The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway welcomes travelers seeking alternatives to the beaten path, linking several villages, each with a unique connection to the history and culture of the Lake Sunapee region. The 39-mile route encircles Lake Sunapee, connecting visitors to vibrant communities and natural scenery. The lakes, mountains, and forests offer striking vistas and a multitude of recreational opportunities. In the village centers, history and modern-day culture converge, where old buildings are adapted for new uses and the traditions of yesteryear are still observed.
The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway in Newbury, New London and Sunapee is one of seventeen designated routes in the New Hampshire Scenic and Cultural Byways Program. Established in 1992 by an Act of the Legislature (RSA 238:19), the State Byways Program was designed “to provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to travel a system of byways… [to] expose the unique elements of the state's beauty, culture and history.”
The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway was first designated in the mid-1990’s to include Routes 103 and 103B in Newbury and Sunapee, and Route 11 in Sunapee and New London. In 2009, the Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway was extended to include Route 103A in Newbury and New London, and Newport Road, Main Street/Route 114, and King Hill Road in New London. The route of the Byway now fully encircles the lake and connects the downtown areas of Newbury, New London and Sunapee.
The Lake Sunapee Scenic Byway meanders through a rural New England landscape, with forested hills and fields. The intermittent glimpses and occasional panoramic views of Lake Sunapee and the undeveloped mountainsides around the lake are the true scenic gems of the Byway. Along the way, the Byway passes through several centers of cultural activity and historical significance: the villages of Sunapee Harbor, Newbury Harbor, and New London, as well as The Fells and Mount Sunapee. The Byway also connects visitors to recreation on Lake Sunapee and the surrounding hills and mountains. Visitor information centers in each of the three towns along the Byway can direct travelers to the unique attractions and amenities to be found in the Lake Sunapee region.