Meredith, NH, is one of New Hampshire's great lakeside towns, located on the western shores of Lake Winnepeusakee
Article and photo by Eric H.
Whatever the age, Meredith offers classic New Hampshire lake appeal, with the fortune of being beautifully situated on the western shores of Lake Winnepeusakee in the deservedly popular Lakes Region. Despite busy Route 3 dividing the lake and the unpretentious, small business district, Meredith feels like the epitome of a small town once you experience either side of the highway. The lake has so many negative ions (that great smell by a body of water or after a thunderstorm) that you'll laugh yourself silly the next time one of those television ads promotes air purifers with "mountain fresh air." The smell of the water and air in Meredith have a true mountain feel, which leaves you no choice but to relax.
Meredith is truly a place for walking, boating, shopping and dining. The myriad paths along the lake are so pleasant that it's easy to forget about Route 3. The small-town scenery, the not-too-distant mountains and wide body of water make boating a summertime joy for many vacationers looking to find the perfect spot at well-known Lake Winnepeusakee. Shopping begins across the street from the lake at the Inn at Mills Falls (with the Inn and the Chase House as well-known, highly rated places to lodge in Meredith). Here you can find upscale and more down-to-earth shops alongside a pretty waterfall, eventually leading an old-fashioned downtown up on a hill -- a nice place to stroll, have a cup of coffee or ice cream, and feel like you're back in the 1940s or 50s. Lady of the Lake, located on the lower level of the beautiful Chase House Inn is a wonderful place to find that special gown and accessories for all the "special moments in your life." Also across the lake is the Historic Mill Falls Marketplace, an early linen mill which was restored to house 14 unique specialty shops and galleries, a favorite Italian restaurant , and a cafe by the waterfall. Adornments Unique Jewelry and Apparel, has been there since l991 in an atmosphere of original wood floors and walls and beams. Besides Adornments, there is an art gallery, an American crafts gallery, more clothing and jewelry shops, a candy store, some great gift shops, a bookstore, an incredible rustic furniture gallery, and a store that features sporting gifts for men. The Inn at Mill Falls adjoins the Marketplace if you need a wonderful place to rest after your day's shopping and dining.
At the "gateway" to Meredith is Hart's Turkey Farm, a favorite amongst virtually everyone, but with a special appeal to an older crowd. Hart's has been around since 1954 and has never let its quality slip, according to many New Englanders. To no one's surprise the specialty of the house is turkey and it's very tasty. Hart's claims that on a busy day they serve over one ton of turkey; 40 gallons of gravy; 1,000 pounds of fresh potatoes; 4,000 dinner rolls and over 100 pies. We might have filled the turkey and pie quota all by ourselves the last time we ate at this legendary restaurant.
Meredith is ideal to visit any time of the year. The summer is an obvious choice with its lakeside opportunities. Falls brings about spectacular foliage scenery. The winter is a fine time to visit, too, as it is close to the White Mountain National Forest with its excellent skiing offerings, particularly Waterville Valley. Spring is a bit muddy, but more quiet than the summer and with a chance to walk the lake on warm days.
Don't go to Meredith expecting great things. Meredith doesn't ask a lot of its tourists and those visitors shouldn't ask too much of a small town -- just let those great things happen naturally once you arrive. It's all part of the plan to relax and unwind in one of New Hampsire's great lakeside towns.
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