Church Landing at Inns of Mill Falls, Lake Winnipesaukee

The following review is written by Pit Stops for Kids’ reader Deirdre Hall.

As we drove north into New Hampshire I regaled my children with tales of camping at Lake Winnipesaukee when I was a girl: the smell of the campfire, marshmallows roasting, and running full steam down a long dock to cannonball into the chill lake.

church landing

When we pulled into Church Landing, one of several Inns at Mills Falls in Meredith, NH my kids were given an altogether different impression of “roughing it”. Greeted by a generous front porch with geraniums in bloom, we made our way inside to discover it was almost as if we were still outdoors, yet free of what I didn’t mention about my childhood days camping: mosquitos, damp sleeping bags, and the constant smell of lake water. Birch logs and branches stretched toward the ceiling and the overall rustic décor was a nod to the summer camps the lake had long supported. However, without having to look too closely it became clear that the first class service and amenities suggested this wasn’t a cottage on a big pond.

church landing

As we settled into our room, the kids were fascinated by a stepstool to climb into the very cushy bed and the many forest accents brought indoors, from the furniture made from rustic birch logs and barn board with minute detail down to the twig handles to the retro postcard wallpaper in the bathroom. While they explored we enjoyed the placid lake-view from our balcony.

We took a short walk to the neighboring Shops at Mills Falls Marketplace where we enjoyed brick oven pizza accompanied by live music in the quaint yet festive Giuseppe’s Pizzeria and Ristorante. By the time we were done with our meal many of the shops had closed, but we promised to return the following day. Venturing back to Church Landing in the dwindling daylight we watched the ducks play in the water while we enjoyed homemade ice cream on the docks.

church landingOnce back at Church Landing we were met with twinkly lights which will forever remind my kids of fairies, especially with the birch and cedar accents nearly everywhere you looked. We promptly donned our swimsuits and the kids hopped in the heated pool which had an underwater passage-way outside and we grown-ups relaxed in the hot tub. The scene was quiet except for our own splashing and we felt comfortable and at home.

The following morning a small complimentary continental breakfast of muffins, cereal, yogurt, hardboiled eggs, granola bars and fruit was offered while overlooking the water. Shortly after we took a stroll around the grounds admiring the lake and doing some more reminiscing about summers spent camping out. We visited the shops back at the Marketplace and bought some homemade chocolates for the ride home. After another swim and checkout we asked the helpful staff about areas of interest close-by. They directed us to a public park at the Community Center just down the street where we let the kids blow off some steam aboard a playscape replica of the M/S Mount Washington and another structure with climbing, sliding and twisting features. Our final stop was the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.

Date last visited:

July 2012

Room rates:

Rooms and suites start at around $250 in the high season, and $230 in the winter. Rates will vary. Mills Falls has six properties in total: see a comparison of Mills Falls locations.

Amenities:

Rooms feature free wifi and fridges, and free parking is available as well.

Dining options:

In addition to the shops and restaurants described above, Church Landing offers The Lakehouse Grille and Lounge, open for lunch and dinner daily.

Directions:

Church Landing is located at 281 Daniel Webster Highway. From I-93, take Hwy 104 to merge with the Daniel Webster Highway.

Deirdre Hall writes for Ladies Holiday Blog and Aliment a cookery blog. Along with her family, she is an adventurous and luxury seeking traveler.

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