Home to the elite prep school, Phillips Exeter Academy, the town of Exeter in eastern New Hampshire is a small town New England classic. The presence of the prep school and its interesting faculty makes it a good choice for retirees looking for a strong cultural environment. The town is very old, going back to 1638. Local families such as the Gilmans made fortunes in the risky business of sailing ships, trading goods around the world. Exeter has just under 15,000 people. It's just a short hop the coast, Durham (Univ. of New Hampshire), and Boston. Wikipedia photo courtesy of Beancounter603
Here is how one enthusiastic visitor described Exeter on City-Data.com: "(Exeter is) Very bustling, lots of activity, and still a beautiful, historic New England town. Downtown was fantastic." Other posters tended to agree that Exeter's downtown and its schools are fantastic. Photo of Town Hall courtesy of Wikipedia and Beancounter603. The older photo is the same Town Hall from a 1909 postcard, also courtesy of Wikipedia.