Five Small Museums in New Hampshire That Are Hidden Gems
From the Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff to the American Classic Arcade Museum, here's what you can see in the Granite State.
No, not the Stonehenge across the pond. It turns out that New Hampshire has a Stonehenge of its very own. Located in Salem, the 4000-year-old archaeological site is a maze of stone walls and chambers that has been confirmed to be an astrological calendar. While no one seems to know for sure whether it was built by Native Americans or some sort of migrant European group, you can form your own conclusion on their self-guided tour. The setting is also perfect for candlelight snowshoeing, so visit their website to check their schedule. Oh, and there are alpacas!
105 Haverhill Road, Salem, stonehengeusa.com.
Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff
It may not have a website, but the Museum of Dumb Guy Stuff is a real thing…and you’ll enjoy it no matter your gender. Since it opened last year in a Portsmouth basement, the exhibit is a collaboration between two friends that showcases their vast collection of action figures, train sets, and other knickknacks from childhood. Given the grassroots nature of the museum, they’re only open a few hours a day. Check to make sure the banner is hung out front before you try to go in.
114 Mechanic St., Portsmouth
American Classic Arcade Museum
Relive your childhood, one arcade token at a time. The ACAR is located at Funspot, the massive Laconia game venue that has a massive arcade, bowling alley, miniature golf, and bingo. Created back in 1998, the museum is a collection of the aging games from the golden age of video games. (The ’70s and ’80s, of course.) You’ll find favorites ranging from Pac-Man and Tron to Asteroids and Centipede.
579 Endicott Street North, Laconia, arcademuseum.org.
The Woodman has a little bit of everything, but really caters toward the quirky and unexpected. Located in four historic houses, the Woodman houses diverse collections of taxidermy specimens, fossils, art, colonial furniture, and an amazing array of New Hampshire history. Civil War history fanatics will be pleased to see the mahogany podium Abraham Lincoln used during his visit to Dover in 1860, as well as the saddle he rode in just days before his assassination. Just an FYI: They shut down for much of the winter.
182 Central Ave., Dover, woodmanmuseum.org.
Aviation Museum of New Hampshire
Housed in a stunning Art Deco structure that was formerly an airport terminal, the Aviation Museum is filled with hands-on exhibits that celebrate the history and science of air travel. Try your hand(s) at the flight simulator, which will have you feeling like you’re soaring through the sky like a true pilot.
27 Navigator Road, Londonderry, nhahs.org.