Known for its incredible scenery, rich cultural history, and welcoming towns, New Hampshire is a state in the New England area of the United States.
It also has some of America’s most charming little communities.
Fun fact, New Hampshire is home to over 200 charming small towns (if you’re looking for more New Hampshire fun facts head here!).
Taking a trip to one of New Hampshire’s charming and distinctive little towns is a great way to soak up some genuine New England hospitality and see some beautiful scenery and historic landmarks.
Here, we cover 17 of the best small towns in New Hampshire!
Nestled in the heart of New England, Hanover boasts a quaint charm and a rich history that sets it apart from other towns.
Known for its stunning natural beauty, world-renowned institutions, and vibrant student life, Hanover attracts visitors from near and far.
As the home of Dartmouth College, one of the most prestigious universities in the country, its academic reputation shines brightly.
The Dartmouth Outing Club, a student-run organization, provides access to over 100 miles of trails in the White Mountains, offering visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in nature.
From leisurely walks to strenuous outdoor adventures, Hanover caters to every type of outdoor enthusiast.
Hanover’s cultural heritage is also a noteworthy highlight.
The Hood Museum of Art, housing over 60,000 works of art from around the world, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts, offering a diverse range of performing arts events, are must-visits.
2. Portsmouth: best small towns in New Hampshire to visit
Some say Portsmouth is one of the best small towns in New Hampshire.
With a historic coastal town located on the Piscataqua River, draws visitors with its well-preserved architecture, cultural heritage, and thriving arts scene.
Stroll along the cobblestone streets, taking in the city’s rich history, including the John Paul Jones House Museum, the Portsmouth Athenaeum, and the Moffatt-Ladd House.
The city’s bustling waterfront, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes, is a hub of activity.
Take a harbor walk, go on a whale watch, or visit the Strawbery Banke Museum, a 10-acre outdoor history museum that brings to life Portsmouth’s four centuries of history through restored homes and gardens.
Steeped in history and cultural heritage, Exeter is a charming New England town that will captivate visitors with its quaint atmosphere.
Home to the historic Exeter Inn and the American Independence Museum, celebrating the town’s role in the American Revolution, its rich history is a major draw.
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in Exeter’s beautiful parks and nature preserves, including the Powwow River and the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, offering opportunities for bird-watching, hiking, and kayaking.
The town’s arts and culture scene is also thriving, with numerous galleries, performance spaces, and museums showcasing the works of local artists.
Whether seeking to explore history or simply relax, Exeter has something for everyone.
4. Durham: cute towns in New Hampshire
Bursting with academic and cultural richness, Durham showcases its history and tradition as a university town with pride.
As the home of the University of New Hampshire, this thriving college town offers a diverse student population, providing a rich tapestry of opportunities in the arts, academics, and leisure activities.
For history enthusiasts, Durham offers a tantalizing array of fascinating landmarks such as the Whittemore House, a historic dwelling once inhabited by the university’s founder, and the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum, which displays the state’s cultural heritage with aplomb.
The town’s downtown area with its colonial-style architecture, quaint shops, and lovely parks, creates a picturesque atmosphere, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
The town’s perplexing mix of natural beauty and recreational activities will enchant outdoor lovers.
With scenic locales ranging from the tranquil forests and rolling hills of the nearby White Mountains to the pristine beaches and stunning coastline of the New Hampshire seacoast, Durham offers a plethora of options, whether one is seeking a challenging mountain climb or a leisurely hike.
Tucked away in the picturesque hills of southwestern New Hampshire, Keene boasts a rich cultural heritage, lending it a charming, historical appeal and is one of the quaintest towns in New Hampshire.
Visitors can delve into the town’s well-preserved architectural masterpieces such as the iconic Colonial Theatre, the historic Keene Public Library, and the elegant Sullivan Courthouse.
Nature lovers will find Keene’s natural beauty perplexing and captivating, with scenic locales ranging from the rolling hills and crystal-clear streams of the nearby Monadnock region to the fertile farmland and rolling hills of the Connecticut River Valley.
Outdoor enthusiasts can take a hike, kayak the rapids, or simply relax in the tranquil surroundings of the town’s parks and nature preserves.
Whether seeking a peaceful escape from city life or a culturally rich community, Keene has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and discover this charming and historic small town today!
Nestled in the rolling hills of central New Hampshire, Warner, a quaint and charming small town, offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational activities.
Visitors can explore the town’s historic architecture, including the iconic Warner Town Hall and the elegant Old South Meeting House, or take a leisurely walk through the downtown area, dotted with charming shops and cafes.
The town’s perplexing beauty continues in the surrounding scenic locales, from the rolling hills and crystal-clear streams of the nearby White Mountains to the tranquil forests and rolling hills of the Connecticut River Valley.
Whether seeking a challenging mountain climb or a relaxing day in the great outdoors, Warner caters to all with its diverse range of recreational activities.
So why not pack your bags and discover the quaint and charming small town of Warner today?
With its cultural richness, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities, Warner is the ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful escape from city life.
Perched in the midst of the magnificent White Mountains, Bethlehem showcases the perfect blend of history and nature in this New Hampshire small town.
A sought-after destination for travel enthusiasts seeking a serene escape from the city life, this charming and historic small town offers an abundance of scenic beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse recreational options.
For those interested in history, Bethlehem is a treasure trove of fascinating sites such as the historic Maplewood Hotel, the charming town center, and the Littleton Opera House with its elegant facade.
Stroll through the picturesque downtown area, surrounded by colonial-style architecture, quaint shops, and lovely parks.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the diverse landscape of Bethlehem, from the rolling hills and tranquil streams of the White Mountains to the serene lakes and scenic hiking trails of the surrounding wilderness.
The town caters to a variety of outdoor enthusiasts, whether it be leisurely hiking, strenuous mountain climbing, or a relaxing day at the beach.
Littleton is a picturesque and historic tiny town tucked away in the middle of the White Mountains that is a refuge for outdoor enthusiasts, history aficionados, and those who enjoy the outdoors.
Littleton is the ideal location for anybody seeking a serene getaway from the rush of daily life because of its amazing natural beauty, rich cultural legacy, and variety of recreational possibilities, making it one of the best little towns in New Hampshire.
The historic Littleton Opera House, the quaint town square, and the opulent Littleton Historical Society Museum are just a few of the wonderful places that history enthusiasts may visit in Littleton.
The town’s lovely downtown district, which has colonial-style buildings, small stores, and scenic parks, is another attractive place for tourists to meander around.
Outdoor lovers will like Littleton’s wealth of natural beauty, which ranges from the White Mountains’ gentle slopes and tranquil streams to the pristine lakes and hiking routes in the nearby wilderness.
Littleton offers activities for everyone, whether they like a quiet stroll around the park, a strenuous mountain climb, or a tranquil day at the beach.
For those who like the outdoors, Littleton is bordered by a variety of picturesque landscapes, including the Connecticut River Valley’s rolling hills and farms as well as the White Mountains’ undulating hills and clear streams.
Littleton has plenty to offer everyone, whether they’re searching for a quiet retreat from the rush of city life or a lively and culturally diverse town.
Franconia, New Hampshire, is a picturesque village in the centre of the White Mountains, and a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, history aficionados, and nature lovers alike.
Franconia is ideal for those in need of a tranquil getaway from the rush of urban life due to its natural beauty, rich cultural legacy, and varied recreational activities.
Franconia is a paradise for nature lovers, with the White Mountains providing undulating slopes and tranquil streams, and the surrounding wilderness providing clean lakes and gorgeous hiking paths.
Franconia is a wonderful destination for a wide variety of outdoor activities.
It is full with interesting historical monuments, such as the Littleton Opera House and the town square.
There is also the magnificent Littleton Historical Society Museum.
The town’s historic core is a delight to explore, with its colonial-style buildings, modest shops, and beautiful parks.
10. Jackson: small towns or cities in New Hampshire
Jackson, New Hampshire, is a quaint little town that has a wonderful fusion of history and environment because to its location in the heart of the White Mountains.
This picturesque and historic town is a popular getaway for city dwellers in search of natural beauty, cultural significance, and a wide range of recreational opportunities.
Jackson is a haven for those who like the outdoors, with its picturesque landscape of green hills, clear streams, and peaceful lakes.
The town caters to all types of vacationers, whether they want a strenuous mountain trek, a calm day at the beach, or anything in between.
Jackson is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, from the White Mountains’ gentle slopes and rushing streams to the city’s many clean lakes and picturesque hiking routes.
Jackson is a great place to go for a trek, whether you’re looking for a little stroll, a strenuous ascent, or a nice day at the beach.
So if you’re the outdoorsy type then Jackson would be the best small town in New Hampshire to live in.
The Littleton Opera House, the town square, and the exquisite Littleton Historical Society Museum are just a few of Jackson’s many must-sees for history aficionados.
The town’s historic core is a delight to explore, with its colonial-style buildings, modest shops, and beautiful parks.
Conway, New Hampshire is a vibrant and picturesque community in the heart of the White Mountain region.
This bustling city is a popular tourist destination because to its proximity to stunning natural scenery, plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, and fascinating cultural offerings.
The Eastern Slope Inn Playhouse and the Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum are two of the many cultural hotspots where both locals and visitors may immerse themselves in the arts.
Conway’s White Mountain National Forest is a popular tourist spot due to the abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation (hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and more) it offers.
There are a lot of unique shops and restaurants in the city that visitors may enjoy.
If you want to enjoy the charm and beauty of New Hampshire, you absolutely must stop by the city of Conway, which offers something for everyone.
Coos County, in the centre of the White Mountains, is home to the lovely town of Gorham, New Hampshire.
Because of its natural beauty and near proximity to the Androscoggin River, Gorham is a well-liked vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone seeking a tranquil getaway from the rush of city life.
The town is a centre for many water-based activities including fishing, kayaking, and tubing.
It is also a well-liked spot for skiing and snowboarding since multiple ski slopes are nearby.
The Gorham Summer Concert Series, which is held in the town’s picturesque park, is just one of the many cultural attractions and activities that Gorham offers in addition to its outdoor activity options.
Gorham is a community that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of New England charm and friendliness with its vistas and laid-back ambiance.
13. Meredith: cute towns in New Hampshire
Looking for cute towns in New Hampshire?
Well, Meredith would suit you well considering it’s currently ranked third in the ’10 most charming towns in New Hampshire’ according to Purewow.
Along the beaches of Lake Winnipesaukee, Belknap County is home to the picturesque town of Meredith, New Hampshire.
Meredith is a well-liked travel destination for both visitors and residents due to its breathtaking natural beauty and plenty of outdoor activity possibilities.
In addition to the Waukewan Golf Club, which offers a variety of activities including hiking, fishing, and boating, the town is home to various parks and natural reserves.
Meredith is a centre for eating and shopping in addition to outdoor activities, with a range of neighbourhood stores, boutiques, and restaurants that provide distinctive goods and fare.
Meredith is a must-visit location for anybody wishing to experience the charm and beauty of New Hampshire since it perfectly embodies New England charm and friendliness, both in terms of its environment and its thriving community.
Lancaster is a quaint little hamlet in Coos County, right in the middle of the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The town’s rich cultural history, proximity to nature, and plenty of outdoor activities have earned it a reputation for excellence.
Nearby Lancaster, for instance, in the White Mountains National Forest, you may go hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and much more.
Lancaster’s Weeks State Park is a favourite among locals and visitors alike because to its picturesque mountain vistas and plenty of outdoor recreational possibilities.
The Weeks State Park Visitors Center is only one of several cultural and historical institutions in Lancaster, showcasing the town’s many cultural traditions via exhibits and events.
15. New London
You can find the little town of New London in Merrimack County, New Hampshire.
The scenic scenery, variety of outdoor activities, and fascinating cultural landmarks make this little community a popular vacation destination.
The New London Barn Playhouse is one of the oldest continually running summer theatres in the nation, and it hosts a variety of cultural events and performances throughout the year.
Mount Sunapee Resort is another well-liked New London destination because of the variety of winter and summer sports it hosts.
The New London Historical Society, for example, hosts exhibitions and events that highlight the town’s rich cultural legacy and serve as a complement to New London’s many outdoor activities.
The town of Plymouth, New Hampshire may be found in Grafton County.
This little community has garnered acclaim for its abundance of scenic beauty, recreational options, and cultural landmarks.
Plymouth State University and the surrounding White Mountain National Forest, for instance, are excellent locations for a variety of winter and summer sports enthusiasts.
Plymouth is home to a number of cultural and historical institutions, such as the Plymouth Historical Society and the New Hampshire Antique Co-op, which host exhibitions and events that highlight the town’s storied history and tradition in addition to its many outdoor pursuits.
Plymouth is a fantastic place to visit for anybody, from nature lovers to history buffs.
17. North Conway
The quaint towns in New Hampshire, such as North Conway, that are tucked away in the White Mountains.
Beautiful natural surroundings and a wide variety of outdoor activities draw visitors to North Conway.
Mount Washington and the surrounding White Mountain National Forest provide a wealth of outdoor recreation options.
North Conway is known for its abundance of outdoor activities, but it is also a premier retail and eating destination.
North Conway, New Hampshire is a must-see for anybody interested in seeing the beauty and charm of New Hampshire, and for good reason.
The town’s lovely ambiance and surroundings perfectly encapsulate the spirit of New England friendliness.
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