Lebanon, NH is located on the banks of the Connecticut River, on the border between New Hampshire and Vermont, in a region known locally as the ‘Upper Valley’.
Many have passed through the city of Lebanon on their way to Vermont or other areas of the UV without realizing the gems Lebanon offers to its visitors and residents. And Lebanon is an ideal jumping off point for ski and hiking activities in NH and VT, as well as visiting Dartmouth College’s beautiful campus in Hanover, NH.
Join us for a tour of the best things to do in Lebanon NH!
Sip something yummy from Lucky’s Coffee Garage
Known to locals as ‘Lucky’s, this converted garage-turned-coffee shop is a local favorite. Lucky’s retains its automotive vibe with license plate decor and rolling glass doors while offering hot and cold coffee drinks, delicious baked goods, including inventive macarons, and sandwiches and salads. Sit inside or outside, or take your treat across the street to the benches in Colburn Park.
Pick Apples at Patch Orchards
There are other apple orchards nearby, but Patch is off the beaten path and located on top of a hill with an incredible view to boot! On a clear day, you can see Killington Peak, located 45 miles away in Vermont. Patch offers Pick Your Own apples, cider donuts, a corn maze, and a family who has farmed the land for eight generations (and counting!)
Mountain Bike at Boston Lot
The Upper Valley has no shortage of outdoor activities, and mountain biking on the trails at Boston Lot is one of the best. Part of the Landmark/Boston Lot trail network, this area offers over 30 miles of trails with a range of trail difficulty for kids to advanced riders. Park and start your ride at the ‘Nature Lot’ at 287 Mascoma Street. Walkers and hikers are welcome on the Boston Lot trails too.
Take in a show at the Lebanon Opera House
The LOH, located in downtown Lebanon, offers local and national caliber shows and performances in a small and accessible setting. Renovated circa-1924, the venue seats 800, and there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Upcoming performances include a local high school performance of the musical Chicago, a showing of legendary ski filmmaker Warren Miller’s latest movie ‘Daymaker’ and a Big Bad Voodo Daddy’s holiday jazz music concert.
Pick Your Own at Riverview Farm
Riverview Farm, a short drive from Lebanon in Plainfield, NH, offers all sorts of farm goodies year-round. Pick strawberries in June, apples and pumpkins in September and October, make your own wreath for the holidays, or host an unforgettable event in their apple orchard.
Try a Maple Creemee at Mac’s Maple
Down the road from Riverview is Mac’s Maple, another ca n’t-miss stop for local goodies. Also the home of McNamara Dairy, Mac’s Maple offers Maple Creemees, a classic New England ice cream treat. Visit Mac’s during the sugaring season in February, March or April to see how maple syrup is made. And in the summer, you can pick your own sunflowers from their massive sunflower patch.
Take a Swim at Lake Mascoma
Lebanon and Enfield, NH share Mascoma Lake, and it’s a beautiful spot for a swim, a scenic drive, or a boat outing. Shakoma Town Beach is a public beach with parking and seasonal lifeguards, and there is a boat launch across the street.
In the winter, parts of the lake are cleared by Mascoma Lake Skating Association so you can ice skate and play hockey on the lake. And cap off your day with an ice cream, lunch or dinner at the Baited Hook, located lake-side in Lebanon.
Taste a taco from Lalo’s
Lalo’s is a newer addition to the Lebanon food scene that has had a big impact!
This taqueria-style taco restaurant on the Lebanon Mall offers simple and delicious Mexican favorites including corn tortillas, street or taqueria style tacos, tostadas and street corn, as well as local beers and non-alcoholic beverages. When their al pastor tacos show up on the menu jump on it because they are not to be missed.
Stroll or ride along the Mascoma River Greenway
The Mascoma River Greenway is a rail trail that connects Lebanon to Concord, NH via the Northern Rail Trail, a distance of approximately 60 miles. Bike, skate, walk, run or ride your horse on the former railroad bed as it meanders through trees, over rivers and past fields. The Lebanon trail section is mostly paved, while the Northern Rail Trail is primarily gravel.
Hit the slopes at Whaleback and Storrs Hill
Like all good New England small towns, Lebanon has its own ski hill in the form of Storrs Hill, and the larger ski mountain of Whaleback is a 10-minute drive away in Enfield. Take cross-country or downhill ski lessons at Storrs or learn to ski jump: the imposing wooden structure can’t be missed as you drive through town.
Whaleback offers skiing and snowboarding on 30 trails and over 700 feet of vertical. It’s ideal for a few laps before work or for teaching your kids to ski. They also offer community events year-round like movie and open mike nights, camping on the mountain, and cornhole tournaments.
Go Hiking Along the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail, or AT, runs from Georgia to Maine and passes through the town of Hanover, located five miles away from Lebanon. Try a hike to Velvet Rocks Shelter along the AT from downtown Hanover, or pick up the trail at Trescott Road. If the AT sounds too intimidating, there are plenty of other options for a walk in the woods, including the Bicknell Brook Trail in Enfield and the Mink Brook Nature Preserve in Hanover.
Day Trip to Woodstock, Vermont or Lake Sunapee, NH
Lebanon’s location makes it an ideal starting point for trips to northern NH and VT. The charming town of Woodstock, VT is a 30-minute drive and one of the biggest ski areas in the Northeast, Killington, is a 45-minute drive. Head north on I-89 for an hour to Burlington, VT, or an hour and a half to reach the adorable ski town of Stowe, VT. 30 minutes south of Lebanon is Lake Sunapee, with small lake towns to explore in the summer, and Sunapee Mountain ski resort in the winter.
Lebanon has so much to offer! Stop by during your next I-89 road trip, and you just might find yourself deciding stay for good.
You might also like:
- 9 Charming Lake Winnipesaukee Cabin Rentals
- 7 Must-Visit Breweries in Portsmouth NH
- 9 Abandoned Places in NH
- 12 Best Restaurants in New Hampshire
- 20 Things to Do in Manchester NH
- 22 Dreamy Cabins in New Hampshire to Book ASAP
- 11 Excellent Museums in NH for All Ages
Kate Lyon Bustard shares her love for New England at notesfrom_newengland on Instagram. Kate has spent her whole life in New England (aside from 9 years in NYC!), growing up in Hyannisport, MA on Cape Cod, attending Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and spending six years in the Boston/Cambridge area before relocating to the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire with her husband and son. She enjoys viewing and praising the foliage, hiking, farm to table meals, scenic drives and apres ski.