Take A Trip Back In Time – Visit Lake Winnipesaukee

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The days prior were filled with activities and although I am tired from going to bed late and waking up early, it’s hard to sleep when the fresh New Hampshire air beckons. After homemade eggs sunny side up, English muffins and a cup of coffee, we went out on the boat for some water skiing fun and a tour of Lake Winnipesaukee and its islands. Unfortunately, there were impending thunderstorms on the loose so we were forced to retreat back to the lake house earlier than expected. It felt like a scene straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel!

Since the weather was a bit iffy, we went to the oh so famous “Old Country Store,” also know as the general store, the Bucaria’s could not stop talking about. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. In fact, when they kept saying “General Store” I thought it was referring to an actual General in the army. Later I realized it actually meant general – like it is a general store with literally everything you could possible think of inside! It is an old house..so old, it even has a museum on the top floor! The store has anything you need – pins? Shirts? Cheese grater? Cane? Fake dog? Puzzles? Tweezers? Fake fur? Chocolate? You name it – they have it. There was so much stuff inside that I was a bit disoriented, but it was an interesting experience. The slanted wooden floors didn’t help with the disorientation, but it added to the vintage-ness of the place. I highly recommend everyone stop by this strange and rare shop when on the lake.

In the early afternoon, as soon as the storm clouds passed, I took Seamore (my flamingo) out onto the water for a relaxing float. There is just something about floating out on a calm lake after a storm in a Flamingo shaped float that makes me super happy. It’s the small things in life!

I still hadn’t discovered the town of Laconia, so we decided to take the boat out around 3PM and head over to Weirs Beach. We docked the boat on one of the many piers and headed out to explore the town. The first thing I walked into outside the dock was a set of train tracks. I was confused as to why a set of train tracks would be positioned directly outside the dock. It seemed to be still up and running since there was an adorable little ticket booth on the side. Pat’s family explained to me that the city offers a nostalgic one or two-hour scenic excursion of the lake by train and that it had been in use for the last 100 years! I heard the sound of the train horn blowing as it approached so I ran off the tracks to avoid getting hit. The vintage looking train made me feel like I was in a movie scene from the 1900s.

Once my fascination with the train passed, I turned my head to cross the street and realized that my 1900s movie scene was not over. I was raised in Asia during my childhood so never got the real classic American childhood experience, but when I always imagined it, I looked exactly like Lakeside Avenue. Vintage signs, classic arcade games, old school candy shops, ice cream stands and typical beach food like fried dough and pizza. There were upscale restaurants too, but what caught my attention was this old school feel.

We toyed around at the Half Moon Penny arcades for a good 10 minutes. I had never been to something like this and felt like I was living my 7 year old childhood dream! Vintage ping ball machines, rifle range games, air hockey tables, crane games, whac a mole, skeeball extreme, Pac-Man, Dance Dance Revolution, Fast and Furious motorcycle and automotive simulators – you name it and they had it! I could have spent all day there and I am sure that if I ever go back, I will, but my stomach was starting to grumble so we headed out to find some food. 

It was excruciatingly hot that day and it was hitting 5PM, so I grabbed an ice cream from JB Scoops up the street to cool me off. Another thing I had never had before (believe it or not..) was an ice cream with sprinkles. I am Italian and spent most of my childhood summers in Italy. I was accustomed to having the occasional gelato al cioccolato with whipped cream on the top, but sprinkles? I don’t even know how to say the word sprinkles in Italian – and I am fluent in the language..! But Patrick insisted I get it. I could not have chosen better – it satisfied my cravings so well! It was light and creamy with a hint of chocolate. The ice cream didn’t last me a long time since I devoured it, but Pat was able to grab a shot or two of me downing my ice cream before it was gone.

On our way back to the boat, we stopped by the last arcade center right on Winnipesaukee Pier. We played a couple of more rounds of skeeball to get it all out of our system. I had never played these games as a child, so was not doing particularly well compared to my two competitors…Pat and Kristen, Pat’s sister. They had been playing since they were kids and were killing it at this game. The skeeball ticket receiver wouldn’t stop spitting out tickets! I was in shock. While I would get 10 tickets, they’d get 100 per round! It took Pat till my last round of skeeball to explain to me that I was doing it wrong. The ball was supposed to hit the side of the wall and bounce off it in order to go in. I was throwing it up straight and the ball wasn’t bouncing… *rolls eyes* Oh well, next time!

The champions and I ended up combining our tickets to get something for everyone. Pat got a mini soldier with a parachute (which he promptly put on our book shelf when we arrived home FYI. I am very particular about where things go and it kind of bothers me that it is just put there, but I pretend I don’t see it lol). Kristen got a set of dominoes. I remember as a child I always used to play dominoes with my grandparents. I never realized it was such a mindless and easy game till now..! I’d much rather stack them up and throw them all down in a cool domino effect, so that’s exactly what we did. I won myself a bottle of bubbles! As a child, I would always go up to my grandmother’s house in the mountains above Milan. She loved buying us bubbles and I would spend all day blowing them with my brother in the backyard. There is just something about them..I could do it for hours! And that is exactly what I did. For the entire ride home, on the boardwalk and the boat, I blew my bubbles like there was no tomorrow. There was something about Weirs Beach that took me back to a simpler time, a time when I was a kid and had no worries in the world. I think that’s what really stuck with me about Weirs Beach.

On the way back home on the boat, we stopped in the middle of the lake for a quick swim. It was approaching 7PM and there was no boat in sight. The water seemed perfect for a quick dip. After a couple of super cool and complex dives.. *cough cough* (totally being sarcastic) we decided to grab a beer and chill in the water for a bit while listening to music. You really couldn’t ask for a more perfect day.

That night as I was packing to leave the next morning, I got to thinking. After a weekend at Lake Winni, it dawned on me that I am a lake person. I always saw myself as more of an ocean and beach goer, but my trip to Winnipesaukee brought me back to my childhood days at Lake Maggiore in Italy. That’s probably why celebrities and politicians such as Mitt Romney, Adam Sandler, Robert Frost, Jimmy Fallon, and Sarkozy have been seen roaming the lake. Enjoy the tranquility and stillness of Mother Nature and add Lake Winnipesaukee to your summer vacation bucket list NOW! It’s a trip into the past that you will not regret.

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70 Replies to “Take A Trip Back In Time – Visit Lake Winnipesaukee”

  1. The ice cream looks delicious! That’s all about good photos – they just make you want to go there and have that!

  2. Looks like a fun place to visit! Adding it to my travel list!

  3. I wanna spend some time in a place like this. Very peaceful, calm and beautiful. Very nostalgic

  4. I wanna spend some time in a place like this. Peaceful, calm and beautiful. Very nostalgic

  5. This looks like so much fun! When I think of the All-american summer, it looks like this. Plus a burger and a watermelon punch bowl.

  6. What a super cute town! My IttyBittyFoodies would certainly find lots to do here in summer. Love it

  7. Looks like so much fun! And that town is so cute and quaint. Thanks for sharing!

    xo, Jessy | http://www.currentbliss.com

  8. that is one beautiful lake….great pictures – looks so relaxing

  9. This look so fun! I love being out on a boat during the summer…cool breeze and the perfect way to get a tan. 🙂
    How cute is your flamingo floatie!

  10. This looks like such a fun place! I so miss the east coast!

  11. This looks so peaceful and beautiful! What a lovely way to spend a summers day ♡ you guys looked like you had such an awesome time. Love the railway photos !

  12. Everything looks so simple and relaxing! I love the pink flamingo floaty by the way 😀

  13. You have such great photos here! They immediately pulled me into the read! Sounds like a great day. And that ice cream, yum!

  14. That ice cream got my attention but I was sold at the penny arcade — so much fun!

  15. Funny you were saying about Lake Maggiore, I haven’t long come back from there and Lake Como. It’s a beautiful place. I’m a lake person too. Winnipesaukee looks a place I would adore.

  16. You have great photos!! We live just an hour or so from here in Southern NH. I love the lakes in New Hampshire in summer. So magical. Glad you enjoyed your time here.

  17. We live in NH too! Glad you had a wonderful time here. Our lakes are so magical in summertime.

  18. We live in NH too! Glad you had a wonderful time here. Our lakes are so magical in summertime.

  19. What a lovely vacation!!! Your pictures are amazing 🙂

  20. Your trip reminds me of summer time when my family would take a vacation on the lake. I love the arcades and the endless stream of tickets you win to trade for a prize.

  21. The sunny weather combined with so many activities is so cool. Looks like you guys had a bash alright. The quaint station and the locomotive certainly caught my attention 🙂 🙂

  22. This place is so retro and like you said “back in time!” I would love to spend a day there too. The water looks awesome to jump in. 🙂

  23. Very cool photos! Looks indeed like a trip down memory lane with all those arcade/carnaval games. Awesome

  24. I am not acquainted at all with New Hampshire, but Lake Winnipesaukee reminds me a lot about Lake Arrowhead, here in California. It seems you had a lot of fun on this trip, especially at the arcades.

  25. Totally see what you mean about stepping back in time – not just the architecture but down to the style and design of the store names and signs, and of course the old general store and penny arcade. Looks like a great place to mooch around and relax, old school style!

  26. These pictures are very beautiful, and I love the lake and the small town. Your vacation sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  27. It looks like this was an amazing day! I love being on the boat and hanging in that entertainment park sounds great!

  28. Ha this place looks lovely. What’s the best way to get there?

    1. Depends! 🙂 Where are you coming from?

  29. Reminds me of summer on the river in Australia, skiing was such a great delight

  30. I am a lake person too and I love Seamore. Its the cutest flamingo float one can ever have ! Lake Winniepesauke is now on my bucket list for sure ☺

  31. This really looks like a perfect place for us – very family friendly, fun and we absolutely love arcades and ice cream too! The Half Moon Penny arcades are right up our street!

  32. myglobalattitude says: Reply

    I love your sense of adventure! Trying many things during a trip always make travelling exciting 😊

  33. Not a lake person but I love visiting. I’d rather be snorkeling or diving in the ocean. Love the little towns and train too.

  34. Nice post. I’m not a lake person but love visiting. Would much rather be snorkeling or diving in the ocean.

  35. This looks like a typical american summer. I want to visit a place like this sometime. Great pictures!

  36. Wow this looks so beautiful! My husband and I were just talking about planning a trip to the east coast yesterday! Every time I think about lake winniepasauki I think about What About Bob lol

  37. OMG I’m in love with arcades! As soon as I saw the arcade, I became sold on visiting! Looks like such a fun place!

  38. Nothing better than lake living. Your photos make me want to call off tomorrow and head up to our lake house. Beautiful photos!

  39. This looks like a great spot to visit and relax. It reminds me of old summer vacation spots.

  40. Oh wow! The lake’s name sure is a handful. But your pictures captured your trip perfectly. The tones made the pics look nostalgic. It sure was a charming place and looks like you had a grand time.

  41. Your pictures look really gorgeous. I love those flamingo floaties, plus there’s an arcade. I would definitely love to hang out here.

  42. Flamingo floaties are sooo cool! Wish I would own one as well haha. 🙂

  43. Nice post, but I am definitely an ocean person. I just love the ozone smell.

  44. Looks like a total blast! And incredibly quaint. Having grown up in America as a kid — yupppppp – this looks like any small town USA. Love it!

  45. Oh my gosh this looks like so much fun! I would love to take a trip there!

    xoxo Christie

  46. Looks like you had a blast! I love visiting old stores like that, too. Like stepping back in time.

  47. This looks amazing! You looks like you had such a blast but I think my favourite time would be on the boat! It would be soo much fun being on the water in the sun! Great read!

  48. This vacay looks like SO much fun! This lake is stunning! What a perfect stop for summer!


  49. This really did remind me of a Nicholas Sparks novel 😂 Loved your photos they are gorgeous and really sum up what looks like an amazing time.

  50. Great pictures! Love the flamingo 😄

  51. Looks like a fun day out. Great phot oshots jumping into the water!

  52. Pretty old town. I love the old stores with the classic sign boards. Looks like a fun place to be. The wooden structures make it look so rustic

  53. Your pics make me want to take a beach vacation with a Seamore of my own! Hah, looks like you had an amazing time, thanks for sharing it!

  54. This looks and sounds like it was such a fun adventure!! Your pictures are lovely and make me want to go on a lake vacation too! =). Thanks for sharing your story!!

  55. This place look so much fun and a great place for a Summer vacation. I love your pictures. Your pictures really portray your vacation really well. Thanks for sharing.

  56. OMG I love it! It really does sound like a trip into the past – reminds me of 1990’s family vacations, and between the lake, railway tracks, general store, and vintage just everything, I can see how it felt like being part of a Nicholas Sparks novel / film – I love his stuff! Lake Winnipesaukee and its islands is now on the list!

  57. OMG I love it! It really does sound like a trip into the past – reminds me of 1990’s family vacations, and between the lake, railway tracks, general store, and vintage just everything, I can see how it felt like being part of a Nicholas Sparks novel / film – I love his stuff! Lake Winnipesaukee and its islands is now on the list!

  58. That place looks like a great fun! Cool pics in this article. 😊 The old train looked so nice. Thank you for sharing your experience about this place!

  59. Lake Winnipesaukee and its surroundings really made me feel like I could travel a bit back in time!

  60. Love your bathing suit!!

  61. Beautiful! I love spending time on the lake. Looks like you had a wonderful vacay!

  62. This sounds like a perfect getaway–what an incredible visit. I love little General Stores that have a bit of everything, and the train ride around Laconia seems like it would be fun.

  63. I can imagine the two of you as the characters in Nicholas Sparks’ novel. I love his books, too!!! I can understand your love for lakes. There’s really something in them that will make you feel calm and peaceful. Lakes that reflect the nature when it’s calm are my favorites!

  64. The perfect long weekend getaway. The lake looks amazing and absolutely Instagrammable as well.

  65. These pictures are the cutest! Looks like a lot of fun!

  66. This looks like such a fun trip! Beautiful photos 🙂

  67. wow this so beautiful. you two looks so cute together.

  68. This place is great for adventurous couples. I should drag my boyfie!

  69. I ate my first gelato in Alaska and at that point, it was hard to find where I lived. Now you can find it anywhere. Looks like you had an awesome day!

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