The Upper Valley is approximately two hours from Boston, four and a half hours from New York City, and three hours from Montreal. New Hampshire’s state capital, Concord, is an hour away as is Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is a 1.5 hour drive; it takes the same time to get to Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city. Lebanon hosts a commercial airport that has daily flights with Cape Air to Boston and New York, while both the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Burlington International Airport can get you take anywhere in the world. Amtrak’s passenger service makes daily stops in Whiter River Jct. Locally, Advance Transit, a regional bus transportation system, serves the towns surrounding Hanover on a daily schedule. Vermont Transit (Greyhound) and Dartmouth Coach provide service to major metro areas including Boston, New York City and Montreal.
The economy in the Upper Valley is robust. Major employers include Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research & Engineering Lab (CRREL), Hypertherm and several research and manufacturing companies that provide a stable foundation for employment and commerce. Biomedical, engineering and computer software research and development firms continue to emerge. The unemployment rate in the Upper Valley region has been consistently lower than the statewide unemployment rate of both New Hampshire and Vermont.
Our workforce is highly educated and skilled. In the Upper Valley towns, 95% of all residents have graduated high school and 52% have a college degree or higher. According to US News & World Reports, Hanover High School is ranked #4 of all New Hampshire high schools and Lebanon High School is #8. In Vermont, the Marion Cross School in Norwich is considered the #1 elementary school in the state with Hartford schools coming in at #5. The region is home to several private schools as well including Kimball Union Academy, Cardigan Mountain School and Crossroads Academy.
Whether looking to expand your own education or that of your workforce, the Upper Valley has many options. Granite State College and River Valley Community College located in Lebanon have many workforce training and continuing education programs. Hanover is home to New Hampshire's only Ivy League institution, Dartmouth College, and it's graduate schools including the Tuck School of Business, Thayer School of Engineering and the Geisel School of Medecine. The collaboration between the these schools and companies located in the Upper Valley creates an environment ripe for entrepreneurship in manufacturing, medical device and biotechnology, engineering and product development.
The Upper Valley has a wide array of shopping and dining options. Retail businesses include mom and pop stores to chain retail centers, as well as specialty shops and dining establishments.
As a college town, Hanover enjoys a great many cultural and academic activities. Year round, there are conferences and lecture series, theater productions at the Hopkins Center and an art walk throughout Dartmouth’s campus. Several communities have local theatre groups, and art galleries include the AVA Gallery in Lebanon and the Hood Museum in Hanover. The Montshire Museum of Science, located in Norwich, offers indoor and outdoor exhibits and programs for all ages. Lebanon is home to the only professional opera company north of New York City, Opera North. The Lebanon Opera House and the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts in Hanover both bring world=class performances to the region.
There is an abundance of recreational and sporting opportunities for all ages. Youth activities, organizations and sports include ice hockey, figure skating, downhill and cross-country skiing (the Ford Sayre Ski Program has produced a substantial number of US Ski team Olympians), baseball, basketball, field hockey, track and field, soccer, football, tennis, lacrosse, golf and kayaking among many others. Many area communities have recreational programs and community centers. The Connecticut River is just one of the hundreds of rivers, streams, ponds and lakes offering a variety of canoeing, motor boating, rowing, sailing and swimming. There are family camp grounds, picnic areas, nature walking and hiking trails and networks. The multi-use Northern Rail Trail offers hiking, bicycling, skiing, horseback riding and snowmobiling opportunities. There are numerous golf courses and ski area within a short drive, and of course, hunting and fishing. Spectators can attend Dartmouth College’s 34 men’s and women’s varsity sports including hockey, baseball, soccer, football, basketball, rowing, golf and lacrosse among many others. Some visitors hike here via the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia and meanders through Hanover, up and down Main Street (business district) and crosses the Connecticut River into Norwich.
The Upper Valley is a great place to live and work, but there are some special reasons why natives, “near natives” and newer residents call the Upper Valley home. There are lifestyle choices from rural living to in-town convenience, from larger communities to small villages, from farm and horse country to resort and recreational communities. Low levels of crime, noise, and pollution contribute to a sense of being safe. The beauty of the landscape in mountain views, pastures and woodlands, rivers and lakes, stonewalls, and village character combine to make this place special. The charm of this valley can be found in its history, cultural sophistication, socioeconomic mix, spectacular beauty and educational and recreational opportunities. The Upper Valley…a very special place to enjoy…for a day, a leisurely weekend or a lifetime.
Profiles of Upper Valley Consumers: Top Tapestry Segments by ESRI
Upper Valley consumers are highly educated, well-traveled and have high buying power. They live in primarily single-family homes with a high median value of $346,000, and are more interested in quality than cost. They take pride in their homes and foster a sense of personal style. They dine out regularly, purchase luxury cars, find time to exercise and enjoy a wide range of cultural and recreational activities.
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Hanover ranked #2 on Money Magazine's Best Places to Live 2007