Article By Sam Dostaler
Nestled in the shadows of the White Mountains with the Ammonoosuc River running through it, Littleton, New Hampshire is a postcard New England town with views, covered bridges and charm. Littleton is a town for every season and offers travelers a perfect home base during their visit to the outdoor playground of northern New Hampshire.
What to Do:
The best way to explore Littleton is by making your way to the downtown area (free parking in public lots) and just strolling along Main Street.
When we visit we love checking out the antique shops and outdoor gear stores. A must stop is White Mountains Canning Company. Customers can leisurely wander through the store sampling dips, jams, relishes, sauces and more more before deciding what to purchase.
Of course any trip to downtown Littleton wouldn’t be complete without a stop inside Chutters, home of the World’s Longest Candy Counter. Inside Chutters not only will you find traditional candies but homemade chocolates and fudge as well.
After exploring the Main Street area make sure you head down towards the water where you will find an iconic New England covered bridge running across the Ammonoosuc River. While crossing the bridge be sure to pause for a moment to enjoy the views on either side and listen to the running water. On the opposite side of the bridge visitors will find benches that afford the perfect resting spot for the weary feet of travelers.
If you are looking for a less strenuous hike that still offers impressive views without leaving Littleton then check out Kilburn Crags. The New Hampshire Magazine editors pick in 2015 for best “locals only hiking trail,” Kilburn Crags is a short hike that offers expansive views of the valley below and the White Mountains.
Where to Eat:
Our favorite place for lunch or dinner is Schillings Beer Co. Situated along the Ammonoosuc River, Schillings offers craft beers and a simple yet delicious menu of speciality Neopolitan-style pizza along with bratwursts, stromboli and calzones as other entree options. When we visit we love to start our meal out with a Homemade Pretzel Braid that is delivered warm and soft with just the right amount of salt.
Schillings Beer Co. has both indoor and outdoor seating (weather permitting) and a brand new tap room as of July 2018. The tap room offers small pours of all their beers and as you relax and sip away you can enjoy the backdrop of the river below.
Located next to Schillings is the InkWell Coffee and Tea House. Open for breakfast and lunch, InkWell Coffee and Tea House serves primarily sandwiches while offering customers a perfect place to unplug and unwind, especially if you are lucky enough to score a seat on the back deck above the river with views of the covered bridge.
Located just off of Main Street but still walking distance from all the downtown locations is Littleton newest restaurant, the Littleton Freehouse Taproom & Eatery. The Littleton Freehouse offers visitors locally sourced food and drink inside a welcoming industrial-styled dinning room situated above the roaring Ammonoosuc River.
Back along Main Street there are a number of additional dining options, few more popular than the Littleton Diner. A traditional diner through and through, the local favorite has opened its doors to residents and vacationers alike since 1930.
A personal favorite, a bit off the beaten path, is Meadow Ice Cream & Seafood. Roughly a mile from downtown, Meadow’s serves for our money’s worth some of the best maple soft serve ice cream around. The restaurant is seasonal opening in the spring and closing in the fall.
Where to Stay:
Among the most popular lodging options in Littleton are the Hampton Inn, Thayers Inn and Littleton Motel. The Hampton Inn is the largest of the hotels in town and it is located a couple of minutes away from the bustling downtown area while the Thayers Inn and Littleton Motel are situated right in the heart of the Main Street district.
Opened in the mid-1800’s the Thayers Inn has been welcomed many travelers over the years including Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin Pierce, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. An historic landmark hotel, Thayers Inn offers dining and room options ranging from those perfect for couples to those ideal for the traveling family.
The Littleton Motel, the oldest motel in the state, is the most affordable option in town. With 20 rooms the Littleton Motel allows guests a comfortable nights rest before they roll out of bed to explore downtown or tackle the White Mountains.