Icon of a mountain in a circle with a compass needle

KEENE

Welcome to Elm City

POPULATION
(and counting)
23030

Keene has a particular kind of small town vibe. Downtown, you’ll find former mills, now transformed with apartments that seem straight out of Dumbo, Brooklyn. Bypass the charming gazebo and center square, and head 3 miles due north to hike Goose Pond, a trail system that is beloved by hikers and bikers alike.  Go at your own pace here, enjoying the northern New England beauty in the safest state (according to Forbes). But Keene is anything but sleepy. We’re kind of a Stars Hollow north.

@whatmorgandoes.com rainy autumn day for the stars hollow pumpkin festival! (aka keene pumpkin fest 🎃) regardless of the weather it was so fun seeing everyone dressed up and trick or treating and all the pumpkins the kids carved on display! 🎃 #newengland #newenglandfall #keenenh #starshollow #starshollowaesthetic #gilmoregirls #fallfoliage ♬ rory gilmore homework - isabel

You’re in the county seat of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a culture and commerce hub for the Monadnock Region. Keene is home to some of the region’s biggest businesses, arts venues, and opportunities for outdoor fun. We’re a college town, with multiple higher-ed institutions, and you can feel the excitement when students return every August. The downtown is highly walkable (with a 96 Walk Score!) and the calendar is loaded with things to do year-round for everybody—from our Pride Festival to Monadnock Speedway.

Does Keene have it all?

If not, it’s close. Join Rotary and improve the community. Sign up with a running club and improve your lung capacity. Roll up your sleeves and dive into local arts. Or spend a day at one of Keene’s parks.

Extra! Extra!

Keene is also home to many independent publishers and local TV and radio broadcasters. With the award-winning Keene Sentinel leading by example, local news is alive and well here.

Whether you’re planning your family or you’re feeling plain cruddy, we’ve got you. Keene is a center of healthcare expertise, from the 115-bed Cheshire Medical Center, a Dartmouth Health system partner, to a VA Clinic, urgent care, and home healthcare options, along with numerous specialty providers and services.

Social Media

Follow these Instagram accounts for a cross-section of Keene goings-on:

What’s greater than Keene?

The Greater Keene area.

We’re surrounded by lovely towns, each with unique things to do, places to stay, and sights to see.

Icon with Visit Here in an orange circle with a compass needle pointing up

Put on some sunscreen and good shoes, get your bicycle or walking stick, and get out there!

King of the Mountain

When you’re in Keene, one of the first things you’ll notice is the giant mountain next door. Mt. Monadnock is one of the most climbed mountains in the world. Take the day and take a crack at its 3,165 feet—but it’ll take you a while to catch up to Larry Davis, who made the ascent 2,850 days in a row.

Be Active Accessibly

Visit the new Patricia Russell Park at 41-73 Carpenter St. in Keene, home to a 400×220 foot athletic field, picnic and gathering areas, a walkway to the banks of Beaver Brook, and two ADA-accessible play areas. Or check out Distant Hill Nature Trail in nearby Alstead, with miles of wheelchair and stroller-friendly trails.

Find a Great Place in Keene to Stay

At the end of a day’s adventure in Keene, you’ll need a comfortable place to rest your head.

Check out these great options:

From preschool to college, Keene boasts exceptional educational resources. The city is home to Keene State College, Antioch University—New England, and River Valley Community College, with Franklin Pierce University in nearby Rindge. Keene also offers residents strong K-12 schools, as well as Montesorri and Waldorf schools.

 

Young college female walking on college campus with more students in background

Keene-created products are everywhere, and we’re a center of breakthrough engineering and manufacturing—advanced optics, precision bearings for the aerospace industry, high-tech medical equipment, and more. Opportunity abounds—to grow your career or build your business from a location where work and life are easy to balance.

 

Badger Balm CO-CEO's Emily Schwerin Whyte and Rebecca Hamilton

events

Super Queeroes Pride Prom

June

29

2023

Keene

Join us for a night of heroic celebration at Pride Prom: Super Queeroes Edition!

Wyman Tavern Brewfest

AUG

3

2024

Keene

Sample dozens of local breweries while celebrating local history.

Wizarding Week

JULY 24 - 28

2024

KEENE

A week long, family friendly event for wizards and all who love them.

Keene International Festival

SEPT

28

2024

KEENE

Keene International Festival celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the Keene, NH
Nick and Louisa Burns, Co-founders, Ashulot Concerts

Nick and Louisa Burns

Co-founders, Ashuelot Concerts

Nick: “We were living in London when Louisa got pregnant with our first son. The question was, Well, we probably need to move out of the city—where are we going to move to? We’re big outdoors people, and we wanted to live somewhere where we could hike and ski and counterbalance our incredibly intense professional life with something beautiful. I had visited New England as a teenager, and it had sort of seeped into my system. So I Googled ‘best small towns in New England’ and Louisa was dropping pins on Google Maps and looking around on Street View, and we turned to each other simultaneously and said, “Have you heard of this place called Keene?”

Molly Ola Pinney and Aja Davis Founder, Becoming Exponential; White People. DOING Something.

Molly Ola Pinney
and Aja Davis

Founder, Becoming Exponential; White People. DOING Something

AJA: Molly and I met in Brooklyn, where both of us had been living for quite some time. When Covid hit, we decided to come hang out in New Hampshire for a bit, maybe six months. And now it’s been three years! We bought a house here; we’re having a baby here. You could say we’ve become New Hampshirites. As a newcomer I find this region to be surprisingly open, especially when it comes to having these conversations about diversity and inclusion. It’s not instinctual, and we could bring more awareness to it, but generally people are open to it. I do think having initiatives to entice small business owners [from diverse backgrounds] to the region would be wonderful.

MOLLY: Aja is from North Carolina, but I’m from Dublin, and in hindsight it was pretty special to grow up here. It was lovely to know people; it was lovely to be known and felt cared for by an entire community. More generally, I find there’s a peacefulness in this area not only in the natural surroundings, but also in the way people interact with each other.

Gail Somers

Gail Somers

Owner of Yahso Jamaican Grille

Gail: I moved to the Monadnock region for a career growth opportunity. Prior to coming to the area, I lived in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area where I lived for some time after migrating from Jamaica.

I have made so many rewarding connections in and around my community.  There are so many individuals and organizations that have supported my efforts to advance cultural and diversity engagement I am always overcome with gratitude. From the Monadnock Coop, Hannah Grimes Center, Arts Alive to the Local Crowd Fund and others, I can say enough to thank them.

The NH Monadnock Thrive Guide

GET OUR FREE VISITOR GUIDE

plus our eNewsletter as a bonus. SIGN UP

White circle outline of the monadnock mountain

Get our Insider's
visitor Guide!

The NH Monadnock Thrive Guide

Our friends at Yankee Magazine have put together a special online visitor guide to all that’s great about our region. As a bonus, you’ll get a copy of our eNewsletter.

Subscribe for signup page