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New Hampshire museums and galleries offer adventures in nature & art

Plentiful museums, offering fine art, nature and natural history, exhibits for children, ethnic history, and more can be found in all parts of New Hampshire. Among the highlights are two museums of Shaker history, a museum describing four centuries of life in Portsmouth, and the home of a leading American sculptor. Be assured, there is plenty of fascination and fun at New Hampshire museums to fill any rainy day.

Wyman Tavern Museum - Museums & Galleries in New Hampshire
Tour Group - Canterbury Shaker Village - Canterbury, NH
Canterbury Shaker Village

288 Shaker Road Canterbury, NH, 03224 Phone: 603-783-9511

National Historic Landmark Celebrates the Shakers

The Shaker religious sect is considered by many historians to be the most successful communitarian society in America. This beautiful outdoor museum and National Historic Landmark was once home to 300 Shakers. Today, expert tour guides share the story of the Shakers’ 200-year history on this site and their beliefs in simple living, gender equality, pacifism, and work as worship. Explore the architecture and collections in the Village’s 25 restored historic buildings, learn about Shaker inventiveness and industry, and explore 700 acres including organic gardens, orchards, and scenic mill pond. See craft demonstrations of oval box making, letterpress printing, and broom making. Enjoy a simple lunch at the Horse Barn Cafe and shop New Hampshire’s premier store for Shaker reproductions. Richly authentic, Canterbury Shaker Village is a place for learning, reflection and renewal of the human spirit.
Museum - Mount Washington Cog Railway - Bretton Woods, NH
Mount Washington Cog Railway

Off Route 302 Bretton Woods, NH, 03589 Phone: 603-278-5404 Toll-Free: 800-922-8825

This exciting railway ride up Mt. Washington also comes with museums at both ends of the trip

Not many train rides can boast museums at either end of the ride. When you travel up majestic Mt. Washington on the historic Cog Railway, the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world, you begin at the Marshfield, NH Base Station, which houses the interactive (and free) Cog Railway Museum. Open year-round, the museum shows you how the railroad, celebrating its 152nd season, was built, with examples of technology from past eras, including steam engines. Up at the summit of Mt. Washington, you’ll have time to explore the Sherman Adams Visitor Center and rooftop observation deck as well as an interactive weather exhibit, “Extreme Mount Washington”. Adjacent to the center is the Tip Top House, an original summit hotel dating back to 1853 and now a museum. Trains run from late April through November.
New Sundial 500x250 - America's Stonehenge - Salem, NH
America's Stonehenge

105 Haverhill Road Salem, NH, 03079 Phone: 603-893-8300

The hidden truths of America, right in your backyard

Did other Europeans with knowledge of astronomy and stone construction reach North America a thousand years or more ahead of Columbus? Some say they came and left evidence of their visits -- megaliths and stone chambers -- throughout New England. You can explore one of the largest collections of artifacts at America's Stonehenge in Salem, New Hampshire. Some believe the site includes a stone astronomical calendar, like the one found at Stonehenge. A video in our museum gives you all the background you'll need. Then it's time to hit the half-mile trail through the pine forest to see for yourself. Along the way you may meet a few alpacas who share the property. Don't worry -- they're gentle creatures who enjoy greeting visitors.
The Fort at No.4 Living History Museum
The Fort at No.4 Living History Museum

267 Springfield Road (Route 11) Charlestown, NH, 03603 Phone: 603-826-5700

Travel back in time to Charlestown, New Hampshire in the 1740's to visit an authentically reconstructed settlement. Tour with guides dressed as original settlers of No. 4. Demonstrations of hearth cooking, musket firings, military drills and much more are conducted daily.
Hours: June-October, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: Seniors age 55 and older, $7; adults, $10; youths age 13-17, $7; Children age 6-12, $5.
Information: www.fortat4.org.
New Hampshire Farm Museum
New Hampshire Farm Museum

Route 125, Plummer’s Ridge Milton, NH, 03851 Phone: 603-652-7840

The Farm Museum consists of the historic Jones Farm and the Plummer Homestead. The properties consist of 50 acres of field and forest, a working farm, historic houses and barns, a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop and exhibits on agriculture and rural life. The museum hosts special events, programs, and workshops.
Hours:Mid-June to mid-October, Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; May 20-June 16, open weekends,10 a.m.-5 p.m.; October 13-November 10, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Information: www.farmmuseum.org.
Strawbery Banke Museum on Hancock Street in Portsmouth
Strawbery Banke Museum

14 Hancock Street Portsmouth, NH Phone: 603-433-1100

Strawbery Banke Museum, adjacent to the city’s riverside Prescott Park, is a 10-acre outdoor history museum that preserves 32 domestic and commercial buildings that were lived in and used on this land during 300 years of the town’s history. People of all ages may explore eight gardens, buildings, traditional crafts, and preservation programs. Stories of the neighborhood are told by costumed role-players. Lots of educational and seasonal special events, year-round. A visit of 2 hours is recommended. Open year-round, but only on weekends, for guided tours, November to April. Information: http://www.strawberybanke.org/
Wentworth Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site - Portsmouth, NH
Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion State Historic Site

375 Little Harbor Road Portsmouth, NH Phone: 603-436-6607

This large house was the residence of New Hampshire's first royal governor, Benning Wentworth, who served in office from 1741 to 1767. The 40-room mansion is a superb example of homes from Colonial times. It is typical of the aristocratic life in Portsmouth in the 1700s.
Season: Daily from late May to Labor Day; Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 6-Oct. 11. Hours: 10am-4pm, Tours available hourly until 3pm.
Wyman Tavern Museum
Wyman Tavern Museum

339 Main Street Keene, NH, 03431 Phone: 603-352-1895

Built in 1762, this museum is now furnished as a tavern and residence from that period. Historically, the first meeting of the Dartmouth College Trustees took place on the site in the 18th century.
Hours: May-Labor Day, Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and by appointment.
Admission: $3 per person.
Information: www.hsccnh.org/wymantavern/
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center - Concord, NH
McAuliffe–Shepard Discovery Center

2 Institute Drive Concord, NH, 03301 Phone: 603-271-7827

This space exploration center and memorial to astronaut Alan B. Shepard and teacher Sharon Christa McAuliffe is filled with exhibits and activities about space exploration.
Museum of the White Mountains

34 Highland Street Plymouth, NH, 03264 Phone:

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.
New England Ski Museum

Exit 34B, I-93/Franconia Notch Parkway Franconia, NH, 03580 Phone: 603-823-7177

Exhibits feature antique ski equipment and vintage ski films. There is a museum shop. Admission is free. Hours: Call ahead for hours of operation. Information: newenglandskimuseum.org.
Hood Museum of Art

Wheelock Street, Dartmouth College Dartmouth, NH, 03755 Phone: 603-646-2808

The Hood preserves 65,000 works of art representing ancient civilizations, Asia, America, Europe, Africa, Papua New Guinea, and many other regions. Selections that are always on view encompass ancient, Asian, and European prints, paintings, and sculpture, American Colonial silver and paintings and sculpture to 1948, and major works of modern and contemporary art. Hours: Year-round, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; closed Mondays. Admission: Free.
Enfield Shaker Museum

24 Caleb Dyer Lane / 447 Route 4A Enfield, NH, 03748 Phone: 603-632-4346

This living history museum displays and explains the lives of the Shakers, who lived on and operated a farming community of this land for 200 years. Exhibits and events welcome visitors to understand the Shakers’ communal, idealistic way of life. There is a museum store.
Currier Museum of Art

150 Ash Street Manchester, NH, 03104 Phone: 603-669-6144

The Currier Museum of Art offers permanent collection of European and American artists, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture. Among the artists featured at the Currier at Wyeth, Monet, Picasso, and Georgia O’Keefe. The museum takes visitors on of the nearby Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Many fascinating changing exhibits run throughout the year. Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $12, seniors, $10, students, $9; youth age 13-17, $5
Ascutney House and Garden - Saint Gaudens National Historic Site - Cornish, NH - Photo Credit St. Gaudens National Historic Site
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

139 Saint Gaudens Road Cornish, NH, 03745 Phone: 603-675-2175

This beautiful home, studio and property also functions as a museum and gallery of the works of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, creator of 150 works of art, including the Standing Lincoln monument and the 1907 $20 gold piece is considered America's most beautiful coin.
American Independence Museum

1 Governor's Lane Exeter, NH, 03833 Phone: 603-772-2262

Housed in the Ladd-Gilman House, built in the first decades of the 18th century. During the American Revolution, this building stored the state's treasury. Among the museum’s permanent collection of documents chronicling the nation’s founding are an original Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence and early drafts of the U.S. Constitution. Permanent collections include American furnishings, ceramics, silver, textiles and military ephemera. Exhibits detail the history of Portsmouth and the structure itself. Hours: Mid-May to October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $5; students, $3.
Information: www.independencemuseum.org
Little Nature Museum

18 Highlawn Road Warner, NH Phone: 603-746-6121

The collections include rocks, minerals, fossils, sea life, insects, mounted birds and mammals, and plants. There are also interpretive exhibits, hands-on activities (with prizes for children), and interpretive trails to enjoy. Self-guided tours of the museum are available. Self-guided tours of the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum’s Medicine Woods Trail are available. A volunteer guide is available to assist visitors with a tour and/or assistance with hands-on activities. The museum is appropriate for adults and children.
Hours: Closed November to mid-May. During the rest of the year, open weekends and some holidays. Museum also is open by appointment on weekdays for groups of six or more guests. Friday and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; Saturday and holidays, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Seniors and students, $4; families with two adults and children under age 18, $12; member of Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum, half-priced; Native Americans, free.
Mount Washington Observatory and Summit

Mount Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center, 1598 Mt Washington Auto Road Sargent's Purchase, NH Phone: 603-466-3347

The visitor will find displays about the weather on the mountain and the reasons for the severity of Mount Washington's meteorological conditions. The Weather Discovery Room helps visitors explore the weather phenomena of Mount Washington. There are exhibits on the geological history of the Presidential Range and the effects of continental ice sheets.
The "Extreme Mount Washington" exhibit delivers the science and excitement of a Mount Washington through high-tech, hands-on exhibits. The Extreme Mount Washington exhibit is in the Mount Washington State Park Sherman Adams Visitor Center. The summit is accessible mid-May to mid-October by car, Cog Railway), and hiking trails.
Hours: May to mid-October, daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., weather permitting.
Gorham Historical Society and Rail Museum

25 Railroad Street Gorham, NH Phone: 603-466-5338

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.
Woodman Institute Museum

182 Central Avenue Dover, NH, 03820 Phone: 603-742-1038

This four-building complex includes the Woodman House (1818), former home to lawyer Daniel Christie; Hale House (1813), home of U.S.Senator John Parker Hale; Keefe House (1827) and the William Damm Garrison home (1675). Collections of natural science to include the largest mineral exhibit north of Boston, items of local history from the 1600s to present, and a fine collection of paintings and early furniture. Cost: There is an admission charge.
Hours: April-November, Wednesday-Sunday, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $8; students and seniors age 65 and older, $6; children age 6-15, $3.

Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum

2936 White Mountain Highway North Conway, NH Phone: 603-356-2992

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. 
Museum of New Hampshire History

6 Eagle Square Concord, NH, 03301 Phone: 603-226-3189

Interactive and detailed museum exhibits tell visitors about the history of the Granite State, its indigenous peoples, and colonial settlers. The museum has a store. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; July-October 15 and all of December, additional hours on Monday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Adults, $5.50; seniors, $4.50; children age 6-18, $3. Information: www.nhhistory.org/museum.html
New Hampshire Boat Museum

395 Center St. Wolfeboro Falls, NH, 03896 Phone: 603-569-4554

The museum features many of the finest examples of vintage mahogany and antique boats, including; Garwood, Chris-Craft, Century, Dodge, Penn Yan, Lyman and Hacker, on a rotating basis. There are runabouts, race-boats, canoes, guide boats, and sail boats. Whether you are an outboard, steam, paddle or sail enthusiast, the displays, enhanced with archival photos, trophies and models, bring to life a truly grand era of boating. Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. Cost: Adults, $5; seniors, $4; students. $3. 
Lake Winnipesaukee Museum

503 Endicott Street North (Route 3) Laconia, NH, 03246 Phone: 603-366-5950

The museum property is a historic landmark and represents an era which changed the way Americans spent their summer vacations --- an example of the tradition of hospitality vital to the area’s history and economy since the 1800’s. The property was purchased in 1923 by David O’Shan, who first had a poultry farm on the site. The museum building is the original residence and the yellow cottages nearby are part of the original cabin colony. One of the buildings is from the former Shangrila Resort. Hours: Mid-June through Columbus Day, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Information: 
Tuck Memorial Museum

40 Park Avenue Hampton, NH, 03842 Phone: 603-929-0781

This museum presents a variety of exhibits involving 19th century history, including furniture, artwork, the area trolley system, farm implements, fire-fighting equipment, and a schoolhouse from the 1840's. The complex contains four buildings, The Tuck Museum, Farm Museum, Seacoast Fire Museum, and the 19th-Century District Schoolhouse. A children's playground and picnic facilities are located next to the museum. Hours: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, 1-4 p.m. Admission: Free. 
Albacore Park

600 Market Street Portsmouth, NH, 03801 Phone: 603-436-3680

The focal point of this park is an exhibit of life on a modern submarine. Visitors will tour the sub and view all its compartments.
Hours: Memorial Day to Columbus Day, daily, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Columbus Day to Memorial Day, Thursday through Monday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call ahead for seasonal changes.
Cost: Adults, $5; children age 7-17, $3; Military, $4; family, $10.

Museum Complex - Bear Brook State Park

Route 28 Allenstown, NH Phone: 603-485-2034

The museum complex at this park ilncludes the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum, Museum of Family Camping, Old Allenstown Meeting House, and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum. Most of the museums are housed in historic CCC buildings. Open: Various hours throughout the summer Information: http://www.nhstateparks.com/bearbrook.html
Wright Museum

77 Center Street Wolfeboro, NH, 03894 Phone: 603-569-1212

A museum of history, focusing on the American home front during World War II (1939-1945). Exhibits feature information, memorabilia, costumes, vehicles, and more. There are three distinct buildings: the Home Front and theater, the two-story educational building or Visitor's Center and the military building which houses memorabilia from all branches of service from World War II including a large collection of military vehicles. Hours: May 1-October 30, Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission: Adults, $10; seniors and veterans, $8; students, $6. Information: www.wrightmuseum.org.