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East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Ireland
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East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Hi all,

Hope you don't mind a few questions!

Just booked a last minute break for the first 2 weeks of August in a cabin on Belleu Lake in East Wakefield. Looks great on the net so really looking forward to it. Problem is I know nothing about the area.

I'm travelling with my wife and 2 yound children (3+1) and while the plan is to relax by the lake mostly, as we are there for 2 weeks, I want to organise things to do (especially things that are toddler friendly).

I appreciate that a lot of this will be covered before and I am about to start looking through the forum, but if anyone has any good tips they can share, i would appreciate a reply as I don't have a lot of time to organise this now.

I'm travelling from Ireland so don't know anything about the area so any info on the following would be great:

a) Local attractions within an hour or two drive (esp for kids but also for grown ups)

b) Anything even further away that is special and should be visited considering I'm not usually in this part of the world?

c) Will there be many options for eating out with family?

d) What is grocery shopping like, where is the nearest large supermarket?

e) What is the best town in the are to go to for other shopping?

f) My wife loves outlet shopping so I have to ask if any near also?

G) What is the normal weather for first 2 weeks in August?

h) Will the water in the lakes be warm enough for kids to enjoy?

Even if you caould answer one of these questions I would appreciate a reply

Thanks in advance for you help

Gary

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1. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

I have to say Wakefield is a beautiful area, there's Lakes,mountains,four seasons,mostly friendly people and a real hometown feel to it. Wakefield has an IGA grocery store,a real esate office,some churches,a few gas stations,day care centers, a post office & a few small resteraunts in town. Up the road about 10-15 mins you will see a discount store, furniture store,a Hannaford Supermarket which is a large grocery chain that you & your wife will really like, especially for their fruit & veggie's, that store is the best for those products other than of course the farm stands that you see along the side of the road and you WILL see a lot of farm stands, they're worth it, so stop when you see one! You'll see a Dunkin Dounts in Wakefield, some more gas stations,a few banks thrown in and a few other neccesity type stores. Heading further north maybe 30 more minutes or so you will hit North Conway which is filled with things to do mostly very outdoor type activities, swimming, hiking, in the winter months it's famous for their ski-ing, either down hill or cross country in Jackson. In around North Conway they have, plenty of resturaunts, quite a few resorts,and yes outlet shopping that your wife will absolutely love, so plan on it, it's a great place with many many stores to keep her and you busy, it's tax free NH don't forget, and the Outlet area is called "Settlers Green:

www.settlersgreen.com

There's also a few smaller malls thrown in along the road & some more grocery stores & plenty of ski resorts. North Conway is a tourist area but off season the traffic is bareable, it's actually not that bad, it moves any way! The best thing about being in thru East Wakefield AND Wakefield is the "scenery", so be prepared, get your camera ready, it's as pretty as Ireland's we found! You won't be too far from anything you may need or want while you're there either, so even though you'll be in the woods, you'll find it to be pretty convenient for everything you and your family will need.

Boston is about 2 1/2 hours south for a day trip if you happen to have the time to take a day or two in the City of Boston.

You could go to Portland, Maine OR Portsmouth, NH in no time from East Wakefield as it's not too far to travel to either seaport town.

Wolfeboro, NH will be roughly 3 miles from where you're staying, it's one place that you would really like, so get ready to explore, you're going to be busy. It's such a neat town, it's America's Oldest Resort with all kinds of quaint & unique shops & side streets with great restaurants and the M/S Mt. Washington boat stops in Wolfeboro, or you can take it from Alton Bay around the lake. Check their schedule out to see what you'd like to do. It's a 2 1/2 hour cruise around the lake that you won't want it to end, it's awesome:

http://www.cruisenh.com/

You have a lot just in the East Wakefield, NH area too, but the "big" lake where Wolfeboro is located, you could travel around the lake and look for the olde country store, head to Weirs and look for "Kevin's Cafe" if you want seafood, that's the place to get it. There's the Canoe restaurant too that's very good. You could take your kids to Weirs for the day and check out the arcades & all that.

There's a million and one things to do, it's up to you now, you could even go to the Wright Museum in Wolfeboro if it gets to be rainy or anything like that, here's info on it:

http://www.wrightmuseum.org/

Have a wonderful time no matter what your plans are! You're going to be very busy, especially this time of year, it'll be GREAT!

Edited: 16 July 2010, 05:45
Boston
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2. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Storyland isn't too far, your kids are a little young of course to remember it when they get older, but they'd love it there:

www.storylandnh.com

Your wife would enjoy seeing the Annalee Doll Museum, it's located at beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee & the surrounding mountains & forests provide the backdrop for this Annalee Doll Museum and the "Factory in the Woods," where Annalee Dolls are actually created.

www.annalee.com

"Trace the evolution of Annalee Thorndike and her dolls, from 1934 to the present, at the Annalee Doll Museum, complete with its exterior reproduction of her childhood home at 113 Centre Street, Concord, New Hampshire. You'll be treated to a massive collection of dolls, from every decade of her career. Relive the life story of a determined artist who achieved success through hard work, Yankee ingenuity and a whimsical doll line that continues to grow in popularity. After the tour, you can use their wooded picnic & play area. You will also find an Antique Automobile Collection and a Covered Foot Bridge adjacent to the museum.

ALSO before I forget, you'll have to remember to bring your kids to Bailey's Bubble for an ice cream:

http://www.baileysbubble.com/flavors.htm

This site shows you the events held all summer (2010) in the town of Wolfeboro:

wolfeboroonline.com/chamber/…

This restaurant is in New Durham, NH, I don't know how far it is from East Wakefield though, but it's a good one to bring your kids to:

http://www.eatatjohnsons.com/

This one is good for breakfast or lunch right in Wolfeboro, so remember this one as well:

http://strawberrypatch.tk/

This one is supposed to be really good too, we've never been though but we keep hearing about it all the time:

http://www.frontporchdining.com/

The Canoe restaurant is more expensive than these, but it's extremely good, they won Best of NH last year, it's well worth it to go there if you're over in Center Harbor on the other side of the "big" lake:

http://magicfoodsrestaurantgroup.com/canoe/

Kevin's Cafe in Moultonborough is on the other side of the lake as well. It's GREAT there, oh, there's also one in Weirs too I forgot about that one. The chef/owner Kevin, worked at Legal Seafood in Boston then opened this place, it's terrific:

www.kevinscafe.com

That' s about it from this end for now. I'm sure you'll get many more suggestions as you're going along, so keep checking back for some more of these ideas. Like I said, you're going to be very busy on your two week "holiday".

Edited: 16 July 2010, 06:10
Boston
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3. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

I almost forgot....Do NOT leave East Wakefield without stopping at the Wakefield Inn B&B. It's unbelievable to walk thru it, we strolled thru it a few years ago and now we want to go back there for dinner some night! You can dine there on Friday & Saturdays. Here's info on it with various ideas on their site for activities in the area:

http://www.wakefieldinn.com/area.html

http://www.wakefieldinn.com/menus.html

Edited: 16 July 2010, 06:22
Boston
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4. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

You could take a ride to the Clark's Trading Post. Your kids are really young though for it, but for something to do, you & your wife would get a kick out of seeing this place. I would say 6 year old and up would enjoy it much more, but you could still take a ride there for something to do. From East Wakefield it's a good 2 hour drive to get to Lincoln, as it's a good 75 miles away from the lakes region where you're staying. So that's up to you, here's a good map of it to give you an idea of where you'll be and where Lincoln is located. You might even want to have a map with you for this venture any way, you could pick one up of the state of NH at the Chamber of Commerce in either Wakefield or Wolfeboro.

http://www.mapquest.com/maps?1c=East+Wakefield&1s=NH&1y=US&1l=43.614201&1g=-71.0056&1v=CITY&2c=Lincoln&2s=NH&2z=03251&2y=US&2l=44.0596&2g=-71.6587&2v=ZIP

Clarke's Trading Post is basically "Bears eating ice cream!"

There's your money's worth right there, and everything else is just gravy! In all seriousness, this place exceeds expectations, and would be a great place to bring your family, even for an hour or two.

That being said, Admission is like $12 for adults, and concessions are refreshingly non-inflated.

The bear shows that they have, which is what it's all about, is pretty cool & if anything it's entertaining! One gets the sense that the bears are extremely well cared for, and their playful nature seems to indicate that they enjoy what they do. At any rate, it usually doesn't trip off any alarms with the animal-loving souls like me. There's a steam train ride, where you can see the semi-famous "Wolfman". It's kitschy, but in an innocent and old-timey way. The main park is organized like a miniature main street, with some museum exhibits and little shops.

www.clarkstrading post.com

All in all, it's a great must-see for families with kids or even their grandkids, and it's worth the trip, even just to stand there and watch the bears behind the fence it's still worth it. It's pretty easy to get to off the highway, and it's located right next to the "Sunny Day Diner", where you definitely should go, as it's another 'gem' for breakfast OR lunch! It's a 50's diner that has been well preserved. The food is mostly made in house down to the bread that's baked for toast and sandwiches. They're famous for their banana bread french toast. Also great eggs benedict!. Even the Phantom Gourmet was there, he voted it the world's best Reuben Sandwich for lunch, so look for these favorites on their menu. Going there for breakfast is well worth it remember though it's only open from 7 to 2 any way and they only accept cash, no credit cards or debit cards there. They're also only open certain days, so you could read the reviews on Trip Advisor & get their telephone number to give them a call if you DO decide to go here, to make sure they're open.

Here's some good swimming places along the Lakes region where you're going to be & this site is great it also shows you good swimming areas to go to in the White Mountains as well further up by North Conway:

http://www.nhliving.com/beaches/lakes.shtml

Here's another good site with swimming spots in the White Mountains much further up from where you'll be staying, but just in case you want to swim, early August will be beautiful weather wise, unless there's rain, it should be filled with a lot of sunny days for you guys. Look for Echo Lake Beach, it's a really good one to bring toddlers. There's several but this one is my favorite so put it on your agenda if you're in the White Mountains, check it out, it's a beautiful beach, here's more info on it with the others thru there:

nhvacationhome.net/images/White_Mountains_Na…

www.wakefieldnh.org/aboutwakefield.html

…wmur.com/_Turtles-Sunning-themselves-on-Bel…

To leave the Belleu Lake area for one of these type of day trips just follow Rte 153 out to Rte 16 & that's the White Mountain Highway you'll be on. It sounds as if you're going to have plenty of relaxation where you'll be right on this particular gorgeous lake for the two weeks, it certainly sounds wonderful. If you get itchy and want to see any of these attractions mentioned here though you guys won't be to far from any of these other attractions mentioned, in fact, you're only within an hour or two from any of these spots around the big lake "Winnipesaukee" or further up by North Conway and the Franconia Notch area.

Boston
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5. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

The most convenient "Hannaford" supermarket for you will probably be the one on Rte 16 in Center Ossipee, NH.

Here's their # 603 539-7531, these supermarkets also have a pharmacy inside them, so if you need anything you can just get it while you're shopping. There's actually 5 Hannaford's in the vicinity of East Wakefield, but 3 of them are in Maine and you're really better off shopping in New Hampshire due to the taxes in Maine, it's too high there, you'll see the difference if you compare! The 4th Hannaford is in Alton, on the other side of the "big" lake. So you might want to stick with the Center Ossipee, NH Hannaford's where it's a lot closer to East Wakefield (they used to be called Shop & Save, some of the stores still say Shop & Save up thru the lakes region & the white mountains, in case it confuses you, it's still a Hannaford's!) and like I said, they have amazing fruit and vegetables at all the Hannaford supermarket chains, other than going to a farm stand along the way, get them here, you'll see what I mean when you get there & check them out!

Here's a really good site for Farms in New Hampshire. There's a couple near East Wakefield that are extremely good:

http://www.pickyourown.org/NH.htm

It's blueberry season and the picking is good right now! Your kids are at a good age to start helping out, they'd certainly have a great time! Here's a really good article about it:

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-14053-Manchester-Family-Recreation-Examiner~y2010m6d30-New-Hampshire-offers-many-pickyourown-opportunities-in-2010?cid=sharing_facebook:14053

There's raspberries at the organic L-B farm at Gage Hill Road #326, Wakefield, NH 03872. Their Phone # is: 603-522-3268. It's open from mid-July-mid-August, every day. They're the organically grown raspberries.

Edited: 16 July 2010, 17:37
Hollis, New...
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6. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Don't be discouraged by NoMo's gloomy reports. You'll find a way to suffer through your holiday.

Seriously, you will love it. The water will be absolutely beautiful for swimming (it is right now, and it won't start cooling off until late August). At the farm stands NoMo mentions, be sure to get corn--it will be prime season for it. And climb a small mountain to pick blueberries. Mt. Roberts in Moultonborough and Mt. Major in Alton are good choices. (Although I suppose this might be something of a challenge with a 3-year-old.)

Have a great time.

Ireland
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7. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Wow! thanks Nomo, you really have me exiceted about this trip now. Thanks for all the great info. I've been working my way through it and it all looks great. I nearly expect to meet you at my door when I get there with more great tips :)Thanks also wpsaukee also, my kids have only ever been in a heated pool (if you've been to Ireland you'd know why!) so it's good to know the water will be warm. I assue the lake is safe to paddle / swim in?

Can I also ask if we should expect much rain? I assume it's part of the climate there but just thought I'd check from those who know.

Gary

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8. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Well according to this weather site, we know the month of August is going to be very quick, yet with a lot of SUN, the Fall in New England supposedly is going to be rainy. So if this site is correct then you're in luck and you should be all set for your visit in August here with plenty of sun. Living in New England all these years though, we have all realized that the weathermen a lot of times take wild guesses, so just come with your smiling eyes and the sun just might be out during your whole visit. You'll have to do up a trip report when you get home to tell us whether or not you had SUN while here OR some RAIN, NO Rain OR whatever you get while you're here! We'll all be anxiously waiting to hear what it was like while you were here with your family!

Here's that weather site that's discussing El Nino and the Sun and 2010's summer in New England:

forums.accuweather.com/index.php…

Glad you got my long winded messages too GarySligo, I kept forgetting to add things as I went along, so happy you got to read them all!

Have a great time with your family! I'm going on one of the "mail boats" out of Alton Bay, it's the M/V Sophie C mail boat. It's a lot smaller than the Mt. Washington boat and it stops at the various islands out on the big lake. There used to be a dog that walked all along the porch of his owners home, down the steps, across their beach, up on the dock and right up to the mail boat and he'd fetch that mail bag & put it in his mouth and then walk right back to his home with that mail bag still in his mouth, the same way he got out on that dock. He since died though unfortunately, I don't know if the people ever got another dog to do that again or not. It was the cutest thing to watch! Every couple of years we'd still go out on that Sophie C just the same, it's about an hour and a half rather than 2 1/2 hours I think it was. We're over due for another cruise around that lake! We were thinking of going out on it before Labor Day this summer!

So that's another day trip GarySligo, in case you didn't want to go out on the Mt. Washington boat, you could go on this mail boat, the M/V Sophie C. instead, it's up to you guys in the end, you're going to be pretty busy checking that big lake out and YOUR lake where you're staying as well!

Here's info on the Sophie C.

http://www.cruisenh.com/sophie.html

Edited: 19 July 2010, 00:11
Hollis, New...
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9. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Gary, I'm not familiar with Belleau Lake, but I'm not aware of any of the bodies of water in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire being considered unsafe for swimming.

I always take my primary vacation on Lake Winnipesaukee during the first two weeks of August. Normally, the weather is beautiful. But you can never be sure until it's over.

Edited: 19 July 2010, 16:36
Andover...
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10. Re: East Wakefield / New Hampshire tips

Sounds like you got some great feedback from folks who are more local to where you are staying, but if you are looking for things to do with a Toddler I think I have NH pretty well covered. About 1 hour and 15 minutes drive ( a very scenic one on a nice day) is Story Land in Bartlett, NH, further away but very similar in scope of appeal is Santa's Village. This is a GREAT toddler friendly spot. Our 2 and 1/2 year old loved it. You might also want to consider checking out Manchester, NH if you have a rainy day. Both the Kaleidescope Children's Museum and SEE Science center are great places for little ones and are very close by each other--not too far away is a Chuck E Cheese for an overpriced pizza lunch in a very fun setting.