Home to an art colony and one of America’s oldest basket companies, this idyllic town in New Hampshire was also the inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town.
Historic New England meets a thriving arts scene in Peterborough, New Hampshire. See its charming red-brick town center and gorgeous natural surroundings that have made the town a favorite among tourists.
Start your tour of downtown at the Peterborough Historical Society. Check out the 18th-century kitchen and learn about local history through its series of rotating exhibits.
The sprawling brick Peterborough Town Library, supported by soaring white columns, is an iconic building. Established in 1833, it also has the distinction of being the country’s oldest tax-supported public library. When you enter the library, look up. The veranda’s ceiling is adorned with a mural depicting a beautiful Contoocook River scene.
Peterborough was the inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-winning play about small-town America, Our Town. Look for Grove Street, very similar in name to Grover’s Corners, the fictional setting for the play.
Browse the shops and galleries of Depot Square, Peterborough’s retail hub. Have lunch in one of its restaurants. Peterborough Diner has hosted numerous presidential candidates on the campaign trail.
Continue your shopping at Peterboro Basket Company, which has been producing handcrafted wooden baskets since 1854. It is one of the oldest continuously operating basket companies in the United States.
Immerse yourself in New Hampshire’s scenic beauty at Miller State Park. Climb to the top of Pack Monadnock. To enjoy the mountain’s stunning views without the hike, drive along the paved road leading to its summit.
MacDowell Art Colony, just outside town, has been operating for over 100 years. Make an appointment to see works of MacDowell Fellows in the Eugene Coleman Savidge Library. The site also hosts events throughout the year.
Despite its small size, Peterborough has a large cultural scene, regularly hosting concerts, art festivals, plays and dance shows. Whether you come for a special event or just want to explore, you’re sure to leave this charming town wearing a smile.