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Durham, NH

Family enjoys a walk at sunset on Wagon Hill Farm in Durham, NH

Durham NH, a town located in Strafford County and nestled 60 miles from Boston, is the home of one of the state’s most prominent universities – The University of New Hampshire (UNH).

Durham is an abode to approximately 16,000 citizens, with a significant percentage being UNH scholars. The cityscape boasts a quaint downtown area featuring some restaurants and bars as well as various small businesses; furthermore, the town has multiple parks and outdoor activity areas surrounding it.

Boasting celebrated historic sites such as the Durham Historic Association Museum and the Oyster River Stone Arch Bridge—which is featured in the National Register of Historic Places—the town has plenty to offer visitors. Not only that, but it also serves as a gateway to numerous recreational activities at The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. From birdwatching, hiking and beyond, one can experience nature’s beauty while exploring this unique area.

Durham is a lively and vibrant community that provides an abundance of cultural, recreational, and academic experiences. From the farmers’ market to the New Hampshire Film Festival to the annual Durham Fair, there are events for everyone throughout each season. With its mix of small-town charm, outdoor recreation spots, as well as educational opportunities – it’s no wonder why both residents and visitors adore this town!


Situated in the captivating Seacoast area of New Hampshire, Durham is a small but bustling community with its own distinct personality and deep heritage.

Recognized for being home to University of New Hampshire, this charming town provides an exciting mix of academic, cultural and recreational attractions that make it a one-of-a-kind place to explore or reside.

Whether you’re seeking a tranquil retreat, an academic adventure, or some outdoor fun, Durham is the perfect place for everyone. With its quaint downtown district and time-honored monuments to its lush natural scenes and jubilant community gatherings – there’s something in store for all here. 

Come experience the small-town vibes of Durham! Its inviting atmosphere paired with its grand spirit will provide you a one-of-a-kind getaway that won’t soon be forgotten.

Durham NH History:

With a legacy that dates back to the late 1600s, Durham, New Hampshire is steeped in history. Initially part of Dover town, it was officially recognized as its own independent township in 1732 and named after Durham, England – birthplace of former colonial governor Samuel Shute.

During the American Revolution, Durham played an important role as a center of trade and industry, with local residents providing supplies and materials to the Continental Army. The town’s gristmills, sawmills, and other industries also thrived during this period, thanks to the abundance of water power provided by the nearby Oyster River.

In the 19th century, Durham’s economy continued to grow and diversify, with new industries such as shoe manufacturing and papermaking emerging alongside traditional agriculture and fishing. The arrival of the Boston and Maine Railroad in the mid-1800s further fueled Durham’s growth, making it a key transportation hub for the region.

In the 20th century, Durham became known as a center of education and innovation, with the establishment of the University of New Hampshire in 1866. The university continues to be a major component of Durham’s identity and economy, drawing students, scholars, and visitors from all over the world.

Despite its numerous alterations through the years, this tenacious community has held on tight to its proud tradition while maintaining a deep appreciation for history.

Durham NH Geography and Climate:

Situated in the Seacoast region of southeastern New Hampshire, Durham is nestled along the bank of Oyster River and connects to Great Bay – an expansive estuary harboring a multifaceted array of wildlife.

Durham is an exquisite town of rolling hills, lush forests, and captivating streams. Soaring to a height of 360 feet above sea level is Beech Hill – the highest point in Durham that never fails to take your breath away!

Durham boasts a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons that offer breathtaking beauty. Summers are generally warm and moist, boasting average high temperatures of mid-80s (°F) which can sometimes reach higher peaks during heatwaves. Winters present cold days filled with snowflakes and an average temperature in the low 20s – yet even these frigid months bring occasional periods of extreme coldness to the city. Springtime blankets Durham’s streets in vibrant colors while Fall brings pleasant weather as temperatures range from cool 50s to comfortable 70s.

Durham is a town that faces harsh winter storms and flooding in its lower lying areas close to the Oyster River and Great Bay, yet this doesn’t stop people from being captivated by its breathtaking beauty. The diverse landscapes attract many adventurers and nature lovers alike throughout the entire year!

Durham NH Business and Economy:

Durham, New Hampshire boasts a thriving and diversified economy. Driving the town’s growth and success are businesses of all sizes operating in various sectors. The largest employer is none other than the University of New Hampshire – offering thousands with jobs across education, research, and administration fields alike! 

In addition to the university, Durham is home to a number of small businesses, shops, and restaurants, many of which are located in the town’s charming downtown district. Local entrepreneurs and artisans have also established a thriving creative economy, with a number of art galleries, craft shops, and other creative businesses operating in Durham.

The town’s location in the heart of the Seacoast region also makes it an attractive destination for tourism and outdoor recreation, with opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking, and other activities drawing visitors from throughout the region and beyond.

Durham is situated in the New Hampshire Seacoast, a vibrant economic region that features an array of industries from healthcare to finance. This diversified economy has made it one of the quickest-growing regions in all of New England, and as such, Durham stands to gain immeasurably from this growth trajectory for years ahead.

Durham NH Attractions and Activities:

If you’re searching for an unforgettable holiday, look no further than Durham, New Hampshire! With a multitude of activities and attractions to suit any age or interest level, your vacation in this stunning town will be truly memorable. Here are some highlights:

  1. University of New Hampshire: One of the town’s biggest draws is the University of New Hampshire, a large public research university that offers a range of educational and cultural opportunities, including concerts, lectures, and sporting events.
  2. Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: This protected area, located just south of Durham, offers visitors the chance to explore the diverse ecosystems of Great Bay, including tidal creeks, salt marshes, and mudflats. Visitors can hike, kayak, or take a guided tour to learn about the area’s unique flora and fauna.
  3. The Millpond Center for the Arts: This non-profit arts center, located in downtown Durham, offers a range of classes, workshops, and events for artists of all ages and skill levels, including painting, drawing, pottery, and more.
  4. Wagon Hill Farm: This picturesque farm, located on the banks of the Oyster River, offers visitors the chance to explore acres of fields and forests, as well as a restored 18th-century farmhouse.
  5. Nature trails: Durham is home to a number of nature trails, including the College Woods Trail and the Oyster River Trail, which offer visitors the chance to hike, bike, or jog through beautiful wooded areas and along the banks of the Oyster River.
  6. Durham Farmer’s Market: This vibrant market, held every Saturday from May to October, features a range of locally grown produce, artisanal foods, and handmade crafts, as well as live music and other entertainment.
  7. UNH Observatory: Open to the public on selected evenings, the UNH Observatory offers visitors the chance to view the night sky through telescopes and learn about astronomy and space science.

Durham is a destination like no other; its spectacular landscape, vibrant culture, and academic greatness make it an extraordinary place for people from around the world to visit.

Durham NH Dining and Shopping:

Whether you’re looking for a cozy café or popular chain restaurants, Durham, New Hampshire will be sure to satisfy your cravings. With unique local boutiques and stores also available in the area, visitors can choose from a variety of dining and shopping options. Here’s what Durham has to offer:


  1. Holloway’s Cafe: This cozy cafe, located in the heart of downtown Durham, offers a range of breakfast and lunch options, including sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options.
  2. Young’s Restaurant: A popular local spot, Young’s offers classic American diner fare, including burgers, fries, and milkshakes, as well as seafood dishes and daily specials.
  3. Durham House of Pizza: This local pizza joint offers a range of classic pies, as well as subs, salads, and calzones.
  4. Durham Market Place: This gourmet market offers a range of prepared foods, as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads, made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.


  1. Durham Book Exchange: This charming independent bookstore offers a range of new and used books, as well as puzzles, games, and gifts.
  2. The Candy Bar: This colorful candy store offers a wide range of sweets, including classic favorites and new and unusual flavors.
  3. Main Street Makery: This local boutique offers a range of handmade gifts, including jewelry, candles, and home decor items.
  4. Durham Antiques Market: This large antique store offers a wide range of vintage and antique items, including furniture, artwork, and collectibles.
  5. Staples Plaza: This shopping center, located just outside of downtown Durham, offers a range of stores, including a grocery store, a pharmacy, and a variety of chain stores and restaurants.

Durham is a one-stop destination for all your dining and shopping needs. With its wide array of cozy cafes, unique gifts, classic pizzerias, there’s something to delight everyone here — no matter the taste or budget!

Durham NH Education and Employment:

In Durham, New Hampshire, education and employment have a symbiotic relationship due to the presence of the University of New Hampshire (UNH). As the area’s largest employer, UNH helps ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for residents.


UNH is a large public research university that offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as research opportunities in a variety of fields.

The university is highly regarded for its programs in environmental science, engineering, business, and more. UNH is also a major cultural center for the region, with a wide range of lectures, concerts, and events throughout the year.

In addition to UNH, Durham is home to several highly regarded public and private schools, including Oyster River Cooperative School District, which includes an elementary school, middle school, and high school.


As mentioned, UNH is the largest employer in Durham, with over 5,000 faculty, staff, and administrators working in fields such as education, research, and administration. However, Durham also has a range of other employers, including small businesses, shops, and restaurants, as well as larger corporations located in nearby towns and cities.

The New Hampshire Seacoast region, of which Durham is a part, is also home to a diverse and growing economy, with a range of industries including healthcare, technology, manufacturing, and finance. This has helped to make the region one of the fastest-growing in New England, and has provided a range of employment opportunities for residents of Durham and the surrounding communities.

With its myriad of educational opportunities, such as University of New Hampshire and a plethora of public schools in the area, along with its prosperous economy, Durham is an enviable destination for students and professionals.

Durham NH Transportation:

Durham, New Hampshire offers a sparse selection of transportation options to commuters, with most relying on roadways as the primary option.


Durham is located just off of Route 4, a major east-west highway that connects the town to nearby Portsmouth and Concord. Route 108 also runs through Durham, connecting it to nearby towns such as Dover and Rochester. The town has several public parking lots, as well as on-street parking, available for visitors and residents.

Public Transportation:

Durham is served by the Wildcat Transit, which provides bus service to the University of New Hampshire, as well as to nearby towns such as Dover, Portsmouth, and Rochester. The service is primarily designed for UNH students and staff, but is also available to the general public for a small fee. Additionally, Amtrak’s Downeaster train service stops in nearby Dover, providing access to destinations throughout New England and beyond.

Biking and Walking:

Durham is a relatively small town and is generally considered to be bike- and pedestrian-friendly. The town has several bike lanes and paths, as well as sidewalks, making it easy to get around on foot or by bike. Additionally, the town is home to the College Woods, a 250-acre forest located on the UNH campus that offers several miles of hiking and biking trails.

With its charming layout that is walker- and cycle-friendly, as well as access to important roadways and major transportation hubs nearby, Durham provides dependable ways of transport even though public transit options are somewhat restricted.

Durham NH Community and Events:

Durham, New Hampshire is a vibrant community where locals come together to engage in various events and festivities throughout the year. Here are some of the exciting annual gatherings that take place in Durham:

  1. Durham Farmers’ Market: The Durham Farmers’ Market takes place every Monday from May through October and features a variety of vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.
  2. UNH Homecoming: Every fall, the University of New Hampshire hosts its homecoming celebration, featuring a football game, parade, and a range of other events and activities.
  3. Fourth of July Celebration: The town of Durham puts on a Fourth of July celebration every year, featuring a parade, live music, and fireworks.
  4. Durham Fair: The Durham Fair is a popular annual event that takes place in September and features a range of activities, including live music, craft vendors, food trucks, and more.
  5. UNH Parents Weekend: Every fall, the University of New Hampshire hosts Parents Weekend, welcoming parents and families to campus for a range of events and activities.
  6. Winter Market: During the winter months, the Durham Farmers’ Market moves indoors and continues to offer a variety of locally sourced goods.

Every year, Durham is host to a variety of events that bring the community together. Additionally, several organizations like the Durham Community Church, the Durham Garden Club and the Durham Conservation Commission reside in town and strive to create a sense of unity among its citizens.

Durham NH Sustainability:

Durham, New Hampshire is focused on making sustainability a mainstay, with initiatives and programs designed to reduce their carbon footprint while championing sustainable habits. For example, some of the remarkable efforts they have taken include:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Durham has implemented a number of energy efficiency measures, including LED streetlights, solar panels on public buildings, and energy-efficient upgrades to town facilities.
  2. Alternative Transportation: Durham has encouraged alternative modes of transportation, including biking, walking, and public transportation, through initiatives such as bike lanes, sidewalks, and the Wildcat Transit bus system.
  3. Recycling and Composting: The town has a robust recycling and composting program, which helps to reduce waste and promote sustainable practices.
  4. Sustainable Agriculture: Durham has several community gardens, as well as the UNH Organic Dairy Research Farm, which promotes sustainable farming practices.
  5. Green Spaces: The town has several parks and green spaces, including the 250-acre College Woods, which provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and help to promote environmental conservation.
  6. Sustainability Education: The University of New Hampshire offers a range of sustainability-focused courses and programs, and the town has implemented educational initiatives to promote sustainable practices among residents.

Above all, Durham’s sustainability initiatives demonstrate a responsibility towards safeguarding the environment and an appreciation of how sustainable habits strive to improve both local communities and our planet.

Places To See and Things To Do In Durham NH:

Take time to explore Durham, New Hampshire and discover the abundance of delights it has in store for its visitors! From outdoor recreation opportunities to cultural events, here are some top attractions that make this city a must-visit destination:

  1. College Woods: Located on the University of New Hampshire campus, College Woods is a 250-acre forest with several miles of hiking and biking trails.
  2. The UNH Dairy Bar: The UNH Dairy Bar serves up a range of ice cream flavors made with milk from the UNH Organic Dairy Research Farm.
  3. Wagon Hill Farm: Wagon Hill Farm is a scenic park with hiking trails, picnic areas, and views of the Great Bay.
  4. The UNH Art Museum: The UNH Art Museum features a collection of contemporary and modern art, as well as rotating exhibits.
  5. The Whittemore Center: The Whittemore Center is a multi-purpose arena that hosts a range of events, from concerts to UNH hockey games.
  6. The Durham Farmers’ Market: The Durham Farmers’ Market is held every Monday from May through October and features a range of vendors offering fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.
  7. The Woodman Institute Museum: Located just outside of Durham in nearby Dover, the Woodman Institute Museum features exhibits on natural history, local history, and more.
  8. Wildcat Mountain: Located just a short drive from Durham, Wildcat Mountain offers skiing and snowboarding in the winter, as well as scenic gondola rides in the summer and fall.
  9. The Durham Point Family Festival: This annual event, held in August, features live music, food vendors, games, and more.

Whatever your fascinations, Durham has something for everyone – outdoor recreation activities to cultural experiences and delightful cuisine. It’s the ideal destination no matter what age or interests you have!

Durham NH Healthcare Options:

Durham, New Hampshire offers its citizens a vast selection of healthcare facilities and practitioners to choose from. Here are just some of the numerous medical options that can be accessed within the city:

  1. University of New Hampshire Health Services: The University of New Hampshire operates a health services center on campus that provides a range of medical services to students, faculty, and staff, including primary care, urgent care, and mental health services.
  2. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital: Located in nearby Dover, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is a full-service hospital that offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgical services, and primary care.
  3. Portsmouth Regional Hospital: Located in nearby Portsmouth, Portsmouth Regional Hospital is a full-service hospital that offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgical services, and primary care.
  4. Goodwin Community Health: Located in nearby Somersworth, Goodwin Community Health is a community health center that offers a range of medical services, including primary care, dental care, and behavioral health services.
  5. ConvenientMD Urgent Care: ConvenientMD Urgent Care has a location in nearby Dover and offers urgent care services for non-life-threatening medical needs.

Durham residents are fortunate to have numerous healthcare providers in and around the city, providing services tailored to their health needs. From a variety of medical practices and clinics, locals can access specialized care that best fits them. With such comprehensive options available at their fingertips, people living in Durham will not lack for high quality healthcare solutions.


Durham, New Hampshire is a vibrant and spectacular place that radiates with history and economic growth. Residents or visitors of this mesmerizing community will have limitless activities to engage in; from embracing the beautiful outdoors to indulging in cultural events, entertainment venues and exquisite dining experiences. 

If you’re in need of legal aid in Durham or nearby areas, the Boynton Waldron Law Firm is here to serve. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to delivering exceptional service and strive to help our clients with anything from estate planning and business law matters, all the way down to personal injury needs. Don’t wait any longer – contact us today for a consultation so we can see how we can serve you best!