As a life long resident of NH I can tell you that you have, unequivocally, chosen 2 of NH's best towns. I grew up in Nashua and now live in Bedford so I have a pretty strong baseline of personal knowledge beyond my professional practice.
Both towns are located next to NH's largest and most accommodating population centers in Manchester & Nashua. These communities offer the extra curricular activities you seek while the schools systems truly stand out as the best in the state. Both offer exclusive identities within themselves and are steeped in tradition and a historical accent. These towns also offer "townie" activities with fairs and gathering events such as Old Home Days, Fall Activities and more.
When you make your way to NH I would be more than happy to spend a day (or two) with you and your family to introduce both communities and show you what each has to offer as well as the surrounding areas in order to give you a more well rounded understanding of the pros to living in them. Until then, I hope you do ultimately decide to call NH your home, you will not regret it.
Jason Duval, REALTOR, CRS, ePRO
Licensed Broker in NH & MA
Keller Williams Realty
The towns you have narrowed your search are both very nice towns, Bedford is a bit larger and don't eliminate Amherst as another good alternative as well. My experience has found your commute to work may determine some of the town choices. I would also try to visit the schools before the end of the school year and see what school may be a better fit for you and your family.
Let me know how I can help.
Keller Williams Realty
20 Trafalgar Sq. Suite 101
"The Glass Tower"
Nashua, NH 03063
Both of your choices are great as both have all of the things you're looking for.
In my opinion, Hollis is more of a Horse farm community, which makes for beautiful properties. Bedford has more country style developments that are very well done. Both have great school systems but, if you are looking for the best in schools, maybe you would have interest in Exeter? Great communities, school system is high ranking as well and being close to the seacoast there is no shortage of things to do.
I'd be happy to send you more information if you would like? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-488-6272.