Using Concord As A Base - Concord is centrally located: an hour from Boston, (think New England Aquarium, Boston Museum of Science, Theater, Waterfront, MIT & Harvard and Professional Sports) the mountains, the ocean, Dartmouth College, 4o minutes from Lake Sunapee, and 30 minutes from the Lakes Region, Manchester and good skiing. The roads are great and there is ample lodging, albeit cabins or cottages are 20 minutes from town.
Entertainment – Manchester is particularly good for NH entertainment. From the 10,000 seat Verizon Wireless Arena on down, the city has several venues for productions of all sizes. There is always something going on.
There are numerous venues, theaters and summer theaters in NH, notably New London Barn Playhouse (40 minutes), Jean's Playhouse (Lincoln, 60 minutes,) the Seacoast Repertory Theatre (Portsmouth, 50 minutes), and Silver Center for the Arts (Plymouth, 40 minutes). For little effort but a big experience hike, you can drive to within a half mile of the summit of Mt. Kearsarge (Warner, 30 minutes) and hike the balance, or drive right to the top of Pack Monadnock (Peterborough, 50 minutes). If you have kids, the following NH areas/attractions are our favorites, truly worth seeing and are all within an hour-ish drive or less:
Canobie Lake Park
Clark's Trading Post
MS Mt. Washington
Seacoast Science Center
See Science Center
Squam Lakes Natural Science Center
Whale's Tail Water Park
Museums - Within an hour beyond Concord the best museum is the Currier Museum of Art. There are numerous others around the state, but they all pale by comparison. Many of them are town historical societies or interesting, but small, highly topical museums. For a list, click here.
State Parks - The closest state park to Concord is Bear Brook (20 minutes). It's beautiful, with a stately bath house, lots of picnic tables, but a small beach, the playground is weak and the water is cold.
Mount Sunapee State Park (about 35 minutes) has a beautiful new playground, lots of room and beautiful lake views.
You should also consider Wellington and Ellacoya, in that order.
What the capitol area lacks in size, it more than makes up for in influence and power. Concord has over 5,000 health care employees, a very dense concentration of state workers, and a great many lawyers. It’s home to UNH’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property (a law school), several significant law offices and a handful of insurance companies.
The state house is here, and many state office headquarters. There are several state office buildings downtown and Hazen Drive is wholly dedicated to more.
Shopping is plentiful in Concord, with the Steeplegate Mall, Loudon Road, Ft. Eddy Road and the Main Street Districts. Most of the ‘familiar’ common brand names are represented, and there are numerous restaurants.
The capitol has several nice parks, and all the larger ones have swimming pools and athletic or ball fields. Concord is fairy unique by owning an indoor hockey arena. It also has numerous hiking trails.
In late summer and fall weather, people enjoy visiting Apple Hill Farm and Carter Hill Orchards. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is popular with visitors, and kids have great fun at Krazy Kids, near the Concord line but located within Pembroke. If you are into history, visit the State House, the Franklin Pierce Manse, or the Museum of New Hampshire History. For an amazing historical adventure, take a 15 minute drive to the Canterbury Shaker Village.
Winter recreation includes pond ice skating at White Park (conditions permitting) or the Everett Arena (September thru March, 228-2784), skiing a half hour away at Pat’s Peak or Gunstock. If you are in town during November or December, take in the Gift of Lights outdoor Christmas displays. For drama, theater or music, visit the City Audi and the Capitol Center for the Arts web sites. When you reach town, be sure to pick up a FREE copy of the Hippo, central and southern NH’s weekly guide to dining, arts and entertainment. For the biggest events worth seeing in the Granite State, consult DirectoryNH.com.
The New England Wedding Planner is the resource you want to view. Most sites only list advertisers. The NEWP works hard to list all the area's resources, so you get all the choices!
To get the most from your vacation, visit UpStateNH.com.
Community & attraction profiles, news & so much more!
$229 Rents this space thru 12-31-15. If you have a lodging, dining, entertainment or attraction site, you can make yourself known while people are still planning their trip to the Capital area.