Once a bustling state capital, this peaceful town is now known for its serene riverside location and enthralling heritage.
Stroll along Exeter’s streets decorated with rustling trees and spot charming Early American architecture. Wander in lush, open parks and delve into enthralling museums to uncover fascinating artifacts of American independence.
Walk down either of the two main routes running through the heart of town and view stunning historic buildings that predate the American Revolution. One of Exeter’s earliest remaining buildings is Gilman Garrison House. Home to the owners of Exeter’s first sawmill, this 1709 building is now a museum with photos and artifacts chronicling the development of area industries.
Admire the elegant early 20th-century bandstand as you make your way toward the Exeter Historical Society. The peculiar yellow-brick exterior ensures this treasure-trove is easy to find. The team of committed volunteers here will be delighted to show you a selection of Native American garments as well as memorabilia from President Lincoln’s visit to the town in 1860.
Head to the American Independence Museum nearby. View relics from Exeter’s time as the seat of New Hampshire during the Revolutionary War. Step inside the very same tavern that President Washington visited in 1789. The collection’s most fascinating asset is one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence that was found here long ago.
For outdoor enjoyment, take a break in some of the 56 acres (23 hectares) of parkland around the town. Kick your way through leaves and throw a football at Swasey Parkway on the banks of the Squamscott River or get your skates on at two large ice rinks.
Exeter is in southeastern New Hampshire, a 45-minute drive east of Concord. Stay for a night or longer at one of several cozy hotels and guesthouses in town. Select from a variety of restaurants available, with excellent New England seafood on the menus. Don’t miss the farmers market that takes place every Thursday between May and October and stay for the American Independence Festival that is put on each July by the museum.