by Mary O’Neill, Sales Associate at Roche Realty Group
Over the summer months we have been highlighting the profiles of many individuals who have moved to New Hampshire's Lakes Region. They have given feedback on the reasons that brought them here and have educated us on their overall feelings for the area.
After I posted a blog on the Roche Realty website pertaining to the Lakes Region, I talked to Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group. We thought it would be interesting to see how comments and remarks on national travel sites stack up on Lake Winnipesaukee. With this in mind, I went to some of the better-known sites and was amazed to see the high ratings and positive comments. Lake Winnipesaukee and the Lakes Region in general are consistently awarded 4.5 to 5 star ratings.
Over 40 ratings on Tripadvisor give Lake Winnipesaukee the highest reviews and attest to the matchless attraction of the lake. One reviewer from Texas writes that "paradise begins here...a little bit of heaven here on earth." A reviewer from Maine says Lake Winnipesaukee is "not your ordinary lake...the is the dreamiest lake I have ever been to." Lake Winnipesaukee is labeled as a "must see" with water "perfect for swimming and boating." One reviewer calls the lake "amazing every day."
Lori G. says, "Wherever we went, whatever road we drove on, the view was absolutely stunning." One Massachusetts reviewer describes the Lakes Region as the perfect place to "swim, fish, boat, shop, eat fabulous food, and catch local farmers markets, fairs, and parades...animal lovers will watch bald eagles fly and loons swim by."
Sharon D. from Los Angeles names her time at the lake as "the high point of my year where I can float on my back and stare up at the pine trees against the blue sky." A visitor from India found Lake Winnipesaukee "one of the cleanest and most pristine lakeshores...with crystal clear fresh water, making short waves on the beach." Another simply says, "Lake Winnipesaukee is New Hampshire's natural spa."
A family from New York says "we have been coming to Lake Winnipesaukee every summer since 2004...it is a fabulous place." One reviewer from Illinois says "Lake Winnipesaukee will take you away from all of the stress of the modern world if you let it." Another from Canada says the "lake was ethereal, with the sounds of water lapping on the shore and overnight hearing the loons calling...boating was equivalent to exploring, with all the coves and vistas." A family from Massachusetts says Lake Winnipesaukee "is totally awesome! It's great for swimming and boating and just watching so many people enjoying themselves on the lake. Very clear water and something not to be missed."
The sentiment in all the reviews is summed up by a reviewer from Massachusetts: "Lake Winnipesaukee has it all – fishing, boating, hunting, motorcycle rallies, wildlife, shopping, history, arcades, night life, and a life time of memories."
The editors of FamilyVacationCritic say that Lake Winnipesaukee and "the beauty of the natural environment here is likely to put a smile on your face, especially seen from the vantage of a pleasure craft on the lake. A twisting shoreline of bays and inlets is picturesquely dotted with dozens of pine-covered islands both large and small." They label the Lakes Region the "prime vacation-land for visitors from around New England...plenty of family-friendly fun in an unpretentious atmosphere that draws people from all walks of life and on any budget." And, when the weather gets a little cooler, "the famed New England foliage is reflected in the lake in all of its glory, and leaf-peepers come from far and wide to take photographs." Then comes winter, "a delightful time to visit."
People reviewing the Lakes Region give mostly 5 star ratings on FamilyVacationCritic. One said, "We loved everything about our stay...the food and atmosphere...touring the shops, taking a boat ride on the lake, going to the ice cream shops, swimming at the Weirs and watching the fireworks...the hiking was beautiful...a great family location." A reviewer from Exeter said the experience was "above and beyond our expectations...such a beautiful location...I am kicking myself for not going sooner."
Reviews on Expedia describe this area as "charming and beautiful." Helen from Stansted, UK, found Lake Winnipesaukee lovely and says, "I've been a sea person all my life but I am a lake convert."
Additionally, many high profile magazines have featured positive reviews of Lake Winnipesaukee. Yankee Magazine writes, "The cool thing about Winni is that everyone can find his or her place". New York Travel mentions Lake Winnipesaukee as a "boater's paradise." The lake is described in Boston Magazine as the "sapphire-blue giant of New Hampshire's famed Lakes Region."
National Geographic describes the lake as a "a place of renewal...the loons will sing, the sun will go down, the lake will be like glass, and you can think about what's important in life." National Geographic Travel names a lodge on Lake Winnipesaukee as one of the "Top 10 Classic Summer Lodges."
New Hampshire Magazine calls the Lakes Region an "iconic summer destination" but is quick to note that "winter is the secret season in the Lakes Region because not everyone knows of its quiet charms...including sled dogs, pond hockey, and ice fishing, ice automobile racing...and as a winter airport on Alton Bay...when the ice is at least 12 inches thick."
Travel+Leisure says the area "is chockablock with surprising and unpretentious charms...and is not about epic, sweeping gestures...it's the intimate moments that define the place: the crunch of pine needles under your toes on a lakefront beach." Of Lake Winnipesaukee they say, "Boat culture rules on Lake Winnipesaukee, a vast playground...every New Hampshire family seems to have a summerhouse on or near 'the lake' or at least knows someone who does." They also note that "the greatest show on earth is fall in New Hampshire."
Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., was rated the #1 retirement place in the country under the category "leisure living for recreational and cultural opportunities" (rated by MacMillian Travel – fifth edition of Retirement Places Rated.)
On a personal level, years ago I remember my great-aunt telling me how she couldn't wait to move back to the Lakes Region from the South after her retirement. I'll paraphrase one of her many reasons. It's one of the few places left in the world where you can walk into a lake and still see your feet through clear, clean water. It is a great feeling to know that we are all so blessed to live in this highly desirable place.
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Mary O'Neill is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 366-6306. rocherealty.com