There’s nothing better than finding a town with a great Main Street – the perfect place to while away a summer afternoon poking around in neat shops, grabbing a drink or a bite to eat, and sitting on a bench with an ice cream cone. Fortunately, in New Hampshire we have plenty of those. Sure, some of these towns are a little touristy – but why should we let the visitors have all the fun? After all, there’s a reason people keep coming back.
Portsmouth has gorgeous ocean views and the area around the central Market Square is both historic and modern. Check out Book and Bar, where you can grab a new read and enjoy it with a cold beer.
Exeter's historic downtown, which dates back to 1638, is the perfect place for an autumn stroll. Get in touch with that past at the American Independence Museum, admire the campus of Phillips Exeter, or stop into several clothing boutiques.
Home to Plymouth State University, Plymouth's downtown is always bustling with students and life. There are plenty of great shops, restaurants, and watering holes. Check out Simply Sunflowers for affordable jewelry, and catch a show at the university's Silver Center for the Arts.
The home of Dartmouth College, this small town has plenty to offer. A walk down Main Street will take you through the heart of the College's campus - keep going and you'll find your way to some great little shops and restaurants, including the best gelato in the country at Morano Gelato. The Appalachian Trail also runs down Main Street, so keep an eye out for through-hikers!
Another college town, Keene has plenty of great spots to grab a bite downtown., from pizza at Amicci's to Noodle Night at the Stage. You'll also find plenty of shopping options.
This former mill town now has a thriving downtown, with plenty of community events from road races to Easter Bunny visits. There are plenty of shops and restaurants - Christopher's Third Street Grille is a particular favorite.
Nestled in the Lakes Region, Meredith is a perpetual favorite with visitors - and with good reason. The town has plenty to offer besides proximity to the lakes - Main Street has a wealth of great little spots. Check out So Little Thyme for some really unique kitchen supplies and gifts.
Home of the University of New Hampshire's flagship campus, it's no surprise that Durham has a thriving main street. Check out Town and Campus to get some Wildcat gear. If you decide to relive your college days and find yourself regretting it in the morning, a big breakfast at Young's Restaurant and Coffee will cure what ails you.
With a quaint downtown encircling a gazebo, Littleton is about as classic New England as it gets. It even boasts the longest candy counter in the world at Chutter's Candy Store! Check out the Riverwalk Covered Bridge and admire the Ammonoosuc River. You'll find plenty of charming shops and places to grab a bite downtown as well.
New Hampshire's capital certainly has plenty of charm. A recent renovation project has transformed Concord's downtown Main Street to make it more pedestrian friendly and attractive, and it's a great place to wander around. Keep an eye out for arts festivals and concerts! Just off Main Street, step into Angelino's Ristorante Italiano for some delicious Italian food - or explore the many other options downtown.
New Hampshire’s towns each have their own unique character, and exploring their downtown is the best way to find it. So hit the road and get ready to get better acquainted with some of the best that our great state has to offer.