Summer is here! After another great winter of skiing, skating, and studying, why not venture outside and see what else the Upper Valley has to offer? Sure, take a day-trip to Boston, New York, Burlington, or Montreal but, for the real fun of summer, stay right here in New Hampshire!
Why not spend lunchtime floating down the river in a canoe? Check out the Ledyard Canoe Club here at Dartmouth. Renting a kayak or canoe is easy; head down to the river and just ask! Rentals (1 canoe or 2 kayaks) go for $10/hour to $30/day, though you have the option to keep them overnight as well. This is great for anyone on a budget who wants to have affordable outdoor fun. If you think you’ll be using the rental service often, definitely consider getting a membership.
2. Take a hike!
You don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy the wonderful views and vistas that New Hampshire and Vermont have to offer. In fact, you don’t have to go up any mountains (or “hills” as some people call them) at all to enjoy nature. Did you know that there is a nature reserve on Route 10 in Hanover? Or trails right off Greensboro Rd? Or even trails behind Sachem Village. Fact: you can walk to the hospital from Sachem Village faster than you can drive and find parking. More intense hikes are just a short drive away. Camping, fishing, and hiking can be found at various places. So whatever your comfort level is: get outside!
Browse the Forest Society’s website for information on hikes and trails in the area.
3. Pick fruit
Nothing tastes quite like biting into a ripe, sun-warmed peach right off the tree. With all of the farmer’s markets in the area, you are bound to find affordable fresh fruit. But, there is nothing more satisfying than picking the fruit yourself. For one thing, it’s cheaper. For another, it’s an activity you can do with a group of friends.
Whether you prefer paved roads, or trails that wind through the woods, the Upper Valley is the place to be for biking. The roads running parallel to the Connecticut River are flat, smooth, and fast. After a few endurance-building outings, it’s easy to bike from town to rustic town in New Hampshire and Vermont.
5. Jewelry/Wood Carving/Pottery
Oh no, it’s rainy again. You can’t stand to watch another movie at the Nugget, nor can you cram in one more ounce of school-related knowledge. Now what? Well, have you ever carved wood? Made a silver ring? Thrown clay? Now is your chance! The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth offers wonderful opportunities to learn these skills and more. For a very low fee ($12/term plus materials), you can be building furniture, making engagement rings, or designing your own pottery. The people who work in the studios are very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. No prior knowledge is needed! Stop by the wood studio and jewelry studio in the Hop or the pottery studio by the river. For more information, see The Hop’s Workshops page.
6. Farmer’s Market
With all the farms and farmer’s markets in the Upper Valley, you don’t have to look far to find savory, farm-fresh food. Breads, herbs, fruit, empanadas, crepes, syrup, carved wood—you name it! There are weekly markets all around including Hanover, Norwich, Lebanon, and New London. Go out and see what “local” has to offer; it won’t be a disappointment. You might even find yourself venturing into the world of canning (fresh strawberry jam, anyone?), or baking (a touch of warm apple pie, perhaps?). And the best part is: if you don’t know how to jam, can, or bake, there is likely someone around who knows how, and will teach you!
7. Sleep on the Green
The Green has lush, warm grass, which is the perfect place for us sleepy grad students to lay our heads. If you have not experienced a nap on the Green, you are missing out. It is better than any grad lounge you will ever see. Walk down to the green, and pass out without a care in the world!
Need a respite from the summer heat? Then walk down to Morano Gelato, which just won Best of New Hampshire’s Editor’s Pick Award for 2011. Many people wonder what gelato actually is. Well, in short, it is an Italian frozen dessert containing 4-8% milk fat compared to the 14% of US ice cream. The churning process allows the gelato to smooth out for a rich, creamy texture. Gelato is served warmer and denser than ice cream and thus the flavor profile is much richer, as evidenced by the blast of flavor in every spoonful. Morgan Morano, who actually learned to make gelato in Italy, runs Morano Gelato. She incorporates fresh ingredients into the batches of gelato that she makes from scratch every day.
The waters surrounding Dartmouth are full of fish. If you know where to look, you can catch Brook, Rainbow, and Brown Trout, Small and Large mouth Bass, as well as other species. For fishing licenses, equipment, and local-fishing knowledge, visit either the DOC house or Hanover Outdoors, the only fishing-specific shop in town. Catch and release is encouraged.
10. Drive in movies
Not many people know about this one! Yes, we have a drive-in movie theater! Technically, you have to leave the state for this one, but Vermont doesn’t count. The theater is located in Fairlee, VT and is only about 20 minutes away. Shows typically start a little after 8pm. The best part: $8 for an adult ticket for a double feature! So pack up your car with snacks, blankets, chairs, and pillows and head up to the Fairlee Motel and Drive-In Theater!
by Daniel Osipovitch
photos by Tennile Sunday