Meredith: 40 miles N of Concord; 60 miles NW of Portsmouth; 110 miles N of Boston

Huge Lake Winnipesaukee, carved by glaciers from nearly the dead center of New Hampshire, is easily the state's biggest, with a 180-mile shoreline. Yet it's so irregularly shaped, edged with dozens of inlets, coves, and bays, and dotted by more than 250 islands. As a result, when you're actually out on the lake, it doesn't seem very big at all. The lake gives the illusion of being a chain of much smaller lakes and ponds, rather than one massive body of water, which makes it more welcoming than a single monolithic body of water.

The best bases for the lake include Weirs Beach (if you don't mind tourist tack); small towns like Center Harbor, Moultonborough, and Wolfeboro ; and Meredith.

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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.