Concord New Hampshire is the capital city of the state, and the Merrimack County seat. Just north of the Manchester Airport (that serves both Boston and Nashua) and just south of the Lakes Region and White Mountains, the city is located near the geographic center of the state. Many people don’t visit Concord since they just pass through or stop for gas on their way north to the resorts, but there are plenty of things to do in Concord as well as a number of worthwhile attractions in and around the city. In addition to a great location to access other regions, Concord New Hampshire vacations can be very rewarding.
Concord New Hampshire is set on the 117-mile long Merrimack River, which has been drawing fishing visitors, including the Abenaki tribe, for centuries. It became its own Plantation (colony) in 1725. It was incorporated in 1734, and was named the state’s capital in 1808. Because of this long history, when you visit Concord you have the opportunity to explore a number of historic sites. This includes the Old State House, built in 1819 and the oldest capitol in the country where the legislature still meets in its original chambers. The downtown historic district is full of architectural gems, like the Eagle and Endicott hotels, Railroad Square, and the Warren Street Block. It’s possible to book guided walking tours of the district that will also reveal stately old homes and mansions, including the 1730's Walker-Woodman House and the Pierce Manse, the Greek Revival house of Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States.
Other things to do in Concord include several museums. The New Hampshire Historical Society Museum has extensive collections chronicling the state’s history, and sponsors numerous programs and events. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is the only air and space museum in New England, offering a planetarium that has numerous shows. The Center was named in honor of astronaut Alan Shepard and of Christa McAuliffe, the local woman who would have been the first schoolteacher in space has she not died tragically in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Only eighteen miles to the south in Manchester is the internationally respected Currier Museum of Art.
Concord New Hampshire vacations should also include the fascinating Canterbury Shaker Village, located just a couple miles north of the city. This is a National Historic Landmark and museum containing 25 restored and 4 reconstructed Shaker buildings on a 694-acre site offering glimpses into the Shaker lifestyle. There are tours, hiking trails, and a unique dining experience at the Shaker Table serving traditional home cooked Shaker cuisine. This is also one of the authentic working farms in the state, and the restaurant relies heavily on its fresh produce. Don’t visit Concord without a stop here.
If speed is your thing, just north of Concord New Hampshire is the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, offering major national NASCAR races and events. This is one of the most popular things to do in Concord and you will find numerous Concord hotels in the vicinity, as well as many camping sites.
Concord New Hampshire vacations are sure to branch out into the surrounding countryside. Numerous lakes and rivers provide water sports as well as fishing. There are nearby state parks and two historic covered bridges. There are also golfing venues, with more than 25 challenging courses and golf resorts.