Local Atmosphere

Durham, NH
Tuition (in-state)
$28,882 ($16,422)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It would be a great place to live, it's a very nice decent sized community but parking would be a problem and it costs a lot.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: I like the community feel it has! :D

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Durham is a quaint town but there's always something to do

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: it's a small town. campus is small enough that you can walk everywhere easily. town is cute and has charm

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Durham is a college town through and through. I mean, the town has even changed the day that their kids go trick or treating as to not overlap with the college kids going out. The town itself if pretty basic though, especially for its size. Durham consists of UNH, downtown, and a decent size residential area. Downtown is basically connected to campus and has a couple of restaurants, convenience stores, shops, a grocery, and pharmacy. With the exception of most of the restaurants, it's pretty dead by 6pm and stays that way until 10pm when the college kidos come out to go to DHOP (Durham House of Pizza). If you really want to do anything you just need to hop on Wildcat Transit and head to Dover or Portsmouth where the malls and everything are.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kate Dube
Manchester, NH
View all previous student authors

Durham is the ideal hometown for the University of New Hampshire, and it is probably safe to say that the two are codependent upon one another. The students, all but unanimously, love everything about the town, while many Durham shops stay in business because of UNH students. The rural atmosphere also makes for a comfortable and serene learning environment. Durham itself inhabits a collection of small suburbs close to campus, and there are vast farming fields surrounding it all. There is a definite distinction between the college students and the so-called locals. Durham, like any other small town, has a high school and elementary school, a post office, numerous gas stations, a few casual bars where the locals and students often mingle, and a small shopping plaza for all the necessities. All of these attractions are tightly lined along a single main street that passes through the campus. The nightlife belongs solely to the students. If it weren’t for UNH, Durham would be boring, to say the least.

Durham is probably one of the smallest towns in New Hampshire, and when you stick more than 12,000 students in the middle of it, you get an interesting mix of relaxed locals and wild college students. The town does seem to rub off on the students, though, and you can always find students relaxing downtown on a nice day. Durham is an incredibly friendly town. Most of the residents are students or people who have learned to accept the students as a part of their community.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Make sure to visit Adams Point, a beautiful estuary on Great Bay, where families and hikers bring picnic baskets and binoculars to spend a day enjoying the scenery and catching glimpses of wildlife.
  2. Major General John Sullivan was a resident of Durham, New Hampshire. He left the Continental Congress to serve under Washington from Cambridge to Valley Forge. He commanded at Rhode Island in 1778 and led campaigns against the Six Nations in New York in 1779. Sullivan re-entered Congress, then served three times as Governor of New Hampshire. Sullivan then led the fight for ratification of U.S. Constitution and became a federal district judge.
  3. On July 18, 1694, a force of about 250 Native Americans under command of the French soldier de Villies attacked settlements in the Durham area on both sides of the Oyster River, killing or capturing approximately 100 settlers. It was the most devastating raid in New Hampshire during the French and Indian War.
  4. Durham is only 15 minutes from miles of seacoast beaches.
  5. UNH owns 2,450 acres of land around Durham that is used for walking, biking, and skiing trails for students.
Notable Natives
  • Eunice "Goody" Cole - the only woman to be convicted of witchcraft
  • John Sullivan - first governor of NH
  • Celia Thaxter - poet
  • Jenny Thompson - Olympic swimmer
Local Slang
  • Blinker: The turn signal on your car
  • Nor'easter: A storm that moves from the northeast and brings those "wicked" bad storms
  • Water bubbler or bubbler: A water fountain, specifically a drinking fountain
  • Wicked: Replaces the intensive "very"; for example: "It's wicked cold outside."
Points of Interest
New Hampshire coast
Shopping Centers
Fox Run Mall
Movie Theaters
Fox Run Stadium 15
45 Gosling Rd.
(603) 431-6116
Major Sports Teams
  • Boston Bruins: hockey
  • Boston Celtics: basketball
  • Boston Red Sox: baseball
  • New England Patriots: football
  • New England Revolution: soccer
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Boston: MA: 45 minutes
  • Portsmouth: NH: 10 minutes

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 88 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 89 responses

  • 3% Painfully remote.
  • 2% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 43% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 47% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 4% 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 89 responses

  • 63% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 20% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 17% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 89 responses

  • 26% No way.
  • 67% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 7% Totally.


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