S’mores and More
‘Karen and Jay share thoughts on how important it is to find time in the summer to relax and enjoy with family and friends.’
There’s something extra special about the summer. Getting a chance to get away. To the lake, the mountains, even the backyard. Spending time with family. Casual conversations, nothing too formal. Just relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. We all get so busy during the year – it’s important to carve out some time during these wonderful summer months – whether a full week or a weekend – to completely unplug and enjoy the simple fun things – like campfires, s’mores, fishing, hiking, and spontaneous adventures – with no worry about what’s going on in the busy world around us.
I was especially reminded of this just a few weeks ago during the 4th of July. Having originally planned to have a relatively quiet holiday, Karen and I found ourselves putting together an impromptu barbecue with family in Portsmouth. Just a few days before the weekend arrived, we found out that our nieces and nephews, sons, and daughters, and one of Karen's brothers who we don't often get to see were coming to town last minute. In the moment, there was a sense of being overwhelmed and thinking ‘how in the world’ can we put this all together and make it work for everyone. Yet as the weekend evolved, we eased into a joyful relaxation and family fun – simply grateful to have everyone together and be far away from the urgencies of life. As the hot dogs and hamburgers were expertly made by Ian at his home, I looked around to see only smiles. Then of course, the s’mores. It was one of those rare moments where life seems to stand still, and when we get to sit down with those we love and simply enjoy being present.
It's so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day and perhaps take for granted the things we actually go to work for. A holiday event can turn into one of life’s important blessings. When we take a moment to appreciate what we have, to breathe, to take a look around, and maybe even embrace the spontaneous, you'll be surprised how far it will go.
So, if you haven’t taken a break yet this summer to enjoy some summertime fun – or perhaps even if you have – why not carve out some time later this month or during August to savor some special moments while there is still some time to enjoy in the summer of ’23?
NH Lakes - Fun Times for Everyone - All Year Round!
We in New Hampshire have the wonderful opportunity to enjoy some of the finest, most pristine lakes in the country. And, especially in the summer, our Lakes Region offers an incredible experience of enjoyment and relaxation. These are the places where summertime memories are formed. Multigenerational experiences, family traditions and just plain fun.
Whether it’s Winnipesaukee, Squam, Sunapee – or wherever. With a rich history and breathtaking landscapes, the lakes have been a favorite destination for Granite Stater’s, and visitors from all over the world for generations.
I know that Lake Sunapee is a very special place for our family – having grown up ‘on the lake.’ And, for sure, Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire, holds a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike. And, how bout Squam – the beautiful setting for the film, ‘On Golden Pond.’
The history of the lakes dates back to ancient times when Native American tribes cherished the fertile land and abundant resources. Later, during the Industrial Revolution, the lakes became a hub for manufacturing, tourism, and recreation, attracting people from all over the country.
One of the notable features of the Lakes Region is the presence of weirs, ancient fishing structures used by Native Americans to catch fish in large quantities. These weirs have been preserved and serve as a reminder of the region's cultural heritage.
The Lakes Region also boasts beautiful beaches where visitors can bask in the sun, build sandcastles, and swim in the clear waters. Whether it's Alton Bay Beach, Weirs Beach, or Ellacoya State Park Beach, each offers its unique charm and opportunities for fun-filled activities.
Beyond the beaches, there's an array of fun things to do on the lakes. You can enjoy boating, sailing, and kayaking on the shimmering waters, offering a chance to explore hidden coves and islands. Fishing enthusiasts will find the lakes abundant with various fish species, making it a paradise for anglers.
For a touch of nostalgia, take a ride on the historic MS Mount Washington, a steamship that cruises the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, offering scenic tours and evening dinner cruises. It's a delightful way to experience the timeless beauty of the region.
In addition to water-based activities, the Lakes Region offers a plethora of land-based adventures. You can hike scenic trails, explore charming towns with quaint shops and restaurants, or indulge in local events and festivals such as the Laconia Pumpkin Festival that celebrate the region's culture and traditions. Spend a delightful evening at the renovated Lakeport Opera House which offers first class productions or enjoy Meredith’s Sculpture Walk including its famed Archie statue.
With its captivating history, picturesque landscapes, and a wide array of recreational opportunities, the New Hampshire Lakes Region promises an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking enjoyment and relaxation in the heart of nature.
My personal favorite, Lake Sunapee, located in the western part of New Hampshire, has a rich history of offering fun and recreational activities to visitors and locals alike. Since the late 19th century, the lake has been a popular destination for summer vacations and outdoor enjoyment. If you do head up there, please be sure to visit Anchorage restaurant in Sunapee Harbor as well as the Quack Shack – a fabulous ice cream shop.
Boating has been a long-standing favorite activity on Lake Sunapee. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, paddlewheel steamboats were a common sight, ferrying passengers around the lake for leisurely cruises. Over time, motorboats and sailboats became more prevalent, and today, you can still find various boat rentals and cruises available for exploration.
Swimming and sunbathing have also been popular pastimes on the lake's sandy shores. With its clear waters and picturesque scenery, Lake Sunapee has attracted generations of beachgoers seeking relaxation and refreshment.
Fishing is another cherished activity on Lake Sunapee. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including trout, salmon, bass, and perch, making it a prime spot for anglers to cast their lines and try their luck. By the way, the lake is spring-fed and really quite deep – with a depth of nearly 180 feet at its deepest point.
As the area developed, resorts and amusement parks sprang up along the lake's shores in the early 20th century, providing entertainment for visitors. Places like Sunapee Harbor boasted dance halls, carousel rides, and other amusements that delighted vacationers.
Hiking and nature appreciation have grown in popularity around Lake Sunapee, with numerous trails and parks offering opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the region's natural beauty. The nearby Mount Sunapee Resort offers excellent winter skiing and during the summer the famed League of NH Craftsmen Fair takes place August 13th this year.
In more recent years, water sports such as paddleboarding and kayaking have become popular activities on the lake, adding to the array of recreational options available.
Overall, Lake Sunapee has a vibrant history of providing fun-filled experiences for all ages, making it a beloved destination for generations of visitors seeking enjoyment and relaxation in the heart of New Hampshire's stunning landscapes. You’ll find more interesting information on Lake Sunapee in the next article.
The lakes of New Hampshire are one of its shining jewels offering fun for everyone - all year round!
NH Amusement Parks - Fun Galore!
Here’s a great way to have fun – not only for all ages – but also rain or shine. New Hampshire's amusement parks offer an array of family-friendly attractions that guarantee unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages. Nestled amidst the state's stunning natural beauty, these parks combine thrilling rides, interactive entertainment, and educational opportunities, making them ideal destinations for families seeking wholesome fun and bonding moments.
One of the premier amusement parks in New Hampshire is Canobie Lake Park, located in Salem. With over 85 rides, games, and live shows, Canobie Lake Park offers something for everyone. Families can enjoy classic amusement rides such as the carousel and Ferris wheel, or venture onto more daring roller coasters like the Yankee Cannonball. The park's Castaway Island provides a refreshing water park experience, perfect for beating the summer heat together as a family.
Santa's Village, situated in Jefferson, is another beloved family amusement park. As the name suggests, it boasts a delightful Christmas theme all year round. Children and adults alike can visit Santa's home, meet his reindeer, and partake in festive shows and activities. The park's gentle rides and interactive play areas are perfect for younger kids, creating a magical experience for the whole family.
One of my personal favorites is Story Land, located in Glen, is a charming amusement park specifically designed for young children. My parents took my brother and me there many years ago. We took our own kids there – and had a marvelous time as well.
Themed around classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, Story Land sparks imaginations and lets families relive beloved stories. From meeting Cinderella in her castle to sailing with the Little Mermaid, the attractions at Story Land ensure that children have a magical day full of wonder and joy.
For families seeking adventure and water-based fun, Whale's Tale Waterpark in Lincoln is a must-visit. With a variety of water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, this water park offers endless opportunities for family bonding and thrilling aquatic activities.
New Hampshire's amusement parks are not just about thrills; they foster a sense of togetherness and provide opportunities for families to create cherished memories. Whether it's sharing laughter on a roller coaster or splashing in a water park, these family-centric destinations epitomize the spirit of fun and camaraderie. Please visit https://www.visit-newhampshire.com/state/amu
Positive Profile of the Week - The Fenton Family Puts the Fun in Lake Sunapee!
This week we are delighted to highlight a family – The Fenton’s – who are at the forefront of creating ‘fun’ at Lake Sunapee!
In fact, summering in Sullivan County is never complete without going to Lake Sunapee. There are many attractions around the lake, but whatever you do, you're most likely going to bump into the Fenton Family.
The connection with the lake and the family started in the 1960’s when John and Evelyn McGrath purchased the Sunapee Cruises. The business consisted of several dinner cruise ships that toured the shoreline of the lake. You could enjoy a narrated tour of the lake or for a large group, rent the ship for a private party.
Meanwhile, over in nearby Bradford, Big Pete and Mary Beth Fenton started the Appleseed Restaurant in 1977, bringing their sons, ‘RePete’ and Tim, up in the business. In 1999, the Appleseed was hired to prepare the food for the cruises before they finally decided to purchase the boats themselves. In 2003, they acquired the M.V. Kearsarge (a gas-powered replica of the original 1897 steamboat of the same name) and subsequently bought the M.V. MT. Sunapee II in 2005.
In 2016 they were offered a space in Sunapee Harbor and Fenton’s Landing was born. It’s an over-the-counter deli where they serve breakfast and lunch, and where you can purchase everyday sundries. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet some of the wonderful locals (like my brother, Sky) who often stops by as well.
Big Pete and Mary Beth are still involved in everyday operations, while you can find RePete as the General Manager at the Appleseed and Tim as the General Manager of Sunapee Cruises. Interesting story is that RePete met his wife Beth while working together at the Appleseed and Tim’s wife Lacey’s family (McGrath’s) originally started the boats. Tim and Lacey now have twin toddlers, Carter and Colton. The odds are you’ll most likely see them in the business soon enough!
A big thanks to the Fenton Family for all that they do to help make the Sunapee region more enjoyable and fun for everyone! Please visit https://sunapeecruises.com/ or https://appleseedrestaurant.com/.
Positive Quotes of the Week: Summetime Fun!
"Summer means happy times and good sunshine. It means going to the beach…, having fun." - Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys "Summer: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets better." – Unknown
"Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James
"In summer, the song sings itself." - William Carlos Williams "The best kind of therapy is beach therapy, where the ocean breeze puts your mind at ease, the sun kisses your worries away, and the waves carry away your stress." - Unknown