Why You Should Make the Upper Valley Your New Home

Alan J. DiStasio  |  July 14, 2022

Life In The Upper Valley

Why You Should Make the Upper Valley Your New Home

Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of city life? Have you had enough of the long commutes and frenetic traffic every day? Do you long for open spaces, rolling hills, and peaceful scenic byways? Can you take advantage of work from guidelines but dream of living where you recreate? The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont have exactly what you are looking for. Along both sides of this 40-mile stretch of the Connecticut River in central Vermont and New Hampshire, you will find charming, picturesque towns, plenty of forests and farmland, and scenic drives between them.

New England charm

Quaint. Picturesque. Charming. Individualistic. These words all describe the small towns found along the Upper Valley. Preserved and restored historic places and homes recall a simple time in American history when neighbors knew each other. Each week, the community gathered at a steepled church on Sunday. Political and social events took place on the town green, and covered bridges provided access to the river's far shore. In these towns, you will find family restaurants, weekly farmers' markets, historic inns, and general stores. Each business is one-of-a-kind and provides a welcome break from larger cities' chain stores and franchises.

Natural beauty

Four distinct seasons provide dramatic changes of scenery throughout the Upper Valley. In spring, the countryside bursts into life with fresh new growth and vibrant flowers. Fields of vegetables and fruits ripen over the summer. In the fall, trees are set ablaze in some of the most spectacular displays of autumn colors to be found anywhere. Winter snows blanket the area in pristine white.
The Upper Valley is nestled between two mountain ranges. The Green Mountains of Vermont lie to the west, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire lie to the east. They provide a natural geographic boundary to the area and add depth and beauty to the landscape.


The people of the Upper Valley are proud to call this region home. Many have lived here for generations, and neighbors know each other. The people come together through festivals, outdoor concerts and movies during the summer, holiday celebrations, and more. The center of activity in each town is a common green, paying homage to a community design brought over from the Old World.

Outdoor recreation

Diverse options for enjoying the Great Outdoors are found in the Upper Valley. Kayaking, canoeing, and fly-fishing are some sports to enjoy along the river. At Mount Ascutney State Park, you can find ample trails to explore. Keep looking up to see hang gliders soaring overhead. Horseback riding is available at numerous locations, or perhaps you might be more interested in trying out a hot air balloon and admiring the view from above. Biking trails abound, and outdoor activities such as picnicking and open-air concerts can be found in different towns.


The winter snows transform the Upper Valley into a different outdoor playground. Excellent snow skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, and more help make the best of the cold winter season. Children will experience non-stop laughter as they race down a hill on a snow tube. For the more adventurous types, consider learning how to ice climb. Get cozy on a sleigh ride at Billings Farm or pay a visit to their four-legged residents.

Found only in Upper Valley

Photo Courtesy of American Precision Museum's Facebook

Throughout the Upper Valley, one will find unique local attractions, including the American Precision Museum, home of an early rifle manufacturing facility when interchangeable parts and mass production of guns was a new concept. The longest covered bridge in the United States, The Cornish-Windsor covered bridge connects the Vermont and New Hampshire sides of the river. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is open for tours and exploration, and it was once the home of sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. Curious minds can discover how the natural world works through hands-on exhibits at the Montshire Museum.
Small, local businesses may predominantly populate Upper Valley towns, but the region seems to be a nesting ground for various diverse and thriving companies. Ben & Jerry's original ice cream shop was in Burlington, Vermont. King Arthur Flour began in Norwich and operated a store and cafe with an education center for aspiring bakers.

Over the last 20 years, an impressive biotech industry has been quietly growing in strength and influence because of the business development and research done through Dartmouth College. Health science startups such as GlycoFi, Adimab, and Celdara Medical represent only a few of the companies birthed in this region. As the Upper Valley continues to grow its reputation in global medical and biotech development and research, there is an excellent opportunity for jobs in research, development, marketing, and related fields as Upper Valley, New Hampshire homes for sale continue to increase in value.

Best places to live in Vermont and New Hampshire

The Upper Valley is home to the number one best place to live in Vermont and New Hampshire. This designation Is determined by a composite of features and their rankings. These include the quality of life for families, public education, crime and safety concerns, the cost of living, job opportunities, health and fitness amenities, and more.
In New Hampshire, Hanover has been consistently ranked as one of the top towns to live in the United States and is home to Dartmouth College. Hanover exudes a cosmopolitan suburban feel and a youthful vibe, and two-thirds of residents own their own homes. Hanover boasts a well-educated population, with over half holding master's degrees, and the public school system is one of the best in the state. It's no wonder Hanover homes are highly sought after in the Upper Valley.
Norwich is the most desirable place to live on the Vermont side of the river. Like its New Hampshire peer, it is home to a well-educated population and shares the Dresden School district with Hanover. With residents numbering less than 3,500, it has a very rural feel. In the Upper Valley, Norwich, Vermont, is considered one of the best places to buy a home.

Ready to make a move?

Industry-leading biotech companies, charming Americana that's alive and well, small towns and farms, nature's playground in all seasons, and a perpetual feast for the eyes all make the Upper Valley a great place to live. Are you ready to look for real estate in the Upper Valley of Vermont or New Hampshire? Or just thinking about it. Either way, please reach out to Alan DiStasio who stands ready to help sort through the myriad homes for sale to help find a place that is perfect for you.

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