Downtown Bristol NH Central Square park and buildings

Spend the Day in Downtown Bristol

March 27, 2023 4:42 pm

Spring is just around the corner, bringing warmer weather, budding flowers and much needed Vitamin D. Dust off your sandals, put away your sweaters, and get ready to start planning day-trips into small towns like Bristol’s historic Central Square offering the great eats, drinks, and activities.  

For a closer look at what Bristol has to offer, watch this video, or keep reading to get links to popular destinations.

Visit Bristol, NH: Central Square & Downtown

Eat & Drink

Whatever you’re in the mood for, Bristol has a variety of options from brick oven pizza, Mexican delights, Americano, to a micro brewery and pubs. 

Start and end your day at The Purple Pit Coffee Lounge where you can get award-winning coffee, pasties and bagel sandwiches. Then come by after dinner for a night at the Jazz Club. If you’re looking for something homey, check out our traditional American diner, Bristol Diner, serving classics from a farmer’s breakfast to Irish benedicts. 

If you’re feeling more adventurous, go to town on authentic Mexican cuisine and drinks at Cielito, including favorites like tacos and specialty margaritas. If you’re hankering for pizza, you have your choice of three in town, including Pizza Béne which offers the best brick oven pizza around. If you’re in the mood for drinks, be sure to check out our very own micro brewery Shacketts Brewery or the Crazy Cat Winery.  

For heartier fare, you’re likely to enjoy Gina’s Place for breakfast with homemade muffins and Lincross for lunch, known for its jumbo made-to-order sandwiches (we recommend the roast beef). In the evening, head to Kathleen’s Irish Pub for its authentic Irish dishes and perfect pour of Guinness. This must-visit destination for lovers of all things Irish has been the Winner WMUR Viewers Choice winner for Best Irish Pub in NH for eight years running!


A day out and about downtown isn’t complete without hitting the shops. There are plenty of places in Central Square, from clothing and accessories to homemade souvenirs and gifts. 

Right on the waterfront you can visit Imagine, offering unique women and children’s clothing and goods, including alpaca wool sweaters, and homemade jewelry. Open seasonally from March to November, stop by Cileia’s Little Closet, where you can find summer dresses, skirts, blouses, shoes and more. 

At TwinDesigns Gift Shop you will not only find Children’s books, toys, mugs, art, and glassware, but also a 50 year-old turtle named Diane, Bristol’s unofficial mascot. Newfound Country Store offers food and grocery items such as local coffee and cheese. You can also fill your bags with name brand clothing and shoes such as Carhartt, mugs, candles, and other homemade gifts. 


As the sun comes out, so do the toes. Relax in between eating, drinking, and shopping at Relaxation Station to get yourself a pedicure to make sure you’re sandal-ready. Other relaxing services include manicures, facials, massages, hot stone therapy, and more. 

While you let your toes dry, get creative at Fran’s Ceramics where you can slow down and enjoy the calming effect of hand-painting your own ceramics. If you’re looking for wellness on the go, check out APU Mountain Spirit Medicine where you can purchase holistic healing products like medicinal herbs, essential oils, drums and singing bowls to raise your vibration. For a truly unique Bristol experience, get a haircut at No. 9 Barber Shop where you can be the only one pampered in their one chair shop, offering everything from old-fashion hot lather and straight razor neck shaves to custom fades. 

Get Outside

Bristol is located in an ideal spot in New Hampshire-–in between the Lakes and White Mountain region. But if you’re looking for something closer to home, there are plenty of ways to get active and enjoy the outdoors without leaving town. 

In Central Square there’s a waterfront pocket park outside of shops downtown where you can sit and enjoy the views after visiting local businesses. For more space and longer walks, visit Bristol Fall Park where parking is provided, and walking paths are paved and accessible. The walking trails serve as a stepping-off point of the Pemi Trail, and also lead to beautiful Profile Falls

Plan your visit to historic downtown Bristol, New Hampshire by visiting the town website at