10 Best Small Towns To Visit In New Hampshire

New Hampshire stands out as a hidden gem snuggled in the center of New England. Although frequently eclipsed by its booming urban neighbors, this charming state promises an enchanting aura. It is home to numerous charming tiny towns that entice travelers looking for a genuine and personal New England experience. The New Hampshire small towns have a timeless quality thanks to the rich customs and charming quirks they have managed to preserve. One is bound to be whisked to a bygone age while strolling through their gorgeous streets, where the speed of life seems to calm down and provide a reprieve from the rapid contemporary life.

Beyond its quaint towns, New Hampshire is also known for its breathtaking scenery, where verdant forests, tranquil lakes, and towering mountains provide the perfect setting for outdoor exploration and adventure. Therefore, New Hampshire's little towns deliver an unmatched opportunity to veer off the beaten road and discover the enchantment present inside this enchanting region of the United States for those seeking to escape everyday life and embrace something new. Here are the 10 best small towns to visit in New Hampshire.


Aerial view of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Aerial view of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Portsmouth, situated along the beautiful coastline of New Hampshire, unites culture, history, and seaside appeal with ease. The lively town, featuring a rich nautical background, has a bustling waterfront, charming shops, and a booming food scene. Portsmouth provides a fascinating fusion of historical attractions, art galleries, and natural splendor, from the well-known Strawberry Banke Museum to the breathtaking Prescott Park. The town guarantees a unique coastal experience, whether people are strolling through the cobblestone streets, indulging in fresh seafood, or just relaxing and taking in the ocean wind.


The beautiful mountain town of Exeter, New Hampshire.

Exeter is a town full of New England character and history tucked away in the center of New Hampshire's Seacoast. Visit the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, stroll through the charming downtown decorated with colonial architecture, or check out the informative American Independence Museum. The Jolly Rand Road Historic Trail is a great spot to go trekking and spend some time in nature. Exeter welcomes tourists to travel back in time and engage themselves in the region's fascinating history with its tree-lined avenues, lovely shops, and active community.


Fall view of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee in historic town of Meredith
Fall view of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee in historic town of Meredith, New Hampshire.

Meredith proposes a classic lakeside experience as it is situated on the banks of picturesque Lake Winnipesaukee. The town is the perfect getaway for outdoor activities and relaxation thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty, quaint Main Street, and welcoming community. Visitors can ride the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad or drive around the Winnipesaukee loop for picturesque views. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake, have a meal by the water, or explore the nearby boutiques and art galleries. Meredith's spectacular vistas, peaceful surroundings, and friendly hospitality present the perfect combination for an unforgettable lakeside escape.


Main Street, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Main Street, Hanover, New Hampshire. Image credit: Ken Gallager via Wikimedia Commons.

Hanover, the location of the esteemed Dartmouth College, is a mesmerizing synthesis of intellectual vibrancy and unspoiled beauty. The town is a must-visit destination because of its gorgeous setting along the Connecticut River, thriving artistic community, and abundance of outdoor activities. Tour the nationally recognized Hood Museum of Art, take a stroll on Dartmouth Green, or start a journey along the adjacent Appalachian Trail. Visitors can especially spend some time relishing the town's top-notch dining scene. Hanover provides a distinctive fusion of academic achievement, cultural diversity, and breathtaking surroundings for the ideal getaway experience.

North Conway

North Conway Railway Station, New Hampshire.
North Conway Railway Station, New Hampshire.

North Conway, surrounded by the magnificent White Mountains, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town, encircled by high mountains, has many chances for hiking, skiing, and picturesque drives. Travelers can visit the adjacent White Mountain National Forest, shop in the quaint downtown, or enjoy the Conway Scenic Railroad. Additionally, the community is home to some incredible breweries, such as Tuckerman Brewing Co., Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Co., and Seadog Brewing Company, providing guests an opportunity to sample the region's delicacies. North Conway is the perfect vacation spot, for people looking for leisure and outdoor thrills, given its stunning natural surroundings, exciting outdoor activities, and cozy mountain town vibe.


Littleton, New Hampshire
Littleton, New Hampshire, in autumn.

Littleton, tucked away in the lovely Ammonoosuc River Valley, oozes small-town charm and has a thriving arts scene. Travelers can discover the charming Main Street's unique boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. The two most well-known sights in the town are Chutters, boasting the longest candy counter worldwide, and Bishop's, serving handcrafted ice cream in more than 60 different flavors. At the Littleton Historical Museum, visitors can immerse themselves in the town's extensive past, or they can engage in outdoor pursuits like hiking and fishing nearby. Littleton strikes the ideal blend between relaxation and adventure thanks to its welcoming neighborhood, diverse cultural programs, and easy access to nature.


Wooden Bridge in Jackson, New Hampshire.
Wooden Bridge in Jackson, New Hampshire.

Jackson, a quaint New Hampshire village, is tucked away among the magnificent White Mountains vistas and offers the ideal fusion of rural allure and small-town appeal. The town is an oasis for adventure seekers and nature lovers with its recognizable covered bridge and picturesque setting. Travelers can savor the tranquility of the neighboring waterfalls and the vivid autumn foliage or hike through gorgeous paths or even do snow adventures in the Wildcat or Black Mountains. The town's appealing ambiance promotes rest and renewal thanks to its modest shops, cozy inns, and kind welcome. Jackson is an absolute treasure for those looking for a tranquil hideaway in the middle of nature.

Sugar Hill

Drone shot of St Matthew's Church in Sugar Hill New Hampshire
Drone shot of St Matthew's Church in Sugar Hill New Hampshire.

Sugar Hill is a mesmerizing location that guarantees both tranquility and unspoiled beauty. It sits atop gentle hills and offers expansive views of the White Mountains. The vivid lupine fields in this lovely village are famous for blooming in a blaze of colors in the early summer. Visitors can take scenic country strolls to appreciate the scenery or tour nearby farms and vineyards highlighting the area's agricultural past and stop by the Sugar Hill Historical Museum for an extensive history session. Sugar Hill offers a distinctive and picturesque getaway from the bustle of daily life with its panoramic views, rural allure, and the magic of the lupine season.


Nubanusit Brook in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Nubanusit Brook in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Located in the center of the Monadnock area, Peterborough is a charming New Hampshire town that enchants tourists with its rich history, artistic tradition, and natural beauty. Travelers can explore the quaint stores, galleries, and restaurants located along the charming Main Street. Learn about the town's artistic character through theatres, museums, and yearly events honoring culture and creativity. Visit the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures for a distinctive and fascinating experience. The imposing Mount Monadnock, offering lovely hiking trails and stunning visuals, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Peterborough is a welcoming location that has something to offer to everyone, with an ideal combination of small-town appeal, cultural vibrancy, and accessibility to outdoor adventures.


The mountain town of Lincoln in New Hampshire.
The mountain town of Lincoln in New Hampshire.

Lincoln, bound by the gorgeous White Mountains, is a haven for adventurers and a starting point for exploring the wonders of the natural world. The hamlet offers access to the picturesque Franconia Notch State Park, home to well-known sights,  including Cannon Mountain and Flume Gorge. Lincoln becomes an enchanting winter wonderland with chances for snowboarding, skiing, and snowshoeing during the winter months. Enjoy the splendor of the fall leaves or go on scenic drives to see the area's breathtaking scenery. Family-friendly activities in Lincoln include the well-known Clark's Bears and the Whale's Tale Water Park. Lincoln is a place that delivers life-changing adventures for nature buffs and families alike, thanks to its breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures.

New Hampshire small towns offer a distinctive experience that captivates guests with its own unique flair and charm, from the coastal enticement of Portsmouth to the serene surroundings of Sugar Hill. New Hampshire's little towns welcome with open arms, whether travelers are looking for a tranquil lakeside retreat, an outdoor adventure in the highlands, or a dive into history and culture. So venture off the beaten track and discover the magic that lies in wait in these remote regions of picturesque New Hampshire. 

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