Aerial drone photography of downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the summer.

7 Of The Friendliest Towns In New Hampshire

Known as the Granite State because of its collection of granite quarries, New Hampshire is a popular travel destination, boasting 18 miles of coastline, 19,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 48 mountains decorated with vast forests. Home to plenty of opportunities for adventure, the state also features four breathtaking seasons, where visitors can enjoy the beauty of the state year-round and indulge in many activities no matter the time of year.

New Hampshire is also said to have the lowest poverty levels and low unemployment rates, and it is also branded one of the safest places to live in the United States. It is no secret that the small towns of New Hampshire are gorgeous and exciting, ideal for a lengthy summer vacation or a three-day getaway, but there are several spots known for their friendly and welcoming community that will make you feel right at home.

Sugar Hill

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

One of the best small towns in New Hampshire to chill out, Sugar Hill earns its name from the large grove of sugar maples in the area. Enjoy views of the Presidential, Franconia, Kinsman, and Dalton mountain ranges all year round while lupine flowers bloom in June, filling fields with shades of pink and purple, ideal for a scenic adventure.

Polly's Pancake Parlor is a popular spot for those with a sweet tooth, while Harmen's Cheese Store is the ideal destination for dairy lovers. It is no surprise that there is maple syrup ready for enjoyment at every cafe, breakfast spot, and restaurant, so be sure to get a taste of some local creations. With a population of around 600 people, visitors are sure to meet the locals, who know all the town's best-kept secrets.


Street view of mountain town, Lincoln in White Mountain
Street view of mountain town, Lincoln, in White Mountain.

Lincoln is one of the best winter destinations in New Hampshire, situated along the White Mountains, and ideal for a skiing or snowboarding trip. Loon Mountain in White Mountain National Forest is the best spot for winter sports, while Alpine Adventures offers off-roading and ziplining excursions year-round. The mountain town is also home to the Flume Gorge, a natural chasm that sits at the base of Mount Liberty, where visitors enjoy hiking, camping, and waterfall views.

There are a plethora of restaurants from which to choose, and even a winery and brewery in the same building to suit every preference. Remember to visit the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, enjoying a cable car ride to the mountain's summit with views from 4,080 feet high.


Aerial Drone Photography Of Downtown Portsmouth, NH (New Hampshire) During The Summer
Aerial drone photography of downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire during the summer.

Portsmouth sits on the Piscataqua River and features a collection of 17th- and 18th-century buildings and homes, including the well-loved Strawbery Banke Museum. Visitors can also explore the colonial-style architecture of the John Paul Jones House and Langdon House. For history buffs, there are over 70 historic sites, discoverable via a locally guided walk or boat ride along the Portsmouth Harbour Trail.

The coastal town is home to New Hampshire's only seaport and is a popular tourist destination for water lovers. The town's Market Square is a thriving collection of white-steepled churches, art galleries, locally-owned boutiques, and seafood restaurants, perfect for a day spent strolling and adventuring. In the summer, set sail on the clear waters, exploring the beaches, lighthouses, and marine life in the area.

North Conway

View of North Conway from the Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire.
View of North Conway from the Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire.

One of the most charming towns in New Hampshire, North Conway sits within the White Mountain National Forest and is the ideal spot for fall foliage viewing, mountain exploration, and exciting ski trips in winter. An oasis for outdoor adventurers, snowmobiling, golfing, fishing, canoeing, camping, and scenic tours are all popular in the area.

Take a ride along the Conway Scenic Railroad to catch some scenic views, and be sure to visit Diana's Baths Waterfalls and explore the natural wonders and flowing waters of the area. For those who don't want to camp out in nature, there are plenty of charming inns and bed and breakfasts run by friendly locals for an extended stay.


The River Walk Covered Bridge with the Grist mill on the Ammnosuoc River in Littleton New Hampshire
The River Walk covered bridge with the Grist mill on the Ammnosuoc River in Littleton, New Hampshire.

Littleton is an underrated small town home to an engaging and entertaining community. The main street is especially charming, decorated with art galleries, small boutiques, and carefully curated antique shops. The Schilling Beer Co. is one of the town's top attractions, featuring locally made brews, a scrumptious menu, and a cozy spot to make new friends. Remich Park and The Dells house an abundance of nature trails for exploration and birding. Maplewood Country Club and Resort is the ideal spot to stop, relax, and enjoy a game of golf.

Littleton is often considered the gateway to the great outdoors, offering easy access to Franconia Notch State Park and the Appalachian Trail. Plus, Littleton has it all in terms of lodging, with country-themed inns, quaint B&Bs, modern hotels, and cozy motels.


Main Street in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Main Street in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Hanover is well known as one of the best small towns to retire in New Hampshire, boasting a welcoming community and plenty to see and do. The town sits on the Vermont border and is also close in proximity to the Connecticut River, meaning there is plenty to explore in and out of the water. Local galleries, museums, and small shops line the town's main streets, ideal for a relaxing stroll in the afternoon before heading home from vacation. The New England town also hosts a number of adventure tours that connect with the local community, such as biking ventures along the riverside. For history and science lovers, the Montshire Museum of Science is just across the border in Vermont, while Hopkins Center for the Arts is within state lines.


Waterfront of Meredith Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee at Meredith town center
Waterfront of Meredith Bay in Lake Winnipesaukee at Meredith town center.

Situated along Lake Winnipesaukee, Meredith is a beautiful town surrounded by forests and backdropped by a breathtaking mountainscape. Take advantage of the glistening waters and enjoy a boat ride, beach day, or water skiing adventure. Don't forget to traverse the mountains on the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. The town is home to a gorgeous and inviting main street, boasting historic buildings, eateries, and boutiques for an exciting visit.

Mill Falls at the Lake is one of the most charming spots in the area, nestled along the shimmering Lake Winnipesaukee, rich in recreation opportunities, dining, and pampering, for an extra special stay. For a refreshing afternoon, be sure to visit the Hermit Woods Winery and enjoy a day tasting locally-made wines.

When planning your next trip to New Hampshire, consider one of these small towns, which are as friendly as they are beautiful. From the scenic views of Sugar Hill to the cozy and charming main street of the town of Lincoln, there is something for everyone to enjoy in these welcoming towns. No matter what time of year you might visit, the surrounding nature and inviting communities offer warmth and joy that will keep you coming back. Find your home away from home in these friendly New Hampshire towns!

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