Amherst Uncovered: Exploring Top Attractions for Locals and Tourists

Amherst Uncovered: Exploring Top Attractions for Locals and Tourists

In the heart of New Hampshire, the charming town of Amherst is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. While it might be small in size, Amherst offers a diverse range of attractions that appeal to both locals and tourists alike. From historic sites and museums to natural parks and unique local businesses, there's something for everyone in this quaint New England town.

Historical Landmarks and Museums

The Amherst Town Hall

Located in the town center, the Amherst Town Hall is not only a functioning governmental hub but also a historic site. Built in the 19th century, its classic architecture provides a glimpse into the past and remains a central figure in Amherst's community life. The building hosts various local events and meetings, making it a good starting point to feel the town’s pulse.

The Wigwam Museum

Operated by the Historical Society of Amherst, The Wigwam Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. Housed in an original 18th-century farmhouse, the museum showcases artifacts, documents, and photographs that tell the story of Amherst’s development from a rural farming community to a modern suburb. The collections provide an intimate look at the daily lives of Amherst’s early settlers and their subsequent generations.

Natural Attractions

Baboosic Lake

Baboosic Lake is a local favorite during both summer and winter months. In the summer, visitors can enjoy swimming, kayaking, and picnicking along its shores. The lake also has a small beach area that is perfect for families with children. During the winter, the frozen lake surface becomes a popular spot for ice skating and ice fishing, offering a picturesque New England winter scene.

Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary

For nature lovers, the Ponemah Bog Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden gem. This unique natural area features a rare bog ecosystem with a boardwalk that allows visitors to explore without disturbing the sensitive environment. The sanctuary is home to a variety of plant species, some of which are rare or endangered. Birdwatchers will also appreciate the diverse species of birds that visit the bog throughout the year.

Art and Culture

The Amherst Gallery

The Amherst Gallery features rotating exhibits from local and regional artists, providing a platform for contemporary art in the heart of the town. The gallery not only displays a variety of visual arts but also hosts workshops, lectures, and community events that encourage public engagement with the arts. It's a fantastic place for those looking to dive deeper into New England's vibrant art scene.

The Performing Arts Center

Amherst's Performing Arts Center is a cornerstone for cultural activities in the area. Offering a variety of performances throughout the year, from classical music concerts and ballet recitals to contemporary theater productions, the center is an essential venue for performing arts in the region. It provides a space for both local talent and visiting artists to showcase their work.

Unique Local Businesses

Amherst Farm Winery

Located on the outskirts of the town, Amherst Farm Winery is renowned for its delightful range of locally produced wines. Visitors can tour the vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and sample a selection of wines in the cozy tasting room. The winery also hosts seasonal events, making it a popular destination throughout the year.

Moulton’s Market

A visit to Amherst would not be complete without a stop at Moulton’s Market. This historic market has been serving the community since the 1800s and offers a variety of local products, including fresh produce, homemade baked goods, and artisanal crafts. It's a great place to experience local flavors and support small businesses.

Seasonal Events and Festivities

Amherst’s community calendar is bustling with events that highlight the town’s vibrant community spirit. Seasonal festivals, such as the Amherst Fourth of July Celebration, the Pumpkin Festival in October, and the Christmas Tree Lighting event in December, draw crowds from across the region. These events often feature local music, food stalls, and activities for all ages, offering fun and festive ways to engage with the town and its traditions.

Preparing for Your Visit

When planning a visit to Amherst, it’s important to consider the seasonal nature of many attractions. Check the opening hours and event schedules in advance to make the most of your trip. Whether you're a local discovering new facets of your hometown or a tourist exploring this New England gem for the first time, Amherst offers a warm welcome and a wealth of activities to fill your itinerary.


Amherst, NH, encapsulates the essence of New England charm with its blend of historical sites, natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene. For anyone looking to experience a slice of authentic New England life, Amherst provides a picturesque backdrop filled with compelling attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. From the peaceful shores of Baboosic Lake to the cultural richness of the Performing Arts Center, Amherst invites you to discover its many treasures. So pack your bags, bring your curiosity, and prepare to explore all that this delightful town has to offer.

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*Header photo courtesy of Flickr | Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism

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