Dover was named as one of the country’s top 100 communities to live generally and specifically for young people, according to CNN Money, for its arts, culture & scene. It is a town of Strafford County, and still considered a Seacoast town, with the largest population in the area at 30,000 residents. It is home to one the best hospitals, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, as well 2 museums — Woodman Institute Museum, and the New Hampshire’s Children’s Museum. Henry Law Park located adjacent to the Children’s Museum was recently renovated and has entertainment for all ages, an adventure playground with a splash pad and indoor pool, music concerts & events. Dover has a strong school system, with great public & private school options, including Portsmouth Christian Academy offering K-12th grade, St. Mary’s & St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Schools, and University of New Hampshire minutes away. The downtown & surrounding area are growing, with reputable, highly acclaimed restaurants & shops, real estate developments on the rise, & real estate is blossoming. Steeped in history, Dover is a wonderful choice for a place to live, work & play.

Walking, Biking & Driving

All of the above! The downtown area is a quaint area of shops and restaurants that is perfect for a weekend stroll along the Riverwalk. There are biking and walking trails (Dover Community Trail & Heritage Trails) throughout town, and Hilton Park offers waterfront trails & a boat launch. Route 4 & 16 take you to I-95 as well as nearby Portsmouth & Southern Maine, in 20 minutes. At rush hour, there can be traffic on Route 4 & 16 corridor, but generally traffic is not an issue. Both Amtrak & the C&J Busline stop in Dover as well.

The Scene

Dover is on the forefront of blending modern architecture & business while preserving & respecting its deep historic roots as illustrated in its downtown area. Original mill buildings still stand and house local residents and businesses. The Cocheco River runs through the downtown area, and during summer months, boats navigate the river to enjoy the downtown attractions. Restaurants like Stages At One Washington and 7th Settlement Brewery are defining the foodie scene. Cocheco Country Club offers an 18-hole, championship golf course, and town recreation includes 2 Olympic-sized pools, ice skating at the Dover Ice Arena, and several parks. Yearly town events include the Cocheco Arts Festival, Apple Harvest Day, & Farmer’s Market.


Settled in 1623, Dover is the oldest settlement in NH, and 7th oldest in the U.S. William and Edward Hilton settled in 1623 on Cocheco Plantation. The Hilton name continued on, as “Hilton Park” on Dover Point was named. The city boasts some of the country’s oldest homes and architecture. Ever wonder why “Garrison City” is seen throughout town? Settlers use to build log houses, called garrisons, and the town adapted a nickname “Garrison City.” Dover itself may have been named after Robert Dover, an English lawyer who resisted Puritanism in the early 1600s.