Mount Sunapee’s closed for the season and you’ve put away the skis. But it’s not yet summer on the lake. So what’s there to do in the Sunapee area right now? LOTS. The in-between moments of spring and summer are some of the best days to get to know the Sunapee area, and watch it come back to life in the warmth of the sun. Sure it’s quiet – but that can be the best part!
Here are our top SIX things we recommend in April and May throughout the Sunapee area:
1. LEARN THE LAY OF THE LAND
The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway is one of the best ways to get to know the area and all it has to offer. This road welcomes travelers seeking alternatives to the beaten path, linking several villages, each with a unique connection to the history and culture of the Lake Sunapee region. The 39-mile route encircles Lake Sunapee, connecting visitors to vibrant communities and natural scenery.
No matter your tastes or needs, our local mom-and-pop shops offer something for everyone:
Prospect Hill Antiques’ three-story, 12,000 square-foot barn showcases an ever-changing inventory of eclectic antique and current estate furniture, household goods and art. A great place to roam! Their second location in Sunapee Harbor is just minutes from The LODGE.
The Sweet Beet Market in Bradford is a year-round, indoor farmers’ market with hyper-local small producers selling fresh veggies, baked goods, and more. Sit for a bit and enjoy their cafe.
Morgan Hill Book Store’s impressive selection of books, greeting cards, gift wrap, journals, children’s games and toys, puzzles, gourmet nuts, chocolates and lots more will keep you plenty busy for the afternoon!
The Sunapee Rock Shop is a family-owned gift shop featuring their own handmade beads, ornaments, jewelry and giftware made from local rocks and minerals.
If you’re into upcycled finds, check out Go Lightly Consignment Boutique for a fun selection of clothing, furnishings, jewelry and home goods.
Just a few of the many delicious local eateries around these parts:
For breakfast, we love Tucker’s in New London. With dishes like apple caramel French toast and a brie-and-bacon egg sandwich with cranberry aioli, it’s no wonder New Hampshire Magazine called this one of the best breakfasts in the state.
For lunch, The Salt Hill Shanty is a much loved spot that’s run by locals (some of the family members that currently own the place grew up in the kitchen!). The menu features tasty pub grub and weekend evening entertainment.
Suna is all about casual comfort and great food. Entrees will please any palate, from Kobe beef burgers and New England style crab cakes fun appetizers like Rubbin’ Butts Nachos.
Hoptimystic Brewing features hand-crafted brews of multiple styles with fun names like Blind Squirrel and Doesn’t Match the Drapes. Recipes are inventive and the brewing methods are untraditional, which makes Hoptimystic stand out in the crowd.
Check out a fuller list of local restaurants here.
4. GET OUT
Spring’s mud season means… well, MUD. But it’s also one of our favorite seasons to be outdoors:
Grab a pair of boots and take a trek through the woods to see the abundance of wildlife and blossoms, and experience up close the wonders of New Hampshire awakening to spring. We like this short list of trails in New London or check our list of hiking locales here.
Lake Sunapee is New Hampshire’s fifth largest lake and home to smallmouth bass, rock bass and lake trout. Find tackle and live bait at the Tackle Shack. Be sure to ask about fishing guides, charters and boat rentals.
Muster Field Farm Museum is gem of a working farm located between Mount Kearsarge and King Ridge, covering 250 acres of fields and woods. The original homestead, farm buildings and schoolhouse are all lovingly preserved and open for visitors. Cows, a vegetable stand, blossoms… one of the best places around for a family-friendly adventure.
5. STAY IN!
If you’re not into the great outdoors, the Sunapee area also has plenty of the great indoors:
The Creation Place offers paint-your-own pottery, signs and other artistic pursuits. Retail sales of resin art, gifts, and unique home goods as well. Group classes and birthday parties. Walk-ins are welcomed, call for details on classes, hours and other questions.
The Marian Graves Mugar Gallery at Colby-Sawyer College hosts five major exhibitions and related public events each academic year. The Center for the Arts hosts micro galleries and events featuring local artists throughout the area: check their site for locations and details.
We recommend a visit to the Ice House Museum to for a memorable, hands-on experience of their Antique Ford cars, children’s ride-on toys, steam whistles, padlocks, washing machines, auto parts, horse-drawn carriages, a town jail, blacksmith shop and tinsmith shops… and lots more.
6. Stay with US!
You’ll need a place to rest up after all that fun! Check out our studio and one- or two-bedroom suites at THE LODGE – we’d love to have you stay for more springtime adventures here in the Sunapee area!
Looking for more ideas on local places to explore throughout the year? Peek at our recommendations here.