Logo   Laconia & Gilford, New Hampshire
Laconia, Lake Winnipesaukee's largest town, is also its business and commercial center, with Gilford right next door.



Laconia (population 17,000), located 27 miles (43 km) north of Concord NH (map), is surrounded by lakes: Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Opechee, Paugus Bay and Lake Winnisquam. It's the county seat of Belknap County (that's "bell-nap") and the largest town in New Hampshire's Lakes Region.

Right next to it is the town of Gilford, home of Gunstock Mountain Ski Resort.

Laconia has its own small general aviation airport (no scheduled flights). The nearest large airport with scheduled service is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. More...

A Bit of History

Settled in 1761, Laconia prospered during the early 1800s because of water power which turned the wheels of its mills grinding wheat and corn, and sawing timber into lumber. The Belknap Mill for textile production opened in 1832, and is still in the town center next to the town hall, restored and open to visitors. It's the oldest unaltered brick textile mill in the USA, an important site of the early Industrial Revolution in New England. More...

Drop in to see the hydroelectric plant which ran the mill and supplied electricity to the town center from 1918 to mid-century. The mill now also serves as the region's center for culture and the arts.

Laconia Beaches

Laconia's Opechee Cove Beach in Opechee Park on Opechee Bay north of the town center (map) is the place for a swim.

Ellacoya State Beach, on NH Route 11 in Gilford southeast of Glendale, is one of the nicest beaches on the lake. There's plenty of parking, and if you go early in the day you can get one of the picnic tables.

There's a snack bar, and a lifeguard is on duty all the time the beach is open.

The slope of the beach is very gradual, making it ideal for small children; for more experienced swimmers, a swimming dock floats in the water farther out.

Use this handy Hotel Search Box to find lodgings in and around Laconia:

—by Tom Brosnahan

Hotels at Lake Winnipesaukee

Transportation for Winnipesaukee

Weirs Beach


Lake Winnipesaukee

Tourist Information

New Hampshire Highlights

About New Hampshire



Ellacoya State Park Sign, Laconia NH

The way to the beach...
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