If you’re itching for New England charm, look no further than Concord, New Hampshire. Its roots are deep in its history, food destinations and shops, with an arts and culture scene that’s second to none. And of course, the natural landscape is breathtaking no matter the season.
Here are 10 things to do in Concord, New Hampshire, for your next New England road trip.
1. Tour the New Hampshire State House
Calling all history buffs! If you’re looking to dive deep into the state’s rich history, a tour of the State House is the best place to start. Book a guided tour with expert staff members or explore at your own pace on a self-guided tour. There are permanent and rotating exhibits in the visitors’ center, and if you’re lucky, you may even meet the governor or members of the state legislature.
2. Explore Carter Hill Orchard
The family-owned Carter Hill Orchard has been in business since the mid-1700s. Naturally, fall is the perfect season to stop by for some fresh, crisp apples, but it also offers a variety of fruits ripe for picking, including blueberries and peaches in summer and raspberries in the fall. You can also get your hands on some orchard-fresh pears, watermelon, corn, potatoes, pumpkins and much more. Don’t forget to check out the bakery for pies, cookies and their famous whoopie pies.
3. Enjoy a winter wonderland in White Park
Head to White Park for some good old-fashioned winter fun. When the White Park pond freezes over, it’s time to lace up those skates and glide around the ice on the outdoor skating rink. The park also houses a hockey rink, a sledding hill and plenty of walking trails, perfect for a winter stroll in the chilly air.
4. Dine at Granite Restaurant & Bar
Eat like the locals at this AAA Three Diamond Rated restaurant. Granite Restaurant & Bar’s perfect balance of ambiance and delicious cuisine has earned the Concord establishment numerous awards of excellence. The restaurant’s new American cuisine melds Mediterranean, French and Asian influences for a menu full of international flavor. If you’re looking for a culinary world trip, head to this local eatery.
5. See a show at the Capital Center for the Arts
If you’re looking for things to do in Concord, New Hampshire, the thriving arts scene can’t be missed. The Capital Center for the Arts is the largest performing arts center in the state. From Broadway to comedy and everything in between, there’s a performance to suit everyone’s fancy. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
6. Reach for the stars at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
Explore the wonders of the universe at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. Named for New Hampshire natives Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space who died in the Challenger explosion, and Alan Bartlett Shepard, the first American in space, the museum’s two floors house interactive exhibits on astronomy, aviation, space history and more. The planetarium presents a live show of the night sky, updated for every season.
7. Chow down at The Common Man
If you’re looking to sink your teeth into some New England fare, look no further than The Common Man. This AAA Two Diamond Rated restaurant does classic comfort food right, complete with a cozy atmosphere to match. The next time you’re around, grab a seat near the crackling fireplace and order a local favorite, like country meatloaf or the famous prime rib. It won’t disappoint.
8. Visit President Franklin Pierce’s home
Want to visit a president’s house? Head to The Pierce Manse, home of Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States. Walk in his footsteps through hands-on objects and primary documents and step back in time to the mid-19th century. Guided tours are available and be sure to stop by every month for the Brigade Lecture Series.
9. Catch a flick at Red River Theatres
This 3-screen theater offers movie showings in a variety of genres, including classics, foreign films, cult favorites, independent films and more, with lots of discussion and conversation. Don’t forget the snacks! In addition to the traditional popcorn and soda, the concession stand, The Indie Cafe offers chips and salsa, locally made chocolates, coffee and much more. Take a peek at the art gallery that showcases the work of local artists each month.
10. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Granite State Candy Shoppe
The Granite State Candy Shoppe has been rolling out classic confections since 1927. Today, its familiar candies, nuts and chocolates are made fresh daily and cooked the old-fashioned way, using original recipes. The treats can be found in-house and online.
What are your must-do destinations in Concord, N.H.? Share in the comments!