Lifestyle: Welcome to Our Neighborhood
The heartbeat of a healthy city is its people and in Dover, we are committed to the Urban Village concept. We have a downtown where people live and work, shop and play. In our Urban Village, people live up over their shops or restaurants, and many of your customers are also your neighbors. You can easily walk to shops and services, or intown entertainment. The city is alive, safe, and friendly; truly a place to call “home.”
Dover is a city of options, from dynamic downtown urban living, to friendly neighborhoods, and outlying rural properties. Intown, choose from historic homes, condominiums, or apartments, including some in restored mill buildings with their handsome brick and large windows. Downtown living means enjoying the many restaurants and street cafes, shops, thriving arts and music scenes, and nearby parks.
If a downtown neighborhood is what you seek, Dover offers classic homes on tree-lined streets. Many homes feature architecture from Colonial, Georgian and Victorian periods. You’ll see children playing ball and riding bikes, and families gathering to visit. Dover’s suburbs offer a mix of modern and older homes, including new subdivisions with green features. A rural character still exists within Dover’s boundaries, with a number of active farms and greenhouses still in operation, and opportunities for buying single family homes out in the countryside.
- Dover students historically have tested higher than the national average on scholastic tests.
- The district is among a select group fitting the model of “What Parents Want.” Only 14 percent of the nation’s 15,620 school systems receive this distinguished honor.
- Dover High School is a modern facility offering advanced placement and honors courses, as well as a well-equipped regional career technical center, which features many programs to prepare students to enter the area workforce.
- Dover is home to several top quality private schools, including St. Mary Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas, which provide elementary and secondary education respectively, Portsmouth Christian Academy of Dover, which serves Pre-K through Grade 12, and the Cocheco Arts and Technology Academy, a public charter school in the performing arts. St. Mary Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas offer challenging academic programs and college preparatory courses, with emphasis on moral development, while Portsmouth Christian Academy provides a superb education in a non-denominational Christian setting. The Cochecho Arts and Technology Academy is an art-based college preparatory school, serving grades 9-12. They offer courses in core academics, the performing arts, and technology related to the arts.
Dover residents receive some of the best healthcare in New England, thanks to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in the region, and the numerous specialty providers located along the Route 108 “Medical Mile.” Many providers are affiliated with Boston hospitals. A new five-story medical practices complex has just opened, adding to the abundance of quality healthcare.
- Dover is surrounded by extensive parkland, three rivers, hiking trails, and stunning natural views.
- Water access is easy, and the Cocheco, Salmon Falls, and Bellamy Rivers are all popular destinations for kayakers, canoeists, boaters, and fishermen.
- Boaters coming up the Cocheco can dock at George’s Marina, a full service marina offering dock slips, a nearby restaurant, and service and repair for all kinds of craft.
- Dover’s parks encompass more than 150 acres, ranging from parkland in the heart of downtown to the 73-acre Willand Pond Recreation Area which offers four-seasons of fun. The pond is ideal for swimming, fishing, and boating, ice skating and ice fishing in the winter, and hiking anytime along its pond-side trail.
- Hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are all easily available, as are great walking and running trails.
- Families escape the summer heat at the Jenny Thompson Olympic Pool, named for the much decorated Olympic swimmer, a Dover native. The pool is located at Guppey Park, which also encompasses the Dover Ice Arena, home to learn to skate, hockey, and figure skating programs, and a community softball field.
- Families enjoy the many programs offered year-round by the Dover Recreational Department, including a full slate of aquatic offerings at the indoor pool, basketball and indoor soccer at Butterfield Gym, fitness programs, basketball, soccer, baseball and golf leagues, and summer camps and playground programs filled with activities galore.
- Golf courses abound, with four courses in or adjacent to Dover.
From history to art, dance to theater, Dover has offerings that broaden your mind and lift your spirit.
- One of the city’s premier institutions is the Woodman Institute Museum and William Damn Garrison. Often called a “museum’s museum,” the Woodman Institute is a true turn-of-the-century institute with exhibits on natural science, history, art, culture, and furniture displayed throughout a four-building complex that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Spring through fall, people flock to the riverside every few weeks to go on board the gundalow, a full-scale replica of the historic boats that once plied the region’s rivers. A Coast Guard-certified version is also now available for excursions.
- At the Children’s Museum, guests take their imagination to new heights, as they explore two floors of custom-created interactive exhibits for children of all ages, from toddlers to middle schoolers. Here kids can dig up dinosaur fossils, play music, take the controls of the space shuttle or navigate a submarine. Special programs and events are held throughout the year.
- The city is home to several dance academies, a gymnastics academy, vocal and music studios, art galleries and a downtown cinema offering feature films. The Dover Public Library features monthly exhibits, programs, and presentations by local authors.
- Enjoy live theater at the Garrison Players in neighboring Rollinsford.
- The Whittemore Center in nearby Durham is a 6,100-seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility located on the University of New Hampshire campus. The “Whit” annually hosts more than 100 athletic events, popular music concerts, special events, and trade shows, and is home to the nationally-ranked UNH Wildcats hockey team.