On Location: New Hampshire's Lakes Region
WITH NEARLY 300 LAKES, ponds, and streams in this part of New Hampshire, there’s just no escaping the water vistas. Lake Winnipesaukee, the biggest of the bunch, runs a whopping 28 miles tip to tip. Which begs the question: How do you like your views? Before you answer "sunny-side up" (pretty much a guarantee in July and August), know that you could travel the lake’s 97-plus-mile circumference through eight towns, browsing antique shops and boutiques along the way; or you could hop aboard the M/S Mount Washington and cruise the 283 miles of shoreline in search of the perfect spot.
Or you could just plant yourself — and your guests — at, say, Castle in the Clouds (603-476-5900, castleintheclouds.org) in Moultonborough, and enjoy 270-degree panoramas. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world at this early-1900s mountaintop estate overlooking Winnipesaukee, where ceremonies are held at cliff’s edge. (The only downside is that guests’ eyes may not always be fixed on you.) The same goes for weddings at the summit of Gunstock Mountain Resort (603-293-4341, gunstock.com) in Laconia; there, a chairlift will take you to meet your mate, and receptions happen in a post-and-beam ski lodge that overlooks the surrounding mountains. More than 1,000 feet below, the Adirondack-style church landing at Mill Falls (800-622-6455, millfalls.com) in Meredith provides a more grounded opportunity to take in the splendors of the region.
For rehearsal dinner options, consider the affiliated Chase House (800-622-6455, millfalls.com), which offers elegant meals served under a tent, or go casual and host a clambake at The Town Docks (603-279-3445, thecman.com) in Meredith. Plastic bibs are optional, but flip-flops are a must.