That Lebanon, New Hampshire Was Ranked #1 Best Small Town In The U.S. Does Not Surprise Me.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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Click to ENLARGE and read here. From “” via “”. Use link below to access original.

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View of the Connecticut River, on whose east bank both Lebanon and Hanover are on — Vermont being on the west bank. This image of the river, crossing the river, grabbed from Google’s ‘street view’. Click to ENLARGE.

That LebanonNew Hampshire, managed to grab the #1 spot would NOT surprise anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting Hanover, N.H. — the home of Dartmouth College, the HOP Center for Performing Arts and the famed Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) — which is next door. Essentially when anybody talks about Lebanon, N.H., in a context like this, they are really talking Lebanon-Hanover amalgamated.

I have always, since my first eye opening visit in 1998, have thought of Hanover as a cultural and social oasis within N.H. As I describe it to people (who know Boston) — it is as if Boston’s Newbury Street was transplanted in New Hampshire.

Hanover, N.H., with its lovely, quintessential ‘village’ green, with the mandatory white building with spires surrounding it, is one of my favorite places to visit in N.H. Luckily, we do typically manage to get there at least 4 times a year — usually more. Most times these days, now that we do not go to DHMC (Hanover) as much as we used to, we go there for performances at the HOP.

Lebanon per se, to be honest, is a bit rough even by N.H. standards. But thanks to Hanover the surrounding area, in a 20 mile radius, has a genteel, salubrious air of good New England living.

So I am not at all surprised of the ranking. To be honest 8 years ago, before we moved to Alton, we looked at the prospect of moving to the Hanover area. Compared to the Lakes Region that area was at least 70K more expensive in terms of comparable housing. That is why we ended up in Alton.

So Bravo to Lebanon/Hanover. Well done. You have done New Hampshire pride.

That Bar Harbor, Maine, the port of call for Acadia National Park came in at #5 did, however, cause me to pucker my eyebrows. Do not get me wrong. We love Bar Harbor. Of late we have been visiting there twice a year and plan to be there SOON. Bar Harbor is lovely, but in many ways it is a one-trick pony town. Acadia. Yes, of course, it has a fabulous main street, great eateries and scenery, both aquatic and green, to kill — but it is mainly a Summer tourist town. Yes, if we could find the right place, for the right price, we would live within 35 miles of Bar Harbor in a heartbeat and Deanna of late is kind of urging me to find a place where she can see the ocean. So I think, as with Lebanon, when they really meant Lebanon-Hanover, I think they are using ‘Bar Harbor’ here as a token for meaning that whole ‘Acadia’ area. And that I can BUY with no trouble. One of the most beautiful areas in the northeast.


Check out the complete list. It makes interesting reading.

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