Manchester is located in Southern NH about 35 – 40 minutes from the Massachusetts border. The city has a population around 112,000 inhabitants. Manchester often is appealing to many due to its housing affordably and ease in owning a business. In previous years, CNN rated Manchester 13th in its top 100th best places in the U.S. to live and launch a business.
With so much going on for Manchester its no wonder the downtown area is booming with terrific businesses and the city has recently coined the term Manch Vegas (also referred to as Queen City).
Here are my top 10 favorite spots in Manchester, NH.
- Pop of Color, 816 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
Photo from Pop of Color
This incredibly cute little shop has everything you need for gifting and you will also find tons of items you will want to keep for yourself! I first went in this store to look for a gift for a real estate client of mine. I found out quickly enough that there is so much more to offer in this small shop. On almost every shelf there are beautifully potted plants, NH made products and even handmade soaps and body washes. The shop focuses on unique finds and it is surely one to delight! Before I forget to mention, they also offer adorable free wrapping for the items your end up gifting (if any).
- SNHU Arena, 555 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
The SNHU Arena which is short for Southern New Hampshire University Arena is located in downtown and since its opening in 2001 it has quickly become a major attraction for many. The arena host not only sporting events but also, concerts, national touring theatrical productions, fairs and other large scale events. Check out their website for upcoming events, http://www.snhuarena.com/home/ .
3. Queen City Cupcakes, 790 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
Queen City Cupcakes is a small family run gourmet cupcake shop. They focus on delivering a quality product each time by baking in small batches throughout the day. Let me just say their cupcakes are to die for! I recommend getting your order in a few days early if you are looking for a particular flavor since they make small batches they could be out by the time you swing in. My favorite is the Key Lime Cupcake, its a soft moist vanilla cupcake with a key lime frosting and I swear it’s way better than any key lime pie I’ve ever had!
4. Bookery, 844 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
Photo by Alex Tourigny
The Bookery is such a fun place to check out, you guessed it – Books! Bookery is an Independently owned book shop where they also serve some delicious cafe treats, meals and drinks! They focus on making the shop feel like a cozy home with soft couches, chairs, a warm fireplace and they even have a kids area! If you’re looking to meet up with friends consider catching up here, grab a coffee, browse the books- maybe you will even find a few to take home and enjoy yourself in this relaxing environment.
5. Noodz, 968 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
Noodz is an Asian fusion restaurant that serves Asian-inspired street food in a fast, upbeat and urban environment. While the whole menu looks absolutely delicious I opted for one of my favorite asian delites, noodles and ramen. The Pork Tonkatsu dish is served in a smokey pork broth, combined with a soft egg, 2 pieces of pork belly, bean sprouts, scallions and of course ramen. It had just enough heat and a perfect amount of flavor!
6. 550 Arts, 550 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
550 Arts offers an array of options ranging from adult classes such as pottery/clay & wheel throwing, stained glass, planting, water color painting, drawing to kid classes and date night classes. I invited a group of my girlfriends to join me in a succulent planting class and had a blast. Highly recommend this studio for a creative and fun evening out!
7. Zimmerman House, 223 Heather Street, Manchester, NH 03104
Photo by The Magazine Antiques
The Zimmerman House is unique to see as it is one of the only two homes designed by the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright in New Hampshire. The structure and style of the building is unique as it is built along a rock in a tranquil setting. This is definitely a must see for any art buffs! The building is currently owned by Currier Museum of Art and can be toured through them.
8. Vertical Dreams, 250 Commercial St, Manchester, NH 03101
Vertical Dreams is an indoor rock climbing gym. It’s the tallest climbing wall with top roping, lead climbing, and bouldering. My brother in-law Shane first introduced my fiancé and I to rock climbing here. I found this gym to appeal to a newbie like myself and those that are more experienced like Shane. There are several paths you can take while climbing depending on your level, or you could just go wild and take whatever path your heart desires. Check out my fiancé Joe above tackling one of the sections.
9. Lake Massabesic,
This massive lake has a surface area of about 2,500 acres and a gross storage capacity of nearly 15 billion gallons according to ManchesterNh.gov. While you can’t swim in the lake due to it being the local drinking water, you can spend time on your boat fishing the wide variety of species, both largemouth and smallmouth bass, white perch, yellow perch, pickerel and horned pout. The lake is also periodically stocked with trout by the N.H. Department of Fish and Game. Another option is to check out one of the local kayaking rental shops or grab your bike and coast around Watershed Map the Water Works Land.
10. Gyro Spot, 1073 Elm St. Manchester, NH 03101
I don’t know what you have going on tonight but you may want to drop it and head over to the Gyro Spot. This food establishment serves up authentic Greek Gyros. In addition to the traditional pork gyro, they also offer healthy options such as a greek chicken salad, homemade soups, vegetarian gyro and more. But seriously, go for the pork gyro with extra fries, you won’t be disappointed you did!
There are honestly so many fun and delicious places to try in Manchester its really hard to narrow it down to a few. Here are a few additional places that might peak your interest!
Other hot spots, Café la Reine, 915 Elm St., A&E Coffee and Tea, 1000 Elm St., Local Moose Café, 124 Queen City Ave.Mangia, 33 Elm St.,Mint Bistro, 1105 Elm St.Matbah Mediterranean Cuisine, 866 Elm St., Cabonnay, 55 Bridge St., The Thirsty Moose Taphouse, 795 Elm St., Ancient Fire Mead & Cider, 8030 South Willow St., Strange Brew Tavern, 88 Market St.
Till Next Time,