Your working days are over and your relaxation days have begun. Retirement allows you to get involved in hobbies and activities you didn’t always have time for. Whether you’re participating in museum art classes, taking flight lessons, or spending your post-work days hiking through state parks, here are the 10 best retirement activities to enjoy in New Hampshire.
Whether you’re interested in one of many art classes or simply want to keep abreast of stunning exhibits, the Currier Museum is a place retirees truly enjoy. Events sponsored by the museum—including jazz brunches and more—promote the arts within the community. Volunteers are always in demand, too.
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Canterbury Shaker Village pays homage to the 200-year legacy of the Canterbury Shakers. The National Historic Landmark features 25 restored Shaker buildings, as well as 694 acres of nature trails, forests and gardens. A visit here is a step back in time and a way to relish tranquility. Check the website for workshops, which are offered sporadically.
Learn about the origins of seacoast New Hampshire by visiting Strawberry Banke. Tour homes, take part in museum activities or volunteer. Relive an old winter pastime by ice skating on Strawberry Banke’s outdoor skating rink. Skate rentals and hot chocolate are available.
Couples spend years saying, “This will be the year we ride the rails.” When you’re retired, the excuses dwindle. A ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad affords passengers an authentic railroad experience. You’ll depart from the vintage station and will ride one of several vintage locomotives. A new dining car combines fine dining with a ride through some remarkable New Hampshire scenery.
An Arts & Crafts-style mansion situated in the Ossipee Mountain Range, Castle in the Clouds is a must-visit for everyone in New Hampshire. Those who never got around to it while working, must add it to their to-do list when they retire. Guests ride a trolley from a parking area to the home, where tours are conducted. Hiking trails lead guests past a stunning waterfall. Stay for lunch at the restaurant, and be sure to visit the art gallery before calling it a day.
Prescott Park is home to an arts festival that brings live musical theater and concerts to its stage throughout much of the summer. Pack a picnic and prepare to enjoy the show. The park is adjacent to the Piscataqua River, and visitors enjoy seeing the Memorial Bridge rise to allow river traffic to flow. The flower gardens in Prescott Park are well worth an exclusive visit, too.
Hike the Flume Gorge and ride the aerial tramway at Franconia Notch State Park. A wooden walkway provides a comfortable stroll for retirees to make their way to the Flume Gorge—a waterfall to behold. A ride on the aerial tramway affords unbeatable views of scenic New Hampshire.
Learn about the sea creatures that grace the New Hampshire coastline, as well as conservation efforts at Seacoast Science Center. Located in Odiorne Point State Park, pack and lunch and plan to stay the day. The gorgeous water views, wooden walkways, beach areas and more are tranquil and enlightening. First time visitors are wowed and wonder why they haven’t checked this science center and park out sooner. The science center has a number of retirees as volunteers, too, and can always use more.
Retirees who visit Morningside Flight Park claim they’re checking things off their bucket lists—but many of them return again and again. Tandem hang gliding is just one of the adventures that take place at this park, and retired folks actually make up a decent percentage of their guests. In addition to taking a tandem flight, lessons are available.
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A trip up the Mt. Washington Auto Road is a must—at least once—for all New Hampshire residents and visitors. The changing weather patterns and history alone make it a worthwhile trip. Add to that the panoramic views of the region, and you’ve simply got to go. If you’re able to drive (just a warning—the road can do a number on your car’s breaks!) simply start at the auto road—but you’ll have to do so in the summer months. During the winter months, visitors can ride the Winter Snowcoach, which ascends the road on tracks instead of wheels.