A lot of our guests ask us what is there to do in Nainital. While there is a lot to do there depending on your interests, here I share our 5 favorite off beat things to do in Nainital. These are of course not all the usual touristy things travelers usually do. But this is what we love to do. Perhaps, you would also be interested in this different way to experience the lake town on your next trip, while choosing to stay at Fagunia Farmstay.
Nainital is a very popular tourist destination in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Located about 15 km from Fagunia Farmstay, at an altitude of approximately 1900m, it is also our primary destination for getting supplies. However, we visit it now only when required. Sadly, like most popular hill towns, it is plagued by over tourism that it can barely sustain.
If you can, do try to visit it during the off season, when the hidden charm of the town can be experienced in a more relaxed manner. This is what we do sometimes, visit leisurely in the non-tourist season and indulge in our favorite activities detailed below. And yes, as foodies, the bias here is towards food. The location of places that are being referred to, where available, are linked to in the titles.
5 Things to Do in Nainital
There are of course many, many restaurants in town but the majority of them now seem to serve generic North Indian or fast food or Indian Chinese food with only an occasional gem here and there. One such gem we found is the Tib Eat restaurant on the Mall Road. Their menu is a delightful exploration of Asian cuisine from Tibetan soups to Korean kimbaps to Thai curries. With beautiful views of the lake, we particularly love going there to have their delicious, flavorful and filling Bibimbap. A must try.
If anything can make your jaw drop in Nainital, then it is the view of the town from Tallital, the tail side of the lake. Ignore the swirling crowds. Tune out the incessant honking. And say a polite no to the many touts trying to sell you a points tour. Take a deep breath, look towards the lake and take in that gorgeous view that can almost rival any postcard view out of Switzerland! Exaggeration, you say? Try this yourself on your next trip to Nainital and then we will talk.
The Boat House Club in Nainital is the second oldest club in India and located right next to the lake. While it is a bit run down and not so well maintained currently, the club allows day entry of non-members if you are wiling to pay a day membership fee. This allows you to indulge in a beer (chargeable) on their lakeside or rooftop decks while enjoying gorgeous lake views. They have an extensive food menu as well although the limited food we tried was nothing special. The views more than make up for everything though.
4. Indulge in the Nainital mix
Those who know me know of my predilection to snacks. For the longest time, after moving to Fagunia, I used to lament the lack of availability of good local snacks here. Until a friend introduced me to Burari that is. It is a snack shop located in the Bara Bazaar market of Nainital. Their Nainital Mix is iconic and well worth the fuss made about it. There is a large selection of other snacks also, all made in house. Almost all of them are uniformly good. Take my word for it. I’ve tried them all!
Another of the limited gems for eating is the Embassy Restaurant on Mall Road. While they have an extensive food menu, we go there to only have their supremely delectable Kasuri Methi chicken. So delicious and a must have to satisfy those lunch time hunger pangs after a tiring walk dodging the crowds.
These were our 5 favorite off beat things to do in Nainital. And you? What are your favorite things to do in the hill town? Tell us in the comments below.