Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Peterborough, NH

  • Published 2023/03/22

Peterborough is one of the oldest towns in New Hampshire.

You can find it in Hillsborough County.

Established in 1737, Peterborough is rich in history and activities.

The town has managed to keep its quaint small-town vibe and is surrounded by forests and lovely natural landscapes.

There are various activities available in and around Peterborough, New Hampshire, ranging from outdoor recreation at Edward McDowell Lake and Miller State Park to theatre shows put on by the Peterborough Players.

Are you interested in discovering the best places and activities in this tourist destination?

Here are the best things to do in Peterborough, NH:

Have Breakfast at the Peterborough Diner

Exterior of Peterboro Diner

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Peterborough Diner is a vintage Worcester Lunch Car Diner from the 1950s.

In 1949, the Peterborough Diner was moved to its current position on Depot Square, a popular hangout for locals.

The historical Peterborough Diner, which is the region’s first Worcester Lunch Car cooked with “green and cream,” maintains its historical charm.

The locally owned and managed cafe serves various dishes.

They’re also open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch.

They serve cinnamon raisin French toast, eggs benedict, PB&J sandwiches, buffalo wings, and more on their breakfast, lunch, and kids’ menus.

Desserts include apple pie with ice cream, chocolate cake, brownie sundae, and various other delicious treats.

Try Outdoor Activities at Edward McDowell Lake

The Edward McDowell Lake, with its 1,194 acres of water and surrounding landscape, is a popular recreational attraction for Peterborough residents and tourists.

You may spend hours reconnecting with nature at this famous tourist attraction.

Although many of the activities are water-related, the park also has a network of paths around the lake’s perimeters.

Water activities include fishing for bass, pickerel, and perch, plus canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.

In the summer, the lake is great for hiking, strolling, and bird watching; in the winter, it’s great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Picnic tables, as well as shelters, are also available for reservation.

Don’t miss out on the park’s outdoor activities to make your trip unforgettable.

Check Out Antiques at the Bowerbird & Friends

Bowerbird & Friends is an antique group store in Peterborough, founded by Katherine Forrest in 2008.

It comprises a group of outstanding dealers who all have a passion for antiques.

They are continuously on the lookout for stunning and exciting pieces that will appeal to a wide range of collectors and artists.

They offer antiques, furniture from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and a beautiful collection of modern accessories and décor to fit today’s lifestyle.

See beautiful French linens, paintings, vintage children’s books, soaps, lotions, candles, jewelry, and a plethora of plants and terrariums woven throughout the shop.

If you’re looking for a special present, a rare piece of furniture, or a home accent, Bowerbird & Friends Antiques is the place to go.

Grab a Delicious Meal at Bantam Grill

Bantam Grill opened in October 2012 on the north end of Monadnock Plaza in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Bantam Grill is an upmarket casual restaurant in Peterborough that serves traditional American and innovative Italian cuisine.

They set themselves apart from other restaurants by focusing on high-quality hand-made spaghetti, fresh-made focaccia, and hand-cut steaks.

They’ve produced a range of classic recipes with a unique flair by combining local ingredients with current Italian culinary techniques.

Bantam Grill is proud to use locally grown produce, participate in community activities, and collaborate with other local businesses.

Enjoy a great meal to re-energize yourself for the great day ahead.

Visit the Peterborough Town House

The Peterborough Town House is situated at Grove and Main Streets in central Peterborough.

The National Register of Historic Places listed the structure in 1996.

It’s an important local example of Colonial Revival architecture.

The main facade, facing Grove Street, is split into five bays, each with round-arched entrances on the first level.

The Peterborough Town House is a two-story brick structure with a gabled roof.

The lower level of the building holds town offices, while the top-level houses a vast, high-ceilinged theater with a balcony and a stage in the rear.

Visit Peterborough Town House to marvel at its architectural grandeur.

Go on a Trek at the Miller State Park

Daytime view of Pack Monadnock mountain

Ken Gallager at en.wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Miller State Park is the oldest park in New Hampshire.

It’s located atop the 2,290-foot summit and side of Pack Monadnock, just a few minutes from Peterborough.

Since parking is limited, visitors and locals can make a reservation ahead of time.

Three primary hiking paths lead to the peak of Pack Monadnock.

The Wapack Trail, which runs from Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield, is the most popular path.

On bright days, you can see vistas of Mount Washington, Boston’s skyscrapers, and the Vermont highlands.

If you’re feeling adventurous, go on a trek in Miller State Park.

Look for Unique Items at Twin Elm Farm LLC

Are you seeking one-of-a-kind items to collect or give as souvenirs?

Twin Elm Farm is the perfect spot for you!

The shop is a 19th-century home and barn in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

At Twin Elm Farm, you’ll find a treasure trove of antiques, vintage products, and furnishings for your home and garden, all elegantly displayed in a room-like setting.

Have fun exploring the Twin Elm Farm and looking for hidden gems!

See the Exhibits at the Mariposa Museum of World Cultures

The Mariposa Museum of World Cultures, which began as a folk art museum, highlights life experiences and culture via various media.

See world culture from a more modern perspective.

The museum, based in Peterborough, New Hampshire, has explored the vast diversity of the world’s cultures and the dynamics of belief systems in the United States for the past 20 years.

The Mariposa Museum and World Culture Center promotes peace, equality, and human understanding through exhibits and events that engage the senses, mind, and heart.

Exhibits for all ages feature an area of the globe or civilizations in transition, diversity in the United States, or personal narratives, all with the goal of better understanding a varied world.

The museum also has a gift shop for souvenirs and to check out stuff to keep.

Get Craft Beers at Post & Beam Brewing

Are you searching for a place to buy craft beers?

Post & Beam Brewing offers full-flavored, high-quality craft beer in a relaxed setting.

You should drop by the brewery for their lager, pale ale growlers, cans to-go, and various other beverages.

Their objective is to provide dependably full-flavored, high-quality craft beer in a relaxed and welcoming ambiance that represents Peterborough’s character, culture, and community values.

This is the perfect spot to swing by and stock up on drinks for a great weekend.

See a Show from the Peterborough Players

Founded in 1933, the Peterborough Players stages professional theatre of the finest quality and has built a reputation as a must-see attraction.

The Peterborough Players performs at a small theatre in a restored 18-th century barn at the historic Stearns Farm, just a few miles from downtown Peterborough.

The terrific air-conditioned theatre seats around 250 people.

Unlike some other theatres, The Peterborough Players has staged a wide range of global and regional premieres and works by authors.

They also put on shows from classic plays.

Residents of New Hampshire and tourists from across New England appreciate visiting their attractive, rural environment to enjoy exceptional theatre and high-definition TV opportunities.

The Peterborough Players are a popular location for tourists and residents looking for a cheap, low-stress break without having to drive far.

Purchase Organic Products at Nature’s Green Grocer Market & Cafe

With over 15,000 goods, Nature’s Green Grocer Market & Café is the biggest full-service natural food grocery store in the Monadnock Region.

They have the most incredible all-organic vegetable selection.

Browse a comprehensive range of gourmet cheeses, fresh-cut all-natural meats, seafood, and visit a café with the best organic produce.

Check out a vast selection of vitamins and supplements and organic beauty care products.

Nature’s Green Grocer Market & Café aspire to provide uncompromising quality, competent personal service, and the most comprehensive product variety in our region.

Their goal is to assist individuals in living healthier lives by improving their diet and supplementing it with health products.

Shop for organic products or stock at Nature’s Green Grocer Market & Café.

Explore the Sheiling Forest

The Shieling Forest promotes public awareness and education about the correct management of small private woods and other natural resources.

The Forestry Learning Center and McGreal House are both located in Shieling Forest.

The Forestry Learning Center is a structure that serves as the focal point for all Shieling Forest events.

See the meeting room, library, and exhibit rooms used for conservation meetings and other conferences.

Likewise, the McGreal House has been lovingly restored and preserved to showcase its early New Hampshire history.

The Shieling Forest also offers a self-guided forest trail for strolling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing for people who want a feel for the outdoor wilderness.

Buy Chocolate Delights at Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates

Since 2003, Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates has provided exceptional gourmet chocolate delights across New England.

Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates is famous for giving each purchase attention and working closely with its customers to ensure customer satisfaction.

Customers respect and rely on the uniqueness of their chocolate masterpieces and the quality of their products, which began as a small home-based business.

Check out the shop’s award-winning milk and dark chocolate, fine handcrafted chocolate candy, such as truffles, toffee, caramels, chocolate-coated cherries, and more.

If you’re searching for delicious chocolates or treats to buy, Ava Marie Handmade Chocolates is the place to go.

Dine with a Spectacular View at the Waterhouse

The Waterhouse, which opened in 2011, has quickly established itself as one of the Monadnock region’s top places for fine casual dining.

The restaurant shows views of the Nubanusit River from their lovely terrace and spacious dining room.

Seating is available in their spectacular dining room or tranquil riverfront terrace.

It is situated in the center of Peterborough, New Hampshire, along the beautiful Nubanusit River.

Their chefs seek to produce meals that impress by focusing on fresh ingredients and creative taste combinations.

During the growing season, the Waterhouse tends to its garden, which provides many of the fresh veggies they offer.

When available, exotic organic greens, carrots, squashes, and heirloom tomatoes give inspiration for their creations, brought straight from the garden to their menu.

Enhance your culinary adventure with a comprehensive premium wine list and creative dessert offerings.

Learn History at the Monadnock Center for History and Culture

The Monadnock Center for History and Culture includes a research lab, a museum, and a historic one-room schoolhouse.

It is dedicated to educating the public about the rich background and culture of the Monadnock Region.

The Monadnock Center is located in the center of Peterborough, near restaurants and shopping areas.

It also has a visitor’s center, linked with the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, where visitors can learn about local companies and cultural groups.

You can see continuous and seasonal exhibitions of historical value at their Grove Street museum.

The Greenie Room has an early American antiques and home art collection, and the Robbe Family Kitchen is a meticulous reconstruction of an early Peterborough kitchen.

To guarantee that visitors have a good time, youngsters can practice quill writing and rag doll crafting in the hands-on Town Attic.

Hang Out at Coopershill

After a day of getting around Peterborough, the best spot to hang out and try one of the best-curated whiskeys in New Hampshire is Coopershill.

This charming Irish pub is popular for its whiskey cocktails, including Antrim Margarita, Old Pal, Bourbon Bee’s Knee,and Old Fashioned, as well as its delicious mixers made from premium spirits.

If you need to grab food, try its mouthwatering fish and chips, mac and cheese, nachos, Shepherd’s pie, bread pudding, and many more.

And of course, Coopershill stays true to its offerings by playing Irish music!

You can find the pub on School Street.

Watch a Movie at Peterborough Community Theatre

If the movie you’ve been waiting to watch has been recently released and you’re in town, the best spot to watch is Peterborough Community Theatre on School Street.

Originally established in 1914 as Gem Theatre, this charming historic theater only has one screen with terrific sound quality.

And because it’s a small theater, it can only seat up to 95 people, which many find even better than having to deal with a huge crowd.

If that’s not enough, the theater also serves organic popcorn; meaning there are no added preservatives or chemicals to make it tastier.

The award-winning Peterborough Community Theatre is New Hampshire’s oldest movie theater.

Take Down Some Pins at Bowling Acres

Another family-friendly activity to do in Peterborough is bowling, which comes in handy at Bowling Acres.

Established in 1962, the alley features 10 lanes of candlepin bowling perfect for a few hours of family bonding and fun.

Other than bowling, there are also arcade games that kids can enjoy playing.

Bowling Acres also serves delicious food to grab after playing a few rounds of bowling.

Try its popular pizza, wings, salads, and many more!

Bowling Acres is located off Elm Street.

Get Your Cup of Coffee at Parker and Sons Coffee Roasting

Nothing beats locally roasted coffee, which is what Parker And Sons Coffee Roasting does best!

As soon as you step inside the coffeehouse, you’ll hear and smell the coffee roasting on-site, which is done in small batches to ensure freshness and quality.

The coffeehouse’s owner Mason Parker is hands-on in roasting the coffee, which is responsibly sourced to serve the best coffee in town.

Don’t miss out on its popular maple latte!

Parker and Sons Coffee Roasting also sells whole and ground coffee and supplies several restaurants and shops in the region.

You can find it on Hancock Road.

Read a Book at Peterborough Town Library

The grounds of Peterborough Town Library

Jdietsch, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a book to read while in town, head to Peterborough Town Library on Concord Street.

Founded in 1837, the library keeps a great selection of books and many other resources for kids, teens, and adults.

Audiobooks, e-books, newspapers, and a local history collection are available at the library.

Take refuge in the comfort of its reading nooks while enjoying the book you found at the library.

Peterborough Town Library also hosts several events and programs for all ages, including Storytime for kids, reading clubs for teens and adults, and more.

Final Thoughts

Peterborough is a tourist location where you can both appreciate the beauty of nature and learn interesting facts about it.

There are more than enough attractions and things to do in Peterborough, NH, from indoor to outdoor activities, so you’ll never get bored.

You may go to the theater, shop for local and healthy items, enjoy a wonderful meal in one of the numerous restaurants, take a museum tour to learn more about history, and so much more.

Your journey to Peterborough, New Hampshire, will undoubtedly be unforgettable.

Book your trip today!

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