Squam Lake Inn, Holderness, NH
Rae Andrews and Cindy Foster, Owners
Katharine Hepburn slept here—how’s that for queer cred? OK, perhaps the documentary evidence is elusive, but the actress did film the 1981 drama “On Golden Pond” at Squam Lake. Use your imagination.
The 1895 farmhouse now known as the Squam Lake Inn provides an elegant base camp for enjoying the New Hampshire lake region’s countless outdoor activities, like boating, paddleboarding, antiquing and hiking in the nearby White Mountains National Forest.
Rooms are decorated in a soothing palette of soft blues and neutral shades that gives the inn a sophisticated look. Some rooms feature fireplaces, and all include private baths, organic toiletries and fluffy bathrobes. “The original inspiration for the inn was to create a place that Cindy and I would like to stay,” says Rae Andrews, who, with her partner Cindy Foster, moved from Orange County, California to New Hampshire in 2003.
“It can be magical,” Andrews says. “We get you going with breakfast”—which might be an apple cider French toast bake or omelettes bursting with fresh seasonal vegetables—“and help lay out the day if our guests need assistance. At day’s end, you come back to a home-like setting and can grab dinner here, chill on our porch or enjoy a drink from our bar.”
The couple owns a handful of seasonal businesses in Holderness, a town that Andrews says has a liberal and welcoming attitude. The Inn Kitchen + Bar, the inn’s onsite restaurant, serves a nouvelle American menu with inventive seasonal vegetable-based dishes and more. Squam Lake Market Place, a country store and eatery, sells sandwiches, ice cream, fancy coffee and provisions; Squam Supply is a full-service wedding and event planning service. “We are very proud of the business and the friendships that have been built along the way,” Andrews says.
And while the couple, who met in 1991 and have a daughter together, make regular enhancements to the property, they maintain the same vision they had when they started their business. “The one thing that has not changed,” Andrews said, “is our love and commitment to Squam Lake and the surrounding area.”