Franconia’s quietude is a bit surprising given that it has an entire area named after it; its biggest claim to fame is being the place where Robert Frost bought a farm. The rest of the town is undeveloped countryside and residential neighborhoods. The big town around is Littleton, which began as a small farming community along the fertile Connecticut River in the early 19th century.
Then the Boston & Maine Railroad came through, and the community rapidly grew wealthy by crushing its corn and wheat into flour in grist mills and cutting the North Woods’ abundant lumber in its sawmills. Today, Littleton’s handsome downtown is filled with historic Victorian architecture and shops to poke around in, making for a pleasant afternoon outing.