New Hampshire – Day 4: Wolfeboro, and the Castle in the Clouds

Upon recommendation from a host, I started the day at Wolfeboro, the oldest summer resort town in America. Wolfeboro is a very quaint town with lots of New England charm. I wandered down the main street ducking into a few stores. My favorite store was a bookstore called the Country Bookseller, go figure. They won my heart for no other reason than that they had Harry Potter hangings in their children’s section.

Children's section of the Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, NH.

Children’s section of the Country Bookseller in Wolfeboro, NH.

Since I didn’t plan to buy anything in any of the shops I quickly ducked in to check them out and then moved on to the waterfront. The town borders Lake Winnipesaukee and the views are pretty spectacular. I can definitely see why people would want to spend their summers here. Though I will say, along my walk I saw a house rental ad for $7,000 a week! Hopefully that was for a super fancy mansion, but somehow I doubt it.

View of Lake Winnipesaukee, from Wolfeboro, NH.

View of Lake Winnipesaukee, from Wolfeboro, NH.

Next up was the Castle in the Clouds. There were a few stops on the drive up to the parking area (they take you to the actual castle via a trolley that runs every 15 minutes). The first stop on the path to the castle is a short walk to see the Falls of Song, a really beautiful waterfall. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to get a good picture of the waterfall because of the way the sun was reflecting off the neighboring cliffs. The cool thing about the Falls of Song is that the waterfall doesn’t just shoot off the edge of a cliff into a pool below, instead it cascades down ledges zigzagging it’s way down the mountainside. It’s really quite spectacular. The next stop on the drive to the Castle parking lot was a scenic overlook of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountain ranges:

Scenic Overlook on the drive up to the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

Scenic Overlook on the drive up to the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

I knew nothing about the Castle in the Clouds prior to my visit. I’d just read about it on numerous “things to do in New Hampshire” sites and so figured it was something I should check out. I’m glad I did. What a truly beautiful place.

View of the front of the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

View of the front of the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

Fortunately, there was a guide who introduced us to the mansion and gave us a mini-history lesson before we began our self-guided tour. I learned that the Castle in the Clouds, or the Lucknow estate, is a mansion built in the early 1900s by a man named Thomas Plant. According to the guide, Thomas Plant started as a factory worker and, in true American fashion, moved up the corporate ladder and ended up owning his own shoe making company. He built his mansion high in the mountains, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. The Lucknow estate has some pretty impressive features considering when it was built, including a self-cleaning stove, an ammonia-brine refrigerator, an intercom system, a Tiffany glass skylight over the staircase, and multiple needle showers. Another really cool feature of Lucknow is the hand painted window panels, many of which sported views from the estate.

Hand painted glass windows as seen at the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

Hand painted glass windows as seen out the front window of the Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Castle in the Clouds and highly recommend it to anyone who is in the area. Originally, I had been a little hesitant to go because of the $16 admission price, but it was well worth it in the end. The views from pretty much every room in the house were spectacular. Even the views from the servants’ quarters were stellar. So, if you’re in New Hampshire and looking for something to do, definitely go check out the Castle in the Clouds, you won’t regret it. The views are unbelievable.

Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

View from the front porch; Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, NH.

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