If you are looking for the ultimate outdoor playground in New England, look no further than Lincoln, New Hampshire. With a walkable downtown, a ski mountain right in town, fantastic restaurants, and hiking galore, Lincoln New Hampshire is a New England vacation destination that should be considered in every season. And there are so many things to do in Lincoln NH!
Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a parent looking for an easy family trip, or someone who simply wants to enjoy the best of the indoor life while surrounded by gorgeous natural surroundings, Lincoln, New Hampshire can provide what you are looking for.
Here are more than 15 of my favorite things to do in Lincoln, New Hampshire:
PS: Exploring more of New England? Check out my complete guide to road tripping New England!
Loon Mountain is right within Lincoln’s downtown, and it is an excellent mountain for families. Almost all of the condos that you can rent in Lincoln offer a free shuttle service to the mountain, so you can be on the slopes within minutes and avoid having to deal with both parking and carrying your equipment very far. Lincoln New Hampshire skiing at Loon Mountain is always a blast, but for some serious steeps, drive ten minutes north to ski or board at Cannon Mountain.
You could spend every weekend visiting Lincoln and still find new trails to hike around this area. If you are looking for a mild nature walk, you can stroll the J.H. Henry trail which meanders along the Pemigewasset River right downtown or you can hike for incredible views with nearby trails like Mount Willard or the Artist’s Bluff Trail. Be sure to stop at the Purple Tomato to pick up sandwiches and snacks to eat along the way. We love all of their options which cater to gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and organic diets as well.
Hiking is one of the best Lincoln NH summer activities, but it’s also a great way to get out in the NH fall foliage, too!
When you park your car in downtown Lincoln NH upon arrival, you could very feasibly avoid getting back in the car for the weekend and still visit many delicious restaurants. For delicious Italian or woodfired pizza in an upscale environment, check out La Vista at Riverwalk. Right across the street, is Gypsy Cafe which offers eclectic and worldly lunch and dinner options with a unique ambiance. Other favorites include El Charro Mexican Restaurant and The Common Man, but there are so many great downtown Lincoln New Hampshire options!
See a show
One of the top things to do in Lincoln, NH is to catch a show! Jean’s Playhouse offers high-quality theatre shows, a children’s theatre camp, and unique options like the latest Warren Miller ski movie. There’s also a movie theatre right downtown for when the weather doesn’t go your way, making taking in a show one of the top indoor activities Lincoln NH has to offer!
Our family’s favorite mini-golf course in any location is Pirate’s Cove, so if you’re looking for the best mini golf Lincoln NH has, we think this is it! With eighteen holes and special features galore, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back for more at one of the top Lincoln NH family activities.
Take a train ride
There are several different kinds of train rides within the area, so if you’re looking for things to do with kids in Lincoln NH, this could be a good one. Right next to Pirate’s Cove is the Hobo Railroad. Seasonal and holiday-themed rides are especially fun Lincoln NH kids activities! Down the road is the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train which offers a two-hour ride and a five-course meal. Also, if you’re looking for things to do around Loon Mountain, there is an authentic steam train that you can ride between the two base lodges.
Challenge yourself with a ropes course or zip line ride
Alpine Adventures right in downtown Lincoln New Hampshire offers a very extensive ropes course and zip line experience. You can also find the same both at the base of Loon Mountain and up on the mountain at the Adventure Center. This adventure can be combined with other mountain options there like biking, rock climbing, bungee trampoline jumping, and riding the gondola, so if you’re looking for stuff to do in Lincoln NH that gets you out and moving, this could be perfect; flying through the air on a Loon Mountain zipline will give you some pretty cool memories from your Lincoln New Hampshire vacation, for sure.
Take a ride up to stunning views
Whether you like to ski and hike or not, it’s worth taking a ride up to the top of both Loon Mountain and Cannon Mountain for the views and to explore. You can ride the gondola, one of the top Loon Mountain attractions and New Hampshire’s longest scenic gondola ride; you can find Loon Mountain gondola hours here. At the top, you’ll find the Loon Mountain restaurant, a viewing tower, scheduled yoga classes, and a playground; definitely, some of the coolest things to do Loon Mountain has to offer… other than skiing, of course!
The most exciting thing to do at the top of Loon Mountain is to check out the glacial caves. Exploring these caves and following a beautiful forest nature walk is a must-do. You can also take the aerial tramway up to the top of Cannon which is a very different ride experience as you stand with many others throughout the ride. This is one of the best viewpoints in the area, and the nature walk at the top of Cannon is both gentle and gorgeous.
See Clark’s Bears
One of the more unique Lincoln New Hampshire attractions is Clark’s Bears, a trained bear show and one of the last of its kind. Even more fun Lincoln, NH things to do can be found on the grounds, like Merlin’s Mystical Mansion, Blaster Boats, a circus, and even more! There’s fun to be had at Clark’s Bears for everyone, but it’s especially one of those fun things to do in Lincoln with children!
Walk through the Flume Gorge
A part of beautiful Franconia Notch State Park, the Flume Gorge is one of the top NH attractions! This impressive place is one of the top natural attractions in Lincoln NH, and is a definite must-visit, so be sure to add it to your list of Lincoln New Hampshire things to do!
When it comes to resorts in Lincoln New Hampshire, Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain is a fantastic place to stay for many reasons, including the two amazing pools and two hot tubs available for your enjoyment. The pool is heated to 85 degrees year-round, so you can swim or hot tub in any weather.
There are also beautiful, bath-like spots to swim in throughout the Pemigewasset River (called the “Pemi” by locals) which you can find along the J.H. Henry Trail. If you’re looking for more excitement to accompany your swim adventure, visit Whale’s Tale Waterpark right in Lincoln which offers pools, slides, and all kinds of water play; this is one of the top things to do near Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain, for sure, and certainly one of the top things to do in Lincoln with kids.
In the winter months, ice skating is open to the public at Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain, and definitely one of the neatest things to do at Loon Mountain in winter. The same lagoon pool that you may have swam in during the summer months is transformed into an ice skating rink that surrounds the second Riverwalk pool. You might also be able to catch one of the ice-skating shows available at this rink, another one of the cool New Hampshire attractions for families in Lincoln!
One Love Brewery is both a delicious place to eat and drink, and it is easily accessible in the middle of downtown Lincoln; a visit here is one of the top things to do in Lincoln at night. Their beer sampler is inexpensive yet ample, so it’s a fun one to share. Five minutes down the road, you can also taste beers at Woodstock Inn Brewery. The outdoor area is beautiful and nestled between wildflowers. It also offers a restaurant that is very family-friendly with an extensive menu.
Take a Side Trip
There are so many awesome things to do near Lincoln New Hampshire because you’ve got several other great places to visit in NH nearby! Consider planning a little side trip to Jackson, North Conway, Franconia, Littleton, or any of the other cute little New Hampshire towns nearby! There are tons of perfect New Hampshire day trips within easy driving distance of Lincoln.
Wine tasting at Seven Birches is definitely one of the best things to do in Lincoln NH for adults. There is a cozy tasting room within Riverwalk Resort at Loon Mountain which also has outdoor seating on a balcony overlooking the pools and mountains. Across the parking lot, is a second, larger tasting room called The Atrium Wine Bar. You can taste different wines at each location, and with snacks and picnic options available, you can really make a day of it; if you’re looking for things to do at Loon Mountain that are a little more laidback, this might be perfect for you!
If you’re looking for shopping near Lincoln NH, you’re in luck if you enjoy shopping local and unique items. Burgeon Outdoor sells locally and sustainably made outdoor apparel. This is a new business that will be sure to flourish. Seven Birches sells fun gifts for wine lovers as well as eclectic home decorations and jewelry. Lahout’s has three locations within downtown Lincoln NH selling just about anything a skier or snowboarder could want.
We can’t recommend Lincoln, New Hampshire enough! Be sure to visit the area in every season as they each open up new possibilities and inspiration for exploring and vacationing to the max; if you’re wondering when is the best time to visit Lincoln NH, it’s true that things to do in Lincoln NH in spring are a whole lot different than things to do in Lincoln New Hampshire in winter, but whatever time of year you choose, you are sure to have a good time!
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