11 Best Things to Do in Concord (NH)

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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Concord is the capital city in the state of New Hampshire and holds a modest population of less than 50,000. The city was incorporated in 1734 under the name of Rumford before later changing its name in 1765 to the name it has to this day. The city was originally famed throughout the U.S. for its furniture making and granite quarrying, before moving on to become a main hub for the railroad industry.

With a history that includes a former President of the United States lets look at the top eleven things to do in Concord:

1. Watch A Movie At The Red River Theater

Movie TheaterSource: Stockbusters / shutterstock
Movie Theater

Red River Theater is no ordinary cinema and as such it deserves its place in this list. It was opened in 2007 after the local community put together a seven year project to create this state-of-the-art cinema that would show art house films. The cinema has three screens and cost the local community $1.8 million dollars. The cinema does not play mainstream movies instead focuses on art house productions and local movies instead. The cinema has a huge place in the hearts of the community and is an important feature in the New Hampshire cultural scene.

2. Pick Up Some Sweets At The Granite State Candy Shoppe

CandySource: olegganko / shutterstock

Since 1927 the Granite State Candy Shoppe has been owned by the same family and been producing candy for the people of Concord. The shop was originally set up by Peter Bart who used to make the sweets daily in an old building on Warren St. Today the family still uses the same recipes and techniques, as well much of the same equipment. The shop continues to be an important business in the community of Concord, and is a favorite with the locals who have been purchasing the delights sold here for many years.

3. Visit The State Capitol Building Of New Hampshire

New Hampshire State HouseSource: Zack Frank / shutterstock
New Hampshire State House

The New Hampshire State House is the state capitol building for New Hampshire. The building is home to the General Courts, Executive Council and the Governor. Built in 1819 the building is the oldest state house in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers, it is also the home of the largest legislative body in the United States today. The grounds themselves are 11,000 meters square and there is no gate around the building as it is said that this is “the peoples house.”

4. Pick Your Own Apples At Carter Hill Orchard

ApplesSource: Natural_p / shutterstock

There has been an orchard on Carter Hill since the middle of the 1700s and in recent years the orchid has grown considerably and offers many choices to the people of Concord. There is a large variety of apples grown at the orchard and these can be picked by the visitor or purchased from within the country store, most of the apples are in season during September and October. For those who like their cider you will not be disappointed as the New Hampshire Cider Works has been up and running since 2006, and works tirelessly all autumn and winter to make some fine cider that comes from only hand picked apples.

5. Stop For A While At A Former Presidents House

Pierce ManseSource: Zack Frank / shutterstock
Pierce Manse

Pierce Manse is the former home of President Franklin Pierce, he was a native from New Hampshire and the 14th President of the United States. The home is open all year round to the public and you can receive a guided tour. When you step into the house you can see many objects from his day to day life and learn how things were in the middle of the 19th Century. The property itself was nearly destroyed in 1971 but a group of volunteers saved the house and made it into the museum it is today.

6. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery CenterSource: Wesley Fryer / Flickr | CC BY
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

Located in Concord the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is a museum that has been built in honor of two people. Firstly, Christa McAuliffe, she was a social studies teacher at the local high school who was selected by NASA to be the first teacher in space. The second person was Alan Shepard also from New Hampshire who was the first American in space and one of the very few who have ever walked on the moon. The idea behind the center is to inspire each generation to reach for the stars in whatever choices they make in life. There are interactive engineering and science exhibitions including a full size replica of a Mercury Redstone Rocket.

7. Brush Up On Your History At The New Hampshire Historical Society

New Hampshire Historical SocietySource: Wangkun Jia / shutterstock
New Hampshire Historical Society

The New Hampshire Historical Society was founded in 1823 as a non profit organization that would preserve and share the history of New Hampshire. The museum has thousands of objects, books, documents, maps and photographs that go together to make up the history of this fine state. The building that you now see was built in 1911 and features a sculpture by New Hampshire Sculptor Daniel Chester French. The building is considered by many to be the greatest example of architecture in the state.

8. Go Antique Shopping At Concord Antique Gallery

Antique MarketSource: Sokolova Svetlana / shutterstock
Antique Market

Concord Antique Gallery is the largest antique shop in New Hampshire with more than 155 different dealers selling their antiques to the public. The space occupied by the antique dealers covers over 10,000 square feet and is famous throughout the state for the reasonable prices that items are sold for. With so many stalls to choose from the range of products on sale is vast, everything from jewellery to furniture is on sale here, and a lot more besides that.

9. Visit The Presidents Grave

Old North Cemetery, ConcordSource: olekinderhook / Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0
Old North Cemetery, Concord

The very first burial ground in Concord is called Old North Cemetery and this is also the final resting place of President Franklin Pierce, along with his wife and two of his sons. The cemetery was established in 1730 and became listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Parking at the cemetery is not always the easiest thing but it is well worth the time to walk among the graves and pay respects to one of the countries finest men.

10. Dine In Style At The Granite Restaurant & Bar

DiningSource: TnkImages / shutterstock

If you are looking to spend an evening at a fine restaurant eating incredible food and drinking the best wine, then a trip to Granite Restaurant & Bar might be exactly what you are looking for. The restaurant has won many awards including the ‘Wine Spectator’  award on several occasions. The food is fine dining and the surroundings are opulent. The staff are always looking to go out of their way to ensure that you have a pleasant evening without being over fussy. Overall a terrific place to spend an evening in the city.

11. Catch A Game At The Draft Sports Bar And Grill

The Draft Sports Bar And GrillSource: The Draft Sports Bar / Facebook
The Draft Sports Bar And Grill

With fifteen 70″ high definition TV’s to choose from you are never far from the action whilst stopping off for a drink in The Draft Sports Bar and Grill. It doesn’t matter how many NFL games are on at the same time, with so many screens they are all covered. There is also a great selection of draft beers on tap with 24 different choices as well a well stocked fridge. If you are looking for something to eat there is a wide range of American comfort food that you can choose from including steaks and Pizza.

11 Best Things to Do in Concord (NH):

  • Watch A Movie At The Red River Theater
  • Pick Up Some Sweets At The Granite State Candy Shoppe
  • Visit The State Capitol Building Of New Hampshire
  • Pick Your Own Apples At Carter Hill Orchard
  • Stop For A While At A Former Presidents House
  • The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
  • Brush Up On Your History At The New Hampshire Historical Society
  • Go Antique Shopping At Concord Antique Gallery
  • Visit The Presidents Grave
  • Dine In Style At The Granite Restaurant & Bar
  • Catch A Game At The Draft Sports Bar And Grill