Hanover, New Hampshire

Best Places to Retire in New Hampshire


Hanover (population 11,000) is located along the Connecticut River on western edge of the state, and near the north/south mid-point of the state. The river forms the border between New Hampshire and Vermont. It is home to Dartmouth College, which has 5,300 students. Hanover is virtually in the middle of the “ski country” and conveniently located near I-89 and I-91. It is 2 hours from Boston, 2 1/2 hours from Hartford, 3 hours to Montreal and 5 hours from New York City. Hanover is located in Grafton County, which is a rural area that contains 38 towns and the city of Lebanon (population 14,000). The county population is 82,000. http://www.hanovernh.org/

The town of Hanover (originally spelled “Hannover”) has a long and colorful history. It received its charter from the Royal Governor of New Hampshire in 1761. The first permanent settlers arrived from Connecticut in 1765, and Dartmouth was founded in 1769. In 1778 Hanover and a number of other nearby towns chose to secede from New Hampshire and become a part of Vermont. They rejoined the state seven years later.

The region around Hanover is referred to as “The Upper Valley” and encompasses the communities of Hanover and Lebanon New Hampshire. Across the Connecticut River in Vermont are the towns of White River Junction and Norwich. Hanover has a very busy events calendar year round, with many activities driven by the college. There are numerous community-based activities as well. Cultural opportunities abound, including symphony, opera, dance, and live theater. For those who enjoy spectator sports, there is a full schedule of athletics at Dartmouth College, and for individuals who relish outdoor activities, there are a great many opportunities, from golf or tennis, to hiking, fishing, canoeing, and camping. The famous Appalachian Trail actually goes right through the center of Hanover, then crosses the Connecticut River into Norwich, VT, before heading south towards Georgia.

Hanover offers excellent healthcare and there is convenient access to commuter airline service, Amtrak rail service or bus lines. It may seem like a remote location, but it is very accessible year round. Hanover has a highly educated population (77% with a bachelor’s degree or more) and the economy in the area has consistently been quite stable, with low unemployment rates. There is a wide selection of shopping, including strip and indoor malls, chain retail centers and local businesses. There are also a good many dining choices. You will find good communications in the area, including cable services, DSL, Internet Service Providers, etc.

Arts & Culture

Hood Museum of Art, on the campus of Dartmouth College, has a permanent collection of American, Ancient & Asian, African, Oceanic & New World Cultures, European, Modern & Contemporary, and The Epic of American Civilization. It also features touring exhibits. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~hood/

Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College and its Spaulding Auditorium host numerous performing arts groups, including the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, Dartmouth Chamber Singers, the College Glee Club, Gospel Choir, Marching Band, Dance Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Handel Society, and the World Music Percussion Ensemble. There is also a visiting artist series featuring world-class artists. http://hop.dartmouth.edu/about/spaulding.html

Opera North in Lebanon, NH, has been praised as “the best on the summer circuit”, and “one of the best summer opera festivals in the world.” It began in 1981 as an offshoot of a community theater. Performances are at Lebanon Opera House, in the municipal building on the Green. http://www.operanorth.org/

The Lebanon Opera House (a separate organization) opened as an 800-seat proscenium theater in 1924. Over the years it has hosted vaudeville, traveling theater productions and community events. The theater, which was completely refurbished in 2001, has once again been updated. It hosts a full season of live performances. http://www.lebanonoperahouse.org/

City Center Ballet – http://www.citycenterballet.org/

Berry Library at Dartmouth College – http://diglib.dartmouth.edu/

Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College – http://diglib.dartmouth.edu/

Howe Public Library – http://www.thehowe.org/

Webster Cottage Museum is where Daniel Webster roomed as a student at Dartmouth. It features exhibits of early New England furnishings and artifacts, and memorabilia related to Daniel Webster.

New London Historical Society Village, New London, NH began in the 1960s with the donation of an 1835 cottage that housed scythe shop workers. Land was donated and subsequently two barns, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, carriage shed and other buildings have been added. http://www.newlondonhistoricalsociety.org/

The Montshire Museum of Science is on a 110-acre site in Norwich, VT, near the Connecticut River. The museum offers exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Many of the exhibits are “hands-on.” http://www.montshire.org/

Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock, VT, is a living museum of Vermont’s early years with many dairy farms. http://www.billingsfarm.org/

The Enfield Shaker Museum, Enfield, NH, preserves the history of the village established here in 1793. http://www.shakermuseum.org/

The Upper Valley Music Center, established in 1995, creates instrumental and vocal ensembles and acts as a clearinghouse for musical organizations and activities. Its mission also includes musical learning, proficiency, and enjoyment. http://www.uvmusic.org/


Dartmouth is traditionally very competitive in intercollegiate athletics, competing with the other schools in the Ivy League. http://athletics.dartmouth.edu/

Hanover is within easy driving distance to numerous outstanding skiing areas. There are also great opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and canoeing. The famous Appalachian Trail actually goes through the center of Hanover, across the Connecticut River, and into Norwich, Vermont. The well-marked trail follows a route from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. http://usparks.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.nps.

Sightseeing is a popular activity in the early fall, when the foliage, ablaze with color is framed by the stark greens of the spruce, hemlocks, firs, and balsa, and the streams seem to sparkle even more vividly in the sunlight.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Sight, Cornish, NH, is a part of the National Park Service. It features the home, gardens and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors. http://www.hps.gov/saga/index.htm

The Hanover Parks and Recreation Department administers athletic and non-athletic activities for both youth and adults. It also sponsors special events which are well publicized in the area. http://www.hanovernh.org/parks&recreation

The New Hampshire Division of Parks offers many outstanding facilities throughout the state featuring, campgrounds, historic sites, natural areas, hiking, biking, and more. http://www.nhparks.state.nh.us/


Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, is the ninth oldest college in the US and one of its very outstanding institutions of higher learning. It is a private, liberal arts college with schools of business, engineering, and medicine. It also offers 18 graduate programs in the arts and sciences. Its total enrollment is about 5,300. http://www.dartmouth.edu/

Lebanon College offers courses of study that lead to Associate Degrees or Certificates. It has an enrollment of over 1,200 students. http://www.lebanoncollege.edu/

College for Lifelong Learning, a part of the University System of New Hampshire, is actually a network of Regional Centers throughout the state, and one Administrative Center. Each Regional Center has classrooms and computer laboratories where a variety of courses, degree programs, and certificate programs. The nearest Regional Center is in Lebanon Center. (Statewide)

Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH is part of New Hampshire’s University System. The others are University of New Hampshire, UNH/Manchester, Keene State, and College for Lifelong Learning. Plymouth State is a four-year institution with an enrollment of 3,800 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students. The university was founded in 1871. http://www.plymouth.edu/

Senior Programs

The Hanover Senior Center offers classes, trips and social events. Its programs include health clinics, lectures, short courses, and other activities. http://www.hanovernh.org/seniorcenter


Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, which includes Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, is a highly regarded medical and academic institution. It has 429 beds and over 350 physicians. http://www.hitchcock.org/

White River Junction VA Medical and Regional Office Center is a 60-bed facility with an additional 23 beds for outpatients. The hospital serves 94,000 veterans from New Hampshire and Vermont. http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=147&divisionId=ALL

Airport, Train & Bus Service

Lebanon Municipal Airport in West Lebanon offers daily commercial service into Boston’s Logan Airport, La Guardia Airport in New York, and Philadelphia International. It is about eight miles from Hanover. http://www.flyleb.com

Amtrak’s “Vermonter” offers daily service to nearby White River Junction from Washington and New York. http://northeast.amtrak.com/index.html

Vermont Transit offers transportation to both Manchester, NH, and Boston’s Logan Airport. http://www.vermonttransit.com/


Seasonal average temperatures are a low of 10 degrees for January, and high of 30 degrees. The record low is minus 25 degrees. Seasonal average temperatures for July are a low of 59 degrees and an average high of 84 degrees. The weather for Lebanon, NH, which is five miles from Hanover, follows: http://www.wunderground.com/US/NH/Lebanon.html


Valley News – http://www.vnews.com/index.htm

Property Taxes


State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



White River Junction, VT – 4.5 miles
Lebanon – 5.5 miles
Enfield – 12 miles
Woodstock, VT – 20 miles
Haverhill – 28 miles
Plymouth – 49 miles
Concord – 62 miles
Manchester – 75 miles
Nashua – 92 miles
Boston, MA – 125 miles

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