Local Atmosphere

Hanover, NH
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's a quaint New England Town with many greats restaurants and shops. There are all the basic amenities that you would want, but it is certainly not a town for college students looking to go to bars and nightclubs (there are none!). That being said, the people are nice and friendly, and the surrounding area is gorgeous with many outoorsy things to do and lots of people taking advantage of it. It's near two big highways, so travel to other places is possible, and there is a free bus system that runs to the neighboring five towns that runs Mon-Fri.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Small bar scene for 21+. Otherwise there's a movie theater, pub trivia, and more options in surrounding towns.

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The social scene is basically just drinking. Frats run the social scene here at Dartmouth. Because freshmen do not have cars, it is very difficult to go off campus.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: small community that breeds inclusion

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: There isn't much to do in the town unless it is a campus-sponsored event. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery which provides many opportunities for hiking, skiing, running, and rowing, and the school offers numerous cultural events. But in terms of shopping/big attractions, there isn't much.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kirk Greenwood
Warrington, PA
Comparative Literature
View all previous student authors

Hanover is a tiny, postage-stamp-sized town that is culturally very different from the surrounding towns and countryside that make up the Upper Valley region. The College’s influence over the character of the town is unmistakable. It is an elegant, well-groomed, cosmopolitan place, a little reminiscent of the Alpine villages of western Switzerland. Hanover's commercial district (if it can be said to have one, because it’s so small), comprises various international eateries, gourmet coffee shops, and fashionable, high-end retailers, and the town has no more than two or three stoplights. Venturing outside of Hanover proper is a 10- to 15-minute drive to the closest real commercial center—the town of West Lebanon. A drive into West Lebanon, which is a little on the divey, strip mall side, can be a revealing experience for a sheltered, upper-middle class college kid. The socioeconomic and cultural disparity between collegiate Hanover and the rest of the community is immediately apparent. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, most of this town/gown discontinuity is safely relegated to areas just beyond Hanover town limits. The vast majority of Hanover’s inhabitants are associated with the College in one way or another, whether they are professors, researchers or medical professionals who work nearby at the world famous Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, or wealthy alumni who have returned to live out their golden years within sight of Dartmouth’s emblematic clocktower.

Hanover can be appropriately described as a “quaint,” “charming,” and “quintessentially New England” college town. It is also a very isolated place that can feel even more isolated when the winter snows set in. How much a particular student benefits from Dartmouth’s unique location really depends on the individual and his or her interests. Dartmouth does tend to attract a greater proportion of the outdoorsy, back-to-nature types than does, say, Columbia. The sheer natural beauty of the place is breathtaking.


Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Hanover is located in a scenic region known as the Upper Valley, which includes the scenic area in both New Hampshire and Vermont that borders the Connecticut River.
  2. Eager for a hike? The Appalachian Trail runs right through town.
  3. The town charter was granted in 1761 by King George III to settlers from Connecticut.
  4. Hanover and Norwich, VT formed the first interstate school district in the United States.
  5. Hanover was recently ranked the seventh best college town in the nation by Outside magazine.
Notable Natives
  • Bill Bryson - author of "A Walk in the Woods"
  • Some say JD Salinger is cooped up right outside of Hanover, but no one knows for sure.
Points of Interest
  • Ben and Jerry’s Factory
  • The Ledges
  • Quechee Gorge
  • Simon Pearce Glassblowing
  • The Transportation Museum
Shopping Centers
Upper Valley Mall
Movie Theaters
The Loew Auditorium in Hopkins Center for the Arts
6041 Lower Level Wilson Hall
Dartmouth campus
(603) 646-2422
Movie Theaters
Nugget Theater
South Main Street
(603) 643-2769
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: hockey
  • Boston Celtics: basketball
  • Boston Red Sox: baseball
  • New England Patriots: football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Montreal: QC: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • New York City: NY: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 29 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 30 responses

  • 27% Painfully remote.
  • 0% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 73% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 0% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 29 responses

  • 83% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 17% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 0% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 29 responses

  • 66% No way.
  • 24% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 10% Totally.



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