Durham, NH 55+ Active Adult Retirement Communities

Durham is a small town in southeastern New Hampshire with a population of just over 10,000 people. Home to the University of New Hampshire, this small community offers a variety of advantages to active adults looking to retire here. Retirees on a budget will appreciate that there is no sales or income tax in New Hampshire and active adults will be happy with the large variety of recreational opportunities. 

Durham is a small town in southeastern New Hampshire with a population of just over 10,000 people. Home to the University of New Hampshire, this small community offers a variety of advantages to active adults looking to retire here. Retirees on a budget will appreciate that there is no sales or income tax in New Hampshire and active adults will be happy with the large variety of recreational opportunities. 

The cost of living in Durham is slightly higher than the national average due to its proximity to larger cities like Portsmouth and Manchester. The median home price in Durham is around $$531,800 which may seem high, but this includes homes ranging from smaller condos up through large single-family houses on spacious lots. Groceries are relatively affordable compared to other parts of the east coast. Transportation costs are low since many residents work locally or commute short distances into nearby towns/cities.

New Hampshire taxes are unique in that New Hampshire is one of the few states in the country with no income or sales tax which makes it an attractive retirement destination. New Hampshire does have the 4th highest property tax in the nation but no estate or inheritance tax. 

Climate and Geography

Durham has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in the summer is around 80°F while winter temperatures can drop to as low as 10°F. Snowfall is common during the winter months, which makes it an ideal location for skiing enthusiasts.

Durham and the surrounding area are hilly with forests that are perfect for hiking or other outdoor activities. There are also several lakes in the area where 55+ active adults can enjoy fishing or boating activities. 

Recreation, Shopping and Entertainment

Despite its small size, Durham offers plenty for visitors and residents to see and do.

For golf enthusiasts nearby courses offer challenging play with beautiful scenery. The Links at Outlook Golf Course is just minutes away from downtown Durham and features an 18-hole course designed by Brian Silva. Pease Golf Course in Portsmouth boasts two championship courses and is popular with residents.

If you prefer tennis or pickleball over golfing, head over to Jackson's Landing Tennis Courts where you can enjoy playing either sport while taking in views of Great Bay Estuary.

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring College Woods Trail System which covers more than 250 acres near UNH campus. Wagon Hill Farm Conservation Area offers trails with scenic vistas overlooking Little Bay. Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge: This 1,000-acre refuge is home to a diverse array of wildlife and is a great place for a hike, kayaking, or birdwatching.

There are many museums and historical sites in the area. One must visit location is the Woodman Institute Museum which consists of several historic buildings and features exhibits on local history, natural history, and Native American artifacts. The American Independence Museum has exhibits and educational programs on the American Revolution and the founding of the United States.

Durham is a great place to retire if you enjoy annual festivals and fairs; the area is home to a wide variety of events including:

  • The Durham Art Walk takes place twice a year and features local artists showcasing their work in galleries, studios, and public spaces throughout downtown Durham.
  • Festival for the Eno happens every year around July 4th celebrates the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Eno River with live music, food, crafts, and activities for all ages.
  • Bull Durham Blues Festival in September features top blues musicians from around the country, as well as local food and craft vendors.
  • Durham Mardi Gras is held on Fat Tuesday and features a parade, live music, and traditional New Orleans-style food and drink.
  • NC Pride Festival and Parade takes place in September and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community with a parade through downtown Durham, live music, and a festival in Duke Park.
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in April showcases the best in documentary filmmaking from around the world.
  • World Beer Festival Durham happens in October and features hundreds of beers from around the globe as well as local food vendors and live music.
  • Art of Cool Festival music festival takes place in September and features jazz, soul, and hip-hop artists.

For a small town Durham has a variety of music venues to suit all types of musical tastes. Located on the campus of the University of New Hampshire, the Johnson Theater hosts various performances, including musicals, plays, and concerts. The Stone Church in nearby Newmarket offers live music performances from local and national acts. Portsmouth's Music Hall is a historic theater that offers a variety of performances, including concerts and other musical events. Rochester Opera House offers a variety of live performances, including musical acts.

For shopping enthusiasts, downtown Durham offers a variety of unique boutiques and specialty shops. You can find everything from handmade jewelry to locally sourced food products at the farmers market in nearby Portsmouth.

Sports fans will enjoy catching UNH Wildcats games throughout the year. The university has a variety of athletic teams, including football, basketball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse.

Overall, there's no shortage of things to do in Durham! Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures or cultural experiences - this charming town has something for everyone.

Health and Wellness

Durham is in close proximity to major medical centers such as Wentworth-Douglass Hospital and Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Additionally, Durham offers various options for self-care and keeping fit that are appealing to active 55+ adults who want to remain healthy throughout retirement.

The University of New Hampshire Outdoor Pool is ideal for swimming enthusiasts looking to keep fit while enjoying nature's beauty during summer months. For those who prefer indoor workouts, the UNH Hamel Recreation Center offers a variety of fitness equipment, indoor and outdoor pools, basketball and racquetball courts, a rock climbing wall, and other facilities and services. The facility is usually open to the public during specific hours on weekends and holidays, but it is primarily reserved for UNH students, faculty, and staff during the week. Residents can also take advantage of yoga classes offered at local studios like Yoga on the Hill or Seacoast Power Yoga.

Planning Your Visit to Durham Retirement Communities

If moving to Durham for retirement is appealing, spending a weekend in the area is a great way to learn about the area. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your visit:

Day One


  • Start your day with a visit to the University of New Hampshire campus. Take a walk around and explore its beautiful grounds.


  • Visit Wagon Hill Farm for some scenic views and peaceful surroundings. Enjoy a picnic lunch here or at nearby Durham Public Library Park.


  • Head over to downtown Portsmouth for dinner at The Black Trumpet Bistro, which offers an eclectic menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

Day Two


  • Meet up with your local retirement community partner agent in late morning or early afternoon. Afterward, take a walking tour of the historic downtown Portsmouth, which is home to many colonial-era buildings, shops, and restaurants.


  • For dinner tonight head to Three Chimneys Inn, which offers a fine dining experience with classic New England dishes and an extensive wine list.

Getting to Durham

Durham is easily accessible, transportation options include:

Driving: If you're coming from Boston, take I-95 north to NH Exit 4, then follow NH Route 16 north to Durham. If you're coming from Manchester, take NH Route 101 east to NH Route 125 north, then follow NH Route 155 east to Durham.

Flying: The closest airport to Durham is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT), which is about 45 minutes away by car. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is also a viable option and is about an hour away by car. From either airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi/rideshare service to Durham.

Bus: The C&J Bus Lines offer daily service between Portsmouth and Boston, with stops in Durham. The bus terminal in Durham is located on Mill Road, just off NH Route 108.

Train: Amtrak's Downeaster train service runs daily between Boston and Portland, with stops in Durham. The Durham train station is located on Main Street, just a short walk from downtown.


Communities Near Durham

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1 communities near Durham

0 Homes for Sale

The Cottages at Spruce Woods - Durham, NH

The Cottages at Spruce Woods

For Sale
  • Low $300ks - Mid $400ks
  • 25 Homes
  • 55+ Age Restriction
  • Resale Homes Only
  • 1999 - 2014
  • No Reviews

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1056 Southern Hills Drive, Banning, CA

Meadow Ranch Community

  • 3 bed
  • |
  • 3 bath
  • |
  • 2320 SqFt
MLS CV23099287
Call Us: (800) 928-2055

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