New Hampshire was one of the first areas settled when Europeans came to America. In fact, Dover, the oldest town in New Hampshire, was settled in 1623, making it the seventh-oldest settlement in the United States. Nearly 400 years later, New Hampshire’s oldest town is still a bustling little city that everyone in the state should visit at least once. Here’s what you should do during your day in New Hampshire’s oldest town:
1. Imagine the local history.
Dover was a bustling mill town for much of its history. When you stand looking at the mills and falls, picture what the city must have been like 200 years ago - and enjoy the view now!
2. Taste the local flavor.
Tendercrop Farm provides local food on an impressive level. The farm sells their own meats, fruits, vegetables and baked goods that are famous throughout the Seacoast. Plus, there's always something fun going on at the farm, making it well worth a visit.
3. Take a walk on the wild side.
In addition to its history, Dover has lots of natural beauty, which you can enjoy at the Bellamy River Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can enjoy a walk through woods and marshes, and spot a few native birds along the way.
4. Learn about the local history.
The Woodman Institute Museum has been open in Dover since 1916, providing a unique blend of local history and kitch. You can see everything from the historical sword that a Japanese delegate brought to the 1905 Portsmouth Peace Treaty, to a saddle that Abe Lincoln rode on just before his assassination.
5. Enjoy the local art.
Salmon Falls Stoneware is made right in Dover. The classic New England white and blue pottery is both beautiful and practical, and a visit to the flagship store in Dover is the perfect way to learn about this historic art.
6. Go Fishing
One of the reasons Dover was settled so early is because is sits in a great area for fishing with many rivers and marshes. That makes it the perfect place to cast a line! If you need some guidance, check out First Cast Fly Fishing, which organizes great fishing excursions.
7. Taste Tall Ship
Tall Ship Distillery is a small operation in Dover. It's the perfect place to take a tour, learn about the history of distilling and have a drink - all in the name of supporting local business of course.
8. Visit the Children's Museum
Whether you bring the kids or the grandkids, the whole family will love a visit to The Children's Museum of New Hampshire. The museum regularly hosts special events for different groups ranging from infants to the elderly.
9. Sip a cup of coffee.
It's always fun to see how old mills have been repurposed in towns like Dover. Now, many of the old mills are hip, open spaces where you can grab a bite to eat or a warm drink. Flight Coffee is one of our favorites.
10. Enjoy the new and the old.
While strolling through downtown Dover, it's easy to enjoy the new - like shops and restaurants from around the world - while also appreciating the town's history.