Lebanon, New Hampshire

Best Places to Retire in New Hampshire


Lebanon (population 14,000) is nestled in the Connecticut River Valley, about halfway up in the state. It is six miles south of Hanover, and just 4.5 miles east of White River Junction, which lies across the Connecticut River into Vermont. It is in the middle of the “ski country,” conveniently near Interstate 89 and Interstate 91. The town is about two hours from Boston, 2 1/2 hours from Hartford, and five hours from New York City. http://www.lebcity.com/

The city’s history dates to 1761 when it was founded at the confluence of the Mascoma and Connecticut rivers. Water was an important resource to power the mills used in textile manufacturing, and it was the primary means of transport until the railroads were built in the mid-to-late 1800s. Textile companies have now been replaced by software companies, high-tech manufacturers, and the Dartmouth Medical Center, as the major local industries.

This region, which is known as “The Upper Valley,” includes the towns of Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction. It is a peaceful area with a slower pace of life and is surrounded by the beauty of nature. There are a many opportunities for outdoor activities at any time of year, with hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, golf, tennis, skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding being chief among them. A section of the famous Appalachian Trail goes right through nearby Hanover, and there are many choices for skiers.

Lebanon and the surrounding area offer a surprising number of cultural opportunities, including live theater, fine vocal, and orchestral music, and dance. There are also a number of museums and historical sites. Dartmouth College adds greatly to the cultural and entertainment scene, and also hosts a large number of intercollegiate sporting events. Excellent healthcare is available at the local community hospital and at a teaching hospital in nearby Hanover. There is a wide selection of shopping and a many dining choices.

Arts & Culture

Opera North in Lebanon 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 held at the Lebanon Opera House located in the municipal building on the Green. http://www.operanorth.org/

Lebanon Opera House 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/

Hood Museum of Art, located on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, 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 World Music Percussion Ensemble. There is also a visiting artist series featuring world-class artists. http://hop.dartmouth.edu/archive/Pages/2008-night/2008-night.html

Lebanon Public Libraries – http://www.leblibrary.com/

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, in 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 were added. http://www.newlondonhistoricalsociety.org/

The Montshire Museum of Science is located 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/


Lebanon is within easy driving distance of numerous outstanding ski areas. There are also great opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, kayaking, and canoeing. The famous Appalachian Trail goes through the center of Hanover. It is well marked and follows a route from Mt. Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia. http://usparks.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=

The Recreation and Parks Department offers over 100 programs and special events annually. http://lebanonnh.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/LebanonNH_Rec/index

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

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. 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.nps.gov/saga/index.htm

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/


Lebanon College offers courses that lead to associate degrees or certificates. It has an enrollment of more than 1,200 students. http://www.lebanoncollege.edu/

Dartmouth College, founded in 1769, is the ninth oldest college in the U.S. and one of the country’s 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/

The College for Lifelong Learning, 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 offering a variety of courses, degree programs, and certificate programs. Information on the Lebanon Center can be found at the Administrative Center – http://www.cll.edu/

Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, is also 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, founded in 1871, is a four-year institution with an enrollment of 3,800 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students. http://www.plymouth.edu/

Senior Programs

Upper Valley Senior Center sponsors a wide range of activities aimed at assisting older citizens to remain independent. http://www.gcscc.org/

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


Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital is a modern, full-service hospital with over 400 employees and professional staff with over 30 specialties. http://www.alicepeckday.org/

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 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 offers daily commercial service into Boston’s Logan Airport, La Guardia Airport in New York, and Philadelphia International. http://www.flyleb.com/

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

Vermont Transit offers transportation to 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 average high of 84 degrees. There is an average of 76 inches of snow annually – and continuous snow cover for 92 days. http://www.wunderground.com/US/NH/Lebanon.html


Valley News – http://www.vnews.com/

Property Taxes


State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



White River Junction, VT – 4.5 miles
Hanover – 6.2 miles
Enfield – 6.7 miles
Woodstock, VT – 19 miles
Haverhill – 34 miles
Plymouth – 40 miles
Concord – 57 miles
Manchester – 70 miles
Nashua – 88 miles
Boston, MA – 121 miles

« Back to the New Hampshire Index
« Back to the State Index

We believe everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. As a result, we provide our buyers guides and local guides free for consumers.

We may receive compensation from our partners. However, Retirement Living independently researches companies, and the compensation we receive does not affect the analysis of our staff or the opinions of our subject matter experts. The subject matter experts mentioned in our guides have specific knowledge or credentials in their field.

Retirement Living will not include companies on our guides that do not meet our quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear.

Retirement Living independently researches companies, and we use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Best Value) based on our staff's judgement or subject matter expert's judgement. We do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and we do not receive compensation for these designations.

Additionally, Retirement Living is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.ca, or amazon.co.uk.