Welcome to the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont!
Welcome the Upper Valley region of the Connecticut River! We were in my seventh year living on Mount Desert Island in Maine (home of Acadia National Park) when my wife hinted at an opportunity to move to the Hanover, NH for a job. My first thoughts were “where the heck is that?” and it better be beautiful to get us to move from MDI.
We had been all over New Hampshire but had never been to the Upper Valley region before. But soon we discovered that this region, anchored by Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, as well has employers such as Hyper-therm and other high tech companies offered an exciting year round quality of life. For all the beauty of MDI in the summer months, it basically shuts down in the long cold winters while the Upper Valley region is bursting with winter activities include nordic skiing and alpine skiing at the areas many ski spots including the Dartmouth Skiway just outside Hanover, Killington, Sunapee and Whaleback. With dozens of other ski resorts within a one hour radius.
Plus the area is only an hour and a half to Burlington, VT, an hour to Concord and two hours to Boston, and a hour and half to the coast – so day trips are available in all directions.
Hanover High School is ranked as one of the top high schools in the country and neighboring Lebanon, NH as well as Hanover show up on magazines lists as the one of the best small town in America.
Hiking trails abound in the area with the Appalachian Trail running right through the heart of Hanover. All summer you can spot trail worn through hikers wandering into town, picking up supplies at the post office and looking for the free shower area the town provides.
Arts and culture abound in the area with local theaters in the surrounding towns including Broadway shows, visiting performers, dance, opera, local theater performances and even High School and college productions. The Lebanon Opera House, Hood Center for the Arts at Dartmouth and the Northern Stage in White River Junction are some of the top venues but there are smaller stages too including the Shaker Bridge Theater or even happy hour singer songwriters at the Skinny Pancake.
Visual arts are celebrated at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, the League of New Hampshire Craftsman in Hanover, the Hood Museum in Hanover as well as movie theaters at Dartmouth and the Nugget in Hanover plus a small multiplex theater over in West Lebanon. Just over the bridge from Hanover is the Montshire Science Museum for kids of all ages to explore the wonders of the world.
Upper Valley – The region along the Connecticut River upstream and downstream from Lebanon, New Hampshire and White River Junction, Vermont, is known locally as the “Upper Valley”. The exact definition of the region varies, but it generally is considered to extend south to Windsor, Vermont, and Cornish, New Hampshire, and north to Bradford, Vermont, and Piermont, New Hampshire.
Sports are big the area especially outdoors activities such as hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, running, biking, snowshoeing, skiing as well as organized sports such as hockey, football, baseball and basketball.
Events such as these keep the area hopping all year round:
- Winter Carnival at Dartmouth
- Glory Days in White River Junction
- Oktoberfest at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor
- The Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival
- The Cornish Fair
A Photographer’s Paradise
The beautiful mountains, fall foliage, beautiful winter snow, covered bridges, rural scenery, waterfalls, traditional New England homes and annual festivals all provide a paradise for photographers.
The fall foliage attracts visitors from around the world by the bus load and the multitude of covered bridges in the area, plus the two National Part sites – Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire and the Marsh – Billings – Rockerfeller National Historic Park in Woodstock, Vermont are magnets for photography. But so are the more “unofficial” spots such as Jeanie Farm and Cloudland Farm photographed by hundreds and seen in magazines, advertisements and movies such as Forest Gump.