Tuesday, November 4, 2008

New England Town of the Day: Meredith, NH

Article and Photo by Eric H.

The true testimony to a vacation destination is whether it would also make a great town to live. How many vacation destinations fit that bill, given so many travel spots have been ruined by phony, slick makeovers and overdevelopment that deplete the authenticity of a community?

Meredith, located on beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee at the foothills of the White Mountains, is a real community with its unspoiled scenic lake views, a nice old-fashioned downtown with several local shops and restaurants, a pleasant mix of well-kept new and old homes, places to walk by the lake, and an overall peaceful sense of place. Besides the established downtown section is the historic Mills Falls Marketplace, an early linen mill which was properly restored (translated: not tacky or pretentious!) to feature 19 unique specialty shops, galleries and restaurants -- and the charming The Inn at Mills Falls hotel. There's also the Annalee Outlet Store, at 50 Reservoir Rd., that should please those who love this line of dolls!

Meredith combines that classic New England small-town feel with lots of things to do, including swimming at Waukewan Town Beach, boating via access at Waukewan St., walking at the Waukewan Highland (three miles leading to a pond), and area winter skiing (Gunstock Mountain with 49 trails and eight lifts in nearby Gilford, NH), ice skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing, ice sailing, snowmobiling, sledding, and cross country skiing. Merdith's location is also ideal, close enough to all the attractions in the White Mountains. In addition, the nearby towns of Bristol, Center Harbor, Holderness, Moultonborough, Sandwich and Wolfeboro, are filled with small-town New England charm and countless lake views -- certainly worth a day trip diversion from Meredith. If you like a honky-tonk summer destination, Weirs Beach is close by and features amusement arcades and a public beach.

Charming inns (including) and several restaurants add more personality to this already wonderful community. Our favorite restaurant here is Hart's Turkey Farm, in business since 1954 -- an old-school, landmark dining spot for delicious turkey dinners.

Meredith just feels right, whether it's for a day trip, extended vacation or for those interested in moving to a beautiful New England small town. This special community certainly comes to mind when recommending to travelers a quintessential New England place to stay. There's plenty to do here, although I could just sit by the tranquil lake dock all day, do nothing, and be happy!

Visit the Meredith Chamber of Commerce Web Site for more information on Meredith.

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