The Top 15 Best Places to Live in New Hampshire

The Top 15 Best Places to Live in New Hampshire

New Hampshire, the picturesque Granite State, offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and charming small towns. If you’re considering making this serene oasis your home, you’re in for a treat! Let’s explore the top 15 best places to live in New Hampshire in 2023, where you’ll find everything from bustling college towns to tranquil rural retreats.

Key Takeaways

  • Amherst: A Commuter’s Dream
  • Portsmouth: Rich History and Culture
  • Hanover: College Town Vibes Discover the best places to live in New Hampshire, offering a variety of activities for all ages, from outdoor adventures to college town vibes. Enjoy safe and vibrant atmospheres with plenty of amenities!

1. Amherst: A Commuter’s Dream


Tucked away in Hillsborough County, Amherst is a small, safe town celebrated for its outstanding schools and convenient location for commuters. With a delightful downtown area offering a wide range of amenities, Amherst provides the perfect balance between city life and idyllic New England charm. The median home value in Amherst is quite affordable at around $317,613, and rental prices average a reasonable $2,088.

Amherst offers:

  • Safety, standing out as more secure than many communities of its size
  • Excellent public schools, typically meeting or exceeding state averages on standardized tests
  • Easy access to higher education opportunities
  • Proximity to the Appalachian Trail for outdoor enthusiasts

Amherst is truly a commuter’s dream!

Portsmouth: Rich History and Culture

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Portsmouth, a coastal jewel steeped in history, captivates with its vibrant culture and tax-free shopping. The city boasts stunning 17th-century buildings, captivating art galleries, and waterfront views that leave visitors in awe. As one of the safest cities in America, Portsmouth is an ideal location for young families seeking a vibrant community to call home.

Those fond of the outdoors will appreciate Portsmouth’s abundant opportunities for:

  • hiking
  • boating
  • hunting
  • fishing
  • wildlife watching

The city’s natural beauty along the waterfront adds an extra touch of allure to this already enchanting destination. Portsmouth’s rich history and culture make it one of the must-visit cities in the Granite State.

Hanover: College Town Vibes

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Hanover, host to the renowned Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, thrives as a college town with a robust economy, top-notch schools, and a diverse array of entertainment. Dartmouth College positively impacts Hanover’s economy by providing financial aid to undergraduates, contributing to the labor market, and supporting the town’s physical infrastructure. Hanover’s location near the Massachusetts border also contributes to its economic growth and accessibility.

Art galleries, shopping, and outdoor activities are just a few of the exciting entertainment opportunities that residents can enjoy in Hanover. With top-tier schools such as the Tuck School of Business and Geisel School of Medicine, this college town attracts both families and young professionals seeking a vibrant and stimulating environment.

Bedford: Quality Education and Amenities

Bedford, recognized for its well-educated residents and appealing downtown, presents a multitude of opportunities and benefits. With a cost of living around thirty-one percent higher than the national average, Bedford provides top-rated schools and abundant amenities, making it an ideal place for families and professionals.

The excellent school system in Bedford is a major draw for families seeking quality education for their children. In addition to the outstanding schools, Bedford offers:

  • Stunning scenery
  • Lush forests
  • Picturesque rivers
  • Invigorating hiking trails
  • Challenging golf courses
  • Abundant shopping
  • Exciting entertainment
  • Interesting museums
  • Enlightening libraries

Bedford truly has it all!

Laconia: Lakes Region Living

Nestled in the heart of the Lakes Region, Laconia is the most cost-effective city in this highly desirable area. With a median home value of $319,696 and an average household income of $55,814, Laconia offers an affordable and promising lifestyle. The city’s low unemployment rate of 4.7% further adds to its appeal.

Laconia’s flourishing economy hinges on manufacturing, tourism, and the renowned Motorcycle Week event, attracting visitors from all over. Education options include multiple private schools with public schools working to improve their standardized test scores. Laconia’s downtown area offers a variety of necessities and attractions, making it a great choice for those seeking Lakes Region living.

Keene: Small-Town Charm

Keene, a safe and enchanting city in New Hampshire, provides the following benefits:

  • Intimacy of a small-town community
  • Variety of job prospects
  • Reputable schools
  • Impressive median home value of $258,894
  • Median household income of $57,393

These factors make Keene an attractive option for families and professionals alike.

The city of Keene offers:

  • A public school system that ranks in the top 20 in New Hampshire
  • A low overall crime rate
  • A vibrant downtown area
  • Plenty of outdoor activities nearby

Keene provides a perfect balance between small-town charm and modern convenience, making it an ideal place to call home.

Lebanon: Outdoor Adventures Await

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Lebanon, a haven for outdoor lovers, offers a multitude of activities, a comprehensive healthcare system, and a booming economy. Home to attractions like the Northern Rail Trail of New Hampshire, Lebanon Opera House, and Packard Hill Covered Bridge, this charming town offers something for everyone.

Lebanon’s population of 13,602 enjoys:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Exploring parks
  • Participating in summer outdoor adventures offered by the Lebanon Recreation, Arts, and Parks department

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping mountain biking trails or a peaceful hike, Lebanon has it all for outdoor lovers and adventure-seekers alike.

Windham: Suburban Life Near Boston

Windham, a sought-after Boston suburb, prides itself on superior schools, minimal crime, and convenient proximity to the vibrant city. With a highly-regarded school system and an abundance of quality housing, Windham is an ideal choice for millennials and families seeking the perfect suburban life.

The town’s proximity to Boston makes it an attractive option for those who want to enjoy the amenities and job opportunities of city life without sacrificing the tranquility of a smaller community. Windham’s safe and vibrant atmosphere ensures a high quality of life for its residents.

Plymouth: College Town with Ski Resorts

Plymouth, a college town hosting Plymouth State University, blends academia, ski resorts, and economical living in a unique way. With a median home value of $309,173 and affordable rent at $1,411 per month, Plymouth is an attractive option for those seeking a college town experience.

White-collar job hunters and outdoor enthusiasts alike flock to Plymouth for its diverse opportunities and stunning natural beauty. The town boasts popular ski resorts and a thriving academic community, making it the perfect place to call home for those seeking a vibrant, active lifestyle.

Canterbury: Rural Serenity


Leave behind the city’s hustle and bustle to enjoy the tranquil, rural lifestyle that Canterbury offers. With small farming communities, close access to larger cities and attractions, and a low crime rate, Canterbury is the perfect place for those seeking serenity.

The median home value in Canterbury is an impressive $333,200, and the town is conveniently located near several major cities, including:

  • Concord
  • Manchester
  • Portsmouth
  • Rochester

Experience the idyllic charm of Canterbury, a quiet town, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of rural living along the Connecticut River.

Durham: University Life and Waterfront Properties

Durham, a lively university town, provides top-notch educational facilities, a diverse community, and eye-catching waterfront properties. Home to the University of New Hampshire, Durham is an attractive option for families and young professionals seeking a stimulating environment with top-tier schools.

The town of Durham offers:

  • Beautiful waterfront properties
  • A lively atmosphere
  • A high median home value
  • A strong focus on education

It is the perfect destination for those seeking university life with picturesque surroundings in the city center.

Hollis: Friendly Town with Outdoor Activities

Hollis, a welcoming town teeming with verdant forests and outdoor activities, features a lively downtown area and boasts a low unemployment rate of 2.8%. The town’s stunning natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities make it an ideal place for families and nature lovers.

Visit Joan & Brad’s Berry Farm, Salmon Falls Country Club, and other charming attractions in Hollis, all while enjoying a strong sense of community and a low unemployment rate. Hollis is the perfect place for those seeking friendly small-town living with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Madbury: Diverse and Rural Living

Madbury, a rural area with diverse demographics and a small population, draws millennials, young families, and retirees who appreciate a tight-knit community and recreational activities. The town’s diverse population, small community, and beautiful natural surroundings make it an ideal location for those seeking a peaceful lifestyle.

Recreational activities in Madbury include visiting Bolstridge, a beautiful parkland enjoyed by dog walkers and runners alike. Experience the charm of diverse and rural living in Madbury and immerse yourself in the tight-knit community and serene surroundings.

Atkinson: Booming Economy and Nature Parks

Atkinson, a quaint town with a thriving economy, features top-tier schools, nature parks, and a location perfect for hassle-free commutes. The town’s thriving economy is due to factors such as globalization, technology development, financial services growth, and advantageous government policies on taxation and social protection.

Experience the natural beauty of Atkinson by visiting Woodlock Recreation Area, Atkinson Farmers Market, and Atkinson Resort & Country Club. The town’s excellent schools and beautiful nature parks make Atkinson a perfect place to call home for those seeking a balance between work and play.

Peterborough: Artistic Haven and Renewable Energy

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Peterborough, a sanctuary for artists with a high median household income and minimal crime, prioritizes renewable energy, attracting artists and eco-conscious residents alike. The town’s thriving arts community and commitment to renewable energy set it apart as an ideal destination for creatives and eco-minded individuals.

With a median home value of $330,969 and a median household income of over $95,000, Peterborough offers an impressive standard of living for its residents. Experience the artistic community and innovative environment of Peterborough, a town that truly values creativity and sustainability. The market value of properties in this area reflects the high quality of life enjoyed by its inhabitants.


New Hampshire’s diverse towns and cities offer a range of lifestyles, from bustling college towns to serene rural retreats. Whether you’re seeking an artistic haven, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, or a friendly small-town community, New Hampshire has the perfect place for you to call home. Start your next adventure in the Granite State and discover the beauty, charm, and opportunities that await you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the best place to live in New Hampshire?

For a family-oriented lifestyle, the best places to live in New Hampshire are Hannover, Portsmouth, Nashua, Exeter and Londonderry. Each of these communities have been highly recommended by local experts for their great public schools and relaxed atmosphere.

Is New Hampshire expensive to live?

New Hampshire is one of the most affordable states to live in, with it taking the top spot for most economic state in 2023 according to United Region Van Lines. Unfortunately, if New Hampshire exceeds your budget, its surrounding states may not offer much more affordability.

Is it a good idea to move to New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has great economic security and was picked as the No. 1 best state to live in America by US News and World Report and Home Snacks. Moving to New Hampshire is a great idea!

Where is the most affordable place to live in NH?

Claremont and Berlin are the most affordable cities in New Hampshire to live in, offering unbeatable cost of living and an excellent opportunity to save money.

What factors contribute to a town being considered a “best place to live”?

With excellent schools, low crime rates, diverse job opportunities and a strong sense of community, towns can become some of the best places to live.


Citytistics is the leading website for city data and insights for cities in America. Our goal is to help you find the right place to live, work, and play. We provide cost of living, crime rates, and happiness levels for cities across the United States. Whether you are looking to move to a new city or just want to learn more about your current city, Citytistics has the information you need!

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