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Upper Valley/Lake Sunapee/Woodstock Region
The Upper Valley is a dynamic region is known for its overall quality of life, abundance of cultural and arts activities and outdoor recreational opportunities. The area is actually comprised of two population centers, the Upper Valley/Woodstock to the north, along the Connecticut River; and the Lake Sunapee Region to the southeast. Towns in the Upper Valley are cradled in the hills and valleys along the Connecticut River, an area that has a deep history and is well known for its agricultural heritage. At its center are the communities of Hanover and Lebanon, New Hampshire and Norwich and Hartford, Vermont. To the west the fabled Town of Woodstock, Vermont and its surrounding communities provide residents with the quintessential small town experience in what has been often described as one of the prettiest small towns in America. The Lake Sunapee region centers on the Lake and its environs: Grantham, the Eastman community, New London, Newport, Claremont and, of course, Sunapee itself. This is an active vacation, as well as year-round community.
The Upper Valley Landscape
Coming into this area via two interstates (I-89 and I-91) or by air, bus or train, one is struck first by the incredibly uplifting physical beauty, with serene rolling hills, countless acres of unspoiled forest and open fields, and beckoning lakes and crystal clear waterways. Economic vitality is also evident in the thriving business districts, the high tech service and manufacturing base of the local economy as well as the quaint outlying village settings. The New England ways dominate here; local political life is still conducted by the Town Meeting process; winding country lanes are sprinkled with bountiful produce stands and organic farms; the late winter forests are dotted with maple syrup buckets. The simpler, rural way of life is combined with a cultured cosmopolitan sensibility. The seasons are celebrated each autumn as a blaze of brilliant color blankets the rolling landscape.
Upper Valley Education
The Upper Valley takes great pride in its educational facilities. Academic life focuses on Ivy League Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire along with its three graduate schools, Geisel School of Medicine, Tuck Business School, Thayer School of Engineering, and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH. Community College of Vermont and the University of NH's School of Lifelong Learning, both located in Lebanon, NH, provide top-rate continuing education for adults. Area high schools and elementary schools have been nationally cited for excellence. Hanover High School is consistently one of the top ranked high schools in New Hampsire. Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, NH and Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH are among New England's finest private schools. The areas fine public elementary and middle schools are known for the academic achievement of their students and private schools such as Crossroads Academy provide those that prefer private elementary education with that option.
Upper Valley Cultural Activities
One of the greatest attractions and rewards of living in the Upper Valley is its wealth of cultural opportunities. Dartmouth College in Hanover offers the Hopkins Center for Performing and Creative Arts hop.dartmouth.edu. "The Hop", as it is commonly known, features a wide variety of musical, theatrical, film and fine art events and exhibits. Adjoining is the Hood Museum of Art with its permanent collection of art from around the world and ongoing special exhibits. Across the River in Norwich, VT, the Montshire Museum of Science provides educational facilities for everyone from pre-schoolers to senior citizens. St. Gaudens, a National Historic Site in Cornish, NH was once the summer home of sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. Each summer, amidst lovely gardens, the Site is host to sculpture workshops, exhibits, and classical concerts. The area also boasts a myriad of fine theatre groups, art galleries, movie theatres, musical events, contra-dancing and crafts fairs. And even the most discerning gourmet will delight in the many fine restaurants, some touting national acclaim
Upper Valley Recreation
The outdoors person flourishes in this area of New Hampshire and Vermont. The mountains and waterways including the Connecticut River provide ample opportunity for hiking, biking, hunting, camping, boating, fishing, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, cross-country skiing and skating. The Appalachian Trail winds through the heart of the area. Skiing for beginners and pros is nearby from almost anywhere--at the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, NH or at Whaleback in Lebanon, NH, and it's only a short drive to such prestigious areas as Killington, Pico Peak, Okemo, Mount Sunapee or Loon Mountain to name a few. Junior ski racing, a challenging, character building and very popular winter season pursuit is offered through excellent organizations like the Ford Sayre Memorial Ski Council or Woodstock Ski Runners. Golfers enjoy several top-quality golf courses in Hanover, Eastman and Lebanon, NH, and Woodstock, Quechee and Bradford, VT. State Parks and government property, such as the Mount Sunapee State Park in Sunapee, NH, and the Union Village Recreation Area in Thetford, VT are open for family enjoyment.
Of course, this represents just a few of the many recreational opportunities in the area. Whether your pleasure is ballooning or billiards, you can find it here in the Upper Valley!
Interstates I-91 (from New Haven and Hartford, CT) and I-89 (from Concord, NH and the Boston area) intersect at White River Jct., VT providing easy access from major population centers. The Lebanon Municipal Airport offers flight service daily to Boston, New York, Manchester and Hartford. Amtrak's "Vermonter" passenger rail service from Washington, DC via New York City, to Burlington, VT stops daily in White River Junction, VT and Claremont, NH. Vermont Transit Bus Line operates bus service to virtually any destination outside the Upper Valley. Advance Transit, the local bus system, services all area towns and shopping districts. Auto rentals, taxi, and limousine service are all readily available.
Upper Valley Shopping
West Lebanon, New Hampshire is the Upper Valley's shopping hub, with a wide variety of discount shopping areas, commercial centers, and fast food restaurants. The Powerhouse Shopping Mall is a handsome, renovated mill that offers boutiques, sporting goods shops, specialty and gift shops, and eateries.
Health Care & Senior Living
The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is the largest full-service hospital between Boston and Montreal, occupies an all new state-of-the-art facility in Lebanon, NH. The Veterans' Administration Hospital in White River Junction, VT is affiliated with this center as is the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a nationally important cancer research center. Other area hospitals include Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, NH; Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH; Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center in Brownsville, VT; Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, NH; New London Hospital in New London, NH; and Newport Hospital in Newport, NH.
There are several assisted living and nursing care facilities: Hanover Terrace in Hanover, NH; Etna Valley Health Center in Lebanon, NH; and Brookside Nursing Home in Wilder, VT. An extensive continuing care facility, Kendal, in Hanover, is among the country's finest.
Upper Valley Business Environment
Employment and Upper Valley business opportunities in the area have flourished considerably in recent times with the emergence of Lebanon as a key industrial and commercial center. Numerous new and established companies have chosen the Upper Valley as their home base. There are several convention centers in the area, providing scenic as well as professional facilities for local and visiting corporations. The Ascutney Mountain Resort in Brownsville, VT and the Lake Morey Inn and Convention Center in Fairlee, VT are all large facilities set in beautiful locales.