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Old 02-16-2012, 07:19 AM
1 posts, read 2,910 times
Reputation: 10


Hi all! My husband and I just moved to Manchester for his job but really want to live in a smaller town (within a 30-40 minute drive of Manchester). We are having a hard time finding 'the right' town. The most important factors to us are:
-Community/good town feel (we'd love to live in a place that has local businesses so we don't have to drive to Manchester for everything we need)
-Outdoor recreation opportunities nearby
-Young families
-Preferably a more educated/progressive town
-Rural/agricultural feel

I know this is a lot of factors, but this is just an ideal list. We think we like Exeter, and are maybe interested in Hopkinton/Henniker area too. Any opinions would be appreciated! Thanks so much for any help you can provide!
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:08 AM
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You picked two pretty nice towns and can't go wrong with either one. Henniker is a college town and features Pats Peak ski area.

Exeter has a long historical history, a beautiful town common and has Phillips Exeter Academy, an excellent private school. It's also close to the ocean.

Both have shopping nearby (within 1/2 hour) and still feature a rural/agricultural feel.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:00 AM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
4,643 posts, read 13,393,780 times
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I agree, but only to a point. Henniker's schools are great, and I love the small-town atmosphere (NE College students don't seem to overwhelm the town like many other college towns) but you'll be heading to Concord (20 or so minutes away) for your shopping needs. There is a Downtown consists of a pharmacy, couple of restaurants, a general store. I don't know if the video store is still open or not.

Exeter may be able to meet more of your needs. Downtown is vibrant, but historic and old fashioned feeling, but with some fun little shops. Good for walking, browsing, grabbing some lunch. Sau 16 school district is considered one of the best in the state. Classroom assistants are oftentimes UNH students, gaining credits toward their teaching degree. Plus you're a stone's throw from the beach (Exeter borders Hampton). I have thoughts to share on several other towns that could meet your needs, but I'll let others chime in with their opinions I'm sure all will be helpful...
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:40 AM
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 7,823,044 times
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I really think Exeter would be your best choice. It may not feel quite as rural or be quite as close to hiking and some other outdoor activities, but in every other respect I think it's a better choice than Henniker. I might suggest Durham, but most of the local businesses downtown really cater to college students (to use Val's words, they may "overwhelm" ). There are a lot of families with children who are attracted by the excellent schools, however.

You would probably really enjoy Hanover and maybe Keene, but they are unfortunately too far from Manchester (at least 1h15).

Last edited by Verseau; 02-16-2012 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:43 PM
Location: Londonderry, NH
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Live on the same side of the Merrimack River as your job. There are very few bridges and they back up during commuting hours. This is one thing will save you hours of aggravation.

Try to commute to the West in the Morning and to the East in the evening. Driving into the low sun glare is almost more aggravating than the bridges.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:19 PM
Location: Monadnock region
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Hollis is easily within 30-40 minutes, has top notch schools, has some amenities in town - otherwise go to Nashua, it's rural/ag. seems obvious to me....!
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:12 AM
Location: Northeast and Near the Gulf
95 posts, read 276,526 times
Reputation: 50
Hello everyone, my vote would be for Exeter. We have spent a lot of time visiting there. Great restaurant 11 Water St to take in the local flavor. I think it offers you everything you're looking for (prev posts have mentioned many good things) and you're only minutes from Stratham that offers everything you could want in Shopping...good luck
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