From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Nashua is so much more than the city Michael’s boss sent Holly to in order to keep them apart! Originally built around the textile industry, today, Nashua is home to an amazing variety of historical and cultural attractions as well as restaurants, shops, and more. Here are our favorite things to see, do, and experience in Nashua, New Hampshire.
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
New England is rich with opportunities for getting outside. Here are some of the coolest state and national parks and preserves in the greater Nashua, NH area.
A 400-acre park replete with lush green hillsides, marshy bogs and ponds, and plain old stunning scenery, Greenfield State Park offers opportunities for fishing, swimming, canoeing, and hiking in the summer, as well as snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling come winter time. A variety of marked trails make for great opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all fitness levels, and there’s also a 900-foot beachfront area.
Small(ish), but mighty, Kingston State Park covers an area of 44 acres within the city limits of Kingston, about 40 minutes northeast of Nashua. A day-use facility, this park doesn’t offer camping, but it does include pondside shores for relaxing and wading, as well as fishing and boating opportunities, a playground, sport courts, and more. It’s a great spot to spend a sunny New Hampshire afternoon or catch the sunset.
If you take a trip across state lines down into Lowell, Massachusetts, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Lowell Heritage State Park, a unique day-use area tucked along the shores of the Merrimack River. While it doesn’t offer a ton of room to roam, this park does feature exhibits that will teach you and your family about the historic network of 19th-century canals and mills that were used to power the textile industry at that time in Lowell’s history.
Founded all the way back in 1891, Miller State Park is one of the oldest designated parks not just in New Hampshire, but in the entire United States. Covering more than 500 acres of New Hampshire countryside, this park is beloved for its miles of hiking trails, including those that will take you to the summit of Pack Monadnock, which towers 2,200 feet above sea level.
Another option well worth a visit to Massachusetts — especially since it’s only 35 minutes away from downtown Nashua — Pearl Hill State Park covers 1,000 acres of beautiful New England landscape, and its campground offers 50 of the most generous and private campsites in the area. The park also features trails fit for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling, and an on-site pond features a beach area to boot.
An 80-acre park featuring a 1,000-foot beach that curves around the rim of its namesake lake, Silver Lake State Park is a hot destination during the hot days of summer. Whether you go to swim, float, paddle, or merely picnic along the shore, you’ll be sure to enjoy a sunny day here… and you can come back in the winter for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and more.
Nashua is well-situated for outdoor lovers, who can benefit from a wide range of hiking trails suited for a variety of fitness and interest levels. Here are some of the best hiking trails in and around Nashua.
Running five miles altogether, out-and-back, and seeing a little over 100 feet in elevation gain, Nashua River Trail isn’t difficult, but it is lengthy enough to make you feel like you’ve gotten some movement in. Because much of this urban walking path is paved, it’s a great option for those pushing strollers or wheelchairs, and is also popular with local runners and bicyclists. Be sure to make way for folks zipping by!
A trail of just over four miles in length and seeing about 100 feet in elevation gain, French Mill is located near the town of Hollis just a few miles away from Nashua, and offers some breathtaking and iconic New England views from spring through autumn. Along with the dense foliage, which you can watch change with the seasons, this trail also offers lakeside scenes and is open to friendly, leashed dogs.
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls,” they said — but they couldn’t have been more wrong! Wildcat Falls is a beautiful and totally achievable trail running about two miles in length and seeing less than a hundred feet in elevation gain, meaning its beautiful namesake falls are accessible to a wide range of hikers. This trail also features beautiful wildflowers along the way and is best used from spring to fall.
The Potanipo Hill Southway Trail Loop runs just over two miles and climbs almost 400 feet along the way, putting this hike into the moderately challenging category. Those willing to break a sweat will be rewarded with a combination of beautiful natural views and funky outdoor art installations that make this hike into a truly unique experience.
Offering one-of-a-kind New England lakeside views, the Blodgett Hill and Rocky Trail Loop runs just over three miles altogether and sees just shy of 400 feet in elevation gain, making for a moderately challenging hike that’s still easy enough for many hikers — and even their kids — to accomplish. Along with its shimmering summertime views, this hike is well-loved by locals for the opportunity to see changing fall foliage, and is also used over the winter by snowshoers.
Nashua has plenty of adventure to offer, not the least of which is its dining options — and besides, if you’re going to keep up with everything else, you’ve gotta eat! Here are some of our favorite restaurants in Nashua, no matter what you’re craving.
There’s just something about a hot and comforting cup of chowder, no matter what time of year it is in New England. Collins Brothers Chowder is a beloved local institution offering not only the creamy clam chowder you’re most accustomed to, but also seafood chowder, corn and bacon chowder, and a wide variety of other soups and stews.
Its name may mean “old house,” but there’s nothing outdated about Casa Vieja Mexican Grill. Serving up your favorite south-of-the-border dishes carefully crafted from fresh ingredients, this spot is also known for its mean margaritas… and even offers its fresh-squeezed mix for retail sale!
Looking for the best Asian restaurant in Nashua? Although it might not be as well-known as Chinese or Japanese fare, Thai food is an incredible option, offering spice, satisfaction, and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Giant of Siam is the Nashua go-to for these eastern delights, offering dine-in, take-out, and delivery options. Enjoy!
There are some nights when nothing but a classic Italian meal will do, and if you’re after the best Italian dining in Nashua, you’re looking for Cucina Toscana. Serving a wide range of traditional favorites in a cozy and inviting dining atmosphere, this place is especially well known for its range of risotto dishes. Open for lunch and dinner.
If you’re looking for something spicy and satisfying, Indian food is sure to please — and New Taj India is the place to go in Nashua for some of these delicious, exotic delights. Offering up favorites like samosas and butter chicken as well as Tandoori dishes, kebabs, biryani and more, this is a great place to go whether you’re looking to try something new or sink into well-loved flavors you’re already familiar with.
All the amazing outdoor spaces and fine dining opportunities are just the start of the incredible world to discover in Nashua, New Hampshire. Here are some more of the tip-top things to do in Nashua, whether you’re hanging with the fam, heading out with friends, looking for things for couples to do or adventuring solo.
There are plenty of all-ages options in Nashua! Here are some of the best.
No matter whether it’s sweltering hot or icy cold outside, at FunWorld, it’s the perfect weather for all sorts of indoor fun! A sprawling playground with slides, ball pits, climbing zones, and more is coupled with interactive games, motion picture features, and even rides like a carousel and a small indoor roller coaster. There’s no shortage of fun to be had here, no matter your age!
Imagine endless fields of fragrant, purple plants, all situated within picturesque, green New England hillsides. Laromay Lavender Farm offers an incredible place to wander with family members of all ages, and it smells almost as pretty as it looks. Be sure to check out the family’s range of products made with fresh lavender, including soaps, home products, and more.
Think there’s nothing to do in Nashua once the daytime is over? Think again. Here are just a few of the great nightlife opportunities in this not-so-small New Hampshire town.
You don’t have to drive all the way to Atlantic City to try your hand at a game table. The River Casino & Sports Bar offers local gaming opportunities as well as delicious cocktails, beers, wines and more. Food is available too, and the menu offers a wide range of comforting favorites. In other words, it would be easy to while away a whole evening here.
If you’re looking for a slightly more laid-back way to enjoy yourself after hours, check out New Hampshire’s famous indie theatre: Chunky’s Cinema Pub. With a few locations strewn across the state, including one in Nashua, this spot is known not only for its roster of both big box-office hits and noteworthy indie films, but also for its delicious menu, which includes items like buffalo chicken mac & cheese, Greek feta fries, and so much more.
Don’t want to take out a second mortgage just to get familiar with Nashua? Good news: you don’t have to! Here are our favorite low-cost to-dos in town.
Is there any better way to while away a weekend morning than to meander a farmers market, taking in the sights and sounds of the locals, the vendors, and their offerings — and maybe finding an affordable thing or two you’d like to take home? The Nashua Farmers Market runs each Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. from mid-June through October, and it’s a great way to enjoy the day and support local businesses without spending too much cash.
Yup, you read that right! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Nashua that don’t cost anything but time.
Although technically located in the neighboring town of Hollis, the Monson Center is a cherished local destination: once the site of an 18th-century colony that sprawled over 17,000 acres, today it’s a nature center and also a site of historical intrigue, displaying the remains of that settlement under the shade of iconic New England forests. Great for outdoor activities like hiking and cross-country skiing, the Monson Center is also free to visit!
When in doubt, head out — outside, that is! Along with the state parks and preserves listed above, this part of New Hampshire is also replete with local and regional parks, each of which offers its own unique benefits. For example, check out Greeley Park, Mine Falls Park, Roby Park, and Fields Grove, many of which offer playgrounds, picnic areas, and other amenities to make your visit that much sweeter.
Look good, feel good: it’s all connected and it’s all important. Here are the best day spas and salons to check out in Nashua, New Hampshire, for those times when you just need a bit of an upgrade.
In search of outer beauty and inner peace? That’s what The Skin & Body Spa promises to its customers — and with a full range of esthetic and clinical skin care, body treatments, nail services, hair removal, lash extensions, and massage in a wide range of modalities, that’s exactly what you’ll achieve. This excellent day spa also offers a variety of spa packages to ensure clients get the most for their money.
Offering a wide range of hair care including cuts and color for both men and women, along with chemical treatments like perms and straighteners and styling for special events, Joseph Michael Salon & Spa is the local go-to for those times when you just need something a little different. Children’s haircuts are also available, and start at just $20!
Not only can working out help you feel better in your skin and ensure your clothes fit for months and years to come, it can also help you ensure you maintain a positive attitude and general stance of readiness in life. Here are some of the very best gyms and yoga studios for those in need of a sweat session (or three) in Nashua.
The best is simply the best — and Best Fitness Nashua is the place to go when you’re in need of a comprehensive gym experience that offers you all the tools you need to meet your goals. With a sprawling cardio floor, plenty of strength training equipment, and free weights galore, there’s nothing stopping you from achieving what you set out to achieve at this fitness center.
Named for the beautiful and many-limbed ficuses that offer shade, shelter and beauty for so many, Banyan Tree Yoga is a friendly and welcoming studio environment staffed by knowledgeable and empathetic yogis. Prepared to guide you through a practice suited to your individual needs and body, these teachers are passionate about helping you find your strength and center both on and off the mat.
As much as there is to see and do in Nashua, there are also so many worthy destinations for a day trip or weekend getaway in the area. Here are some of the best options within an easy day’s drive.
Full of historical significance and tantalizing modern-day attractions as well, Boston is a city all its own — and one that’s well worth making the trip from Nashua for. Catch a game at Fenway park or enjoy some of the best dining in the entire northeastern region, or maybe just while away an afternoon people-watching on Boston Common. You can’t go wrong.
Sometimes, there’s nothing for it but a day at the beach. Hampton Beach State Park offers Nashua residents the opportunity to sit alongside the ocean and relax — or contemplate their lives — all just an hour away from town. Preserving a sprawling 50 acres of Atlantic-front, this scenic beach draws visitors from a wide array of local metropolitan areas. Get there early to get the best spot!
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Nashua that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Nashua? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.