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We had never been to Newfound Lake before, and my husband and I both worked in a mattress store at the time. A couple came in looking for mattress sets to buy for all 10 of their cottages, but could only afford to buy a couple at a time because they are very expensive if you want to get a set that is going to last. We got to talking with the other couple and somehow got on the subject of bartering with them. We would use our discount, and buy them a mattress set, and in turn, we would get a week in one of their cabins right on the lake.

We had never been to this particular lake before and were rather excited to try somewhere new for a vacation spot. We drove up north early to drop off the mattress set so they could have it for the whole season, seeing that we weren't coming up until August. When we were there, we couldn't believe what we saw.

All of the cabins were directly on the water. You could fish from your bedroom window if you wanted to, that's how close we were to the water. Speaking of the water, it was absolutely crystal clear. As far out as I could see from the shore, I could see straight down to the bottom where the rocks were and the fish were swimming. We were so thrilled and couldn't wait the two more months until it was our time to spend there.

So, for the next two months, we researched on the internet, and we sent away for information from the Chamber of Commerce. The more we read and the more pictures we saw, the more the anticipation was killing us to get there. We had no idea that Newfound Lake was considered one of the cleanest Lakes in the United States, which I was thrilled about because I'm not too keen about not being able to see what I'm swimming in.

We learned about all the fun stuff we could do while we were there, and most important to me was the shopping outlets in Tilton, New Hampshire. I had never been to the outlets in Tilton, and now I go back up there about once a month. I have never seen outlets like these before. I actually saved money, it wasn't a gimmick like most of them are. There was a store called J. Jill that my mother absolutely loved. It is usually rather expensive, but the clothing was reasonably priced at the outlet. The one store that I was particularly impressed with the prices was the Easy Spirit store. The store was totally filled with sneakers and dress shoes for men and women in every size. Usually when you visit an outlet, there are some great bargains, but there are either none left in the most popular sizes, or they have been picked through so badly that you can't even find the other matching shoe that you fell in love with. This store was extremely well maintained, there was a very wide selection, and the prices were more than reasonable. I had a very low budget for shopping, and I left with four pairs of shoes. In case you aren't familiar with Easy Spirit, they are known for being one of the most comfortable pair of shoes that you can possibly buy.

While my mother and I shopped until she dropped (I was always ready for more), our husbands went to a very beautiful golf course which they were salivating over when they saw the picture. The course was on Ragged Mountain, and I wasn't there so I couldn't tell you specifically what it was like, but the guys said it was one of the most beautiful courses they had ever played on. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and they couldn't rave about the place enough. Apparently there were people walking all over the nineteen holes with food and cold drinks which they loved because it was a very long course and they were very far away from the clubhouse to get something to drink, so they loved that. They said at some points, they could see for miles when they got to the top of the mountain especially.

When they got back, we decided to go out to dinner at The Inn At Newfound Lake, and was that something else if I do say so myself. It was built in 1840 and overlooks Newfound lake. Very elegant, and you had the choice of eating inside with the piano and the fireplace, or outside on the patio. The inside was very homey and the people there were very friendly, but it was such a beautiful night, we decided to eat outside on the patio with lit candles overlooking the lake and a bunch of beautiful trees. The food was very unique, and also reasonably priced. I had Snapper for the first time in my life, and I wasn't too sure about my decision but it came very highly recommended by the waiter so I decided to give it a shot, and I'll be darned, it was unspeakably delicious, although I don't know if I would try it anywhere else.

I think the best part of the whole vacation was waking up every morning and taking off on the boat that we had rented. There are so many beautiful things to see all over the lake including birds that I had never seen before in their natural habitat. There were bars that you could drive up to in the boat if you wanted a cold drink, or you could park the boat at one of the public beaches and just hang out in the sun and have a little barbecue with one of the many personal grills that were all over the beaches. It was just so serene and peaceful floating around out there on the beautiful lake with so many sites to see.

There was also an abundance of bed and breakfast's that you could stay at instead of renting a cottage for the duration of your stay, and they all looked very nice from the outside. I can only imagine what the inside looked like.

We went kayaking on the smith river which was a blast, we went horse back riding, fishing, and we also hiked Cardigan Mountain. We had a couple of picnics while we were there, and we also flew a kite one afternoon after going for a nature walk.

Whether you prefer a quiet get away or an action packed vacation experience, there are so many options for recreation including sports, or you could just get plenty of relaxation depending on what you are looking for, but I would highly recommend the Newfound Lake area to try at least once for your vacation pleasure. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. There is enough there to keep everyone busy and happy.