What seems like ages ago (but was 10 states, 2 countries, and a little over a month ago), we celebrated our anniversary with a northeast road trip. We flew into Boston, picked up a rental car, and headed to Hanover, New Hampshire. My husband is a Dartmouth alum and I’ve been begging him to take me there. After vistitng Smith, I became obsessed with small New England towns.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for tours and products I love at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Northeast Road Trip to Dartmouth: Where to Stay
We went back and forth on hotels for awhile. There is a slightly larger town a few miles away (White River Junction), but I REALLY wanted to stay in Hanover. (There are basically two hotels in Hanover.) My husband always talked about how the Hanover Inn was so cool because it was right on campus. Ever since I stayed at the Charles in Harvard Square, I’ve loved college hotels, so I snagged a deal on the Hanover Inn. I’m SO GLAD I DID.
The Hanover Inn fits the Dartmouth campus perfectly. It’s located on the main drag so you can walk anywhere. The rooms are updated and modern. The hotel is traditional without being stuffy. Rooms have everything from a single-cup coffee maker (and all the flavored copies) to a corkscrew for opening wine and champagne. Every single detail is thought out and included. The staff is so friendly. My favorite thing, however, is the placard board for alums staying in the hotel.
Our Room at the Hanover Inn
Our standard room was quite comfortable with a nice sitting area, a decently-sized closet, and a view overlooking Dartmouth. I loved the upscale college feel to our room, and I slept really well. If the Dartmouth green blanket would match our decor, it would have been mine! I LOVED this room!
The bathroom had a large stand-up shower made of New Hampshire granite (the Granite State, after all)! The room had everything – from Gilchrist and Soames sundries, to the black towel embroidered with “for make up removal”, to the q-tips, cotton balls, nail file, and more. I love hotels that think of all the details.
In addition to commemorating my husband’s graduation with a class year placard in the lobby (forgot to snag a picture of that, but I took the card when we checked out!), the staff sent up some homemade whoopie pies to celebrate our anniversary! You can’t go wrong with that.
I’m already imagining a trip back in the fall to see the leaves change and another trip for the Winter Carnival. The idea of being snowed in at this cozy hotel seems ridiculously romantic to this girl!
Where to Eat in Hanover:
Again, Hanover is small. You would be amazed at how small it actually is. We weren’t there for long, but embracing the nostalgia, my husband’s first stop was EBAs (Everything But Anchovies). I wasn’t disappointed. We arrived mid-afternoon on the Thursday before Labor Day, so campus was fairly quiet and so was EBAs. Service is friendly, pizza is tasty, and the breadsticks are the biggest I’ve ever seen. (Skip the breadsticks and stay for the pizza.)
For breakfast, pastries, or any other kind of sweet treat (or to throwback to your college days, try the Lou’s Challenge, which my kids don’t recommend on the day you plan to fly anywhere), try Lou’s Restaurant. You could also grab your morning pick me up at the Dirt Cowboy Cafe and grab dinner (and beverages) at Murphy’s Irish Pub, which touts its food more than its beverages due to New Hampshire laws… according to my husband.
What to do at Dartmouth and in Hanover
Tour Dartmouth – You don’t have to take an official admissions tour, but campus is beautiful. My husband was upset that some buildings were missing their shutters in preparation for the arrival of the Class of 2020! The green is gorgeous. If you duck into Fairchild, there is a giant pendulum. It’s the oddest thing but worth seeing. We missed the Observatory by a few weeks (another reason to go back!), but it’s open to the public. Make sure you plan your visit around visiting the telescopes. There’s so little light pollution in Hanover that I’m sure the skies are incredible!
The Hood Museum is being renovated, but I enjoyed the Orozco murals in the basement of the library. They seem extremely prophetic given the times that we’re currently living in, sadly. They offer guided tours of the murals, but I chose my husband. He was proud to share the things he learned during his time at Dartmouth.
Northeast Road Trip to Dartmouth: Final Thoughts
The staff at the Hanover Inn recommend a visit to King Arthur Flour across the border in Vermont. They have cooking classes! Based on the products in their shop, the smell of their pastries, and my knowledge of their speciality items, I recommend any and all of the baking classes!! I hope to return and take advantage of the autumn pies, cookie decorating, or gingerbread house classes.
Hanover is the perfect place to begin a northeast road trip! It is absolutely relaxing. The weather is beautiful in early September. Food is delicious. And, I can’t say enough good things about the Hanover Inn. I loved seeing Dartmouth through my husband’s eyes and hearing more about his experiences.
NEXT STOP: Connecticut by way of Massachusetts!!