Stepping Out of Hanover
Take a beautiful 30-minute drive to this famous railroad-side joint. The burgers — classic beef, veggie, salmon, turkey and more — are renowned by Dartmouth students, and the fries come as a close second. Be warned, though, the restaurant only accepts cash. Don’t get caught with a credit card and an empty stomach.
This charming town has it all — a beautiful inn, antique shops, cozy diners and a state park. A great option for visiting parents or a day with friends. For those not from the Northeast who want to see a quintessential New England town and brag about it to friends back home, this is it. Make sure to stop and look at the stunning views of the Quechee Gorge on your way there.
Just a few miles past the West Lebanon strip malls, the Ledges are a set of natural pools and waterfalls. It’s a peaceful getaway right of campus where students spend their time sunbathing on rocks or jumping into the small pools. It’s only a short stroll through the woods, so it’s the perfect option for some fresh air without the hike.
Ben and Jerry’s Factory
In what can only be described as a truly amazing experience, touring the Ben and Jerry’s Factory is one of the sweetest opportunities away from campus. Try out new flavors and visit the Flavor Graveyard, where the retired flavors are tucked away after they’re taken off the shelves. Make sure you don’t try to leave the tour early, though. The end features a wide selection of free samples.
The Great Vermont Corn Maze
Open until mid-fall, this maze is one of the trickiest around. Located amid stunning scenery, the maze extends across dozens of acres and changes every year. Keep going until you find the “Bell of Success” or until you’ve had enough — if you can do it without cheating or help, you’ve already outdone most Dartmouth students.
King Arthur Flour (KAF)
While the small KAF café in Baker-Berry Library may close in the winter, the flagship of the famous bakery is only a mile away in Norwich. Go for the sandwiches, baked goods, drinks, spreads and everything else you could ever want. For the more culinary inclined student, they offer several cooking classes to help you unlock the secrets to true baking bliss.
One of the more popular destinations for “sunsikes,” or sunset hikes, the Gile Firetower is only a short ride from campus. You’ll climb up a rickety tower that, while not for those terrified of heights, will afford incredible views of both the New Hampshire and Vermont mountains. Make sure you don’t get too mesmerized by the sunset to get down by dark!
The Fort is a cozy little diner inconspicuously nestled in the back of a gas station a few miles from campus. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly ordinary location. It’s a classic destination for campus groups to take new members, and the waitresses are all too familiar with Dartmouth students. The Fort, or “Fort Lou’s” as it’s affectionately know to some, is open 24 hours a day and offers amazing eggs, bacon, pancakes, coffee and muffins the size of a child’s head. Come hungry, leave happy.
Four Aces Diner
Like many of the Upper Valley culinary gems, Four Aces is located quite inconspicuously near the bridge from West Lebanon to White River Junction. Get the cinnamon swirl pancakes and popovers — this is definitely a place to go for sweet over savory. Get an early start to avoid the lines. Diners often move at a more leisurely pace here.
Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and Mount Moosilauke
You’ll stay at the beautiful lodge on Trips, and if you’re one of the brave souls willing to wake up before sunrise, you’ll probably hike the mountain, too. The Lodge is open for dinner reservations throughout the fall,winter, spring and summer. Take your friends there on a random night or spend the day hiking the stunning trails. Lodjoween, a special Halloween-themed dinner on Halloween night, is also a must-do at some point during your college career.
Ice Cream Fore-U and Fore-U Golf Center
Conveniently located in the parking lot of your local Home Depot, Fore-U is quite the utopia. It’s packed with a driving range and the cheapest and most delicious ice cream you’ll ever buy. We recommend Flying Fish Fudge — just trust us. Serving sizes are notoriously large. The “baby” size has been known to feed an entire group of friends. Make sure to bring cash. They don’t accept anything else!
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sights in the area, it’s a relatively short drive from campus and the views from the summit are well worth the steep hike. Once you’ve made your trek through the woods, a well deserved rock-slab awaits the perfect place for a picnic or some casual sunbathing. Make sure to bring a jacket, though, since the exposed top is chilly even on warm days.
They’re not the easiest getaway to find, but these abandoned copper mines are well worth the drive. Yes, the water’s beautiful color comes from the abundance of oxidized copper mixed into it. The scenery is incredible, though, and jumping off the cliffs is a well-known Dartmouth summer experience.