Perched on the banks of the Connecticut River and a stone’s throw from Vermont rests the town of Hanover, New Hampshire. With an Ivy League college, a hospital and the Appalachian Trail all finding their place in or their way through the community, Hanover has distinct privileges and responsibilities that make it both an unusual and desirable place to live.
When asked about Hanover’s attractions, Janet Rebman, executive director of the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in the heart of Hanover, said without missing a beat, “It’s easier to tell you what Hanover doesn’t have than what we do have, because we have everything.” She was not averse to rattling off a long list of genuinely appealing-sounding town attributes, with one qualification. “You have to like winter,” she admits, noting that this season usually lasts five to six months in that area.
There are ski areas galore within an hour or less of Hanover, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are also popular winter pastimes. But, she points out, for less outdoorsy types, there are also indoor sports available, gyms and spas, as well as the arts and more intellectual pursuits: from lectureseries to poetry to quilting to woodcarving.
The chamber’s website lists even more activities, breaking many of themup seasonally, as if to show first of all that Hanover really does have all four seasons, and more than that, that each season is a good one to be there.
Another draw to the town is the highly competitive education. Not only does the town boast an Ivy League college in Dartmouth, but “we are blessed with an extraordinary school system,” says Rebman, “ ... with an extraordinarily high graduation rate.” College recruiters take note of graduates from within the local school district. Asfor Dartmouth, its Ivy League label speaks for itself. The school is proud of both its personal feel and its intellectual excellence, and the college is perhaps the town’s greatest economic and cultural stimulus.