This is the best lake town in New England, according to readers

Readers Say

It is “a quintessential town,” said a reader who lives there.

Wolfeboro, N.H.
A town dock during the summer in Wolfeboro, N.H. Ralph Hansell / flickr

When we asked readers for the best lake town in New England, the winner was clear: Wolfeboro, N.H.

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Our readers aren’t the only ones impressed by the Granite State town, billed as “the oldest summer resort in America”: Travel + Leisure recently named it the No. 2 best small lake town in America (No. 1 was Grand Marais, Minnesota).

Wolfeboro “sits between Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Wentworth and has been a go-to getaway spot since New Hampshire was still an English colony,” wrote Travel + Leisure.

More than two dozen readers chimed in when asked their favorite lake town in the region and Wolfeboro received the most votes of any other town.

Carl from Tuftonboro said he has been going to Wolfeboro for 60 years. And Wolfeboro residents Dianne W. and Norma M. said the town has “classic beauty” and is “an all-season destination,” respectively.

The following are some of the reasons why readers say they love Wolfeboro so much:

“Has everything you need: boat docks, scenery, places to eat and the old New England vibe. The character of the town is authentic without all the chain stores.” — Michael from Alton Bay, N.H.

“Wolfeboro has it all, classic beauty with the downtown dock area bordering Lake Winnipesaukee, a myriad of interesting restaurants, mountain views, museums, an abundance of music performances, and access to outdoor sports year round. I feel lucky to live in this charming community.” — Dianne W. from Wolfeboro, N.H.

“Wolfeboro has it all — a quintessential town with the iconic town hall building which was saved from demolition a few years ago (including a Great Hall for dances, events), a lovely town bandshell featuring Saturday evening concerts, plenty of restaurants and the YumYum Shop which I have been frequenting since my youth. Everyone rallies when there is news of families and businesses in need. The caring year round residents and seasonal visitors make it extremely attractive to young families, retirees and entrepreneurs. While the people here are fabulous, we have award winning inns, a small yacht club, free events, and sidewalks worthy of enjoying — it truly is an all-season destination.” — Norma M. of Wolfeboro, N.H.

Other favorite regional lake towns named by readers:

  • Bristol, N.H.
  • Elkins, N.H.
  • Elmore, Vermont
  • Freedom, N.H.
  • Greensboro, Vermont
  • Greenville, Maine
  • Meredith, N.H.
  • Newbury, N.H.
  • Newport, Vermont
  • Rangeley, Maine
  • Wakefield, N.H.
  • Waterboro, Maine
  • Wells, Vermont
  • Wolfeboro, N.H.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.