Sunapee is a town in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,055 at the 2000 census. Sunapee is home to part of Lake Sunapee. The town includes the village of George's Mills.
Like many other towns, this one went through name changes before its incorporation in 1781: "Saville," "Corey's Town," and then "Wendell," for one of the Masonian Proprietors, John Wendell. The name "Sunapee" was substituted for "Wendell" by the legislature in 1850. The town, Lake Sunapee and Mount Sunapee share the name which comes from the Algonquian Indian words "suna" meaning "goose," and "apee," meaning "lake." The Indians called the area "Goose Lake" because it was a favorite spot of wild geese.
The town has long been a popular tourist destination. The major attraction was the pristine lake, once surrounded by a number of grand hotels.
Lake Sunapee is the only lake in New Hampshire with three working lighthouses, built in the 1890s and maintained by the Lake Sunapee Protective Asscociation. The town was the birthplace of the rock band, Aerosmith.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.2 square miles (65.3 km²), of which, 21.1 square miles (54.7 km²) of it is land and 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²) of it is water, comprising 16.19% of the town. Sunapee is drained by the Sugar River. The highest point in town is about 1,600 feet (488 meters) above sea level, along the town's northern border, just north of Ledge Pond.
Saint Joachim's Roman Catholic Church and the Sunapee Community Methodist Church are located in the town center, off Route 11. Saint James Episcopal Church is found in Burkehaven.