With picturesque church steeples and a historic opera house building bookending Main Street, Littleton, a town of some 6,000 residents, is fueled by local entrepreneurship and small-town pride. A stroll through downtown reveals a pleasing mix of artsy-hip and timeless New England charm. Just beyond the city limits, the White Mountains provide plenty of adventure.
What to do
Rent a fat-tire bike at Littleton Bike and Fitness (pictured above), which offers trail info for PRKR MTN and its 22 miles of hand-built community-operated trails. For skiers, Cannon Mountain is just down Interstate 93 in Franconia. Nordic and alpine skiing are available at AAA Four Diamond Omni Mount Washington Resort, east on Route 302 in Bretton Woods.
Author Eleanor Hodgman Porter was born in Littleton in 1868, and a statue of her famous, perpetually glad character, Pollyanna, spreads her arms in welcome on the lawn of the public library: the perfect selfie spot, no matter the season—or the weather.
Where to shop
Whether you need a hilarious (or classy) greeting card, a silky-soft scarf, or a whimsical gift, Pentimento (pictured above) is chockablock full of treasures.
Little Village Toy and Book Shop stocks titles for all ages and reading tastes, including a strong local-interest section. Kids and the young at heart will love the varied toy selection.
Outdoor enthusiasts can stock up on gear and clothing at America’s oldest ski shop, Lahout’s Ski Shop. The third and fourth generations of the Lahout family also operate a sister shop, Lahout’s Summit Shop.
Where to eat
A local favorite for more than 40 years, the Coffee Pot Restaurant is tucked into a nook near the east end of Main Street. Breakfast (Belgian waffles and omelets made with local eggs) is served all day.
Emshika Alberini, local entrepreneur and executive chef–owner of Chang Thai Café, grew up in Bangkok, where she learned to cook from her mother and grandmother. Her lunch and dinner restaurant serves authentic Thai food—try the pad thai—as well as a colorful array of sushi.
Schilling Beer Company led the local brewpub movement, opening on the banks of the Ammonoosuc in 2013. The continental Europe–inspired beers brewed here complement a simple but delicious menu, highlighted by wood-fired pizzas whose toppings range from classic to creative.
New Hampshire resident Meghan McCarthy McPhaul’s work has appeared in Powder, Northern Woodlands, and Snow East.
AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.