16 Best Things To Do In Hanover, New Hampshire

“Baker Library at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire” by dailyjoe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Table of Contents

Introduction

Nestled in the heart of the Upper Connecticut River Valley, Hanover, New Hampshire, offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and academic prestige. This quaint town, home to Dartmouth College, presents visitors with a myriad of activities that cater to art enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers, foodies, and shoppers alike. Whether you’re strolling through a campus filled with history, indulging in the local culinary scene, or embracing the great outdoors, Hanover invites you to experience its unique charm and vibrant community spirit.

1. Stroll Dartmouth College’s Campus

The historic library at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Baker Library at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire” by dailyjoe is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Dartmouth College, established in 1769, stands as a beacon of historical and academic excellence. A stroll through its 269-acre campus is not just a walk across a college ground but a journey through America’s early educational heritage, set against the backdrop of stunning mountain vistas and lush greenery. Visitors can marvel at the architectural beauty of Baker-Berry Library, inspired by Independence Hall, and immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere of this renowned institution, where education seamlessly blends with the natural splendor of its surroundings.

2. Visit the Hood Museum of Art

Sculpture and art gallery at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire
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Art lovers will find a haven at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College’s own treasure trove of cultural artifacts and artistic expressions. With a collection that spans across six continents and includes around 65,000 objects, the museum facilitates encounters with art that inspire and challenge. The Hood Museum, with its commitment to education and accessibility, offers free admission to all, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the diverse artistic traditions of the world.

Learn more about the Hood Museum of Art

3. Enjoy the outdoors at Storrs Pond Recreation Area

Splash pad with kids playing and a pond at the Storrs Pond Recreation Area in Hanover, New Hampshire
Photo from Storrs Pond Recreation Area via Facebook

Just minutes from downtown Hanover, the Storrs Pond Recreation Area is an oasis of outdoor fun and relaxation. Operated by the Hanover Improvement Society, this scenic spot features swimming beaches, hiking trails, and watercraft rentals, offering a perfect setting for a family outing or a tranquil escape into nature. Whether you’re looking to cool off in the summer or explore the beauty of the changing seasons, Storrs Pond provides a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities year-round.

Learn more about the Storrs Pond Recreation Area

4. Get breakfast at Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery

Fresh golden brown pancakes topped with berries and butter at Lou's Restaurant & Bakery in Hanover, New Hampshire
Photo from Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery via Facebook

Since 1947, Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery has been a cornerstone of Hanover’s culinary scene, offering mouth-watering breakfasts, diner-style lunches, and an array of baked treats. Famous for its freshly brewed coffee and homemade doughnuts, Lou’s invites guests to savor the flavors of the Upper Connecticut River Valley in a cozy, old-timey setting. Whether you’re craving a hearty breakfast or a light lunch, Lou’s menu has something to delight every palate.

Learn more about Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery

5. Shop on Main Street

Main Street shops in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Dirt Cowboy Cafe 7 South Main Street downtown Hanover NH July 2023” by Artaxerxes is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Main Street in Hanover is a shopper’s delight, boasting an eclectic mix of stores ranging from the exquisite glassware of Simon Pearce to the unique finds at RPMnh and Lemon Tree Gifts. Whether you’re in search of stylish apparel, unique home decor, or Dartmouth memorabilia, the shops on Main Street cater to all tastes and preferences, making shopping in Hanover an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

6. Go paddle at the Ledyard Canoe Club

Kayakers celebrating at the Ledyard Canoe Club in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Before the big expedition” by Kathleen Tyler Conklin is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For those who love water adventures, the Ledyard Canoe Club offers an unforgettable experience on the Connecticut River. Rent a kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard and explore the serene beauty of the river at your own pace. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a first-timer, the Ledyard Canoe Club provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and witness the stunning landscape from a new perspective.

Learn more about the Ledyard Canoe Club

7. Hike some of the Appalachian Trail

Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Moose Mountain North” by mjtsai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

The Appalachian Trail, a symbol of America’s wilderness, passes right through Hanover, offering hikers a chance to partake in a legendary outdoor adventure. With over 10 miles of the trail accessible from the town, enthusiasts can enjoy easy terrain and beautiful scenery, including small mountain summits. This section of the trail invites both seasoned hikers and casual walkers to experience the natural beauty and tranquility of the Appalachian wilderness.

8. Experience the Hopkins Center for the Arts

The building home to the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Hopkins Center for Performing Arts” by f2point8 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

At the heart of Dartmouth’s cultural scene is the Hopkins Center for the Arts, a vibrant venue for performing arts, film, and artistic exhibitions. The “Hop” serves as a creative hub, hosting an array of events from student performances to shows by internationally acclaimed artists. Whether you’re interested in theater, music, or cinema, the Hopkins Center for the Arts offers enriching experiences that ignite and sustain a passion for the arts.

Learn more about the Hopkins Center for the Arts

9. Dine at Molly’s Restaurant & Bar

Fresh pizza with the roaring pizza oven on behind it at Molly's Restaurant & Bar in Hanover, New Hampshire
Photo from Molly’s Restaurant & Bar via Facebook

Molly’s Restaurant & Bar is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse menu. From the best burgers in town to fresh seafood and creative cocktails, Molly’s offers a dining experience that perfectly complements the energetic vibe of downtown Hanover. With a warm welcome for everyone, Molly’s is the ideal spot for a casual lunch, a hearty dinner, or a relaxing drink on the patio.

Learn more about Molly’s Restaurant & Bar

10. Summit Moose Mountain’s North Peak

View of the nearby mountains from Moose Mountain's North Peak in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Moose Mountain North” by mjtsai is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

For those seeking a more challenging outdoor adventure, the hike to Moose Mountain North Peak offers rewarding views and a sense of accomplishment. This 4.6-mile trail, accessible via the Appalachian Trail, takes hikers through beautiful landscapes to a summit that boasts spectacular vistas. Ideal for visits from April through September, the hike to Moose Mountain North Peak is a memorable way to experience the natural beauty of the Hanover area.

Learn more about hiking Moose Mountain North Peak

11. Cross-Country Ski at the Oak Hill Outdoor Center

Cross-Country Skiing at the Oak Hill Outdoor Center in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Cross country skiing, Vermont” by rjshade is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

For winter sports enthusiasts, the Oak Hill Outdoor Center presents an unmatched cross-country skiing experience. With a meticulously maintained trail system enhanced by state-of-the-art snowmaking, the center guarantees prime skiing conditions throughout the season. Beyond the thrill of gliding through snowy landscapes, the center fosters a sense of community among Nordic skiing aficionados and offers various programs to improve skiing skills. Embracing the stewardship of the land, Oak Hill is a haven for those looking to connect with nature and indulge in the joys of winter sports.

Learn more about the Oak Hill Outdoor Center

12. Enjoy the calmness of Nathan’s Garden

Wooden bench looking at a little rocky waterfall at Nathan's Garden in Hanover, New Hampshire
“File:Nathans Garden Hanover NH.jpg” by Ken Gallager is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Nathan’s Garden offers a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace. Created in memory of Nathan Hall, this botanical garden is a testament to the healing power of natural beauty. Visitors are invited to wander among the vibrant flora, reflect by the serene pond, and find solace in the cozy gazebo. The garden’s quiet beauty provides a perfect setting for contemplation and connection, making it a cherished spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

13. Go fishing with TBC Guides

Anglers and outdoor enthusiasts will revel in the experiences offered by TBC Guides. As the Upper Valley’s premier guide service for kayak, ice, and fly fishing, TBC Guides ensures an unforgettable adventure on the water. With expert instruction and top-notch equipment, guests of all skill levels can enjoy the thrill of fishing and perhaps develop a lifelong passion for this serene outdoor activity. Whether you’re casting a line for the first time or looking to refine your technique, TBC Guides promises a day full of discovery and excitement.

Learn more about TBC Guides

14. Experience the remote Goose Pond

View of Goose Pond in Hanover, New Hampshire taken from above via an airplane
“File:Goose Pond.jpg” by RAHutch1963 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Goose Pond is a natural wonder that beckons adventurers and nature lovers alike. As a “great pond,” it spans 625 acres and features a rich ecosystem teeming with wildlife. From kayaking and paddleboarding to bird watching and fishing, Goose Pond offers myriad ways to enjoy the great outdoors. The record-holding smallmouth bass underscores the pond’s allure for anglers, while the diverse bird population delights ornithologists and casual observers. With its serene waters and lush surroundings, Goose Pond is an idyllic destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty.

15. Walk around the Mink Brook Nature Preserve

Trail with a small bridge and many trees at the Mink Brook Nature Preserve in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Snowless winter” by Šarūnas Burdulis is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Mink Brook Nature Preserve stands as a testament to community spirit and environmental conservation. This 112-acre haven offers a peaceful retreat amidst white pine and hemlock forests, with trails meandering alongside the dynamic Mink Brook. The preserve is a sanctuary for wildlife, including bears, brook trout, and waterfowl, offering visitors a chance to connect with nature on a deep level. The preserve’s rich history and commitment to protecting the land make it a meaningful destination for nature walks and quiet reflection.

Learn more about the Mink Brook Nature Preserve

16. Savor authentic Thai flavors at Tuk Tuk Thai Cuisine

Authentic pad thai from Tuk Tuk Thai Cuisine in Hanover, New Hampshire
“Pad Thai tofu and veg – Mint Thai AUD9” by avlxyz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

For a taste of Thailand in the heart of New Hampshire, Tuk Tuk Thai Cuisine is the place to be. This family-run restaurant brings the authentic flavors of Thai cooking to Hanover, offering a wide selection of dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients. From spicy curries to comforting noodles and fragrant rice dishes, Tuk Tuk Thai caters to a variety of palates, including vegetarians. The cozy ambiance and friendly service complement the delicious fare, making it a must-visit for anyone craving a culinary journey to Southeast Asia.

Learn more about Tuk Tuk Thai Cuisine

Conclusion

Hanover, New Hampshire, is a town that effortlessly combines the intellectual stimulation of Dartmouth College with the natural beauty of the New England landscape. From its rich cultural institutions and historic sites to its outdoor recreational activities and charming downtown area, Hanover offers a diverse array of experiences for all types of visitors. Whether you’re exploring the campus, enjoying the arts, or embracing the great outdoors, Hanover welcomes you to discover its many treasures and make lasting memories in this vibrant community.

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Tom Riley

Hi! I'm Tom. I am the creator of GoXplr. I started this website with a focus on helping people explore better and explore more. I am based in New England and obsessed with traveling. Here at GoXplr, you will find expert blog posts and also maps containing all of the best places to explore. These blogs and maps have taken thousands of hours to complete. I hope you enjoy this resource and it inspires you to get out and explore!

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