Friendly and full of local characters (including its charismatic hostess/owner), Kathleen’s Cottage (11 Hobart Rd, Bristol, 603/744-6336, www.cunamaragroup.com ) sits on a lakeside spot, serving a late-night menu of traditional, made-from-scratch Irish dishes, lots of beer, and even more whiskey. Live Irish music is staged regularly.
The various towns in this area each holds its own Old Home Day, a uniquely New Hampshire  tradition begun in the 19th century to revive pride in the state’s farming heritage. Alexandria, Bridgewater, Bristol, and Hebron each have their own day in August where they pull out the stops with parades, agricultural competitions, crafts shows, and the like. To find which Old Home Days are happening when, consult www.nhlibertycalendar.org .