Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Tilton, NH

  • Published 2023/03/10

Near the scenic Winnipesaukee River in New Hampshire, the town of Tilton presents itself as a quiet, peaceful location with classic allure and historical attractions.

The town got its name from the wealthy Tilton Family in 1869.

Their success contributed much to the town’s development.

From rich textile mills and hotels to unique structures like the Memorial Arch, the Tilton Family became one of the wealthiest families in town from 1827 to 1901.

Tilton is a hidden gem, but the town has worthwhile attractions and interesting local establishments.

This place is best for those who want to relax in a small-town atmosphere.

It’s peaceful, unassuming, and with beautiful views of the nearby lake and surrounding environment.

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

Stroll along Downtown Tilton Historic District

Buildings along Downtown Tilton Historic District

AlexiusHoratius, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walk along Tilton’s historic downtown district and travel back in time.

This district features hints and glimpses of past architecture with a collection of Victorian-styled buildings dating back to the 19th century.

The length of the district spans one block at the center of Tilton, New Hampshire.

For a long time, this part of Tilton has served as the town’s most commercially focused area and has hosted many industries.

A brick building at Downtown Tilton Historic District

James Kirkikis /

In 1983, the National Register of Historic Places added the district to its record because of its vintage stores, churches, and restaurants.

Some of its most famous buildings would be the town hall and the Northfield-Tilton Congregational Church.

If you’d like to visit this destination, this historic district includes a block of Main Street.

Find it right at the center of Tilton, New Hampshire.

Take a Break in Winnisquam Lake Inn

As its name suggests, this three-star inn stands across the pleasing Winnisquam Lake in the center of New Hampshire.

The Winnisquam Lake Inn features simple, cozy rooms with plain walls and a little decor to highlight a minimalist lifestyle.

It focuses on the outdoor activities and views of the nearby lake.

The inn is surrounded by gorgeous green plains and dense trees at the back so that guests can enjoy the clean, fresh air.

There are comfy wooden seats at the inn’s private balcony where guests can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and its environment.

They also have a small private beach area where you can go to calm waters with far-reaching views of the area.

Whether traveling with kids or having pets, the Winnisquam Lake Inn has rooms to serve your needs.

Play Golf at the Lochmere Golf and Country Club

In 1992, Lochmere Golf and Country Club opened, offering a ten-hole golf experience in Tilton, New Hampshire.

The Chaille family owned the course and expanded it to an 18-hole course in 1997, after a great response from the public.

This golf course stands out because it’s surrounded by dense trees that transform into a beautiful backdrop, especially in autumn when the leaves change color.

Playing in an open field with red, orange, green, and yellow trees helps create a memorable experience.

They also offer private golf lessons with golf professionals and have their Greenside Restaurant on the premises.

This golf course has become a premium destination in New Hampshire.

Explore Specialty Goods in Just Maple

Just Maple is a small quirky shop selling one-of-a-kind products with one common feature: maple syrup.

This specialty store highlights the diversity of maple syrup, not just as a topping for desserts but also as a scented candle, hard candy, jam, sugar, and nuts.

People love their maple candy for its pure syrupy goodness, containing zero additives in various shapes, sizes, and assortments.

Where do they get all their maple to craft a wide array of specialty goods?

The Proulx family, founders of the store, have a beautiful farm up in Tilton where they get all their main ingredients, especially maple.

Not only do you get a taste of additive-free products, but you also get to try the flavors of Tilton maple, sourced from within the town.

Walk the Winnipesaukee River Trail

Abandoned railway bridge along Winnipesaukee River Trail

SewingForce /

The Winnipesaukee River Trail is a long path that spans around 6.1 miles of the calm river.

If you’re worried about stamina, you can always turn around once you feel you’ve reached your limit.

The pleasant views of this trail include foliage, animal wildlife, and the scenic Winnipesaukee River.

Visit this trail during the fall since the leaves of trees transform into beautiful colors from red, yellow, orange, and green.

Overall, it’s an excellent destination for outdoor lovers who want a simple, pleasant walk into nature’s foray.

Watch a Movie in Smitty’s Cinema

Elevate your movie experience with Smitty’s Cinema, combining actual dining and movie-watching into one venue.

You don’t have to limit yourself to the usual popcorn, candy, and hotdogs to enjoy movies on the big screen.

Their menu offers a wide range of comfort foods: Mexican staples like nachos and quesadillas to American basics like wings, steak strips, and mozzarella sticks.

They also have a broad assortment of drinks and desserts—cocktails, wine, floats, cakes, ice cream, and many others.

Head to Smithy’s Cinema to try this fun, family-friendly experience!

Check Out the Ghost Room at Tilton Inn

Established in 1875, the Tilton Inn has undergone several renovations because of fires and other damages.

Currently, it’s a cozy, pet-friendly inn with a restaurant and themed rooms to choose from.

One of their most exciting attractions, however, is the Sanborn Room.

People believe the room is haunted; a young guest perished in the room during a hotel fire in the 1800s.

Guests, including paranormal activity experts, have reported scary, unexplainable encounters.

If you’re brave enough, book the room, and confirm whether the rumors are true.

Spend the Day at Riverfront Park

Unwind at Riverfront Park, a peaceful destination in Tilton with free and beautiful perks.

It’s next to Winnipesaukee River and provides serene, far-reaching views with public facilities like pavilions, grills, bathrooms, and a kid’s playground.

You can also try fishing at their covered piers and see what types of fish you can catch from the local river.

This park was once known as Pillsbury Mills; they cleared the space in 2004 to develop the park.

Completed in 2006, Riverfront Park continues to be a popular place for locals and travelers seeking a day of relaxation with calming nature.

Drop by the Riverfront Park, sit at one of their benches, and bask in the feel of the nearby lake.

Grab a Slice at Tilton House of Pizza

Tilton House of Pizza is a local favorite among the tight-knit community of Tilton and nearby towns across the Lakes region.

The laid-back atmosphere, achieved through simple decor and furnishings, reminds guests of the town’s casual allure.

Tilton House of Pizza prepares various Italian pizzas, which have become popular with people who have already tried the cuisine.

Try the chicken Caesar salad pizza or their pizza with fries to experiment and taste different pizzas.

Located right at the heart of Tilton’s historic downtown, this pizza place has operated for over 20 years.

Besides pizzas, they also have other dishes like seafood, wings, subs, and burgers.

Get a taste of Tilton’s local cuisine through one of the most popular restaurants in the Lakes Region, along Tilton’s famous Main Street.

Cross the Tilton Island Park Bridge

View from within the Tilton Island Park Bridge

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

Built in 1881, the Tilton Island Park Bridge is an impressive piece of history still in use today.

It’s one of the few cast-iron bridges in the United States; modern bridges have used other materials.

This bridge is unique because of its distinctive pattern details and design, known as “truss configuration.”

In 1859, Lucius Truesdell submitted and earned a patent for the “truss configuration.”

While other bridges like Tilton Island Bridge eventually broke down, this one remains a pedestrian walkway.

Its stability is a testament to the skills of its architect, engineer, and construction workers.

Cross the Tilton Island Park Bridge to reach the Tilton Island Park, a beautiful and picturesque park with lovely sights and facilities.

Those interested can find this robust and historical bridge along Main Street in Tilton, New Hampshire.

Hike at Buffalo Conservation Area

The Buffalo Conservation Area used to be a farm for buffalos until 2005.

That year, the owners planned to be more proactive in preserving its natural habitats and landscapes.

This 55-acred area is home to various terrain, including soil, wetlands, vegetation, and animal habitats.

There are also various trails to explore via biking, snowshoeing, walking, cross country skiing, etc.

Experience the outdoors with Buffalo Conservation Area, situated just a few minutes from Tilton’s downtown area.

Since the area is a conservation area, you’re not allowed to fish, hunt, cut down trees, or drive a vehicle through the site.

Visit the Buffalo Conservation Area to explore nature at its purest form with few interferences from other people.

Drink in Kettlehead Brewing Company

Kettlehead Brewing Company features wines, beers, and cooling slushies.

Their indoor dining area poses a modern and simple aesthetic with vibrant yellow walls, high stools, and bright lighting.

While handcrafted beers are the star of this restaurant, they also have meals such as pizzas and burgers that pair with refreshing beers.

They have friendly baristas who can give drink recommendations based on your tastes and preferences.

Take a break, relax, and try the drinks at this top-rated brewery in Tilton.

Shop at Tanger Outlets

Just because Tilton is a small town in New Hampshire doesn’t mean they don’t have a commercial shopping center.

Tanger Outlets Place offers locals and travelers a one-stop shopping destination with plenty of stores selling products at affordable prices.

Enjoy their rustic aesthetic and decor, which captures the allure of a small town but with big-time designer brand names.

Some examples are American Eagle Outfitters, Champion, Coach, Gap, Old Navy, Oshkosh, Polo Ralph Lauren, etc.

There are also a few restaurants and cafes to try if you get famished after browsing the shopping mall’s establishments.

Shop till you drop in Tanger Outlets Place, located along Laconia Road.

Buy a Souvenir from Tilton Village Thrift and Antiques

Try your hand at this antique store, and you may find some rare items.

Tilton is a rural town in New Hampshire with a rich history.

You’ll find items that reflect those values.

It’s also a great place to find unique and quirky items since the products in this store come from different people with different tastes and preferences.

Tilton Village Thrift and Antiques is the perfect place to buy a peculiar souvenir to remind you of your trip to cozy Tilton.

Stop by the establishment if you’re ever in town!

Snap a Photo at the Memorial Arch of Tilton

Standing 55 feet, this memorial is primarily made up of granite and takes inspiration from Roman architecture.

This structure is part of Charles Tilton’s heritage, built in 1882.

You’ll find it three minutes away from Tilton.

He wanted to be buried under the arch, but he decided to move his resting place to his hometown of Tilton.

This impressive arch stands on top of hills with scenic overlooking views of the town and its surroundings.

A red-granite keystone lies on the bottom center of the arch, inscribed with “Tilton 1883.”

They also inserted a time capsule of old items like previous newspapers and coins inside the stone.

Check out this historic memorial arch to catch a glimpse of Tilton’s long history.

Have a Retro-Inspired Meal at Tilt’n Diner

Interior of Tilt’n Diner

James Kirkikis /

Tilt’n Diner is an amazing attraction in the township, doubling both as a culinary icon and an Instagram-worthy destination.

WIth a 50s retro-style interior, dining at Tilt’n Diner is an exciting experience, especially since its decor exudes a flamboyant appeal that makes it stand out compared to other retro diners in the U.S.

From its flooring to its bar setup, you’ll be transported back in the 1950s with how loud the look of Tilt’n Diner is.

There is also plenty of memorabilia here, and a couple of vintage magazines for sale.

Of course, their food is a showstopper as well, serving classic American favorites like pancakes and burgers.

Tilt’n Diner is located along Laconia Road.

Visit Lakes Region Tourism Association

Before traveling to Tilton and the surrounding area, you may want to visit the Lakes Region Tourism Association first.

Serving as the visitor’s center of Tilton and the Lakes Region, this place is a great way to learn about the area and meet knowledgeable locals.

There are plenty of informational flyers and maps that you can get here, which can be an invaluable asset if it’s your first time in Tilton.

If you’re particularly interested in hiking and day trips to nature areas, this is a great place to learn added information.

Lakes Region Tourism Association can be visited along Laconia Road, just across Tilt’n Diner.

Splurge at Winnisquam Country Store & Deli

Winnisquam Country Store and Deli may seem like a typical countryside convenience store, but it’s actually well-loved by locals because it’s packed with amazing products.

Quaint and unassuming, you’d be surprised that this place has a ton of delicious food to try, most notably its pizzas and pies that are regarded as some of the best in the town.

They also have an abundance of breakfast food items here, most of which are sandwiches that are packed with meat.

Situated near the lake and Winnisquam Sand Bar, this is a fantastic place to spend the early morning as it has a serene atmosphere as well.

If you’re a food lover who’s looking to splurge on cheap but filling meals, don’t miss out on Winnisquam Country Store and Deli.

Shop at Headlines Boutique

Headlines Boutique is a great addition to your itinerary if you’re interested in shopping for knick knacks and various potential souvenir items.

Brimming with unique items that have quirky and sometimes even strange decor, Headlines Boutique is the place to be when shopping for gifts when you’re in New Hampshire.

While they’re known for decor and accessories, Headlines Boutique also has essential and everyday items.

The staff here are attentive and friendly, making your shopping experience seamless and fun.

Visit this awesome shop along Laconia Road.

Go Drinking at Casamigos Tilton

Casamigos Tilton is another must-visit in Tilton for all things food, but they’re best known for their frozen margaritas.

It’s a great place to be at night—on top of the drinks, they also have a fantastic atmosphere that feels cozy and intimate.

Of course, their food is as good as their alcohol; Casamigos Tilton has a lot of Mexican platters good for sharing.

Some of their headliners are their fajitas, chimichangas, and enchiladas which are all packed full of authentic Mexican flavor.

A great hangout spot for friends and family, find Casamigos Tilton along the town’s Main Street.

Final Thoughts

Tilton offers its visitors a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of cities.

Even if the area’s quiet and peaceful, there are still plenty of exciting places, from quirky shops and historical spots to natural attractions and local favorites.

There’s no need to rush in this beautiful town of Tilton, New Hampshire.

Start planning your Tilton trip today!

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