TEXT IF NEEDED
The perfect mix It was at Throwback Brewery in
North Hampton that the VanCamps had their “ah-ha” moment. This, they thought, was a state they could call home.
Above: Portsmouth’s iconic tugboats Below: The VanCamp family.
Ben VanCamp says that it was important to him and his family to move to “an area that had a lot of culture, along with a vibrant culinary scene and delicious craft beer.” The Seacoast, they soon learned, is one of the best places to find all of that and more. This region may be one of the smallest, but it’s packed with world-class dining, art, music and a staggering number of excellent local breweries. “The dining scene in Portsmouth is amazing,” says VanCamp. “We are slowly making our way though the finer dining [restaurants] when we get the occasional night out. We have enjoyed getting to know the craft breweries in the area and still like to visit Throwback along with Smuttynose, Seventh Settlement, Stoneface, Liars Bench and several others.” That’s not to say these were the only requirements. VanCamp adds that they have family and friends in the area and his wife, Amy, is a University of New Hampshire alum. After 13 years living in Asheville, North Carolina, the VanCamps were itching to ski on some real Northeast mountains. “We’re avid outdoors people,” says VanCamp. “Amy loves the beach, we both love the mountains, and the Seacoast puts us in great proximity to both.” Along with their two children, 8-year-old William and 5-and-3/4-year-old Charlotte (“she asked me to include the 3/4,” says VanCamp), Amy and Ben settled in Durham in August of 2016. Amy is now the academic fieldwork coordinator in the occupational therapy department at UNH and Ben is the VP of membership at the
Destination NH | 2017
SNAPSHOT OF THE area Our short coastline (13 miles — 18 if you add the islands) is bursting with beautiful beaches, arts, music, theatre, an amazing dining scene with a focus on keeping it local, too many craft breweries to count and important historical landmarks. Oh, and if you’re a shop-til-you-drop type, the area’s many boutiques and other local stores are a delight. Here you can eat fried dough as you stroll the boardwalk at Hampton Beach, enjoy a show at the historic Music Hall, take in local art at one of the many galleries, sample brews with Granite State Growler Tours or walk through Portsmouth’s living history museum Strawbery Banke. Consider taking an ocean tour to the Isles of Shoals, which were settled in the 1600s and have a diverse history as an important fishing area in Colonial times, a hideout for pirates, a peaceful retreat for artists and much more.
Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. Durham, says VanCamp, “is a pretty small town when you subtract the UNH student population.” The town’s size has both advantages and limitations. However, the many upsides for the VanCamps, including a great school system, access to the outdoors and living in culturally rich area, far outweigh any of the drawbacks.
Published on May 19, 2017