15 Best Things to Do in Dover, NH
Within Strafford County in New Hampshire lies the vibrant and bustling Dover city.
With a population of around 33,000, it is the largest city in the state’s Seacoast region and the fifth largest.
It is also one of the oldest continuous settlements in the United States, having settled in the country since the 17th century.
As the county seat of New Hampshire, Dover provides tourists with abundant recreational activities.
From indoor adventures to outdoor escapades, you’ll never run out of fun things to do in the Garrison City.
Not sure what to do in this beautiful place?
Then, check out the 15 best things to do in Dover, New Hampshire!
Discover History, Art, and Science at Woodman Museum
Woodman Museum is the perfect place to explore the wonderful world of history, science, and art.
In 1916, Annie E. Woodman established the museum, offering a unique experience of the knowledge trifecta: history, natural science, and the arts.
You’ll see a beautiful garden and the oldest Sycamore tree in Strafford County on the museum grounds.
You’ll go on memorable adventures in their four historic houses, each with its theme and concept.
In the Hale House, you’ll learn about the socioeconomic history of Dover.
The Woodsman House showcases a collection of rocks, fossils, and preserved animal specimens.
You can find a gallery displaying Early American history in the Damm Garrison House.
Finally, the Keefe House contains a library and the Thom Hindle Art Gallery.
Woodman Museum is on Central Avenue, north of the local Burger King.
Have Fun Learning at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
One of Dover’s most valuable treasures is the family-friendly Children’s Museum of New Hampshire.
Located on Washington Street, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire is an educational center focused on interactive learning.
They have a variety of engaging and exciting exhibits designed for kids and adults to learn in a fun way.
For example, their nature exhibits, like the Yellow Submarine and Cave Explorer, let learners navigate the museum’s diverse environments.
Their One World exhibit has a World Market, World Café, and a World Festival Celebration for learners to immerse in different world cultures.
They also host several events like classes, workshops, and performances.
Head down to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire for quality time with your family.
Enjoy the View at Hilton Park
Do you need a break from the city’s ever-bustling streets?
Hilton Park is a great place for a peaceful and relaxing afternoon.
The park features an open waterfront space to enjoy the picturesque Piscataqua River.
The refreshing breeze and calming atmosphere provide the perfect setting for a picnic with family and friends.
It has a well-kept playground for your children to run around and explore.
If you’re into fishing, you’ll enjoy catching some striped bass, bluefish, and more.
You can find Hilton Park on Dover Point Road, a bit south of the transportation department.
Take a Breath of Fresh Air at the Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area
Enjoy the great outdoors at the Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area.
The Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area is a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary with stunning sceneries and habitats that the local flora and fauna consider home.
The area’s prominent features include a riverside shoreline, several wetlands, and woodlands.
With its abundant wildlife and natural landscapes, you can engage in various recreational activities such as fishing, hunting, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
During your stay, you’ll likely meet a variety of critters like deer, pheasants, cottontails, and migrating waterfowl.
The Bellamy River Wildlife Management Area is on Old Garrison Road, about four miles south of Dover City Hall.
Marvel at the Historic St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church is a beautiful, historic piece of architecture listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1840, the former Carpenter Gothic church got demolished in the late 1880s when the city of Dover took its land to create a new city hall.
In 1890, they relocated and rebuilt the church in the Gothic Revival style designed by English architect Henry Vaughan.
When you enter the church, you’ll admire the original woodwork and plaster they used for the interior.
The church also holds the Annual Harvest Fair, an ongoing tradition that dates to the early 1950s.
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church is in downtown Dover across Dover City Hall.
Grab Intricate Stoneware at Salmon Falls Stoneware
What’s a vacation without some shopping?
Salmon Falls Stoneware is a must-visit if you’re looking to buy some of the finest stoneware in New Hampshire.
Located on Oak Street behind the Dover Ice Arena, Salmon Falls Stoneware showcases a collection of stoneware with beautiful and intricate patterns.
The owner, Andy Cochran, started his business in the back of his 1935 Ford pickup truck.
Since then, it has grown from a one-person operation to a pottery enterprise with around 40 employees.
They specialize in traditional American salt-based pottery and use original artwork for their molds.
Their products include baking dishes, kitchenware, tableware, crocks and vases, and lamps.
Have Brunch at the Sassy Biscuit
The Sassy Biscuit is a popular restaurant specializing in serving high-quality brunch menus.
This “bruncherie” serves an assortment of food items you can enjoy during the late morning or early afternoon.
They sell delicious pastries like pancakes, waffles, and toast that’ll satisfy your sweet cravings.
They also have a selection of savory dishes like the Kentucky and house-smoked bacon that’ll fill your belly.
If you’re into healthy meals, you must try their featured Driving Ms. Daisy and Avo-Toast.
Experience the best brunch you’ll ever have at the Sassy Biscuit, located on Washington Street.
Chow Down on Lobster at Newick’s Lobster House
Lobster is one of the most popular seafood in the world because of its rich and luxurious flavor.
You’ll eat the best lobster in Dover at Newick’s Lobster House.
Newick’s Lobster House started selling traditional lobster rolls in a small take-out stand 74 years ago.
Since then, the business has become a large and busy restaurant with an expanded menu.
Currently, they serve an assortment of seafood dishes like fish tacos, clam chowder, and haddock.
However, what makes them extremely popular is their lobster roll whose recipe has remained unchanged since 1948.
You can imagine the rich, creamy goodness as you take a bite out of their famous lobster roll.
For an incredible eating experience with a waterfront view, visit Newick’s Lobster House on Dover Point Road.
Buy Local Produce at Tendercrop Farm at the Red Barn
Buying local produce has never been more fun than at Dover’s Tendercrop Farm at the Red Barn.
Tendercrop Farm at the Red Barn is the city’s premier provider of fresh and organic produce, meat, and baked goods.
Located on Dover Point Road, they have a selection of fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, and homemade bread.
They even offer gluten-free options, so there’s something for everyone on the farm.
Aside from selling freshly grown produce and meat, they also host fun events like the annual Sunflower Festival and the Dover Bonfire.
Include Tendercrop Farm at the Red Barn in your itinerary and grab some fresh local produce.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Revisit History at the Historic Hamilton House
The lovely Hamilton House overlooks the Salmon Falls River and Vaughan Woods at South Berwick, Maine, 12 minutes from Dover.
Considered a national landmark, the Hamilton House showcases the best of the early twentieth century with its elegant design and marvelous landscape.
They offer a tour of the house and its grounds, where you’ll feel the rich and stylish taste of the Tyson family.
The Vaughan Woods projects a mysterious ambiance, transporting you to a different dimension.
The picturesque view of the majestic Salmon Falls River takes your breath away.
Once you see its scenic views, check out its collection of handcrafted decorative art and antique furnishings.
Get a Hole-in-One at the Oaks Golf Course
The Oaks Golf Course provides a unique golf experience for players of all skill levels.
Designed by architect William Bradley Booth, the golf course features 18 holes with spectacular views, a world-class one-acre driving range, and beautiful greens.
What makes this place great is the opportunity for beginners to practice with world-class equipment and facilities.
They offer top-grade golf balls, a 9,000-square-foot putting area, and target greens with flags.
For an unforgettable golfing experience, visit the Oaks Golf Course at Somersworth, New Hampshire, 12 minutes from Dover.
Play Hard at Hilltop Fun Center
Are you looking for non-stop fun and excitement?
Look no further than Hilltop Fun Center at Somersworth, seven minutes from Dover.
Hilltop Fun Center is Seacoast’s largest attraction center, boasting five adrenaline-pumping attractions that’ll surely make your heart racing.
Their 13-hole miniature golf course provides tons of fun with its rock features, ponds, streams, and a 15-foot waterfall.
Their four Go-Kart Tracks satisfy your need for speed, and their Laser Tag arena lets you duke it out with your friends.
Is this too boring for you?
Then hop on the Extreme Air Jumper and leap 22 feet in the air.
Taste Elegance at Flag Hill Distillery and Winery
Have a taste of the rich and flavorful liquors at the elegant Flag Hill Distillery and Winery in Lee, New Hampshire, 21 minutes from Dover.
Flag Hill Distillery and Winery has created high-quality liquor since 1990, making it New Hampshire’s oldest distillery.
The establishment features a 110-acre farm that produces grapes, grain, and vegetables for its liquor and food menus.
They have an assortment of alcoholic drinks, from whiskey to wine, and everyone enjoys that.
They also host a once-a-month event called Brunch & Bubbles, where they serve their signature beverages and traditional brunch offerings.
Flag Hill Distillery and Winery is on North River Road.
Go Camping at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort
Camping with your family is always a treat, and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort takes camping to a new level.
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort is full of fantastic activities which all members of the family can enjoy,
The campgrounds present only nature’s best, from the sound of birds chirping to the scenic lake view.
The park has lovely amenities, including playgrounds, basketball courts, a pool, and even an arcade!
They also offer exciting attractions like gem mining, scavenger hunt, and laser tag.
Bring your family to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort in Milton, New Hampshire, 30 minutes from Dover.
Get Spooked at Haunted Overload
Go on a spooky adventure at one of the most creative and unique experiences in New Hampshire, Haunted Overload.
Haunted Overload is on Orchard Way, Lee, 12 minutes from Dover.
Likewise, it is one of the top haunted attractions in the country.
Their attractions feature the “3 Levels of Fear”: the Day Haunt, the Fright Night Lite, and the Haunted Overload.
The Day Haunt is a tour of the haunted trails in broad daylight without actors scaring you, perfect for young children and the faint of heart.
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, go at night to join the Fright Night Lite, a dark yet equally scare-free version of the Day Haunt.
When you’re ready, try the award-winning Haunted Overload and venture into a dark forest of creatures and monsters lurking at every corner.
Dover is full of life, and you’ll always find something fun to do wherever you go.
With each step, you’ll immerse yourself in the community’s rich culture and hearty atmosphere.
Nearby cities/towns also offer the same level of fun and excitement to make the most out of your visit to New Hampshire.
If you’re considering which place to go to for your next vacation, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the best things to do in Dover, New Hampshire!
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Best Things to Do in Dover, NH