New Hampshire : Safety by City
- Hampton Beach
- North Conway
- West Lebanon
Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, is touted as “America’s Oldest Summer Resort.”
While I could debate the use of the word “oldest” in a tourism slogan, I can tell you nothing feels old in Wolfeboro.
Instead, it feels like a town frozen in time.
You get the essence of quintessential New England, the grandeur of the state’s largest lake, and skiing in the city limits, all with a downtown filled with unique dining experiences.
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro offers a wide range of outdoor activities and a heaping dose of history.
It’s known as the most affluent city in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, but it doesn’t feel like a budget vacation is out of the question.
Wolfeboro likes to keep a low profile, as do its famous guests.
However, nobody minded that Travel & Leisure ranked the Picking House Inn as one of the best five hotels in the world.
As a four-season destination, don’t let the “Oldest Summer Resort” deter you from planning a fall foliage trip or a winter wonderland holiday escape.
Warnings & Dangers in Wolfeboro
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here with low crime rates and an affluent crowd that demands a low risk to keep coming back. While there's a budget-friendly trip available here, don't be surprised if you see some extravagant places and famous people.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Wolfeboro has a trolley system with two options (Molly & Jolly). You can see the routes on the Wolfeboro Trolley website. Taxis and rideshares are available, plus rental car options. You can also book limousines and get shuttles to and from the airport.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Not a single purse snatching or stolen wallet was reported over the past five years, giving this a low risk. There's always that potential, however, so don't let your guard down.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
New Hampshire can get anything from a winter storm to a hurricane to a nor'easter, so the risk is medium throughout the year. Severe weather can happen, but there aren't a lot of tornadoes in this region aside from an occasional waterspout.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
One robbery per year is the most Wolfeboro sees, so there's a low risk. All communities around the lake have a low risk of being mugged.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Terrorism is another low risk, but you should check any travel warnings from your home country or the Homeland Security Terrorism Advisory Bulletin before you go. Mass shootings and gun crimes might make people cautious when visiting America, but that's only going to make you more vigilant. Tourists are not the target of those shootings, but random attacks can happen anywhere.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The only scam report here for a few years has been a phone call where someone pretends to be a police officer. You should also watch out for rental scams in any tourist area. Red flags include being asked to wire money and only communicating by email. It's a low risk, but still worth knowing the common signs of fraud.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Here's another low risk, with a charming community to explore and outdoor options that aren't so remote you couldn't call for help if necessary.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2021 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. That's a low risk. Keep in mind that any urgent water issues, like flooding, would come from emergency management and city websites, not the water quality report.
Safest Places to Visit in Wolfeboro
You have several places online to research cyber-safely.
First, the town has a list of the basic attractions and some FAQs for visitors.
LakesRegion.org covers all the communities on Lake “Winni,” as it’s called.
The Pickering House Inn website also has a list of things to do, which is worth noting, so you can also see what makes this inn worthy of global recognition.
Wolfeboro’s Main Street is one so charming you’d likely hang a photo of it up in a living room.
Downtown is flanked by Back Bay and Wolfeboro Bay, hinting at the lake adventures ahead.
Take a ride on the trolley to get a history lesson while you soak in the scenery and stop at the main attractions.
The trolley also has a museum look that covers the following places.
The Wright Museum of World War II is one of the most popular museums dedicated to preserving the history of World War II.
The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays.
The Remembrance Garden is a place to pay respect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice or remember a loved one of your own who fought in the war.
Wolfeboro really likes to tout the “oldest” places, so the Libby Museum of Natural History is the “Oldest Natural History Museum in New Hampshire.”
Dr. Henry Libby’s love of the outdoors and wildlife lives on with sweeping water views and a full collection of his lifetime obsession with the wilderness.
The Clark Museum is an outdoor history village with several buildings from the 1700s through the 1900s.
It’s no surprise the largest lake in the state has the New Hampshire Boat Museum.
The museum is expanding, so be sure to check the latest exhibits and construction activity before you go.
Wolfeboro has several beaches, but many are just for town residents and guests.
Check with the city before you plan a beach day.
If you want to go to a beach that is more tourist-friendly, Ellacoya State Park is just 20 miles from town and might have smaller crowds.
Wentworth State Park is less than five miles away.
The town has many trails you can choose from, and they are detailed on the “Parks, Trails, and Beaches” of the town’s website.
One of those goes between downtown and Abenaki Ski Area (wait for it… “America’s Oldest Ski Area.”)
If you want a bigger ski area with more challenging trails, look at SkiNH.com for all the locations.
The White Mountains are just 90 minutes from Wolfeboro.
Back on the lake, you can take wooden boat tours, book a fishing charter, rent a kayak/SUP, or take in a concert at Cate Park on the waterfront.
Places to Avoid in Wolfeboro
You don’t have to worry about places that are too dangerous to visit or where you don’t want to go, but you do have to worry about places where you might not be welcomed.
Unlike many tourist towns, Wolfeboro has some places that are members-only. Always check if a golf course requires a member$hip.
Read the rules about beach sticker requirements at all lake beaches.
If you are renting a home, ask the homeowner if you will get a beach sticker as part of your rate.
Don’t try to sneak into private areas.
People pay a lot of money for memberships to Yacht Clubs and golf clubs to avoid large tourist crowds.
While it’s not a bad thing to have these private spaces, it’s just worth noting that you can’t just walk onto any boat dock here.
Always use places labeled “Public Boat Dock” or “State Park” to know you’re in a place where everyone is welcome.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Wolfeboro
- Wolfeboro does have its own police department. The main phone number is (603) 569-1444 if you have any questions. The police force includes 14 officers, and the department prides itself on “proactive policing.”
- Seven parking areas can be found around Wolfeboro. The city has a list of the locations on its website. Please follow all time limits as growing crowds make police more likely to tow or ticket cars that stay beyond the allowed time. An electric vehicle charging station is located on Railroad Avenue.
- Sign up for electronic alerts through the city’s website. You can choose which alerts you want to get, from the ski area to emergency orders to park updates.
- Hydrant flushing can impact access and quality of tap water, so check the city’s social media sites or website to see if that’s happening during your visit.
- During nor’easters and hurricanes, the power can go out. Before booking a place to stay, ask if there’s a backup power supply in the event of an outage.
- Look for WCTV 25 to access the community channel with safety information, events, and interviews with local officials. Be sure you’re on the “Wolfeboro Community Television” website and now the WCTV commercial station in Tallahassee, Florida. They have the same WCTV call letters.
- Fireworks are not allowed in Wolfeboro, even during the 4th of July holiday. Leave the fireworks to the professional and enjoy one of many other fun activities in this region.
- I’m an outdoor lover, but I also have trust issues. Any frozen body of water makes me nervous. You should know the ice conditions on any lake before you ice skate or go ice fishing. New England has an “Ice Out” declaration that means a lake is thawed enough to travel from one end to the other. However, in 2023, Wolfeboro had an Ice Out that was followed by an Ice In after another hard freeze. If you just want to ice skate without worrying about safety, follow me to the Pop Whalen Ice and Arts Center.
- Wolfeboro has a lot of scenic spots to take photos, but consider what you post to social media while you’re away from home. You don’t want to tip off any would-be thieves that you won’t be home for a while. One option is to wait until you get home to post photos.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state of New Hampshire. You can purchase that online, and be sure to get a freshwater license if you’ll be sticking to the lakes.
So... How Safe Is Wolfeboro Really?
Wolfeboro has incredibly low crime numbers, not just when compared to the population but also when you factor in the number of visitors who come through each season.
It’s rare to see a year with more than 10 violent crimes.
The majority of the past 17 years have had five or fewer, and that’s during a span when more people were coming to visit.
Even theft isn’t a major problem, with 15% of thefts being car break-ins.
That could also be due to fewer people having vehicles and using the trolley or walking.
The weather is always something to keep an eye on, especially since so much is focused on outdoor activities here.
Snow can coat the winter landscape, or it can drop a foot at a time.
Rain can cool off a summer day, but lightning can ruin a day on the lake.
Then there’s the water safety risk.
Look up Lake Winnipesaukee drownings, and you’ll see recent incidents that are just so tragic.
Use the resources in town to help with all water, ice, snow, and trail safety advice.
This is a town where you can talk to a stranger or local without worry (but don’t be TOO trusting or share personal information).
You’ll quickly see why this relatively unknown New Hampshire town is suddenly making headlines.
How Does Wolfeboro Compare?
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- Visas - The visa process can take months, so start planning now. Tourism visas take the longest, but new guidelines in 2023 have expired the process. That, paired with a valid passport, should get you through Customs and Border Patrol. You can cross state lines in America without showing ID.
- Currency - Only the U.S. Dollar is accepted at businesses here. New Hampshire doesn't have a state sales tax, which is a cost-saving from surrounding states. Exchange currency at home or the airport for the best value.
- Weather - Plan for the most extreme in each season with full winter outerwear and comfortable summer heatwave clothing. Fall and spring will require layers as temperatures can change. It's smart to bring a rain jacket and waterproof shoes.
- Airports - Major commercial airport options are Portland (Maine) Jetport, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and Boston Logan International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a smart idea when you're going to a place where the weather can greatly impact accessibility. Buying the insurance early means it goes into effect immediately. Should you have an emergency or unavoidable reason to cancel, you'll get a full refund.
Wolfeboro Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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1 Review on Wolfeboro
This is an accurate picture of Wolfeboro
I chanced across the write up of my hometown of the past five years, Wolfeboro, and have to say it’s accurate. Plan on crowds and waits in the summer season, but certainly nothing like you’ve experienced in popular urban tourist areas or big theme parks. 🙂