This April we decided to visit Keene, New Hampshire which is located about two hours north of Boston.
Keene is the 6th largest city in New Hampshire with a population of 23,403¹. And with the median age sitting under 34, Keene is now ranked as one of the best places for young professionals to live.
Keene is also the home to Keene State College, a public liberal arts college and Antioch University, a private non-profit graduate school with locations across the country.
The weather was unseasonably warm, a balmy 60 degrees, for this time of year in New England. But considering the amount of rain we’ve had to contend with recently we had no complaints.
As we drove along the winding Monadnock Highway, we got to experience that authentic road trip feel as we passed through one rural town after another.
After about an hour on the road we came across Miller State Park in Peterborough, New Hampshire, which offers a 2,290 foot summit overlooking the Wapack Range.
The park was closed at the early hour we drove by, but we noticed it had an auto access road which led to the top of Pack Monadnock Mountain. So we made a note to come back again in the fall. Hopefully we’ll have a spectacular view of the foliage!
When we arrived in Keene the first thing we noticed was the walkability with its neat sidewalks, and that Central Square really is a perfect square.
Keene gave off a vibe similar to Harvard Square, but on a smaller scale. The city also had lots of character with its vibrant colors and energetic feel.
On West Street we came across a fictional mural left behind by the film crew of Jumanji, a movie which starred the late Robin Williams – along with Kirsten Dunst, Jonathan Hyde, Bonnie Hunt and other notable performers.
Robin Williams played the part of a 12-year old boy named Alan Parrish who became trapped inside an ancient board game back in 1969, while playing the game with his best friend Sarah Whittle.
Then in 1995 two siblings named Judy and Peter Shepherd found the board game and played it, which released Alan Parrish as an adult. The siblings unknowingly set loose supernatural creatures, Alan tracks down Sarah, and the four attempt to finish the game and undo the destruction.
As we walked through the city we noticed how influential the college scene was which was evident by the number of coffee houses and pubs in Central Square.
We found three comic book stores in Keene. Comic Boom located on West Street near Central Square, and two others named Toy City and Enterprize Comics which were a short drive away.
For lunch we decided to stay frugal and check out Amicci’s, a local hot spot for pizza. We went with a half pepperoni, half cheese pizza and a side of chicken fingers. Not healthy, but it was so worth it because the food was delicious!
After our bellies were filled we had to burn off our calorie overloaded lunch, so we strolled up and down Central Square to investigate the area some more, then we headed back to the car.
On our way back toward Monadnock Highway we stopped off on the side of the road to snap a photo of this lake. Just one of the many scenic spots we encountered along the way.
It was a great road trip to Keene, NH! The Monadnock Highway leading to Keene was an easy and picturesque drive, and we are already planning to return in the fall so we can experience Miller State Park during peak foliage. It was also a frugal trip where we spent just $22.36 for lunch plus the cost of gas.