Concord is the capital of New Hampshire filled with history, culture, and nature. First settled in 1659 as the Plantation of Penacook, the region became known for its furniture making and granite quarrying in the 1800s. But it soon moved on to become a main hub for the railroad industry. Nowadays, Concord is a center for health care and insurance companies.
With many attractions ranging from museums, spectacular theatres, independent shops, and historical buildings, you will feel like in a time travel in Concord.
Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Concord (NH)
1. Capitol Center for the Arts
Owned by a non-profit organization and with over 1,300 seats, the Capitol Center for the Arts is an incredible theater to watch performing arts in Concord. The performances range from live music concerts and Broadway revivals to stand-up comedy acts and school functions. Located in Concord downtown, the center is a short walk to several restaurants and bars. However, before shows, drinks and snacks are served.
Besides the great sound system, there is not a bad seat in the whole theater. The building itself is also worth a visit because of its well preserved historical appearance with an Egyptian motif as a design.
The family-oriented seasonal park Chuckster’s is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities like mini-golf, go-karts, and a climbing wall. The park’s main attractions are the TimberTrek, where you can go through a ropes course and ziplining, the batting cages, and the kid’s paddle boats.
And of course, a favorite amongst the kids is the ice cream stand with 36 flavors of ice cream and sundaes. Be sure to try one of Chuckster’s custom flavors, “Upchuck” and “Chuckster Chunk”. The park also offers hot snacks like pizza and hot dogs.
3. Carter Hill Orchard
Rob and Ann run one of the nicest orchards in the Concord area, the Carter Hill Orchard which features a playground and a delicious bakery. Most visitors stop there to buy apple pie and donuts, but you can get a variety of pastries as well as apple cider. There are great walking trails, a viewing platform for gazing at distant mountains, and an awesome rope swing that all the kids love.
The espalier-style trees next to the orchard, adjacent to the lookout tower, with the mountain view in the background, make an incredible view. You can also go on an adventure and pick your own blueberries, peaches, and apples.
4. Pawtuckaway State Park
The Pawtuckaway State Park is a large park featuring swimming, scenic boulders, climbing, diverse wildlife, and winter sports. The park has a lovely beach on the lake with picnic tables and grills, as well as a campground store, snack shop, and lifeguards on duty. There are kayaking and canoeing also available. So, overall, this is a good activity spot for families.
If you are going to hike, arrive from the west entrance where you can find a park on the road and hike South Mt or Middle Mt. In general, the trails are made of a great walking terrain, and the mountain biking trails are well maintained.
5. Red River Theatres Inc.
Established in 2007, the 3-screen Red River Theatres is a non-profit cinema showing indie films and classics in a state-of-the-art theater featuring a café and a gallery. The venue is both beautiful and intimate, besides comfortable. The leather seating is modern and spacious, not to mention each chair has a table for all your goodies.
Yes, Red River Theatres has an amazing selection of food options. Concessions include sandwiches from Concord Co-op, Blake’s Turkey farm entrees, Granite State Candy plus craft beer, wine, and ciders. They also have the best popcorn a movie theater could possibly have!
6. Pats Peak Ski Area
Less than half an hour from Concord, the Pats Peak Ski Area offers fun winter activities for the whole family. They have a bunny hill the kids take lessons on, easy trails for beginners, and more difficult trails for intermediate to pro skiers or snowboarders. And of course, tubing opportunities for everyone.
Featuring 26 diverse trails, 3 terrain parks, and night skiing, the Ski Area also has two lodges. So, you can have dinner at a 1,460-ft summit or go to the bar on the top level. They also rent the space as a wedding and banquets venue.
7. White Park
White Park has everything a park-goer could want, including the largest playground in Concord, the Monkey Around Playground. The park also features groomed trails, a baseball field, a basketball court, and a pool. During winter you can enjoy the outdoor skating rink, the sledding hill as well as go ice skating.
The park is large enough to find your own space, and yet not so big it is too much to feel safe and secure. So, take some time to enjoy one of the most popular parks in Concord.
8. McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is an interactive science museum honoring the New Hampshire astronauts, Alan Shepard and Christa McAuliffe. Alan was the first American in space, and Christa was the first teacher in space.
The highlight of the museum is to check out the unique NASA artifacts like a space toilet and a space treadmill. Amongst the interactive engineering and science exhibitions, there is a full-size replica of a Mercury Redstone Rocket and the chance to see yourself in infrared light. Also, you can experience life in orbit! This high-tech museum also features a planetarium and an observatory.
9. Livingston Park
With a lot to offer, Livingston Park is known for its sport and outdoor activities. For example, there are many ball fields and open spaces. Not to mention the extensive playground for children of all ages. The swimming pool has been renovated and now it even features a water slide.
Besides, the park is adjacent to Dorr’s Pond that includes a walking trail circling the pond. The 1-mile loop trail is easy and offers several benches. Also, the tree canopies keep the trail shady and pleasant on the hottest of summer days. The park is an attraction worth visiting the whole year since you can fish in the summer and ice skate in the winter.
10. Currier Museum of Art
Located in Manchester, only 20 minutes from Concord, Currier Museum of Art focuses on both European and American artwork. The museum exhibits range from Monet and Picasso to O’Keeffe, plus decorative works. With plenty of glass art, the museum also shows a lot of modern art collection, in addition to the midcentury paintings.
They also have a section of the museum set aside for visiting and rotating exhibits. Besides, the guided tour is great with helpful and informative guides. And the gift shop has unique items and art-related scarves and prints.
11. McIntyre Ski Area
McIntyre Ski Area is actually a city-owned ski area adjacent to Derryfield Park in Manchester. This winter playground has been popular in New Hampshire since the chairlift began working in 1971. Nowadays, the area counts with beginner ski trails and lessons as well as tubing. Although the slopes are small, there are some neat pathways to take.
On the weekends, you might find live entertainment and a fire pit with heat lamps. A favorite amongst its customers, McIntyre Ski Area is home to the delicious Hill Grill. With a gorgeous mountain view, the restaurant is known for its Angus burger with fries.
12. New Hampshire Audubon
Also known as the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center, the New Hampshire Audubon is a nature center featuring wooded hiking trails, a raptor exhibit, and indoor animal displays. This is the oldest environmental center in the state and offers various activities about the environment for all ages.
This is the place to see birds of prey like a bald eagle, a screech owl, and a peregrine falcon. The New Hampshire Audubon also offers several educational programs open to the public. So, you can join them in an animal tracking walk or an adventure treasure hunt.
13. Concord Antiques
Located in the downtown area, Concord Antiques first opened in 1997 and it is the largest antique group store in the Capitol area as well as the oldest ones in the state. Covering 10,000 square feet, the space features more than 155 different dealers showcasing and selling their antiques. You can find pretty much anything there, from jewelry and postcards to furniture and tools. And everything for a reasonable price.
Looking from outside, you cannot imagine how many stalls they have or how diverse the products are. Besides the ambient relaxing music, the staff serves fresh coffee throughout the day.
14. Scenic RailRiders
Scenic RailRiders offers bike tours on abandoned railroad tracks along the Merrimack River. Even though the routes are limited to the railroad tracks, the journey has a little bit of everything to see along the way. The surrounding scenery seems untouched and you can admire the dairy farm with its cows and old bridges.
The ride itself is very easy, and the whole tour takes around two hours. At some points, you need to get off your vehicle so it can be turned around. The staff is extremely friendly and will help you with anything you might need. This is also a family-friendly activity.
15. Canterbury Shaker Village
Located 20 minutes from Concord, Canterbury Shaker Village is a museum and historic site founded in 1969. Because of its architectural and historical importance, the village has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Shaker religion is almost extinct and at Canterbury Shaker Village you can learn more about the history and culture that once thrived in Concord. The grounds are made of 25 original Shaker buildings situated on 694 acres of gardens, ponds, fields, and forests.
After exploring the green space, you can watch the live demonstrations of traditional crafts like broom making, wool spinning, woodworking, and rug braiding. There is also a cafe on-site and a lovely nature trail.
16. Winant Park
Winant Park is a city-owned space of lush woods, a variety of trails, plus interpretive signs with natural and cultural information. In general, the park is filled with old-growth specimen trees, a peek-a-boo vista of the State House’s gold dome, and mountain views.
Although most trails are short and steep, they vary in length. You can refer to the color-coded map located at the main kiosk for more information on each of the five named trails. You can also choose to go biking as there are a few good downhill spots and a couple of technical trails.
17. The Pierce Manse
The 14th President of the United States, Franklin Pierce, was a native from New Hampshire and his home Pierce Manse is now a touristic attraction in Concord. The 19th-century Greek revival house is open to the public featuring guided tours.
As you explore the house, you will see the original furnishing and objects that belonged to Franklin Pierce. You will also learn how Pierce carried his day to day life and what things were like in the middle of the 19th century. Also, you can visit the president’s childhood home, the Franklin Pierce Homestead in Hillsborough, or pay your respects at Concord’s Old North Cemetery.
18. Dimond Hill Farm
Dimond Hill Farm is an icon of the resurgence of small farms and locally grown meat, dairy and vegetable products in New Hampshire. The 150-acre farm grows and sells a variety of fresh produces that are sold out of the farm stand, much like a Farmers Market. They also have an assortment of locally grown and created products including cheese, honey, jams, ice cream, and more.
Dimond Hill is also a beautiful place to relax with a beautiful 19th-century Victorian farmhouse and barn sitting on a ridge overlooking the city of Concord.
19. New Hampshire Historical Society
Founded in 1823 as a non-profit organization, the New Hampshire Historical Society is both a museum and a library featuring exhibitions and resources devoted to New Hampshire history. With an extensive collection of thousands of objects, books, documents, maps, and photographs, the museum is home to the largest collection of artifacts that tells the state’s story. From Native American artifacts to 19th-century paintings, you can see it all.
The building itself is worth your attention. This Greek-temple-like structure was built in 1911 and it is considered the greatest example of architecture in the state.
20. Charmingfare Farm
Only 30 minutes from Concord, the Charmingfare Farm is a real working farm. The fields get plowed and planted, the rooster crows in the morning and the barn cats continue to chase the mice. They offer the visitors a chance to go on a pony, hay, and tractor rides. But the farm’s highlight is the petting zoo.
They also have a wide range of special events happening throughout the year. For example, you can be a part of summer camp, field trips, Teddy Bear Picnic, Reptile Day, and Halloween rides. Concerts and magic shows are also held at Charminfare Farm.
21. Bear Brook State Park
With over 10,000 acres, Bear Brook State Park is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire. There is plenty to do and see in this massive, forested park including hiking, riding, Nordic skiing, and archery. The park also features historic museums like the New Hampshire Antique Snowmobile Museum, the Old Allenstown Meeting House, and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.
In general, the trails are decently well marked, and it is easy to scale up your hiking given how the trails/loops connect. Some trails have a bit of an incline, so that is another way you can increase the level of difficulty.
22. Tours of Zimmerman House
The acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Zimmerman House in 1950 and nowadays it is open to the public. Wright proposed a new way of living inspired by nature, individual freedom, and simplicity.
During the guided tour you can explore period furniture and learn about the house as a whole. The guides will tell you everything from the design stage all the way through to how the house came into the museum’s possession. Not to mention the work that is needed to keep the house in great condition for guests to walk through.
The sprawling arcade complex and amusement center, Funspot, is a lot of fun offering entertainment for everyone. Whether you like classic arcade games, pinball, or playing for tickets, they have it all. The complex also features bingo, mini-golf, and bowling. But the main attraction is the upper floor with all the classical games.
The basic fast food restaurant and separate bar get their jobs done as well. Besides, there is also a museum on the third floor with all the old and unique games you can think of.
24. Gunstock Mountain Resort
Gunstock Mountain Resort is a family-friendly ski and snowboard area also offering Nordic terrain, a mountain coaster, and tubing. Make sure to take your time admiring the view of the snowy mountains and conifers. Although their beginner classes are amazing, the resort is also a lot of fun even for the most experienced skiers. There is the Terrain Park and trails that are quite the challenge!
During the summer, the area is also quite popular. There are lots of trails for biking and hiking, and two trailheads on the Belknap Mountains range. Besides, this is a popular camping destination and, as a bonus, there is a ground pool for the kids.
25. The Common Man Restaurant
Opened in 2000, the Common Man Restaurant in Concord is one of the seven of its franchise. The branch of a relaxed American chain set in quaint quarters has an amazing staff. From their comfortable expanded lounge, Doc’s Primary Pub, and deck areas you will feel right at home.
Some of their highlights include the crab cake, the cheese and crackers appetizer, the pot roast, and the onion soup. The cozy and cute dining area with a fireplace is a favorite among skiers during winter.