Concord is the capital city of New Hampshire, so it is one of the most popular destinations in the state. Those who spend time in this city will find no shortage of things to see and do during their visit, and there are activities and attractions to suit all ages. To enjoy the best experience of this city during your stay, it makes sense to plan how you will spend your time in advance. Here are the 20 best things to do in Concord, NH, to help you plan your vacation itinerary.
20. Treat Yourself to a Stay at The Centennial Hotel
If you are unsure where to stay for your visit to Concord, one of the most luxurious options in the city is The Centennial Hotel. It is a boutique hotel with an interior inspired by the Victorian era. The hotel sits in a convenient location in downtown Concord, so it is close to the shops, restaurants, and main attractions. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning. The main amenity at the hotel is a fitness center that boasts a gym and an aerobics room.
19. Dine at Granite Restaurant and Bar
During your visit to Concord, you will undoubtedly want to enjoy some meals in the local restaurants. If you are not sure where to go, then one of the top options in the city is Granite Restaurant and Bar. The menu is based on using local and seasonal ingredients, so it changes several times throughout the year. While some of the dishes are traditional American food, there are also options inspired by Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. In addition to the meat and fish dishes, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
18. Visit the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center
The Susan N. McLane Audubon Center was formerly known as the Silk Farm Center. It is an attraction with both indoor and outdoor elements to enjoy. Inside, there is a raptor exhibit and animal displays. The external space surrounding the center is a natural green space that boasts several hiking trails. Along the hiking trails, there are vantage points from which visitors can enjoy lakefront views.
17. Buy Antiques from the Concord Antique Galley
There are plenty of shops to visit in downtown Concord, but an interesting one to visit is the Concord Antique Galley. Even if you do not intend to make a purchase, it is worth visiting this store just to see the beautiful items on display. Concord Antique Gallery has many interesting pieces from various periods, ranging from paintings to pottery and from clocks to antique toys. More than 155 vendors have a stall in the gallery, and each stall has something different to offer.
16. Hike Around Winant Park
Concord is surrounded by beautiful countryside. If you crave some time out of the city enjoying the fresh air, then one of the best places to visit is Winant Park. It is an 85-acre forested park that has various trails to explore. Along the trails, there are informative signs that give visitors natural and cultural information. The trails are suitable for both hiking and mountain biking, and there is plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. From the trails' vantage points, there are views across the city and of the mountains and the golden dome of the State House. The park is also a fantastic place to enjoy a picnic.
15. Visit the Canterbury Shaker Village
Just outside Concord is the Canterbury Shaker Village, which is a museum and historic site that was founded in 1969. The site is designated a National Historic Landmark due to its historical and architectural importance. On the site, there are four reconstructed Shaker buildings and 25 restored structures. Visitors can tour the buildings before exploring the 694-acres of forests, nature trails, gardens, and waters that are all part of the attraction. There are also live demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as broom making, wool spinning, woodworking, and rug braiding. After a day exploring the village, visitors can grab a bite to eat at the café.
14. Have Fun on the Water
Travel Lens says that you should spend some time on the water during your visit to Concord, as the Merrimack River runs through the city. There are opportunities for both locals and visitors to enjoy activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Along the river, there are companies offering equipment rental for those who do not have their own gear. As you glide along the river, look out for birds such as Ospreys and Bald Eagles.
13. Buy Some Sweet Treats from the Granite State Candy Shoppe
The Crazy Tourist recommends a visit to the Granite State Sweet Shoppe. Visiting the candy store is like taking a step back in time. It first opened in 1927 and has been run by the same family ever since. All the sweets are homemade at the shop, then sold to customers by weight from the jars. There is no manufactured or plastic-wrapped candy bars insight. In addition to the candies, there are also gourmet chocolates and homemade ice creams for sale, and visitors can make their own ice cream sundae.
12. Go to the Mary Baker Eddy Historic House
One of Concord's most famous historic landmarks is the Mary Baker Eddy Historic House. The house sits on the outskirts of the city, and it has been transformed into a museum that focuses on the life and work of Mary Baker Eddy and the Christian Science movement. Mary Baker Eddy was an author and a religious leader who founded The Church of Christ, Scientist. Some of the items on display in the museum include artifacts, documents, and artwork. Visitors can take a tour of the museum on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays.
11. See the Exhibitions at Kimball-Jenkins Estate
The Kimball -Jenkins Estate features two separate art exhibition spaces, so it is one of the top art venues in the city. The galleries are set within the Carriage House, which is a historic mansion. On the ground floor of the mansion is the Jill C. Wilson Gallery, which hosts exhibitions that showcase the work of established national and international artists. The Carolyn Jenkins Gallery is on the upper floor of the mansion, and it is used to display the work of the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art's students. There are both solo and group exhibitions, and it is a chance to see some of the finest artwork from up-and-coming local artists.
10. Shop at the Steeplegate Mall
Although there are plenty of shops in downtown Concord, you will find a more diverse selection if you head to Steeplegate Mall. There is a vast array of department stores and specialty shops. Within the mall, there are also multiple attractions and leisure activities. These include the Altitude Trampoline Park, Zoo Fitness, and the Hatbox Theater. Furthermore, there are multiple places to eat at the mall, so you can combine shopping with having fun and enjoying an excellent meal.
9. Go Fruit Picking at Diamond Hill Farm
Visitors to Diamond Hill Farm can enjoy various experiences, and one of the most popular is picking apples and berries. However, there is also the option to walk the trails, see the llama, take in the scenic views, or simply sit and relax in beautiful surroundings. A fun activity to enjoy for all the family is trying to find your way through the farm's labyrinth. Visitors can buy fresh berries, natural ice cream, or sodas from the farm's shop.
8. Sample the Produce at Concord Craft Brewing Company
There is some fantastic produce in New Hampshire, ranging from fresh fruit and vegetables to baked goods, dairy products, and alcoholic beverages. If you have a penchant for the latter, then head to the Concord Craft Brewing Company. It is in the historic downtown district of the city, and guests can sample eight of their brews on tap when they visit the taproom. It is possible for visitors to take a tour of the brewery and to learn about the production process. The brewery also has a retail store on-site that sells the beers and beer-themed products.
7. Go to Pierce Manse
There are some interesting landmarks and structures to visit around Concord, and one of the most popular is Pierce Manse. It is the former home of President Franklin Pierce, who was a New Hampshire native. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house, which displays many objects that are related to Franklin Pierce's day-to-day life. It is a chance for people to learn about life in the 19th century.
6. Enjoy the Outdoors at Carter Hill Orchard
If you want to enjoy an outdoor activity with a difference, then visit the Carter Hill Orchard. It is more than just a typical orchard, as there are multiple activities to enjoy at this rural attraction. Carter Hill Orchard grows multiple apple varieties, and visitors can take part in picking activities. There are also hiking trails on the ground and an observation tower where visitors can enjoy views of the surrounding countryside. Furthermore, there is an on-site bakery and a country store.
5. See a Performance at the Capitol Center for the Arts
The Capitol Center for the Arts is New Hampshire's main venue for the performing arts. Throughout the year, there is a jam-packed schedule of Broadway shows, comedies, dance performances, and musical repertoires. The theater was built in 1927, and its interior is decorated with Egyptian motifs. Check what is on during your visit before you set off for your vacation in Concord.
4. Visit the McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center
Concord has links to the aeronautical industry, and two residents are famous for their space journeys. One is Christa McAuliffe, who was a social studies teacher in a local high school, and she became the first teacher to go into space, although she tragically died on the Challenger space shuttle. The other is Alan Shephard, who was the first American in Space, and one of only a handful of people to have walked on the moon. McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center was built in the two locals' honor. It is an interactive museum that aims to inspire young people to explore and reach for the stars.
3. Go to the New Hampshire State House
New Hampshire State House is the state's capitol building, and it is the home to the General Courts, the Executive Council, and the Governor. It was built in 1819, which means it is the oldest state house in the country. Visitors can take a self-guided tour or opt for one of the guided tours. There are artifacts and artwork on display for visitors to admire during their tour.
2. See a Film at Red River Theater
Originally, when the Red River Theater opened its doors in 2007, it was a community project to show art-house films. Now, it is a cinema with three movie screens, and the focus is on art house productions and local movies. The cinema has become an important part of the local cultural scene. If you want to watch something different from what is offered at the mainstream movie theaters, then this is the place to visit.
1. Learn About Local History the New Hampshire Historical Society
If you are interested in the history of the places you visit, then your starting point in Concord is the New Hampshire Historical Society, says Vacation Idea. The society was established in 1823, and its aim is the preserve and shares the history of New Hampshire. At the museum, there are various artifacts relating to the state's history, including books, documents, maps, and photographs. The museum is set in a building that was constructed in 1911 and is considered one of New Hampshire's most architecturally interesting structures.
Written by Liz Flynn
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