This time last year, I was preparing to move back to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Having not lived in the area since high school, it was a fairly intimidating and also exciting to become more involved in the community where I grew up. Making the transition from a large city to the City on the Lakes can be daunting to some folks, but if you know where to search, there’s an abundant life to be had. Keeping a check on the economic job growth and initiatives to attract young professionals “like me” were important when considering if this was the right move. In building this “Lakes Region Relocation Guide” I considered resources in the area that stand out and things to see for yourself.
Below are a few recommendations to young professionals making the move from a fast-paced urban lifestyle to a smaller community with just as much to offer.
Connect with professional networks in the area
There’s no better way to become integrate in the community than by attending events hosted by local professional networks. Depending on the amount of time you have to commit, taking on a leadership position or joining a board is also a great way to meet like-minded locals. If you’re thumbing through the Laconia Daily Sun or The Citizen, you’ll often spot these local organizations:
Often considered the young professional (YP) network of the Lakes Region, Fusion hosts events for the opportunity for anyone in the area to connect on a professional and social level. From summer stand-up-paddle-boarding to fundraiser bowl-a-thons, Fusion’s events bring folks from a variety of industries together for relationship building.
Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce
Not only a great resource for learning about businesses and resources in the area, the Chamber also hosts business meet-and-greets for active locals to network and learn about all of the businesses associated with the organization. Business owners work together not only to improve business in the Lakes Region, but also the quality of life. Coming up this spring, the Chamber is hosting a leadership development summit for young professionals called Shake the Lake.
Your Personal Network
Do you know anyone in the area? For me, family is here and friends from high school. I had an immediate network to tap into. Outside of these relations, I asked those that I trusted to connect me with people that may have similar interest and thus new friends emerged.
Explore a variety of housing options
You may not be ready to buy, but there are certainly options to rent. New luxury housing options were just built on the edge of downtown Laconia, Perley Canal Mill. In addition, finding rentals can be easiest on Craigslist. If you experience sticker shock from the some of the high rental rates in the city on the lakes, also explore the Laconia Area Community Land Trust. The LACLT is an affordable housing option for low- and moderate-income individuals and families earning up to 80% of area median income. They have over over 200 one- to four-bedroom permanently affordable rental units in our inventory located in Laconia, Meredith, Tilton, and Wolfeboro and also provide financial education for prospective homeowners.
If you’re looking to own, there a great deal of small and large agencies to assist in relocation and the home search. Here are a few:
Recreation and entertainment is abundant
For fun seekers, it’s not difficult to find a plethora of events, activities and explorations in the area. From hiking to concerts and breweries, there’s no lack of entertainment in the area year-round. Here are a few favorites to keep explore by category:
Entertainment & Activities
- Gunstock Mountain Resort (Gilford, NH) – Year-round outdoor recreation and events
- Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion (Gilford, NH) – Concert venue
- Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center (Gilford, NH) – outdoor education and events
Local Breweries & Wineries
- Hermit Woods Winery (Meredith, NH)
- Canterbury Ale Works (Canterbury, NH)
- Tuckerman Brewing Company (Conway, NH)
- Woodstock Inn Brewery (North Woodstock, NH)
- The Lone Wolfe Brewing Company (Wolfeboro, NH)
- Hobb’s Tavern & Brewing Company (West Ossipee, NH)
Hiking & Trails
In addition to the list of Concord trails nearby, here are some closer options to the Lakes Region. Many of these are easy afternoon or early morning walks.
- Rattlesnake Mountain Trail (Center Sandwich, NH)
- Mount Major Trail (Alton Bay, NH)
- Mount Morgan Trail (Center Sandwich, NH)
- Mount Percival Trail (Center Sandwich, NH)
- Cardigan Mountain Trail (Canaan or Alexandria, NH)
- Eagle Cliff and Red Hill (Center Sandwich, NH)
Locally grown food and farms
With a variety of farms and locally sourced food in the Granite State, it’s easy to fall in love with the experience of picking up produce at a local farm and finding restaurants that source local. This is particularly true in the summer when being outdoors is a way of life. Here’s a brief list of some the more popular farms in the area:
- Moulton Farm (Meredith, NH)
- Beans & Greens (Gilford, NH)
- Loon Pond Farm (Gilmanton, NH)
- Picnic Rock Farm (Gilford, NH)
There you have it, from making connections and finding housing to recreation and produce. If you’re considering a move to the Lakes Region, consider all that the area has to offer and make sure to reach out to those living in the area to make sure that it’s the right move for you. Keep reading our blog to see what other locals are doing in New Hampshire.