For generations, Hanover, New Hampshire has been an eclectic destination for families, couples, business travelers, and more. Hanover has managed to retain its classic small town appeal while developing modern-day area attractions to discover. This New England spot is a hub for college students and families with an idyllic downtown. Here’s our guide to this charming New England small town.
New Hampshire is an area of the country that enjoys four distinct seasons. As a result, any nature lover will find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, no matter when their trip may be.
Beginning in May, guests and residents alike can enjoy some good old fashioned family fun by visiting Storrs Pond Recreation Center. This is about as close to summer camp as one can get, with a great mix of outdoor fun. The park features two banks for swimming in the pond, as well as a large outdoor swimming pool. No matter which outdoor sport is your favorite, you can find it here with courts for volleyball and tennis, as well as walking, hiking, and bike trails. There are also onsite picnic areas and camping sites for even easier access to fun.
For a family-friendly summer event that has a touch of magic, the Summer Revels is a fun free event held at Norwich Greens in late June. A traditional local celebration of the Summer Solstice, families can enjoy singing, dancing, live storytelling, live performance art, food vendors, and much more.
Many guests flock to New England each year to see fall come to life in vibrant colors. New Hampshire is an ideal place to see the foliage as well, either from the many nature parks in the area or, if you can, from high atop the Baker Tower on the campus of Dartmouth College.
New Hampshire is known for its winter skiing, and Mount Sunapee is one of the premier skiing destinations in the area. This mountain resort features 65 trails, as well as ski lifts and a practice area. Not to be outdone, Dartmouth Skiway, home of the Dartmouth All-Americans, features similar accommodations with 30 trails and practice area, as well as three lifts.
Antiquing & Thrifting
Everywhere you look in the area, visitors will find a significant amount of antique shops, thrift stores, and co-ops, each with a selection of unique treasures. From pieces that remind you of childhood memories to items you simply can’t buy anywhere else, antiquing has been a favorite activity for many years.
You’ll meet most of your antiquing needs in the historic downtown district. But, if you find yourself striking out, the surrounding communities also offer quite a bit of antique shopping as well. In fact, White River Junction, Vermont, has a plethora of artifacts, and they’re less than five miles away from Hanover.
Have an All-American Weekend at Dartmouth
There are always events happening at Dartmouth campus all year. From unique film festivals to an exciting homecoming weekend bonfire, the college campus always has something to see or do.
One reason why there is also an event to attend is because the school has an impressive athletics division. In fact, this Ivy League school competes in 35 different varsity sports with both men’s and women’s leagues competing. With teams involved in skiing, ice hockey, basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, and more, chances are you can catch a sporting event and support the local athletics division.
Enjoy the Downtown
In addition to antique treasures, you can find many points of interest in the historic downtown area. The Nugget Theater is a quaint movie theater set in a smaller setting, as movie theaters used to be. For over 100 years, the Nugget has been allowing viewers to laugh and cry at a unique selection of films.
Greg and Scott’s awesome cinematic adventures , episode 17: We travelled to the beautiful campus of Dartmouth college to see HELL OR HIGH WATER at the nugget theater in Hanover NH. Short and to the point , we both really really dug this flick . Jeff bridges and ben Foster were predictably great, but chris pine gave an exceptional performance 8 out of 10 from both of us.
As you wander downtown, you can enjoy fresh produce from the Hanover Co-Op Food Stores. Here you can find fruits and veggies grown locally, as well as meats, seafood, prepared food, and more. Or, if you aren’t able to cook during your stay, there are many local restaurants, bistros, and cafes using locally sourced ingredients.
The local art scene is alive and well, and you can visit art galleries with works on display from talented local artists. If you’re afraid you might buy something, you can always take a tour of the Hood Museum at Dartmouth, which features 65,000 works of international art and artifacts. If live performance art is more your speed, there is always something on display at Hopkins Center for the Arts.
Enjoy Small Town Events
Time seems to have frozen in Hanover, bringing back traditional American activities that many have forgotten. 4th of July weekend is jam-packed with events, including a fishing contest, bake sale auction, kid’s activities, pancake breakfast, parade, fireworks, and more.
Enjoy tricks and treats in the fall, when the Dartmouth Film Department hosts its annual Halloween-O-Thon. During this event, participants create a short scary movie. On October 30th, the red carpets are rolled out for all to see their spookiest productions.
Chances are you won’t have to dream of a white Christmas as the holiday season kicks off in early December. Enjoy the annual tree lighting with live caroling, community holiday movie viewing, and even a visit from the big man in red himself.