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French President Chooses U.S. for His Summer Vacation

BOSTON, Aug. 2 — President Nicolas Sarkozy of France will not be traipsing through the lavender fields of Provence or sunning himself on the Riviera on holiday this year.

Instead, he is spending his summer vacation on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, Colin Manning, a spokesman for Gov. John Lynch, said Thursday.

Mr. Sarkozy is staying in Wolfeboro, a town that bills itself as the oldest summer resort in America, with a postcard-perfect Main Street that might appeal to the pro-United States Mr. Sarkozy, who has said he is proud to be known as “Sarkozy the American.”

While residents are used to celebrities, like Drew Barrymore, Mr. Sarkozy’s visit is creating buzz. Inspired by the presence of people who looked very much like security personnel, rumors had circulated for weeks that he was coming to town. “Most of the folks don’t bring their own Secret Service details; that’s the difference with this,” said Rob Finneron, manager at Garwoods Restaurant and Pub.

Al Pierce, owner of Camelot Books on Main Street, said, “I don’t think we’ve had a head of state, not to my knowledge, and I’ve been here 43 years.”

Based on the activity of security personnel, Wolfeboro residents believe Mr. Sarkozy is staying in a lakefront estate that boasts a 15-seat media room, private beach and 11 bathrooms. It rents for $30,000 a week and is owned by Michael Appe, a former Microsoft executive.

Word of Mr. Sarkozy’s visit was reported Thursday in The Boston Globe.

An adviser would not comment on Mr. Sarkozy’s vacation plans. French presidents since 1968 have had a summer residence near the Riviera and Provence although many have vacationed outside France.

Keith Garrett, who runs the Web site, offered Mr. Sarkozy recommendations for restaurants, bars and coffee shops. “P.S. if you want to learn to wakeboard, the BEST watersport on the winni, drop a line,” Mr. Garrett wrote on the site.