Meredith, New Hampshire

Photo: Mill Falls at the Lake
Photo: Mill Falls at the Lake

Have you planned your fall foliage trip yet? The colors are popping in New England right now. The reds are vivid, the oranges are bright, and the yellows are bold. Now is the time to go see the colorful leaves in New Hampshire.

You pass covered bridges, overflowing pumpkin patches and apple orchards, and lots of Harley-Davidsons as you drive toward Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire. The Granite State’s largest lake sits at the foothills of the White Mountains. The lake is extensive, with more than 170 miles of coastline and almost 300 inhabitable islands within it.

An adorable town called Meredith lies on the lake’s northwestern shore. It was first settled by people moving inland from Salem, Massachusetts in the mid-18th century. Since it’s only two hours from both Boston and Portland, Maine, it didn’t take long for the little town to become a summer resort. The center of Meredith is filled with red brick buildings, white-steepled churches, and small shops. The Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, whose rails once transported people to the lake from Boston, now runs between Meredith, Weirs Beach, and Paugus Bay. While Mill Falls at the Lake offers four lakefront inns from which to choose.

Photo: Mill Falls at the Lake
Photo: Mill Falls at the Lake

Your selection: Church Landing at Mill Falls. The rustic inn sits right on the lake. White Adirondack chairs litter the lawn. Wooden steps lead down to a little beach. While the once-green gardens now display all of fall’s jewel-toned colors. Inside, your room has down bedding, a fireplace, and a balcony. You’ll probably spend most of your time out there, since the canvas chairs have a perfect view of the calm water.

But first, it’s time to explore. Go swimming in the indoor/outdoor pool. Make a reservation for a Lake Stone Radiance massage—inspired by Native American traditions—at the Cascade Spa for tomorrow morning. Browse the shops at the Mill Falls Marketplace. The historic building is filled with an ice cream shop, a bookstore, and locally made crafts. Stroll along the waterfront boardwalk and stop to take photos of Leavitt Mountain. Then return to the inn for a lake-view dinner at the Lakehouse Grille. You immediately zero in on the lobster dishes—lobster corn chowder and lobster risotto—when you’re handed the menu. They pair perfectly with the crisp weather and the beautiful trees outside.

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