Visit the Diverse and Bustling Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region
The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region consists of two distinct regions. The first, The Upper Valley includes Lebanon, Hanover and is proud home of the Ivy League university Dartmouth College. The second region, Lake Sunapee, is a beloved summer vacation spot with several resorts and attractions. Both of these sections come together to form a dynamic location for visitors to explore.
What are the best attractions in the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region?
Usually when one thinks of gem mining they dream of far-off, hard to find destinations. But here in New Hampshire, gem mining is a practical reality! Ruggles Mine is a two-hundred year old gem mine in Grafton that you can explore and keep what you find! There are more than 150 types of gems ranging from smoky quartz, amethyst, garnet, beryl and others. Here is a link with more information: http://www.rugglesmine.com/ Talk about a treasure hunt!
Rising up from the forested hills in Wilmot is Mount Kearsarge, one of the twelve mountains in New Hampshire that are over 2,000 feet high. The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and outdoors enthusiasts or even inspired tourists who simply want to have a picnic on top of a mountain with a spectacular view. It is said that on a clear day, one can see all the way to Boston!
Dartmouth College is a highly respected university that showcases intellectual merit of all kinds. The college’s own Hood Museum in Hanover features an outstanding collection of more than 65,000 global works of art and artifacts. Notable paintings by Goya, Rembrandt and Picasso can be seen here. Take a few hours and stroll through the magnificent halls and be transported.
Considered to be one of the premiere ski locations in New England, Mount Sunapee in Newbury offers 65 trails, 10 lifts, a challenging terrain park, and a fantastic snowboard park complete with a super pipe. It can accommodate both seasoned skiers and snowboarders and first-timers. Locals insist that it has some of the best groomed trails in the state!
New Hampshire has many antiquated and restored villages and towns. Charlestown is one such town. With over 62 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, walking through Charlestown’s Main Street Historic District is like walking back in time. It even has military fort dating back to the 1740s that encapsulates the colonial settlers’ experiences.
The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region is home to the largest covered bridge in the country. Spanning roughly 450 across the Connecticut River, the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge is simply breathtaking. In a few minutes, you can walk from Cornish, New Hampshire to Windsor Vermont. It is amazing to think that people have been traversing across the architectural wonder since 1866.
New England has legendary apples. We basically corner the market in apple pie making, apple eating, apple cider drinking anything apple. Our passion for apples is displayed perfectly in Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole. They have over 50 varieties of scrumptious, juicy apples. We suggest doing your research in advance and figuring out which apples you want to eat or bake in pies as there are simply so many to choose from!
New England is famous for its countless antique shops. But there are few antique dealers that have a collection as large as Prospect Hill Antiques and Home Furnishings. With more than 12,000 square feet of odd baubles, fine treasures and delightful discoveries, this antiques shop is simply unparalleled. Furthermore, unlike seasonal antique shops that may close up shop for the winter or open only a few days a week, Prospect Hill is open every day of the week year round.
Move over Vermont. Heralded as the “King of Maple Syrup,” Sweet Maples Sugarhouse swears on the bark of its coveted maple trees that it produces the finest maple syrup in New England. They offer informational tours in early spring when the gooey, sugary syrup is collected and boiled into its ideal state. You can also buy maple-flavored sweets and other goodies at their general store.
Saint-Gauden’s National Historic Site in Cornish is the preservation site for Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a famous American sculptor who lived from 1848 to 1907. More than one hundred of his original sculptures are on exhibit in this stunning house and on the freshly manicured lawns. There are also perennial beds, pagodas and water fountains. This is certainly a historic attraction worth visiting.
Native American history is extremely important in New Hampshire. The Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner seeks to offer glimpses into the Seminole, Navajo, Cherokee and other tribes. The museum has original headdresses, tipis, ceremonial regalia, pipes and other artifacts. It also features a trail on two and a half acres outside of the museum known as The Medicine Woods Nature Trail. It allows visitors to discover more than 100 native plants that were used by the natives here in the state.
Have you ever loved a botanical garden so much that you secretly wished you could take a few of your favorite flowers home? Now you can. At Spring Ledge Farm in New London, you can pick your own fresh flowers right from their bounteous flower gardens. They have nearly 250 varieties to choose from as well as other farmed goods and fruit.
Hopkins Center for the Arts is at the heart of Hanover on Dartmouth college’s campus. They sell over 125,000 tickets and feature more than 100 live performances in music, theater, dance and others every year. They also have more than 200 film screenings that coincide with other film events. They have a 900-seat auditorium, a 480 seat Moore Theater and the Warner Bentley Theater with 180 seats. Here is a link to their year-round performance schedule: HOP Performances
Where are the best and most interesting places to eat in the region?
The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region has many delectable restaurants to choose from. However, we feel that these three in particular stand out. The first choice is
One Mile West in Sunapee. As you enter you are immediately reminded of age-old log cabins. They feature traditional American cuisine at affordable prices and apparently have the best chicken wings around.
Our second choice is Murphy’s on the Green in Hanover. With endless wooden shelves lined with old books, and an atmosphere that simply buzzes with energy, Murphy’s is hugely popular with locals and students. They have a wide variety of menu items and feature fabulous appetizer boards for table sharing. Some notable ingredients include Colorado Lamb Tar-Tar with yogurt tossed greens, and Duck Trap smoked salmon with dill crema. Yum!
But perhaps the most appealing choice is The Flying Goose Brewery and Pub in New London. They were awarded the best regional restaurant in 2013 and continue to provide local, farm-to-table dishes. Their homemade fried pickles and the Battles Farm meatloaf are to die for. On a final note, the Goose has the first solar powered brewery in the state!
- Mount Sunapee
- Prospect Hill Antiques and Home Furnishings
- Mount Kearsarge
- Hood Museum
- Cornish-Windsor Bridge
- Ruggles Mine
- St. Gauden’s National Historic Site
- Alyson’s Orchard
- Sweet Maples Sugarhouse
- Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum
- Spring Ledge Farm
- One Mile West
- Murphy’s on the Green
- The Flying Goose Brewery and Pub
- Claremont Speedway Claremont
- Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum Warner
- New England Dragway Epping
- Ruggles Mine Grafton
- Saint-Gaudens Cornish
- The Fells John Hays Wildlife Refuge Newbury