Manchester (New Hampshire)

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Manchester is in New Hampshire, USA. The state's largest city has enjoyed a renaissance over the past several years. Once home to extensive manufacturing operations devoted to producing textiles, the area has a vibrant and largely service-oriented economy. It is home to several educational institutions, including Southern New Hampshire University and St. Anselm College.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

  • Manchester - Boston Regional Airport (IATA: MHT), Brown Av. Route 101 exit 2, Phone: +1 603 624-6556, [1]. A convenient way to get to the city and much of southern New Hampshire. Sometimes used as a low-cost, low hassle alternative to Logan International Airport in Boston. Airlines serving Manchester include Delta, Southwest, United, and US Airways. Southwest is the primary passenger air carrier for the airport, and now accounts for more than half of the airport's annual passenger traffic. There are non-stop flights to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New Orleans New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa, and Washington. Air Canada canceled Toronto Manchester service on 10/11. Delta has been increasing service to MHT including larger aircraft on the MHT-ATL route.

Travelers at the airport will find it a convenient and easy to navigate facility. There are two security checkpoints, one on the second level in the center of the terminal, and one on the west end's ground floor, to the "right" of the airline ticket counters. Use the ground floor checkpoint if the center terminal one is busy; they both go to the same place, and the walk between the two is short.

Smokers will find -- to their joy -- that there are two smoking rooms in the airport, one on the ground floor by the main baggage claim area, and one behind the security checkpoint. However, the future status of these rooms is uncertain, and they may soon be supplanted. One can smoke outdoors with no trouble.

You can take the number 3 MTA bus from the airport to the city Monday through Friday. The buses run between 5:25 - 9:25 AM and between 1:25 PM and 7:25 PM.

By bus[edit]

By car[edit]

The city is located right on Interstate 93, and Route 3. To reach downtown from Boston, take I-93 to its junction with I-293, then take I-293 until you reach Exit 5 (Granite Street).

  • Town & Country Taxi, Phone: +1 603 668-3434.

Get around[edit]

Renting a car, which may be done at the airport, and walking are the easiest ways to get around Manchester. Bus service and taxis are also available, although bus service is relatively limited and taxis can be expensive. Renting a car, or knowing a local who has one, will make your life considerably easier.

  • On foot: Downtown (Elm St.) has become more walkable as of late, much of the sites are within walking distance.

See[edit]

  • Currier Art Museum201 Myrtle Way +1 603 669-6144. Collection includes works by Picasso, Monet, and O'Keefe. Features European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs, sculpture, and performances. The museum owns Frank Lloyd Wright's Zimmerman House, the only Wright-designed house in New England open to the public. Museum Hours Su, M, W, F 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-8PM. Sa 10AM-5PM. Free admission Sa 10AM-1PM. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Zimmerman House hours: tours M, Th, F at 2PM; Sa at 11:30AM, 1PM and 2:30PM; Su at 1PM and 2:30PM.
  • Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center6 Fletcher St +1 603 622-3474. Year round. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. (Also open Sundays May, Jun). Interactive exhibit hall that allows visitors to explore the Merrimack River. View live turtles, frogs and salmon, play a salmon migration game, generate electricity. During May and June, view migrating shad, herring and sea lamprey through underwater viewing windows looking into a 54-step fish ladder.
  • Manchester Historical Society Millyard Museum +1 603 622-7531. Mill No 3, Commercial St., W-Sa 10AM-4PM. Exhibits on the history of the city, including early colonial settlement, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company (at its peak was the largest textile producer in the world), and present-day immigration to the city.

Sports[edit]

Manchester is home to a handful of minor-league sports teams, all of which enjoy considerable support from local fans. The two most popular include the Eastern League's New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA baseball affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) and the American Hockey League's Manchester Monarchs (top affiliate of the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings). Additionally, the New Hampshire Phantoms, a soccer team in the USL's Premier Development League (the fourth level in the American league pyramid), play in town.

The Fisher Cats' season runs from spring to summer. The team has captured two Eastern League championships (in their inaugural season of 2004 and also in 2011). The Monarchs start play in late fall and run through early spring. The Monarchs have won two division titles (2004–05, 2006–07) since beginning play in 2001 and maintain numerous local AHL rivals, including the Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, Connecticut Whale, and Worcester Sharks.

Do[edit]

  • Livingston Park, Hooksett Road. Running track, ballfields, walking, playground.

Buy[edit]

As with the rest of New Hampshire, there is no sales tax.

South Manchester is home to many large chains and the Mall of New Hampshire. The area is collectively referred to as South Willow Street after the name of the main road. Downtown (on and near Elm Street) offers many smaller shops.

  • Neo Tokyo Anime & Comics168 Amherst St +1 603 666-0214. Open 7 days 11AM-6PM.
  •    Double Midnight Comics and Collectibles245 Maple Street, Manchester, NH 03103 (Across from Gill Stadium),  +1 603-669-XMEN (9636). Monday: 9-5 Tuesday: 11-7 Wednesday: 11-8 Thursday - Saturday: 11-7 Sunday: 12-6. At Double Midnight we love comics and gaming. Owned and operated by Brett Parker and brothers Chris and Scott Proulx, we opened our doors in July of 2002 in an effort to provide a fun and exciting place to shop and game. We're committed to making our store the best it can be and we always welcome your suggestions on how to make it better. Feel free to stop in a pick up game in our arena or just chat comics.

Eat[edit]

For a city of its size, Manchester has surprisingly good restaurants, including some devoted to cuisines one would have trouble finding in larger cities. State law prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars.

  • Cafe Momo1065 Hanover St +1 603 623-3733. This small (30 seat) eatery serves excellent Nepalese food, which has elements of Indian and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant has a variety of vegetarian options and offers plenty of spicy -- very spicy -- entrees. The fiery gundruk soup is a must for lovers of spicy food, although be warned: it will clear your sinuses something fierce. A small parking lot, but other parking nearby is easily available.
  • El Mexicano Jr,197 Wilson St +1 603 665-9299. This small 'hole-in-the-wall' eatery is brightly colored and serves authentic Mexican food, ranging from chile verde to Mexican-style tacos. Tacos range from standard fare (carnitas, al pastor) to relatively exotic (buche, that is, pork stomach). Inexpensive, good for lunch, no credit cards. Street parking.
  • Siam Orchid,581 Second St +1 603 647-5547. Enjoy outstanding Thai cuisine at this stylish restaurant. Curries are especially good. This restaurant has been known to impress visitors from Southern California well-versed in the joys of Thai cuisine. It is also especially easy to get to from elsewhere in the city -- if staying near the airport, take I-293 north to Exit 4, and head straight ahead at the stoplight after exiting the freeway. Voila, you're there.
  • The Puritan Restaurant245 Hooksett Rd +1 603 669-6980. Quality Service since 1917. A VERY popular destination for locals serving American and Greek food. You may even see Adam Sandler there.
  • The Red Arrow Diner61 Lowell St +1 603 626-1118. Very fun diner, open 24 hours since 1922. Voted one of the top ten diners in the country by USA Today. Very good pancakes.
  • Lala's Hungarian Pastry & Restaurant836 Elm St +1 603 647-7100. Hungarian and Austrian pastries, breakfast and lunch.
  • Piccolo Italia Ristorante827 Elm St +1 603 606-5100. Voted Manchester's No. 1 Italian Restaurant -- and with good reason. There is no better place for Italian food in Manchester. Reservations are strongly suggested. Terrific pasta and veal.
  • Bob Nadeau's House of Subs776 Mast Rd +1 603 623-9315. Nadeau's is a hole-in-the-wall treasure, known and loved by locals. Very close to St. Anselm's college, this place is well known for it's absolute brilliance with steak and cheese subs.

Drink[edit]

Manchester has a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly along Elm Street downtown and surrounding streets. Note that "last call" in Manchester comes early by American standards: about 12:45AM, with bars in the city closing around 1AM

  • The Black Brimmer American Bar & Grill1087 Elm St +1 603 669-5523. "Voted best pick-up place."
  • Billy’s Sports Bar34 Tarrytown Rd +1 603 622-3644. Billy's is Manchester's quintessential sports bar. It has an extensive -- extensive -- menu, is inexpensive, and is an excellent place for out-of-state visitors to watch football games. Although the bar is a Patriots bar, fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and other out-of-market teams will find fellow partisans there on Sundays, usually in the smaller "back" room. Note that the "back" room will usually have sound and one of the main high-definition televisions turned to the Steelers game when the Steelers are playing, due to a large group of Steelers fans who gather there weekly.
  • Strange Brew Tavern88 Market St. 65+ beers on tap. Live music every night of the week. Good, cheap food. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, place is very crowded.
  • Raxx Billiards1211 Elm St. A comfortable and unpretentious place to play pool, watch the Sox, or just hang out after work. Voted "Best Place to Play Pool in Manchester".

Sleep[edit]

Hotels[edit]

Most travelers will find themselves staying in two-diamond or three-diamond (AAA) properties, with rates generally in the $75 to $150 per night range. Some properties may be slightly cheaper, although one tends to get what one pays for. The majority of Manchester's hotel stock is in the two- to three-diamond range, although business travelers with expense accounts should consider the Bedford Village Inn, an excellent inn in suburban Bedford, N.H.

Travelers with business downtown might consider the Hilton Garden Inn, immediately adjacent to the city's baseball stadium (rooms overlook the park, and home runs occasionally bounce off the hotel), or the Radisson Hotel Manchester, a popular place to hold conferences and meetings. (The Radisson is co-located with the Center of New Hampshire convention center).

  • Holiday Inn Manchester Airport2280 Brown Ave +1 603 641-6466. Holiday Inn Manchester Airport hotel offers a complimentary 24 hour Airport Shuttle Service, Fitness Center, Indoor Heated Pool, and an Affordable Park & Stay Package. Weekly specials and packages are posted on the hotel website.
  • Radisson Hotel700 Elm St +1 603 625-1000. The location can't be beat. The hotel is right downtown, a hop, skip and jump from I-293, and has lots of meeting and conference facilities.

Bed and Breakfast[edit]

Stay Safe[edit]

Compared to American cities of its size, Manchester has an extremely low crime rate. Violent crime and property crime is rare, and even at night, visitors should feel safe in pretty much every area of the city.

Although crime is not a problem in the city, one should not take leave of one's common sense either. The downtown area is largely safe at all hours, although there are areas of the center city and the West Side where traveling alone, on foot, at night might be inadvisable. Female visitors should take all customary precautions.

Manchester's main police station is located at 351 Chestnut Street. For up-to-date information on police matters, visit the Manchester Police Department's Web site. [2]

Go next[edit]

Particularly in early fall, a trip to the White Mountains for foliage viewing is rewarding. Boston, Vermont and the Southern Maine Coast are not too far.

A trip down State Route 101 heading west will bring you to many of the type of small towns that NH and New England are famous for including Amherst, Milford, Wilton, and Peterborough. Past Wilton, the road becomes more windy and scenic but is still a major east-west thoroughfare. The route ends in Keene about an hour away.

Routes through Manchester
ConcordHooksett  N I-93.svg S  LondonderryBoston
ConcordHooksett  N US 3.svg S  MerrimackLowell
MilfordBedford  W NH Route 101.svg E  EppingExeter


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