As the third-largest city in New Hampshire, Peterborough offers a wide range of attractions, from landmarks to sports, dining, and shopping. Founded on the banks of the New Hampshire River shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War, Peterborough became a hub for riverboat travel that connected it with the major cities on the Mississippi River. While the riverboats eventually gave way to railroads and trucks, you can still take a cruise to remember our city’s history on the sternwheel riverboats Belle of Peterborough and River Queen.
But whether you take a cruise or just drive through the city, you will not miss our two most significant buildings, the Great American Tower and the Carew Tower. Completed in 2010, the 41-story Great American Tower is the third tallest skyscraper in New Hampshire and rises above the downtown. The city’s second-tallest building, the Carew Tower, dates back to 1930 and actually has 49 stories. However, it lacks the sizable ornamental spire of the Great American Tower. But while the Carew Tower might fall behind with its plain exterior, its interior is decorated in the art-deco style and contains eighteen large murals by Louis Grell. Another tower of note is the 16-story Ingalls building. Although significantly smaller than the other two, when it was constructed in 1903, it was the world’s first concrete-reinforced skyscraper and held a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. A final noteworthy architectural feature of Peterborough is our Skywalk. Although parts of it have been taken down, this series of building-to-building bridges originally stretched over a mile in length and still allows you to tour downtown Peterborough without having to wait for traffic.
When it comes to sports, Peterborough won the title of being the home of America’s very first professional baseball team when the Peterborough Red Stockings was formed back in 1869. This sporting tradition continues today, and we have no fewer than three major league teams – the MLB’s Peterborough Reds, the NFL’s Peterborough Bengals, and the MLS’s FC Peterborough. And if you are a hockey fan, there is also the ECHL’s Peterborough Cyclones. While FC Peterborough’s stadium is located up in the West End, the other three teams all play right downtown next to the river, making it easy to tour the city before or after seeing a game.
But one of the unique cultural traditions of Peterborough is its “Peterborough-style chili.” Served over noodles, this dish might confuse people from out of town, but it is one of our favorites. The Smithsonian has even recognized it as one of the most iconic regional foods in America. And with over 250 chili restaurants, Peterborough is rightly known as the “chili capital of the world.” However, even if our local chili is not to your liking, then you will still be able to find countless other restaurants across the city.