20 Best & Fun Things To Do In Gilford, NH

Are you a resident or tourist looking for fun activities in Gilford, New Hampshire?  Look no further! You’re in the right place.  In this guide, we’ll unveil an extensive list of the 20 best and most fun things to do in Gilford, NH, to make the most of your time in this picturesque Belknap County.

Gilford, NH, nestled on the southern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, family fun, and historical intrigue.

Explore Lake Winnipesaukee’s vast freshwater lake with a variety of activities. Take a scenic boat tour to appreciate the stunning scenery, rent a kayak or paddleboard for closer exploration, or simply relax on the sandy shores of Ellacoya State Park.

Lace-up your boots and explore the scenic trails at Lockes Hill, rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. For more experienced adventures, the Belknap Mountain Range offers challenging hikes that will test your limits.

20 Best & Fun Things To Do In Gilford (2024)

1. Gunstock Mountain Resort

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Exploring Gunstock Mountain Resort is one of the best things to do in Gilford, NH, for outdoor enthusiasts. This must-see attraction is a fantastic destination, offering a variety of activities throughout the year.

Gunstock boasts 227 skiable acres, 49 trails with varying difficulty levels, and a vertical drop of 1,400 feet, making it a great choice for both beginners and seasoned skiers and snowboarders.

For thrill-seekers, Gunstock features several terrain parks with jumps, rails, and boxes, perfect for honing your freestyle skills. Enjoy the sandy beach on the shores of the magnificent Lake Winnipesaukee. Relax, soak up the sun, or take a refreshing dip in the lake.

Gunstock Mountain Resort features Zipline Adventure, allowing you to soar through the trees and experience breathtaking views on Gunstock’s exhilarating zipline course. This is a fantastic activity for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike.

Address: 719 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

2. Laconia Historical & Museum Society

Things To Do In Gilford, NH.

Located in Laconia, just 10 minutes away from Gilford, NH, the Laconia Historical & Museum Society is heaven for history lovers. This establishment is aimed at preserving and showcasing Laconia’s history.

This museum actively collects, preserves, and exhibits artifacts, documents, and photographs that tell the story of Laconia’s past. These items offer a glimpse into the lives, experiences, and cultural heritage of the people who shaped the city.

Laconia Historical & Museum Society organizes educational programs, lectures, and workshops to share local history with the community. This fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for Laconia’s unique story.

Address: 695 N Main Street, Laconia, NH 03246, United States.

3. Ellacoya State Park

things to do in Gilford, NH.

Nestled on the southwestern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest freshwater lake, lies Ellacoya State Park. This 82.7-acre park offers a delightful escape for nature lovers, families, and anyone seeking a relaxing day by the lake.

Ellacoya State Park boasts stunning views across Lake Winnipesaukee. Enjoy the serenity of the lake, the beauty of the surrounding mountains, and the refreshing lake breeze.

This park’s centerpiece is its pristine 600-foot sandy beach. This is a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, building sandcastles, or simply relaxing with a book.

Ellacoya State Park offers other activities, such as picnicking, and a playground to keep the little ones entertained while you relax or take in the scenery.

Address: Route 11A Entrance: 1 Ellacoya State Park Road, Gilford, NH 03244, United States. [This is the most common entrance], Route 11B Entrance: 13 Mile Island Road, Gilford, NH 03244, United States.

4. BankNH Pavilion

Things to do in Gilford, NH

Create more exciting family memories in Gilford by exploring the BankNH Pavilion. This must-see attraction is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts a variety of concerts, theatrical productions, comedy shows, and family-friendly entertainment throughout the year.

The BankNH Pavilion hosts a wide range of events, catering to diverse interests. You might find concerts by famous musicians, Broadway shows, stand-up comedy routines, or even children’s entertainment events.

In addition, this fun establishment provides a venue that offers nearly 9,000 seats, with a mix of covered pavilion seating, reserved lawn seating, and general admission lawn seating.

The BankNH Pavilion features concession stands selling food and drinks, restrooms, and merchandise booths. Since it’s an outdoor venue, weather conditions can impact the experience. Dress appropriately for the forecast, and be prepared for potential rain or chilly evenings

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Address: 1 Line Road, Gilford, NH 03244, United States.

5. First Congregational Church of Gilford

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Visiting the First Congregational Church of Gilford is one of the most unique things to do in Gilford, NH, this weekend. The First Congregational Church of Gilford is one of the major pillars fostering love and togetherness in the Gilford community. 

The First Congregational Church of Gilford offers various programs or ministries that serve the community and its members. This includes Bible study groups, youth groups, senior citizen programs, social events or activities, and community service opportunities.

What’s more, this historic Congregational church follows a traditional New England church style, often featuring a simple rectangular structure with a steeple or bell tower.

Address: 10 Belknap Mountain Road, Gilford, NH 03244, United States.

Are you exploring other attractions in New Hampshire? Why not check out some fun things to do in Laconia, and fun things to do in Woodstock?

6. Beans & Greens Farm

Things to do in Gilford, NH

For nature lovers, exploring Beans & Greens Farm is one of the most fun things to do in Gilford, NH. This family-operated farm offers a petting zoo, making it one of the best destinations for families with kids.

Beans & Greens Farm harvests their own vegetables and offers them for sale at their farmstand. This means you can enjoy fresh, locally-grown produce at its peak ripeness.

This site features an onsite bakery, offering freshly baked breads, pies, cookies, and other treats. Beans & Greens features a Dili, that offers hot or cold sandwiches and prepared salads. They also sell NH-made gifts and products like honey, maple syrup, or their own line of sauces and dressings.

Address: 245 Intervale Road, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

7. Escape Hour House

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Test your mental ability by competing with your friends at Escape Hour House. This escape room offers an exciting experience where you and your team work together to solve puzzles and mysteries within a themed room, all within a set time limit.

Escape Hour House offers multiple escape room experiences, each with a unique theme and storyline. You might find yourself transported to a pirate ship, a secret agent’s headquarters, or even an abandoned asylum, depending on the theme of your choice.

What’s more, each room is filled with puzzles, riddles, clues, and challenges that require teamwork, problem-solving skills, and communication to overcome.

Address: 401 Gilford Avenue, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

8. Gilford Country Store

Things to do in Gliford, NH

Browsing through Gilford Country Store is one of the best things to do in Gilford this weekend with your family. This popular mall offers a unique blend of shopping, dining, and local charm.

Gilford Country Store focuses on showcasing and selling a variety of unique, locally crafted products made in New Hampshire. They were voted “Best Place to Buy a Gift in the Lakes Region” in 2020.

In addition to local finds, they might also offer a selection of general merchandise, snacks, and other essentials. This store has an on-site cafe serving a variety of delicious food options. You might find breakfast sandwiches, lunch wraps, salads, and other casual fare.

Gilford Country Store a giant green chair outside the store is a popular photo option for visitors. They have a large moose mount nicknamed “Major” on display inside the store, adding to the unique atmosphere.

Address: 475 Coolidge Highway, Gilford, NH 03247, United States.

9. Stone Brook Hill Farm, LLC.

Things to do in Gilford, NH

Stone Brook Hill Farm, LLC. is a multifaceted establishment in Gilford, New Hampshire. They operate as both a real estate developer and a family-owned blueberry farm.

Exploring Stone Brook Hill Farm, LLC. is one of the many free things to do in Gilford, NH, with your family. Stone Brook Hill Farm offers scenic views of the lake and hillside and serves as a premier community for those seeking a tranquil lifestyle amidst nature.

Stone Brook Hill Farm also maintains its agricultural roots by offering blueberry picking to the public during the July and August seasons. This is a fun and rewarding activity for families and visitors alike, allowing you to enjoy fresh, locally-grown blueberries.

Address: 123 Glidden Road, Gilford, NH 03249, United States. 

10. Tannery Hill Covered Bridge

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

One of the best places to explore in Gilford as a cyclist is the Tannery Hill Covered Bridge. Built in 1995, this bridge is specifically designed for walkers and cyclists. It’s a great path for a stroll or a scenic bike ride, allowing you to enjoy the surroundings without car traffic.

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The Tannery Hill Covered Bridge location offers picturesque vistas of Gunstock Brook and the surrounding natural landscape. You can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the area while crossing the bridge.

What’s more, this bridge features a classic lattice wooden structure, a common design for covered bridges. This adds to its historic charm and aesthetic appeal. A single span measuring approximately 42 feet makes it a quick and pleasant crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Tannery Hill Covered Bridge bridge is a vital connection point between the Gilford Town Hall and Fire Department buildings, providing a safe and scenic way for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the area.

Address: 47 Cherry Valley Road, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

11. Patrick’s Pub & Eatery

Things to do in Gilford, NH

Patrick’s Pub & Eatery is a great spot to enjoy some American pub fare with an Irish twist. This popular food establishment is generally considered family-friendly during the day and early evenings.

This pub offers classic American pub dishes like burgers, sandwiches, wings, and pub snacks. You might also find some Irish-inspired options, like shepherd’s pie or fish and chips.

Patrick’s Pub & Eatery has a wide selection of beers on tap, including local brews and popular national brands. They likely also offer wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks. Get to enjoy live music performances on weekends,

Address: 18 Weirs Road, Gilford, NH 03249-6307, United States.

13. Funspot

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Nestled in Weirs Beach, Laconia, exploring Funspot is one of the most family-friendly things to do near Gilford, NH. Funspot, known as the “Largest Arcade in the World” according to Guinness World Records in 2008, is a fantastic destination for fun and games in New Hampshire.

Funspot features a large collection of video games, spanning classics from the early 1970s to the late 2000s alongside modern titles. You’ll find something for every gamer, whether you crave nostalgia or cutting-edge experiences.

This popular game spot features pinball prowess, in which you can unleash your inner pinball wizard on a variety of pinball machines, testing your reflexes and strategic skills.

Beyond gaming, Funspot offers a whimsical 18-hole indoor mini-golf course. It’s a fun activity for the whole family or a friendly competition with friends. For those 18 and over, the cash bingo hall offers an exciting chance to win.

Funspot offers both ten-pin and candlepin bowling, catering to different preferences. So lace up your bowling shoes and enjoy a few rounds on the 20-lane bowling alley.

Address: 579 Endicott North Street, Weirs Beach, NH 03247, United States.

14. Gilford Cinemas 8

Things to do in Gliford, NH

Exploring Gilford Cinemas 8 is one of the best things to do in Gilford, NH, at night. Gilford Cinemas 8 offers a selection of recently released movies, allowing you to enjoy the latest blockbusters and cinematic experiences.

This cinema provides high-quality digital sound for an immersive movie experience. With “8” in the name, it suggests they have multiple screens showcasing various films simultaneously.

Gilford Cinemas 8 features a concession stand that sells popcorn, candy, and drinks to make your movie night worthwhile.

This cinema has a more personal touch compared to the large chain theaters. Gilford Cinemas 8 focuses on specific genres or a more curated selection of films.

Address: 9 Old Lake Shore Road, 6524, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

15. White Mountain National Forest

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Outdoor enthusiasts! Venturing into White Mountain National Forest is one of the interesting things to do near Gilford, NH, with your friends.

This popular park offers a variety of hiking trails, including the scenic Flume Gorge boardwalk and the challenging hike to the summit of Cannon Mountain.

This scenic route winds through the heart of the White Mountains, offering breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, and fall foliage. White Mountain National Forest offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, and breathtaking views from the summit. 

Surrounded by mountains, this scenic lake reflects the surrounding peaks and offers opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing. This glacial cirque, nestled near Franconia Notch, offers stunning scenery and is a popular spot for hiking and photography.

What’s more, this park features a unique toll road that takes you to the summit of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast.

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Address: 71 White Mountain Drive, Campton, NH, 03223, United States.

16. Paugus Bay

Things to do in Gilford, NH

Escape the summer heat in Gilford, NH, by exploring Paugus Bay with your family. This stunning 1,227-acre body of water offers a variety of recreational activities and breathtaking views, making it a perfect destination for a day trip or a longer stay.

Paugus Bay’s calm waters are ideal for cruising around in your favorite boat. Whether you prefer the speed of a motorboat, the leisurely pace of a pontoon, or the tranquility of a kayak or paddleboard, the bay caters to all preferences.

in addition, you can cast your line and experience the thrill of catching largemouth and smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, rainbow trout, white perch, and more. The healthy fish population in Paugus Bay makes it a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Address: 131 Lake Street, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

17. Ahern State Park

Things to do in Gilford, NH

Positioned at Laconia, NH, venturing into Ahern State Park is one of the best things to do near Gilford, NH, for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy the lakefront atmosphere and relax on the sandy shore of Lake Winnisquam, which is perfect for sunbathing and building sandcastles with your kids.

Explore the park’s network of easy hiking trails that wind through the woods and offer scenic views of the lake. These trails are suitable for visitors of all skill levels, making them a great option for a family outing or a casual stroll.

Bring your furry friend along for the adventure! Ahern State Park allows leashed dogs on the trails, making it a fun spot for dog owners to enjoy the outdoors with their canine companions. Always clean up after your pet and follow park leash rules.

Address: 43 Great Bay Lane, Laconia, NH 03246, United States.

18. Lake Winnipesaukee

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Located in the Lakes Region at the foothills of the White Mountains, exploring Lake Winnipesaukee is one of the most fun things to do in Gilford, NH, in the summer. 

Lake Winnipesaukee Spans over 71 square miles with a maximum depth of 180 feet, Lake Winnipesaukee is a vast and picturesque lake. The crystal-clear, spring-fed water reflects the surrounding mountains and forests, creating a breathtaking backdrop.

This lake boasts over 264 islands, ranging from tiny islets to larger ones with historical significance or private residences. Exploring these islands adds another layer of adventure to your lake experience.

With calm waters and protection from strong winds, Lake Winnipesaukee is ideal for boating of all kinds. Enjoy cruising around the lake in motorboats or pontoons, exploring hidden coves in kayaks or canoes, or trying paddleboarding for a unique perspective.

Address: 1934 Lake Shore Road, Gilford, NH 03249, United States.

19. Alton Mountain Winery

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

Position Alton, exploring Alton Mountain Winery is one of the best things wine lovers can do near Gilford, NH. Alton Mountain Winery offers a chance to savor locally crafted wines amidst scenic views.

Embark on a journey of flavor by trying their selection of handcrafted wines. Alton Mountain Winery offers tasting flights or individual glasses, allowing you to discover your favorites.

This winery is nestled amidst rolling hills and vineyards, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wine-tasting experience. Enjoy the fresh air and scenic beauty as you sip their wines.

Address: 103 Croydon Road, Alton, NH 03809, United States.

20. Mount Washington Cruises

Things to do in Gilford, NH.

One of the most romantic things to do near Gilford, NH, with partners is Mount Washington Cruises. This attraction offers scenic cruises on Lake Winnipesaukee, which Gilford borders.

Embark on a relaxing cruise and soak in the beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee. The cruise might take you past charming towns, historical landmarks, and scenic islands.

Mount Washington Cruises offers various cruise options, depending on the season and time of day. Enjoy a delicious meal while cruising on the lake. This option is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic evening out.

Address: 103 Croydon Road, Alton, NH 03809, United States.

Plan Your Trip To Gilford, NH

Gilford, New Hampshire, offers an abundance of activities and attractions that cater to all interests and ages. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a relaxing day out, this vibrant town has it all.

Plan your visit to Gilford today and be prepared to create unforgettable memories in this welcoming community.

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