It has views of the falls and Lake Winnipesaukee. Tip: Get there early for a window seat.
This cafe does cater to a gluten free diet. I ordered scrambled eggs, sausage patties and a side of fruit with coffee. The side of fruit was small for my liking. (It was in a condiment cup.) The waitress offered me gluten free toast, but I declined.
After a late brunch with my friend, I drove ten minutes home to prepare for my niece and nephew. I had purchased foam water guns for my nephew’s 6th birthday and was excited to try them out. They came in a set of 3, which was perfect. We could all use one.
As you can see, they were a hit. My mother and I had seen a child using a similar squirt gun at the ocean. The child played with it for hours! It was a great gift.
An afternoon on Lake Waukewan was therapeutic. The water temperature in August was just right. The lake was clean and clear. We had a day we will all remember.
After the kids left, we were all exhausted but wanted to catch another sunset. This time, we opted for a kayak trip around the lake. Lake Waukewan is the lake to paddle on if you want quiet, peaceful waters. There is a small amount of motor boats, which makes this a safe spot for loons. If you stay extra quiet, you might just paddle right up to one or hear them calling to one another.
Tip: If are aren’t staying in a Lake Waukewan vacation rental, such as AirBnB, visit the local public beach at 68 Waukewan Street, Meredith, NH. There are public restrooms, showers and a free boat launch.
day 5: family visits and meal delivery service
I don’t have much to share for day 5, as we traveled down to Massachusetts to see my extended family. However, this might be a good time to tell you about how I traveled and utilized a meal delivery service!
I tried a new-to-me, healthy meal delivery service out of Saugus, MA. It is called Paleo Power Meals. As the name suggests, they offer pre-cooked, paleo meals (keto and gluten free). They deliver to local gyms, but also ship meals.
Unfortunately, my first experience with the meal prep delivery company wasn’t off to a great start. My meals were shipped to my home in Charlotte rather than to New Hampshire. I called the owner and he remade my meals and shipped them to me. They were two days late, but I was thankful for them. My husband, who was still in North Carolina, enjoyed them too.
Here’s a short and sweet review of Paleo Power Meals using a 1 to 10 scale (1 being the worst, 10 the best).
- Presentation: 2
- Taste: 8
- Packaging: 6
- Website User Interface: 5
- Customer Service: 7
- Convenience: 9
If you want more information on why I rated each the way I did, comment below. I’m happy to answer your questions. I’ve included a few photos to show you the packaging, presentation and ingredients.
day 6: more family lake time
It was a beautiful, late summer day for a cookout with family. My sister-in-law made fresh guacamole! I split my Nitro Cold Brew with my brother on the deck while chatting about the kids.
day 7: Beach Time and meredith eats
My best friend from high school, spent my last full day in NH with me at the lake. Sitting with our toes in the sand, reminiscing about the old days was refreshing. We watched the kayaks paddle by and the loons pop in and out of the water. I’m telling you, Lake Waukewan is the place to go if you want rest and relaxation!
lakehouse grill and meredith nh – gluten free
We made the short drive to Meredith, NH, for dinner. Lakehouse Grille offers several gluten free entree options. While they don’t have a separate menu, the waitress (who was gluten free) pointed out each item that could be made without allergens. I visited this restaurant back in December and loved the New England Haddock. Fresh haddock, baked in a lobster sherry cream sauce, with herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and asparagus. It was amazing! The waitress said this menu entree has been a local favorite for the last 20 years. Tip: Order the New England Haddock.
After dinner, we walked the paved trail along Lake Winnipesaukee admiring the sights and artwork. I made good use of my smart phone tripod and remote for some fun selfies around town.
On a side note, if you travel, purchase a pair of Birkenstocks. These are my first pair and I wore them the entire time I was in New Hampshire. I love how the white buckles go with all my summer outfits!
Hopefully, my personal trip to Lake Waukewan, New Hampshire, has inspired you to think outside the box and try a new location or adventure. There is so much to see in New England, you could plan many trips over your lifetime and not see everything. If you have any questions, let me know. I love the Lakes Region and am happy to help!