Sitting at the very bottom of the Monadnock region, and directly on the Massachusetts’s border, lies Fitzwilliam, NH a picturesque small town originally settled by Scottish Colonists. Many consider Fitzwillaim to be “the quintessential New England Village” with its beautiful town common and 12 surrounding homes that are on the National Register for Historical Places.
That 36 square mile town that is home to Rhododendron State Park is a place everyone must get to at least once for its historic feel and wonderful views. When you do go, here’s the top 5 things to do:
1. Rhododendron State Park
Rhododendron State Park is a gorgeous nearly 3000 acre state park near Little Monadnock Mountain. The park is named for its 16 acre Rhododendron maximum grove, the largest in New England. Rhododendrons maximum are an evergreen shrub with pleasing flowers that are often white, pink or a pale purple. The site of the dense rhododendrons are well worth the half mile universally accessible trail that encircle them.
Rhododendrons normally bloom in June and stay open until fall slowly becoming flatter. So, if you are going to Fitzwilliam, NH the middle of the summer may be he best time to catch this beautiful natural attraction.
2. The Fitzwilliam Inn
The Fitzwilliam Inn is the perfect stop for any history buff. Built in 1796 as a stop on the old coaching rod system between Boston and the north, the inn’s pristine white arches and fences associated with the area. Whether you want to stop in and stay the night or just stop into the pub and get a drink, the inn is a great place to go.
The inn also keeps things fun with open mic night every Wednesday, trivia on Thursdays and various bands on Saturdays. If you are planning on stopping in, make sure to check their site for events!
3. Bequart Old Books
Bequart Old Books is an old, out of print, and antiquarian bookstore in the center of Fitzwilliam, NH. The shop is open from April to November and houses a trove of literary treasures that everyone must at least see once. Located in a 19th century barn, which was completely rebuilt to accommodate the store, the building itself is worth seeing. If historical books aren’t your thing, they also have a good selection of classic and modern paperbacks, so there is something for everyone.
4. Laurel Lake Campgrounds
Laurel Lake Campgrounds is a sprawling campground located on the 155 acre, clear blue water, spring fed Laurel Lake. The lake itself is a beautiful site and is often bustling with activities to watch like sailboat and canoe races as well as concerts. If you are looking for a more outdoorsy place to stay in Fitzwilliam, NH, then Laurel Lake Campgrounds’ many tent plots could be the perfect option for you. The campgrounds offer a range of activities from golf at the nearby, Woodbund Inn, to hiking, boating and swimming. The lake then is a great place to stop and take in the beauty of nature, play and stay the night.
5. Fitzwilliam Historical Society
The Fitzwilliam Historical Society is an ideal place to stop in and find out about the rich history of Fitzwilliam. As a town that is over 200 years old, the town and the society are chalk full of interesting facts and artifacts, well worth the time it takes to discover them. The house it is in, Amos Blake House, is a site to behold, built in 1837 as a store with an attached living quarters. The society also has a country store and gift shop attached to the museum, so that you can grab some souvenirs while you’re there.