Guide to the Top Things to Do in Concord, NH.
Concord, New Hampshire, is a charming and historical city in the state’s central part. It is the capital city of New Hampshire, and it offers a rich cultural and historical heritage that is hard to match.
The city has various architectural styles, including stunning examples of Colonial, Victorian, and Federal architecture.
The downtown area of Concord is a bustling hub of activity, with numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops. Visitors can stroll along Main Street and explore the many unique shops and boutiques that offer everything from locally made artisan crafts to high-end fashion.
One of the most popular attractions in Concord is the New Hampshire State House, the oldest state capitol building in the United States, still in continuous use.
The building is a stunning example of Greek Revival architecture, and it features a golden dome visible from all parts of the city. In addition, visitors can take a guided tour of the State House and learn about the history of New Hampshire’s government and political system.
Nature lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in Concord, as lush forests and beautiful lakes surround the city. Nearby parks and nature preserve offer hiking, fishing, and kayaking opportunities, while the Merrimack River offers scenic views and recreational opportunities.
All in all, Concord is a beautiful and fascinating city that offers something for everyone.
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is an awe-inspiring science museum that offers an incredible range of interactive and engaging exhibits for visitors of all ages. As soon as you enter the museum, you are immediately struck by the sense of wonder and curiosity that permeates the space.
The exhibits inspire visitors to explore the mysteries of space and the universe and encourage them to think about the world around them in new and exciting ways.
One of the museum’s highlights is the full-sized replica of a Mercury-Redstone rocket, which stands proudly outside the building. This impressive structure is a testament to human ingenuity and the incredible achievements of the early pioneers of space exploration.
Inside the museum, visitors can explore various exhibits covering everything from aviation and weather to lunar exploration and planetary science. There are also exhibits on science fiction toys and memorabilia, including items worn by actors in the Star Trek movies.
The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center also boasts a state-of-the-art digital planetarium, which offers visitors an immersive and unforgettable experience. The planetarium features a range of shows and presentations that explore the universe’s wonders, from the mysteries of black holes to the beauty of the constellations.
The museum also offers a range of educational programs and workshops designed to engage and inspire visitors of all ages.
What to do
- Explore the interactive science and engineering exhibits, including full-scale models of the Mercury capsule and rocket and a Space Shuttle simulator.
- Visit the full-dome digital planetarium for immersive astronomy experiences, including stargazing events and public science talks.
- Attend special events and programs, such as the annual Aerospacefest, Astronomy Bowl, and science symposium for educators.
- Shop at the science store and enjoy a meal at the on-site café.
- Take part in educational programs, workshops, and summer camps, available for all ages and interests.
What to see
- Interactive science and engineering exhibits covering various topics, such as planetary science, lunar exploration, and aviation.
- Outdoor exhibits, including a full-sized replica of a Mercury-Redstone rocket.
- A full-dome digital planetarium and an observatory for stargazing and learning about astronomy.
- Special exhibits on science and engineering that change annually.
New Hampshire State House
The New Hampshire State House is an imposing and majestic building in the heart of Concord, New Hampshire. The state capitol building is a stunning example of the Greek Revival style, with its smooth granite blocks, arched windows, and Doric columns supporting the projecting portico at the entrance.
The building is a sight to behold, rising to an impressive height and crowned with a golden dome with bull’s-eye windows and a small lantern. An octagonal drum with large arched windows and a magnificent peace eagle statue standing watch atop it supports the dome.
Upon entering the New Hampshire State House, visitors are greeted by the grandeur of the Hall of Flags, a spacious and awe-inspiring chamber designed after Charles Bulfinch’s design for the Massachusetts State House.
The hall features an array of battle flags representing New Hampshire’s proud history in the Civil War, Spanish–American War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. The chamber is an impressive display of the state’s heritage and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served.
The Senate Chamber is located in the northeast corner of the New Hampshire State House and houses the 24-member chamber. The room is elegantly designed, with large arched windows that let in abundant natural light.
The walls are adorned with large murals arched like windows, depicting important events in the state’s history. Chamber is a place of power where the state’s senators come together to discuss and make decisions that impact the lives of its citizens.
The House Chamber, on the other hand, houses the most significant state legislative body in the United States, with 400 members. The chamber is grand and spacious, with arched windows lining the walls and portraits of figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington hanging from the rostrum.
The House Chamber is where the people’s voices are heard, and the state’s future is decided.
What to do
- Take a tour of the State House: Visitors are welcome to explore the building and learn about its history and significance.
- Admire the art and architecture: The State House is a beautiful example of Greek Revival architecture and features impressive murals, statues, and memorials.
- Attend a legislative session: If you’re interested in seeing state government in action, you can attend a legislative session in either the House or Senate chamber.
What to see
- Visit the Hall of Flags: It is a unique space in the State House decorated with over 100 battle flags from various wars and conflicts in which New Hampshire participated.
- The Senate Chamber, located in the northeast corner of the capitol and housing the 24-member chamber, has large arched windows and murals depicting state history.
- The House Chamber houses the most significant state legislative body in the United States, with portraits of figures such as Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.
- The seven statues or memorials on the grounds include a statue of Senator John Parker Hale and a replica of the Liberty Bell.
Carter Hill Orchard
Nestled in the rolling hills of Concord, New Hampshire, Carter Hill Orchard is a picturesque destination that has delighted visitors for generations.
With its stunning orchard vistas and farm-to-table offerings, this family-owned business is a true gem in the heart of New England. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be struck by the scent of freshly baked apple pies and the gentle rustling of leaves on the trees.
Strolling through the orchard, you’ll marvel at the variety of fruits. You’ll find it here whether you’re searching for juicy blueberries, plump peaches, or the perfect apple for your next pie. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even pick your own fruit straight from the tree.
The orchard is open to the public from Labor Day Weekend through Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day weekend, so there’s no better time to stop by and enjoy the season’s bounty.
But it’s not just the fruit that makes Carter Hill Orchard unique. The on-site bakery is a true delight, offering a mouth-watering array of pies, sweet bread, and cookies and their famous cider donuts and whoopie pies.
And if you’re looking for a savory treat, the Country Store sells a variety of farm-grown vegetables to complete your meal. So whether you’re here to indulge in a sweet treat or stock up on fresh produce, Carter Hill Orchard is the perfect destination for foodies and families.
What to do
- Pick your own fruits: Carter Hill Orchard offers pick-your-own options for a variety of fruits, including apples, blueberries, and peaches (depending on the season).
- Visit the Country Store: The on-site Country Store sells a range of farm-grown vegetables, as well as bakery items like pies, sweet bread, and cookies. Don’t miss out on their famous cider donuts and whoopie pies.
- Enjoy the outdoor activities: The orchard has walking trails, an observation tower, and a playground for families. Take a stroll, enjoy the scenery, and pick some fresh fruits.
- Learn about the orchard’s history: Carter Hill Orchard has been a family-run business since the 1700s. Visitors can learn more about the farm’s history and the Larocque family’s journey in running the orchard.
- Try the cider: Don’t leave without trying the orchard’s New Hampshire Cider Works cider, made from hand-picked apples using their on-site cider press.
What to see
- The bakery: Visit the bakery and try some of their famous cider donuts, pies, sweet bread, and cookies.
- The blueberry patch: Pick your own fresh blueberries under the bird-proof netting or purchase them at the country store.
- The peach trees: If you visit in mid-to-late July, you can pick your own peaches, a rare find in New England.
Scenic RailRiders is a unique tourist attraction in Concord, New Hampshire, that offers visitors a chance to explore the picturesque countryside on custom-made railbikes.
As a family-owned and operated company, Scenic RailRiders takes pride in providing a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience for all its visitors. From the moment you arrive at the site, you’ll be struck by the beautiful setting, with the Merrimack River flowing alongside the railway tracks and lush greenery all around.
The tour is a scenic adventure that takes you through some of the most beautiful spots in the area, including woods, farmlands, and the tranquil river. As you pedal along the railbikes, you’ll be immersed in the fresh air and natural beauty of the New Hampshire countryside, making it a perfect activity for those who love exploring the great outdoors.
Along the way, your guide will share some historical facts about the area, adding an educational element to your tour.
Whether you’re a family with kids, a couple looking for a unique date idea, or a solo traveler seeking an adventure, Scenic RailRiders is a must-visit attraction in Concord.
The rail bikes are easy to operate, and the tour is designed to be enjoyed leisurely, making it accessible to visitors of all ages and ability levels. With bookings open for the next season, now is the perfect time to plan your visit and experience the magic of Scenic RailRiders.
What to do
- Learn about the area’s history: During the Rail-Bike tour, Scenic RailRiders shares some historical facts about the area, including a visit to the Hannah Duston Memorial Statue.
- Explore Sewalls Falls Recreational Area: After the tour, visitors can head down the road to Sewalls Falls Recreational Area and explore and hike the available trails.
- Purchase a gift certificate: If you don’t have an exact date in mind, consider purchasing a gift certificate as a gift for someone to experience the Rail-Bike tour.
- Support local businesses: Scenic RailRiders hopes visitors will also visit the local area restaurants and stores after taking a Rail-Bike tour.
What to see
- The Hannah Duston Memorial Statue: As part of the tour, visitors will also get to visit the Hannah Duston Statue. This statue is a tribute to a courageous colonial-era woman who was kidnapped by Native Americans but managed to escape.
- Sewalls Falls Recreational Area: After the tour, visitors can head down the road to the nearby Sewalls Falls Recreational Area to explore and hike the available trails.
- The scenic countryside: Visitors will pedal through beautiful woods and farmland as they enjoy the scenery and fresh air.
- The Merrimack River: The Rail-Bike tour takes visitors along the scenic Merrimack River, offering tranquil river views and a chance to spot wildlife.
Canterbury Shaker Village
Canterbury Shaker Village, nestled in Canterbury, New Hampshire’s rolling hills, is a true museum gem. The site spans nearly 700 acres of pristine forests, fields, gardens, and ponds, all under permanent conservation easement, making it a haven for nature lovers and hikers alike.
The village, founded in the 19th century, is one of the most intact and authentic surviving Shaker communities and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
Visitors to Canterbury Shaker Village can expect to be transported back as they step into the 25 original Shaker buildings, each meticulously restored to its former glory. From the Trustees office to the Infirmary, the Horse barn to the Meetinghouse and Schoolhouse, each building tells a unique story of the Shaker way of life.
Guided indoor and outdoor tours are available, providing visitors with a fascinating insight into the Canterbury Shakers’ life, ideals, values, and legacy.
Beyond the fascinating history and architecture, Canterbury Shaker Village boasts an enviable collection of Shaker objects, manuscripts, and photographs, showcasing the Shaker artisans’ innovative techniques and dedication to excellence.
The Village Store is a treasure trove of handmade goods, from oval boxes and baskets to brooms and textiles, along with a selection of locally-made maple syrup, chocolates, and other specialty foods.
With its postcard-perfect setting and unparalleled collection, Canterbury Shaker Village is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or the beauty of the natural world.
What to do
- Explore the 700-acre grounds, including hiking trails, gardens, ponds, and dams.
- Take a guided tour to learn about the Canterbury Shakers’ life, values, and legacy and their impact on agriculture, technology, modern architecture, and design.
- Visit the collection of Shaker furniture, crafts, and objects to learn about the Shakers’ dedication to excellence and innovative techniques.
- Enjoy a traditional Shaker lunch or dinner at the restaurant during the spring, summer, and fall.
- Stop by the Village Store to purchase handmade oval boxes, baskets, brooms, textiles, soaps, candles, locally-made maple syrup, chocolates, and other specialty foods.
What to see
- The restored and reconstructed Shaker buildings include the Trustees office, Horse barn, Infirmary, Meetinghouse, and Schoolhouse.
- The extensive collection of Shaker furniture, crafts, and objects is on display throughout the museum.
- The gardens, fields, and ponds on the 700-acre grounds are open for exploration and outdoor activities.
- The Meeting House is one of the most iconic buildings on the site and features unique Shaker architecture and design.