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Keene (New Hampshire)

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Monadnock Region : Keene (New Hampshire)
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Keene (New Hampshire)

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Keene is a city in New Hampshire.

View of Keene from Beech Hill

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Keene is most easily accessible by taking I-91 in Vermont to Exit 3 and getting on VT-9 in Brattleboro and heading into the traffic circle until VT-9 continues and follow it over a small bridge into New Hampshire (VT-9 becomes NH-9). Follow NH-9 about 15 miles to Keene. From the east, Keene is accessible via NH-101. NH-9 also connects Keene to Concord to the northeast.

By plane[edit]

  • Dillant-Hopkins Airport, 80 Airport Road, Phone: +1 603 357-9835, [6]. Small regional airport has two runways of 6,200 and 4,000 feet.

See[edit][add listing]

Keene is a picturesque New England town of about 23,000 residents. The town's population swells by up to 5000 each autumn, as Keene State College opens for the fall semester, injecting new life to the sleepy Main Street area.

Brick buildings line the historic Main Street, touted by locals as "the widest Main Street in the United States," and the big white United Church of Christ presides over the town square with its traditional Civil War monument and fountain.

Farther afield, Mount Monadnock, one of the most-climbed mountains in the world, beckons day-hikers to its 3,166-foot summit, and numerous lakes offer respite from summer heat or a fine place to enjoy some ice fishing or skating in the winter. And of course, a well-timed visit to the region in the Fall can be spectacular, with sugar maples, oaks and birch trees making every country road turn a new photo opportunity.

  • Cathedral of the Pines, 10 Hale Hill Rd., Rindge, Phone: +1 603 899-3300 [7].
  • Nathanial Hawthorne House

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The Pumpkin Festival, Main Street, [1]. Every October since 1991, when a grand total of 600 lit jack-o-lanterns were assembled on the main square, Keene has celebrated the joy of the pumpkin in a way that no other town in the region or the world has been able to match. Rain or shine, the yearly tally now routinely tops 20,000 and hit a world record 28,000 in 2006. This is a sight to see, and the all-day street fair is a delight for young and old. Not to be missed. Pumpkin Festival  edit

Live Entertainment[edit]

  • The Colonial Theatre, 95 Main Street, 603 352 2033, [2]. open daily. The Colonial Theatre is an 888-seat non-profit historic theatre operating continuously since 1924 and featuring the finest in live events and niche film. There is something happening every day at The Colonial Theatre, whether it's an arthouse film, touring music/Broadway/dance/comedy, community events or the new BACKSTAGE SERIES (featuring alternative performers in a club-like setting).  edit


Beaver Brook Dam walk in winter

Highland Hill & firetower, Greater Goose Pond and Drummer Hill, Beech Hill Preserve, Beaver Brook Falls, Horatio Colony Trust

see, Trails in Keene [8] and Parks and Open Spaces in Keene [9]


Keene offers a variety of recreational areas.

Wheelock Park, Central Square, Robin Hood Park, Otter Brook Dam Recreation Area

Buy[edit][add listing]

Keene, as well as New Hampshire as a whole, is a great place to shop due to the lack of a state sales tax. Keene has a wide array of shops and stores selling almostall things. Below are just a few examples of where to shop when in Keene:

  • Colony Mill Marketplace, West Street on the southern edge of downtown Keene. Once a mill making fine wool products, is now an enclosed shopping mall as well as various office spaces on the upper floors. During the last several years, the stores at the Mill have dwindled, and it is no longer a must-shop in Keene, but for the exceptional Toadstool Bookshop on the second floor.
  • The Center At Keene, Gilbo Street and Emerald Streets on the southern edge of downtown Keene. An open shopping center complex, with some interior hallways leading to the other side, housed in an old train station. Home to 24 businesses ranging from shops, businesses, a gym, and various eateries.
  • Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Main Street, offers mostly New Hampshire-made specialty goods.
Goose Pond and Drummer Hill: a 1000 acre preserve acessible from E. Surry Road off Court Street
  • Cheshire Music, on Main Street, sells instruments of all types as well as amps for guitars.
  • Creative Encounters, on Main Street sells various things such as funny bumper stickers and toys for kids but mainly is known for its "Extraodinary Framing" and was voted "the best frame shop in the Monadnock region." Also is home to an extensive collection of beads that you can select to be made into various jewlery.
  • Ted's Shoe & Sport", Main Street, is known as "Keene's #1 Shoe Store."
  • Your Wireless Connection, located at The Center At Keene on the Gilbo Avenue side, Keene's Friendliest T-Mobile store - Home of the Cell Phone Guys.
  • Turn It Up!, 89½ Main Street, [3]. Great local record store with a good selection of vinyl, used CDs, cassettes. Local artists too. You can listen before you buy. Very good prices. Spend some time with it.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Colony Mill on West Street houses the Elm City Brewery, which is a micro-brew known for its wide selection of beers made on site. Different brews are featured daily, so check out the daily specials board for that day's choices. The Brewery also has a large menu of pub fare and main courses, at reasonable prices. It has serveral TVs, and an outdoor seating section during the summer.
  • Keene also features several major chains of mid-scale restaurants, each of which have their own bars. On Winchester St. are Pizzaria Uno, 99 Restaurant, and Applebees. Located off Winchester Street, at the Monadnock Marketplace, are Chilis, Longhorn Steakhouse, and the Olive Garden.

Main Street area[edit]

The Main Street (Downtown) area of Keene hosts several bars and nightclubs. The most popular of these is the Railroad Tavern, located on Railroad Square. This bar/nightclub features a dancefloor and DJs on Thursdays through Saturdays, several pool tables, as well as three bars located throughout its large venue. Although it primarily draws a younger (college-aged) crowd, people of all ages do frequent this location. The owners and bartenders draw a straight crowd.

Near to the Railroad is Kilkenny's. Primarily a beer bar, Kilkenny's has several pool tables. Although it is one of the smaller bars, its drinks are fairly inexpensive, making it a common starting point for people making the rounds of the Keene bar scene or doing a crawl. However, Kilkenny's does tend to draw more locals, and has a more conservative feel.

Margarita's is a large Mexican restaurant located on Main Street next to the Colonial Theater. While it does serve a full range of drinks, it is mainly known for its creative, though expensive, margaritas. It has an extensive Mexican-themed menu, and outdoor seating. In addition to a restaurant section, it has a lounge area that also features a pool table.

The E.F. Lane Hotel also has a bar/lounge known for its cocktails. The atmosphere at the E.F. Lane tends to be quieter and more intimate than some of the other downtown venues.

Further up Main Street is the Lab and Lager, which is one of the newer bars in Keene. The Lap has a small outdoor seating section, and some pool tables indoors. It draws a college-aged crowd, though it is generally considered a cheap knock-off of the Railroad.

Across Main Street from the Lap (and beside Athens Pizza) is McCues. This location is mostly a pool hall, with numerous pool tables and several TVs. It also serves a wide range of beers, and is popular for those looking to play a few games, or as a starting point for a crawl. The beers here are also fairly inexpensive, making a good place to start a night out.

21 Roxbury is located just off Main Street on Roxbury St. It is a martini bar with up-scale martinis and other cocktails. Its small, intimate location draws a more up-scale crowd, and is a good place for a date or a more quiet conversation.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • E.F. Lane Hotel, 30 Main Street, Phone: +1 603 357-7070, Fax: +1 603 357-7075, [10].
  • Best Western Sovereign Hotel-Keene, 401 Winchester Street, Phone: +1 603 357-3038, Toll-free: +1 800 780-7234, Fax: +1 603 357-4776, [11].
  • Holiday Inn Express Keene, 175 Key Road, 603-352-7616, [4]. checkin: 3:00PM; checkout: 11:00AM. $89.99-$199.99.  edit
  • Goose Pond Guest House, East Surry Rd., Phone: 603-357-4787, email: [email protected], [12].
  • Colony House Bed and Breakfast, 104 West Street, Keene NH 03431, 603-352-0215, [5].  edit



First Baptist Church of Keene, Sturtevant Chapel, Hope Chapel, Keene Assembly of God

Get out[edit]

Mount Monadnock is 12 miles to the east on NH-124 in Jaffrey. There is a small parking lot where NH-124 crests over the mountain. Just before Jaffrey Center, there is a sign pointing to the entrance to Monadnock State Park. The trails from both locations lead to the summit. Mount Monadnock is the highest mountain in southern NH and perhaps the most accessible for novice hikers. No special equipment is needed to climb the mountain and it can usually be done in about four hours round trip for a healthy person.

Routes through Keene
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