The Lakes Region is full of beautiful scenery any time of the year. Many visitors and residents bring that natural beauty back to their homes with amazing artwork created by local artists. It’s no surprise the scenic vistas that surround us inspire artists to pick up their paintbrushes and cameras to capture a single, breathtaking moment. The Art Place in downtown Wolfeboro always has lovely artwork on display, and also takes care of custom matting and framing for their many customers. (I had a painting framed by The Art Place a few years ago, and I was delighted to see all of their various framing options.
More than 10 million out-of-state visitors can’t be wrong . . . New Hampshire is a treasure-trove of fabulous natural and cultural attractions. While the majority flock to the most popular destinations, there are hundreds of additional places from which to choose. Having lived in New Hampshire for more than 40 years, one of my favorites is Squam Lake. Situated immediately northwest of Lake Winnipesaukee, Squam’s 6,791 acres qualify it as the second largest body of fresh water contained entirely within the state.
Autumn is upon us, with all of its beautiful color, crisp air, apples, and pumpkins. This also means the outdoor gazebo concerts we enjoy in the summer have ended for the season. However, there are still many opportunities for musical entertainment, and the Lakes Region has some exciting concerts lined up this fall. Mark your calendars and warm up indoors at one of these amazing performances!
When David Thompson was 15 years old, he acquired his first steamboat. In the summer, he would visit his grandfather on Lake Winnipesaukee and then steam back home to Wolfeboro where his father worked at Goodhue and Hawkins. Thompson has, himself, built 20-plus steamboats. He has also built 30 steamboats for other people and explained that it takes six cords of hard wood to get through the Annual Lee’s Mills Steamboat Meet.
Looking for “Outdoor” furniture, garden accessories, planters, bird houses, arbors, gliders, water fountains, or browsing for indoor specialties where there is “More” offers a lot to customers. Shelves are arranged with an array of delightfully whimsical and distinctively creative handmade, hand-painted crafts. Amish craftsmanship and creativity are unmistakable in the unique iron wall art coatracks depicting a bear or deer or moose in the wild, accented by striking rugged wooden frames and arranged next to iron wall clocks also accented by similar wooden frames. Crafted by the Amish, handsome wooden Dory’s stand in line resting on stern-end with bow pointing upward, the seats between can be used as shelves.
I had the best of intentions. I always do. It was clean-up-my-messy-house-day and I planned to get everything neat and tidy and spotless. It was time to put away the beach towels and coolers and sunscreen from my adult daughter’s recent four-day visit, among the chores to be completed around the house.
The Great Meadow Wetlands is located between Sodom Road, Mountain Road (Rt. 171) and part of Dame Road. On a recent tour of the Great Meadow Wetlands led by Steve Wingate, Chairman of the Tuftonboro Conservation Committee and retired Forester, he explained that a few years ago while leading another tour through the Great Meadow Wetlands, a member of the group made an interesting suggestion and possibly planted the seed which was to be the beginning of this project. “Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a trail here so that more people could enjoy this resource?”
Throughout the year and no matter what the season, you can always find a local spot to enjoy the outdoors in the town of Wolfeboro. The Cotton Valley Rail Trail, Wolfeboro Cross Country Ski Association, and local beaches around the area are just a few of the destinations where you can paddleboard, ski, bike, run, or kayak. New locations for recreational activities have expanded over time. In the past year, a group of locals put their skills together to construct a recreational location and to bring a new sport to the area.
I admit that I’m a big fan of mini-golf. That’s not to say I’m particularly good at it, but I have gotten a hole-in-one from time to time. Mini-golf is a great leisure sport, especially on a hot summer day, since you can play without breaking a sweat. I did some quick online research about the sport and found out that the first mini-golf course was built in 1867 at the Ladies’ Putting Club in St. Andrews, Scotland. And I was surprised to learn there is a World Mini-Golf Sport Federation. Yes, some players take their putting very seriously. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, there are some fun courses in the Lakes Region, so let’s tee up!
Driving into the parking lot and spying the momma polar bear and her cub on the sign at the Polar Caves, I flashed back to my first visit as a pre-teen, during the mid-1950s. My parents, older brother, and I made the trip from Connecticut to Plymouth, New Hampshire in my father’s green Henry J automobile. Mom and Pop convinced us to suppress our boundless energy by promising we would do something special when the car stopped. The Polar Caves did not disappoint.
Whether you are age 30 or older…or maybe younger…plan to be in Tuftonboro for a great concert on Thursday, August 1 at 6:30 pm when Not30 takes to the bandstand. The free outdoor concert is part of a lineup of concerts at 19 Mile Bay Beach Pavilion, located next to the lakeshore. Not30 will bring the party to Lake Winnipesaukee, featuring original music with a variety of cover songs from artists such as Elvis Presley and Cyndi Lauper.
Free, fun, family-friendly and musical. You just can’t go wrong with a summer bandstand concert. If you like that idea, you have many from which to choose. Free outdoor bandstand concerts are taking place all over the Lakes Region this summer. Grab a lawn chair or blanket for seating/relaxing and sit back for some great music; many concert series also offer concessions so you can get a snack and drink while enjoying the music.
Thursday from July 11 until August 22. Loon Center Senior Biologist and Executive Director, Harry S. Vogel, is enthusiastic about this year’s variety of interesting programs and exhibits by experts in their fields. Topics will include Wildlife Photography, Social Black Bears, Creatures of the Night, Astronomy for Birders, Geology of the Lakes Region, and Rehabilitating Raptors.
By Sarah Wright
If you’ve never visited The Libby Museum of Natural History in Wolfeboro, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of local history. The first time I went there, I was amazed at how many interesting artifacts and animal specimens were packed into a fairly small space. I’ve been back multiple times since, and I notice something new each time.
By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
On the day I visited, Kathryn was busy in her studio preparing for an upcoming exhibit. She met me in the yard with a welcoming smile and an invitation to come to the studio. Admittedly, my visit was a bit unusual in that I just happened upon the place, but it is advisable to call ahead (contact information at the end of this story). Luckily Kathryn had the time on this particular day to show me her artwork and explain about the summer workshops she is gearing up to present.
By Sarah Wright
We’ve already been lucky this spring to have some sunny weekends to get out and explore the Lakes Region. Locals and visitors alike are enjoying the beautiful weather, taking advantage of what looks like the beginnings of a wonderful summer season.
I decided to take my kids on a day trip to Meredith recently, to appreciate some art outside on the Sculpture Walk. Sponsored by the Greater Meredith Program, this is the start of the 6th annual walk, with the purpose being to develop awareness and enjoyment of public art in Meredith for residents and visitors. The outdoor exhibit is also made possible by committee volunteers, and the generosity of sponsors and land owners. Many people are involved in this innovative project.