I know I talk a lot about Manchester, NH being a great place live in and visit. Some folks might just shrug that off and attribute it to the fact that lots of people think they live in a great place. If they didn’t think it was that great they would probably move to another place that was better! But Manchester has received a bunch of accolades from several sources so I thought I’d pass them along to prove that I’m, at least somewhat, impartial. And I’m not a native of New Hampshire either. My wife and I are both from Massachusetts, what they call Flatlanders up here, so that’s not just being idyllic about home-sweet-home.
Portfolio.com, which is the online presence of the now-defunct magazine, recently named Manchester, NH the 10th best mid-size place to live and start a business. They found that Manchester has a healthy economy, moderate cost of living, light traffic, robust housing stock and top-notch educational system! As innkeepers here at the Ash Street Inn, we are more interested in what might drive visitors to Manchester than what might make them want to live here but it turns out that they overlap quite well. A good economy, light traffic and great schools in the area mean that we get lots of guests who are looking for a chance to relax and enjoy themselves and want to spend that time in a vibrant community with other folks who are doing the same things. Works for us all.
One award however does not a trend make. It would be much more meaningful if there was some independent corroboration. So here we go.
In May of 2010, Forbes Magazine named Manchester, NH to their Top 10 list of livable places based on the last five years of economic growth, cost of living, current unemployment rates and crime rates.
In 2009, CNNMoney.com named Manchester, NH 13th on their list of the best places to live and start a business in the United States.
Also in 2009, Kiplinger’s named Manchester, NH the second most tax friendly city in the US, second only to Anchorage, AK.
Last, but not least, also in 2009, Forbes magazine put Manchester, NH #1 on it’s list “America’s 100 Cheapest Places to Live”.
It’s great to see that, for the criteria that were the basis for these surveys, Manchester, NH is doing well and has been for some time. Of course, if you were to change the criteria, Manchester’s ranking might well be different but to find a thriving, active, fun community that can change with the times and isn’t just about the hype of the current fads, these criteria work just fine.
If you ever have the opportunity, you should spend a few days in Manchester, NH and see for yourself what a great place it is.