The Upper Connecticut River Valley area of New Hampshire and Vermont, just called the Upper Valley by "us locals," strides the Connecticut River, with New Hampshire on the east and Vermont on the west. Lebanon, New Hampshire is its economic powerhouse with a lively commercial area on Route 12 A and many research firms. Lebanon is also home to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the largest employer by far, and supplier of superlative health services not often found in rural areas. Blessed with lush natural beauty - mountains, rivers, lakes, fields, barns - and a plethora of recreational opportunities, the Upper Valley also enjoys cultural amenities that one usually only finds in urban areas. Hanover's Dartmouth College's influence pervades the Upper Valley, bringing concerts, educational opportunities, films, discussion groups, and a special "tone." The Upper Valley is also blessed with many theater and musical groups. Lebanon's historic performing center, the Lebanon Opera House currently has Opera North in residence with productions of "Il Trovatore" and "Alfred Heering" and recently finished North Country Community Theatre's run of "Singin' In The Rain." There are still country general stores in the area including delightful ones in Strafford and Norwich Vermont. People here cherish them as they do the blend of old fashioned country ethics and ways with intellectual and cultural vitality. There are artists, writers, and musicians finding renewal and meaning here in the Upper Valley as well as "ordinary folks" who just like it here.
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