White Mountains region is home to fine art and American history museums
Off Route 302
Bretton Woods, NH, 03589
History is also on track at the Mount Washington Cog Railway
Marking its 150th anniversary in 2019, the Mount Washington Cog Railway is more than an awe-inspiring train ride up to the Northeast’s highest peak. Before you board, spend time in the Cog Railway Museum, which features a short media presentation on the railway’s history, a full-size mockup of a locomotive cab and boiler and photos depicting the amazing engineering that made the railway possible -- a feat so astonishing that President Ulysses S. Grant had to come see for himself when it opened. And don’t miss Old Peppersass, the engine named for its pepper-sauce-bottle shape. Once you get to the mountain summit, check out the weather museums at the Sherman Adams Visitor Center and the Mount Washington Observatory.
Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum
2936 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH
Young visitors to the Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum may put on a puppet show or get dressed up in costumes in the Drama Center; climb the indoor Tree House or learn from the History Tree; build their own creations in the Lego room or doll house room; play in the Infant Toddler room; explore outer space in the new Glow in the Dark and Outer Space Exhibit. For infant through age 10.
Hours: September 1-June 30, Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Closed for all major storms.
Admission: $5; children under age 1 admitted free.
New England Ski Museum
Exit 34B, I-93/Franconia Notch Parkway
Franconia, NH, 03580
Exhibits feature antique ski equipment and vintage ski films. There is a museum shop. Admission is free.
Hours: Call ahead for hours of operation.
Mount Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center, 1598 Mt Washington Auto Road
Sargent's Purchase, NH
The visitor will find displays about the weather on the mountain - which ranks with the worst in the world - and the reasons for the severity of Mount Washington's meteorological conditions. A special feature of the Museum is the new Weather Discovery Room, which helps visitors explore the weather phenomena of Mount Washington and how they are observed and recorded. There are exhibits on the geological history of the Presidential Range and the effects of continental ice sheets which scoured the landscape.
The "Extreme Mount Washington" exhibit delivers the science and excitement of a Mount Washington through high-tech, hands-on exhibits. The weather station and Extreme Mount Washington exhibit are housed inside the Mount Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center. The summit is accessible mid-May to mid-October by car (via the Mt. Washington Auto Road), train (via the Mount Washington Cog Railway), and foot (via several hiking trails).
In winter, the Mount Washington Observatory offers day and overnight snowcat trips, and it partners with several area climbing schools to offer guided mountaineering ascents. Learn more at the Summit Adventures
Hours: May to mid-October, daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., weather permitting.
Admission: Adults, $3; children over age 6, $1.
Museum of the White Mountains
34 Highland Street
Plymouth, NH, 03264
This museum, opened in February 2013 on the campus of Plymouth State University , has collections of art, photos, and objects that memorialize the nature and culture of the White Mountains region.
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays, holidays, and on Tuesdays in the summer.
Museum of American Weather
Haverhill, NH, 03765
A museum dedicated to American weather. Of particular interest are exhibits devoted to four severe New England weather events: The blizzard of 1888, the 1938 hurricane, the Vermont flood in 1927 and a tornado that hit Worcester, Massachusetts. Open seasonally. Admission is free.
Gorham Historical Society and Rail Museum
25 Railroad Street
This museum is set in a rail station built in 1907. Exhibits feature railroad-related documents and artifacts, including a box car, steam locomotive and model railroad.
Hours: Open Memorial Day-Columbus Day, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Admission: Donations are requested.