Nestled in the southwest corner of New Hampshire, the Monadnock Region offers endless opportunities to forge your own path in a remote but not isolated setting. For many of us at Monadnock Paper Mills, what started as a vacation, ended up as a lifestyle. We hope you find the Monadnock Region a place to come back to – and perhaps a place to call home. 

Just two hours northwest of Boston, and within driving distance from other major cities and airports, including Hartford, Albany, and New York City, finding your passion is easy here. From hiking trails, mountain summits, and waterways to downtown shops, eclectic eateries, and arts and cultural venues, we never run out of things to discover. 

Whether you’re looking to visit here, live here, learn here, or work here, wholesome adventures and memories are just around the corner – come explore…and thrive! 

Suggested Itinerary

From well-traveled paths to fresh fruit from restaurateurs’ gardens added to your pancakes, here are some of our favorite places to visit while in the area, along with a suggested itinerary:

Day 1:

8:30 am – Start your day with a true New England breakfast at Common Place Eatery

This charming New England eatery has been a local staple in Bennington, New Hampshire for over 22 years, and it always delivers! Everything on their menu is made from scratch – from their corned beef and hash to their delicious omelets made to order, there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you find your belly growling for a quick, easy, diner-style meal with New England charm, head on over to Common Place Eatery. 

10:00 am – Take in the Views

If you like to thrive in the great outdoors, you won’t want to miss hiking Mt. Monadnock, our namesake and most treasured landmark, especially in autumn when the trails are speckled in shades of crimson and gold. The popular Mount Monadnock is the centerpiece of the nearly 6,000 acre Monadnock State Park, which features 36 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center, and two campgrounds. 

Here is a full trail map of Monadnock State Park, which includes each of the trails to the summit: Click Here For Full Screen Trail Map.

3:00 pm – We All Scream for Ice Cream! 

That hike will have earned you an enormous ice cream cone from the famous Kimball Farm in Jaffrey, NH. Since making a name for itself in 1939, Kimball Farm Ice Cream has had over 50 decadent flavors to choose from. From cups, cones, sundaes, and ice cream floats – there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Don’t forget to stop in the Country Store, a cozy gift shop full of unique items like gourmet foods and locally crafted mementos. 

If you happen to be in the area in the summer months, enjoy Kimball Farm’s fresh, local, and famous seafood shack. Classic New England specialties like fried scallops and clams, lobster rolls, and other locally sourced seafood are served daily. 

4:30 pm – Explore the Local Arts & Culture

The Walldogs are an internationally renowned organization of sign and mural artists, averaging 350 square feet. In addition to being incredibly fascinating, you will also get to learn about the local history. It’s easy to see why the Monadnock Region is considered New Hampshire’s “cultural corner.” 

The Monadnock Arts Alive program nurtures creative businesses, artists, and cultural institutions, and there is an abundance of world-class quality art and performance venues that deliver an intimate experience that you can’t get anywhere else, like the beautifully restored Colonial Theatre in Keene. With a year-round lineup of concerts, festivals, and events, the arts are always in season.

7:00 pm – Dinner Time!

If you’re in the mood for something a little more upscale, check out Granita Enoteca in Keene. Granata offers Italian-inspired cuisine along with a handcrafted cocktail program that is built to complement their menu. 

When it comes to more casual dining, check out the Greater Keene and Peterborough Chamber’s video guide to over 20 restaurants and their best dishes in the area. 

Day 2: 

12:00 pm – Views & Brews 

The Monadnock Region has quietly grown into an exciting brewery-rich area. You can’t go wrong with any of New England’s most beloved craft breweries: 

Modestman Brewing: A cool, sleek indoor space coupled with an inviting outdoor courtyard. When you get there, you’ll find a cozy taproom that doubles as a gallery and an inviting outdoor space with murals by local artists that cover the walls. When you get there, you’ll find a cozy taproom that doubles as a gallery and an inviting outdoor space with murals by local artists that cover the walls. 

3:00 pm – Birding & Boating

New Hampshire’s Powder Mill Pond is the site of the last upstream dam on the Contoocook River that is owned and operated by Monadnock Paper Mills. It’s enjoyed by hundreds of boaters, kayakers, and anglers, and 117 species of birds, in addition to that all-American symbol of renewal and resilience, the Bald Eagle.

Monadnock keeps a close eye on the dams and pond levels to protect this rich and beautiful habitat. NH Audubon helps the Fish and Game Department protect the bald eagles’ mating sites across the state. For more information, / www.wildlife.state.nh.u

7:00 pm – Creative Dishes Alongside a Friendly Atmosphere

The Stage is in the middle of downtown Keene and serves unique, modern American food in a relaxing, artistic setting. Their menu selections range from classic comfort food staples to elegant, high-end creations. The Benik family has operated The Stage for more than four decades. With its social staff, deliciously creative dishes, and warm, Manhattan-style feel, The Stage has become Keene’s go-to spot for any occasion.

9:00 pm – Live Music 

Whether it’s chamber music, African beats, classical music, up-and-coming bands, or a major Broadway production you’re after, the Monadnock Region has it. Check out this local events calendar to see what’s happening during your stay. For more arts and culture recommendations, please click here.

Where to Stay: 

From old-fashioned Airbnb’s and cozy inns, to mountain resorts, and farm stays, you will find more than just a place to sleep, but a place where all of your needs will be met, so you can take the time to explore everything this spectacular region has to offer. We adore these charming inns for their proximity to the mill and their warm hospitality:

The Blue Bear Inn: This delightful historic New England inn in Francestown, NH, is surrounded by spectacular views, and provides everything you need to enjoy a quiet retreat. Built in 1822 as a New England farmhouse, the inn features 13 rooms adorned with antiques, sits on 63 acres of land, and features stunning views of the Piscataquog Valley.

The Hancock Inn (reopening in summer 2023): The Hancock Inn has been welcoming guests for over 200 years, making it the perfect place to enjoy the history and natural beauty of the Monadnock Region. Experience true New England hospitality, impeccable attention to detail, fine dining, and overnight accommodation in a picturesque village you may one day want to call home. 

From the clear mountain air, to its stunning and expansive views, it’s no wonder Mark Twain, Thornton Wilder, Willa Cather, and so many other artists flocked to the region to find inspiration. For many of us here at Monadnock Paper Mills, what started out as a vacation has led to a thriving relationship that has lasted a lifetime. So we invite you to step off the beaten path and bring your personal and professional dreams along with you. 

In the Monadnock Region, endless opportunity MonadKnocks – always within thriving distance.