Concord has been rated one of the safest and best places to live - not only in New Hampshire, but in the country.
While each town surrounding Concord is distinctly different from its neighbors, all share a rural Yankee flavor. There is much for residents, employers and visitors to treasure and enjoy about the community spirit, low crime rate, quiet lifestyle, picturesque countryside, and grassroots government characteristic of the area. Antiques, skiing, hiking, wildlife, canoeing, arts, crafts, farms, orchards, golf, country fairs, community suppers, churches, old-fashioned general stores, quality schools, state-of-the-art health care, youth activities and four beautiful seasons are just some of the many features that enhance the quality of life in the area.
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Just minutes away, Allenstown combines a rural feel with many conveniences typically found in larger cities. While many of the town’s residents work in Concord and Manchester, Allenstown offers sound employment opportunities as well. The town has a public library, several churches of various denominations, the New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum, a municipal park and tennis courts. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Bear Brook State Park, offering cross-country skiing, swimming, snowmobiling, camping and more. www.allenstown.org
Named in 1760 for British Navy Admiral Edward Boscawen, this mainly residential community is home to the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, one of 43 state veterans cemeteries in the United States. While there are job opportunities in town, most residents commute to Concord. Major area employers include Elektrisola, Page Belting and Ross Express. The Jamie Welch Memorial Park features tennis courts, ball fields, picnic areas and a playground, and a boat ramp offers access to the Merrimack River. Residents can participate in many civic groups including the Lions Club, police and fire auxiliaries, Boosters Club, Snowmobile Club and Boy and Girl Scouts. www.townofboscawen.org
Incorporated in 1727, Bow is a vibrant community and among the fastest growing in Merrimack County. Its excellent schools and recreational facilities include five multipurpose fields, an extensive trail system, playgrounds, an active community center and popular sliding hill, outdoor tennis courts, indoor sports center with soccer fields, and an outdoor skating rink. Bow has an active heritage commission, garden club, Rotary, snowmobile club and Boy and Girl Scouts. Major employers include The Grappone Companies, Blue Seal Feeds and Bovie Screen Process Company, Inc. Public Service Company of New Hampshire is the largest taxpayer, due to its Merrimack Station coal-fired electric generating facility. www.bow-nh.com
Located in the beautiful Lake Sunapee Region, Bradford offers a wealth of opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including several lakes for swimming, boating and fishing, and downhill skiing at Mount Sunapee Resort in nearby Newbury. Nature trails offer cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Take a walk through the trails that weave through the 200-year-old Tall Pines of Bradford or stroll across the historic Bement Bridge, an 1850s covered bridge that spans the Warner River. Rest and relax after a busy day outdoors at one of Bradford’s several quaint inns and restaurants. The town’s thriving artisan community includes writers, painters and furniture makers, and is located squarely between Concord, Manchester, Keene and Lebanon, all of which offer strong job markets. www.bradfordnh.org
Incorporated in 1727, Canterbury’s planning and zoning regulations preserve rolling fields and forested land, the beautiful setting for Canterbury Shaker Village, a living tribute to more than 200 years of the Shakers’ gentle way of life. The town center is also replete with New England tradition from the bandstand to the white Colonial homes. Golfers will enjoy Canterbury Woods Country Club, an 18-hole, public golf course, an alpaca farm, an orchard and a nano-brewery. Canterbury Artisans have something for every eye and every taste (more info here). Experience 200 plus years of collective craft expertise in furniture making, woodworking, pottery, rug braiding, quilt making, photography, basketry and hand-crafted guitars. www.canterbury-nh.org
Chichester is a traditional rural town affording residents an easy five minute commute to Concord and easy routes to Hooksett or Manchester. In addition to Boy Scouts and a historical society, the town has an active recreation commission and every August gets newcomers and old-timers alike together for some fun on Old Home Day. Major employers include The Weathervane Seafood Restaurant, Camping World RV Sales and Clarks Grain Store. www.chichesternh.org
Historic Dunbarton is the very center, ( 43.117199 latitude, 71.593498 longitude), of the six New England States. Incorporated in 1765, Dunbarton is a residential community, rich in conservation land, ponds, hiking trials and 8.7 miles of the General John Stark (Father of our State Motto, Live Free or Die), Scenic Byway. Dunbarton celebrates Old Home Day and still holds Traditional Town Meetings on the second Tuesday in March. www.dunbartonnh.org
Incorporated in 1743, Epsom is a growing residential and commercial community with close proximity to Concord and an atmosphere that is both suburban and rural. The historic home of Captain Andrew McClary, who died while leading his troops at Bunker Hill during the American Revolution, still stands in the town. In addition to the Old Home Day festival each August and an old-time variety show each autumn, the town sponsors an active athletic association at the local school. Major employers include Epsom Healthcare Center and Beaumac Company, Inc. www.epsomnh.org/
Incorporated in 1768, Henniker prides itself on being “The Only Henniker on Earth.” Home to New England College, Henniker is rich in the arts and cultural activities. Quaint shops, antiques, bookstores, country inns and many restaurants add to the charm. A small college town and residential community, Henniker has a well-respected school system and a full array of small businesses, as well as an active conservation committee, historical society, and athletics program. Located on the Contoocook River, the area attracts whitewater, kayak and canoe enthusiasts from around the country. Henniker also offers many opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, including trails, fishing and boating access, ice-skating and tennis courts, and downhill skiing at Pats Peak Ski Area in the winter. www.henniker.org
Incorporated in 1735, Hopkinton’s Main Street is lined with lovely Colonial homes and a traditional town hall which once served as the state Capitol. The town’s business center, Contoocook, is home to the oldest surviving covered railroad bridge in the world, a restored railroad station and bandstand, and the home of Civil War hero, Commodore George Hamilton Perkins. There are many athletic fields, a large town library and the Slusser Senior Center. The Contoocook River provides opportunities for water sports, and nearby Georges Park offers baseball, softball, basketball and tennis, and a skateboard park. The town hosts the Hopkinton State Fair each September featuring rides, music, animals and a demolition derby. Hopkinton’s major employers include TDS Telecom, YBP Library Services, Milton CAT, Hopkinton School District and McLane Company-NE/Concord. www.hopkinton-nh.gov
Named for Scot soldier John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudon, the town was chartered in 1773 when it separated from Canterbury. Located 8 miles northeast of Concord, Loudon is best known today as the home of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the only super speedway in New England. Loudon also has a private campground, a Little League diamond, a town beach and summer programs for area children. Major employers include the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Pleasant View Gardens, D.S. Cole Growers, Plan Tech, Inc. and Interstate Concrete Co., Inc. www.loudonnh.org
Chartered in 1759, Pembroke was an industrial center for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Suncook and Soucook rivers flow through the town, attracting outdoor enthusiasts for fishing, kayaking, and sculling. Trails and natural areas offer hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Pembroke is also home to the Pembroke Pines Country Club. Over the last decade, Pembroke has seen tremendous commercial, industrial and residential growth but has retained its country charm with annual events such as Old Home Day and Christmas in the Village. Major employers include the Associated Grocers of New England, A&B Lumber, National Power Sports and Rymes Propane & Oil. www.pembroke-nh.com
Located in the heart of Suncook Valley, Pittsfield’s origins stem from the textile manufacturing industry. Pittsfield continues to boast of Globe Manufacturing, a major employer that enjoys international markets. The town’s business community is blended with many registered historical sites and walking trails, rich with activities such as Winterfest, a Christmas tree lighting and Old Home Day. The local Rotary Club sponsors a yearly hot-air balloon rally that is one of the pinnacle events of the area. The town has an active baseball and soccer program, a public swimming area with swimming lessons, and a summer youth program at the municipal Drake Field. www.pittsfield-nh.com
Mainly a bedroom community, historic Salisbury is located 18 miles northwest of Concord. The town’s signature buildings include the Salisbury Free Library, the Baptist Church, the original town hall and many fine period homes. Residents have many opportunities to come together thanks to many town groups, including the Boy Scouts, Salisbury Congregational Community Church, 4-H, Salisbury Historical Society, Friends of the Library, Salisbury Boosters, PTO and Ladies Aid group. Soccer and baseball games at local fields and an annual Old Home Day illustrate the small-town community spirit. www.salisburynh.org
Nestled at the foot of Mt. Kearsarge is the quaint New England village of Warner. The town is also home to Rollins State Park and the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, and two restored covered bridges over the Warner River, a favorite for canoeing. Its proximity to I-89 makes it attractive for commuters to Concord, Manchester and the Hanover/ Lebanon region. The 120-year-old Pillsbury Free Library offers more than 14,000 books, tapes and periodicals. Many artists, writers, poets and craftspeople live in the area and each year, the town celebrates autumn with its Warner Fall Foliage Festival. Major employers include Warner Power, Market Basket and Pine Rock Manor. www.warner.nh.us
Webster is a nice, quiet place to come home to and relax. Beautiful old farms, fields and homes are prevalent in this residential community. The town is home to the Blackwater Dam, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreational area. The Blackwater River is used for world-class whitewater kayaking competitions. Other recreational areas include town-owned ball fields, a playground, and a private campground. The town hosts an active grange and Old Home Day. Incorporated in 1860, Webster’s major employers include Cedar Mill Group, White Mountain Imaging and Santa Cruz Gunlocks. www.webster-nh.gov