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Best Places to Live in New Hampshire

Lebanon, Manchester, Nashua are among many good options.

By Kevin Litwin on March 30, 2020

Nashua NH downtown

New Hampshire has areas known as the Great North Woods, Lakes Region and Seacoast, which gives residents a variety of livability choices. The Granite State has no general sales tax or personal income tax, and some of the most interesting places to live, work and play.

If you’re looking for the best places to live in New Hampshire, look no further:


The capital of New Hampshire, Concord houses the University of New Hampshire School of Law, which is the state’s only law school. Residents have luxuries like Granite State Symphony Orchestra and Granite State College, and recreation options include Penacook Lake. Motorists enjoy the convenience of Interstate 89 and Interstate 93.

Manchester NH
Manchester / iStock/DenisTangneyJr


Along the banks of the Merrimack River is Manchester, a city whose residents account for about 33 percent of New Hampshire’s population. There are 25 distinct neighborhoods in Manchester along with a thriving downtown, and livability conveniences include Verizon Wireless Arena, the Mall of New Hampshire and many college campuses.


Multiple parks and trails contribute to the quality of life in Exeter, a city with buildings that are constructed in many different styles of architecture. The median income for families is more than $100,000, and a major employer is SIG Sauer that manufactures firearms used by most police departments in America.

Nashua NH downtown


An architecturally pleasing Main Street district at the confluence of the Merrimack and Nashua rivers is among the charming aspects of Nashua, a city whose median income for families is about $100,000. Shopping choices include Pheasant Lane Mall, and the community has two hospitals and six college campuses.


In western New Hampshire near the Connecticut River is Lebanon, home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School. The economy is strong in education, healthcare, retail and technology, and the city has miles of hiking trails and a ski area. Residents are served by Interstate 89 and Lebanon Airport.


Portsmouth is a seaport community and a popular summer tourism destination, and transportation advantages include three major highways and Portsmouth International Airport at Pease. The median income for families tops $100,000, and The Music Hall is an entertainment destination that dates to 1878. Four college campuses are in Portsmouth.


Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire are among the livability amenities in Dover, where high-tech and government jobs are large contributors to the economy. The city is crossed by several state route roads, and Dover has historic churches, good schools and two major shopping centers.


A city situated on four different lakes, Laconia has four public beaches and 20 public parks. Residents are served by Lakes Region General Hospital and Lakes Region Community College, and the city hosts an annual nine-day Laconia Motorcycle Week as well as a Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Derby.


Nicknamed “The Lilac City,” Rochester has beautiful buildings such as Rochester Opera House and the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts. Outdoor enthusiasts can access multiple walking trails, Salmon Falls River, Roger Allen Sports Facility and Rochester Country Club golf course, and an annual Rochester Fair attracts more than 30,000 attendees.


Along the Connecticut River is Hanover, a town that houses Dartmouth College. Among outdoor adventure attractions are Storrs Pond Recreation Area and several nature preserves and hiking paths, including the Appalachian Trail that crosses through Hanover. A strong economy is in place, and the median income for families exceeds $100,000.

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