It should come as no surprise that the hometown of Eleanor H. Porter, author of “Pollyanna,” is bursting with color, positivity and art. In the months without snow, Littleton’s Main Street has five pianos that are scrolled with the phrase: “Be Glad, make music.” In Harmony Park chimes are set up for playing, while in an alleyway colorful umbrellas suspended in midair look as if they’ve been swept up by a breeze. “Our town is deliberately artsy, deliberately inviting and deliberately collaborative,” says executive director of the Littleton area chamber of commerce Jessica Bunker.
The Main Street has almost exclusively locally owned businesses. Chutters (43 Main Street; chutters.com) candy shop boasts the longest candy counter in the world (112 feet). Fill a bag choosing from over 500 types of candy, and don’t miss out on the homemade fudge with over 50 flavors like raspberry cheesecake and moose tracks. The Nest of Littleton (97 Main Street; nestoflittleton.com) sells home décor and women’s accessories, and on the lower level is Gallery at the Best, where work by 25 local jewelry makers, photographers and potters is on display. Open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., The Littleton Diner (145 Main Street; littletondiner.com) has been a local gathering place since 1930. Pancakes made with flour from the Littleton Grist Mill are served all day. Gold House Pizza (87 Main Street; goldhousepizza.com) has been known to cause nostalgia for their veggie grinder and turkey sub, and sauces and cheeses are made in-house. Schilling Beer Company (18 Mill Street; schillingbeer.com) brews small batches of European-inspired beers, so there could be new varieties each time you visit. The brewery occupies three levels of a converted 18th-century gristmill on the Ammonoosuc River, and if you get hungry they make Neopolitan pizzas in a wood-fired oven. Littleton has recently seen more young people moving to the area. “A lot of young folks are looking for balance in their lives—they want to have the ability to try and start their own business, have access to outdoor recreation and also a safe place for their families—we happen to have that magic mix,” says Bunker.