The Capital of New Hampshire, Concord is a city full of rich heritage, lush nature, vibrant culture, and one-of-a-kind attractions.
The town is the third-largest city in the state, with a population of nearly 44,000.
It has been popular all over the world for its carriage-making since the 19th century.
Now, Concord is also a popular tourist destination for people around the globe to experience the cultural and historical attractions scattered all over the city.
You will find a perfect blend of usual and unusual in the city.
Concord has several things to do and see.
You can spend days exploring all the fascinating museums, spectacular theaters, independent shops, historical buildings, fantastic eateries, delightful breweries, absorbing art, nature trails, rolling hills, and so much more.
Ready to start exploring this vibrant city?
Here are some of the best things to do in Concord, New Hampshire:
Stroll around the City and Discover Underrated Gems
Concord is a picturesque town with cultural and historical attractions waiting to surprise you at every turn.
This charming city is ideal for exploring on foot.
Its magnificent architecture and history will surely win over your heart.
By walking around Concord, you will also discover the lesser-known cafes, restaurants, shops, and other places you would not have gotten to see otherwise.
Long walks along this city's clean and beautiful streets will make your trip even more meaningful.
Learn about Space at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
Located next door to the NHTI campus, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is an interactive science museum honoring Hampshire astronauts Alan Shepard and Christa McAuliffe.
Alan Shepard was the first-ever American to be in space.
Christa McAuliffe was training to be America's first-ever teacher to be in the area but tragically passed away in the space shuttle.
The museum offers fascinating interactive and educational programs for visitors to learn about astronomy, space science, Earth, and aviation.
Apart from the hands-on programs, displays, and exhibitions, you can see the vast life-size replica of the Mercury-Redstone rocket and the planetarium and observatory.
The premises also has a cafe and a small gift shop where you can grab a quick bite to eat and a souvenir after exploring the museum.
Visit the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center to witness the excellent collection of space travel artifacts and learn about the local astronauts.
Go Paddleboarding, Kayaking, or Canoeing on the Merrimack River
The mighty Merrimack River flows through Concord, and it offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy its water with kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards.
The Contoocook River Canoe Company can help you enjoy these outdoor recreational activities on the river.
You can rent the kayaks, boats, and paddleboards from the company itself.
Their staff helps you enjoy adventurous activities while ensuring your safety and providing all the necessary gear.
From the river, you can also spot several amazing birds, such as bald eagles and ospreys.
The Contoocook River Canoe Company provides an affordable and adventure-packed day at the Merrimack River, so make sure to rent boats and learn kayaking from them.
Learn Local History at the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum
Located on Park Street, the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1823.
It shares and preserves the history of New Hampshire.
The museum and the library consist of the most extensive collection of the state's history with artifacts, photographs, newspapers, manuscripts, and so much more.
Aside from the impressive and immense collection of historical objects and books, the stunning building is an example of one of the best works of public architecture.
Make sure to tour and check out all the interesting displays and artifacts when you visit the New Hampshire Historical Society Museum.
Hike the Scenic Trails at Winant Park
Winant Park is an 85-acre forested park with various trails and signs with cultural and natural information for visitors to read while exploring its premises.
There are old-growth trees, birds, butterflies, several vantage points, and trails in the park.
The trails are perfect for hiking or mountain biking in the lushly wooded green space away from all the city's hustle and bustle.
You can enjoy the splendid views of mountains and the State House's gold dome from the park.
Visit the New Hampshire State House
The New Hampshire State House was built in the 19th century and is New Hampshire's state capital building.
The building's architecture is splendid; it is made in Greek Revival style and has a golden dome.
The State House accommodates the Governor, Executive Council, and General Courts.
The house is open to the public, and it does not even have a gate as it is the "people's house."
You can take guided tours of the building guided by passionate and knowledgeable volunteers.
After the tour, you can head over to the gift shop to buy souvenirs.
Explore the Historic Pierce Manse
The Pierce Manse is a historic house where the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, lived before his presidency.
The house is now a tourist attraction and is open to the public.
Its various artifacts and displays showcase life in the mid-19th century.
There are original furnishing and objects in the house that belonged to Franklin Pierce as well.
You can take a guided tour of the house to learn more about the house and its inhabitants.
Visit the Pierce Manse to learn more about President Pierce and his life in the 1800s.
Browse through Books at Gibson's Bookstore
Founded in 1898, Gibson's Bookstore is a haven for bibliophiles.
The independent bookstore is the oldest store in Concord and is still thriving.
You will find all kinds of books here, which you can enjoy reading while sipping coffee or tea and eating treats at the store's True Brew Cafe.
You can also browse through the bookstore's extensive collection for hours.
What more would you need for a perfect day?
Catch a Movie at Red River Theatres
Red River Theatres is a non-profit theater located in Downtown Concord that was founded by the local community for the community.
This state-of-the-art cinema was established in 2007 and cost around $1.8 million.
It has three screens that play regional indie movies, art-house productions, and the classics.
Apart from this, the theater has a gallery, concession stand, and a cafe that serves locally brewed beers and food.
The theater provides everything to make your experience there worthwhile.
Pick Apples at Carter Hill Orchard
Nestled in the rolling hills of Concord, Cartell Hill Orchard is a family-owned orchard that grows apples, peaches, blueberries, plums, and pumpkins.
They also make in-house maple syrup and apple cider.
You can hand-pick your own produce in the orchard to make sure you get what you want.
There is also an on-site bakery that serves different types of pies, cookies, donuts, and sweetbreads made with fresh fruits and ingredients.
Along with everything delicious, the views from the orchard are spectacular.
There are birdwatching towers that you can climb to watch the birds that frequent the orchard.
Make sure to visit Carter Hill Orchard to pick fresh fruits and enjoy fantastic views of the city and the hills.
Attend a Show at the Capitol Center for the Arts
The Capitol Center for the Arts is the premier venue in Concord to see theatrical shows, Broadway shows, concerts, and other such entertaining shows.
It can accommodate 1,304 people and offers amenities to make sure you have the best experience possible.
The inside of the venue is designed with Egyptian motifs, which makes it very beautiful to look at as well.
Make sure to catch a show at the Capitol Centre when you visit Concord.
Shop for Vintage Goods at Concord Antiques
Located downtown, Concord Antiques is a treasure trove of vintage items in Concord.
It was opened in 1997 and is the largest antique group store in the Capitol area.
More than 155 dealers offer charming antiques across more than 10,000 square feet.
Each vendor offers something unique and different.
Visit Concord Antiques to buy the best antiques the town has to offer.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at the Granite State Candy Shoppe
Opened in 1927, the Granite State Candy Shoppe is a family-owned candy business in Concord.
They make the finest confections, gourmet chocolates, and homemade ice cream.
It has been a staple among Concord locals since it opened its doors.
Make sure to try the milk chocolate, coconut snowflake, and ice cream, and make your own sundae.
Surround Yourself with Nature at the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center
Formerly known as the Silk Farm Center, the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center is a natural green space with hiking trails, indoor animal displays, a raptor exhibit, and much more.
There are several vantage points on the hiking trails with lakefront views.
You can also spot several birds on the estate.
Moreover, you are welcome to set up a lovely picnic in the designated area for picnics.
The center also offers various programs to educate visitors of all ages about the environment.
Visit the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center to see the beautiful green space and learn a little about nature.
Enjoy Mouth-Watering Grub at Granite Restaurant and Bar
Located on Pleasant Street, Granite Restaurant and Bar serves classic American food with local fresh ingredients.
It also caters to its broad customer base by serving vegan and vegetarian food.
The menu's seasonal items are influenced by various cuisines, such as Mediterranean, French, Asian, and more.
The service is excellent, and the staff is attentive and friendly.
Make sure to try the crab cake, Idaho trout, and pan-seared scallops.
Eat Delectable Burgers at the Barley House Restaurant & Tavern
Located in Downtown Concord, the Barley House Restaurant & Tavern is an award-winning gastropub that serves delicious food and great drinks.
It offers American cuisine with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options in the setting of an upscale tavern.
The restaurant is known for its burgers, so do not forget to try the Dublin Burger when you dine here.
Drink Locally Crafted Beer at Concord Craft Brewing Company
Concord Craft Brewing Company is the first nano-brewery in Concord, and it serves flavorful, locally crafted beer.
You can even get a tour of the brewery to see how the beer is made.
You're also welcome to samples the different beers and choose your favorite from the selection.
Their must-try brews include the Jalapeño Ale and the double IPA.
Try Unique Beers at Lithermans Limited Brewery
Opened in 2016, Lithermans Limited Brewery serves seasonal classics as well as experimental beers.
You can try some unique types of beers, such as sour ale inspired by fruitcake.
The staff is friendly and informed and will answer all of your questions.
The brewery has outdoor seating area where you can enjoy your chilled beer.
Book a Stay at The Centennial Hotel
The Centennial Hotel is a boutique hotel that provides comfortable amenities to make your stay worthwhile.
The hotel features Victorian era-inspired architecture.
It is conveniently located in Concord's downtown area, from where you will be able to access the city's significant and popular attractions on foot.
The hotel provides various amenities, such as a fitness center, baggage storage, a fireplace, complimentary breakfasts, and much more.
The service is excellent, and the rooms are very spacious and neat with comfortable beds.
Stay at The Centennial Hotel and treat yourself to a luxurious experience and numerous amenities.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Step Back in Time at Canterbury Shaker Village
Located only a 20-minute drive away from Concord in Canterbury, Canterbury Shaker Village is a museum and historic site that was founded in 1969.
It has since reconstructed four shaker buildings, restored 25, and has been designated as National Historic Landmark because of its architectural and historical importance.
When you visit this historic village, you can tour all 25 original shaker buildings and the 694 acres of gardens, forests, waters, nature trails, and much more.
Apart from all this, you can see live demonstrations of broom making, rug braiding, woodworking, and wool spinning.
After touring the premises, watching all the live demonstrations, and exploring the green space, you can enjoy soup and rolls, drinks, and snacks at the on-site cafe.
Visit Canterbury Shaker Village to learn about the historic and extinct culture that once thrived here.