Explore the Merrimack Valley region of New Hampshire which encompasses the southern portion of the state and includes the cities of Manchester, Nashua, Salem and Concord. This area is also the most populated. It is defined by the Merrimack River that runs through it.
The Merrimack Valley is named and defined by the river that runs through it. The Merrimack River was an essential element of early life here and to the development of many surrounding towns. Today, the river provides a home to countless species of wildlife, a recreation area for kayakers and boaters and an arena for fisherman to try their sport.
This southern part of the state is unquestionably the "hub" of New Hampshire, where the largest portion of the population lives and works. The largest city, Manchester, which has a population of over 100,000 residents, is an old "mill town" that has seen a rebirth in recent years. It's where you'll find the Verizon Wireless Arena, home to the Manchester Monarchs hockey team, and the premiere concert venue in the state. It's also home to the State Capital, Concord, where you'll see the golden domed capitol building, circa 1819, towering over the city.
The city of Nashua, which has been named one of the top 5 places to live by Money Magazine, is a border town, popular with shoppers who come from Massachusetts to enjoy tax-free shopping. In nearby Merrimack you'll find the famous Budweiser Clydesdales residing at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. In Salem, the largest amusement park in the state, Canobie Lake Park, attracts visitors who enjoy roller coasters, water rides and cotton candy. In smaller towns, like Londonderry and Deerfield, only a few steps away from the larger cities, you'll find apple orchards, roadside farm stands, and all of the trappings of country life.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon is home to several NASCAR races each year, making it a beloved destination for motor sports fans across the country. Popular swimming spots include the 9,600-acre Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown and Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham.
Wherever you happen to be in the Merrimack Valley, you are never far from the city or the country. You are a short drive away from the big city life of Boston, lakes, mountains and the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean lapping the shore. Whatever your interests, from sports to art to hiking or biking, you are bound to find something here that you'll love. More than any other part of the state, what you'll find here, is diversity.
© 2016 Union Leader Corporation