Finding new adventures for a weekend getaway can be an easy task. Sampling state capitals around the country offers a unique peek into the history of the state and the people who choose to live there today. That said, Concord, New Hampshire, is not your typical state capital. It is a compact, cozy city with historical homes, family-friendly events, tempting cuisine, and the great outdoors.
Like other state capitals, it’s serviced by an airport, providing for an accessible short visit, even if you need to fly in. Spending a weekend in charming Concord is a perfect place to begin your New Hampshire adventure.
Things To Do In Concord
As New Hampshire’s State Capital, Concord has an approachable feel for such an important city. It offers lots to do and see at a wallet-friendly price. The historic buildings ooze charm and harken to a gentler time.
1. McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
Dedicated to commemorating two famous space pioneers, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is an air and space museum whose mission is to “inspire every generation to reach for the stars.”
Sharon Christa McAuliffe was a Concord High School teacher who was selected by NASA for the Space Shuttle Challenger mission as the first teacher in space. Sadly, McAuliffe’s dream of space travel ended tragically.
Alan Shepard hailed from Derry, New Hampshire, and was the first American in space on the Mercury-Redstone rocket in 1961. He had the good fortune of commanding Apollo XIV and experienced walking on the Moon.
Pro Tip: The museum house changes seasonally; check the website for current opening/closing times.
2. New Hampshire State House
The New Hampshire State House is home to the Governor’s office, the Executive Council, and the New Hampshire General Court. The grand old building, whose first legislative session was held in 1819. The cost to build the granite structure was a mere $82,000.
The New Hampshire State House is open for tours Monday through Friday. They can be arranged through the Visitors Center.
3. Susan N. McLane Audubon Center
Formerly known as the Silk Farm Center, the Susan N. McLane Center is an environmental education center offering exhibits, live animal viewings, nature trails, and a nature store. Situated on 12 acres, there are 3 miles of mostly short, easy Silk Farm Wildlife Sanctuary trails that meander through hardwood and pine forests punctuated by wildflower meadows. It is a peaceful spot to get out and stretch your legs while enjoying nature and some fresh air.
4. Capital Center For The Arts
The Capitol Center for the Arts is the stage where Broadway shows, dance performances, musical artists, and family-focused shows entertain and enthrall Concord’s residents and visitors.
The calendar is a mashup of everything artistic, allowing all genres to shine. You will find everything from Kevin James to Kinky Boots to La Boheme to A Tribute To ABBA. If you are heading to Concord for the weekend, be sure to check out what’s playing.
5. Pierce Manse
President Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States. The New Hampshire native’s Concord home, Pierce Manse, will transport you back to the mid-19th century. Franklin Pierce and his family lived in the mansion between 1842 and 1848, and the home is well appointed for the time period.
Open Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m to 3 p.m., visitors can take a guided tour through the mansion for a nominal fee.
6. Mary Baker Eddy Historic House
The Longyear Museum, caretaker of the many homes of Mary Baker Eddy, oversees her home in Concord where she lived from 1889 to 1892. Mary Baker Eddy was the founder and leader of the Christian Science movement. Her writings, including Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, have helped many find a better path led by faith.
The home has been beautifully restored and you can tour two replicated rooms and an exhibit with highlights of her other Concord home, Pleasant View, where she lived from 1892 to 1908.
7. Concord Antiques
If you love a good hunt, spend some time strolling through Concord Antiques’ 7,000-square-foot gallery. Over 100 dealer spaces vie for your attention, you will find your head is on a swivel as you discover new and interesting pieces everywhere you look. If you are searching for something special to commemorate your visit to Concord, this is a great place to start. You will be sure to find a one-of-a-kind piece that will perfectly fit your decor.
Pro Tip: If you love antiquing, you can find more information about New England antique shops in The 13 Best Antique Stores In New England and 9 Things Antique Lovers Need To Know Before Visiting The Brimfield Flea Markets.
8. Winant Park
Get out and explore Mother Nature in Winant Park. The Winant Park White, Orange, and Blue Trail is a 1.3-mile moderately difficult loop. The trail offers pretty views and passes through wooded forests and meadows.
The well-used and well-marked trail is typical New England style with roots, rocks, small streams, and lots of trees.
Concord’s food scene is diverse and delicious. Get out and mingle with the after-work crowd or dine at a fun spot and enjoy a tip-to-tail, locally sourced menu. You will find fun and casual dining spots that offer fabulous food in a come-as-you-are setting,
Concord Craft Brewing
Exploring a region by sampling the local craft brews has become an easy way to meet local folks who are just hanging out and enjoying life. You will find that crowd at Concord Craft Brewing. As a visitor, it’s always good to chat with someone in the know to find out what’s what, not to mention the brews are perfection. For dark beer lovers, grab a pint of Barrel-Aged Maple Brown; and for the IPA lover, a Brew Sistah Session IPA, which comes in a shockingly pink can.
You can find music, munchies, and great beer, a casual date night trifecta, at Concord Craft Brewery.
The Barley House Restaurant & Tavern
For a relaxing dinner with gorgeous pub food that has been cranked up a notch or two, visit The Barley House Restaurant & Tavern.
The Guinness Beef Stew with brisket and root veggies topped with perfectly crispy onion threads is nothing short of amazing. Another great option is the Curry Fish & Chips, classic British fare coated in a crunchy curry beer batter that will have you dreaming of London. Save room to top it off with a New Hampshire favorite: bread pudding with a maple whiskey sauce. Who’s hungry?
A great breakfast joint is what you need when you are spending a weekend away. It’s the perfect time to start the day slowly and fuel up for the activities on your itinerary. Beefside in Concord has all the great breakfast items you want and a few you may not have considered.
To amp up your breakfast options, Beefside offers biscuits and gravy consisting of sausage and white gravy served over a biscuit and homefries — think poutine without the cheese curds. Check out the country-fried steak with gravy, eggs, and home fries; it will get you through your daily sightseeing and then some.
Hotels In Concord
Your getaway stay will be full of quaint charm and superior comfort when you spend the weekend at a Concord hotel. Concord has a variety of chain hotels to choose from, but these two out-of-the-ordinary accommodations offer luxurious options.
Elegant, refined, and comfortable all describe a stay at The Centennial. The sprawling red brick Victorian mansion offers Turret Suites with a unique and quirky layout along with classic bedroom suites for a cozy weekend getaway.
The Granite Restaurant’s menu with its elevated farm-fresh offerings will leave you completely satiated. The Pan Seared duck breast is delectable, as is the perfectly grilled filet mignon. Whether you stay at the Centennial or dine at the Granite, they embody the charm of Concord.
The Hotel Concord
Modern and in the heart of the city, The Hotel Concord offers Terrace Rooms with panoramic views of the city. The large windows frame beautiful views during the day, and a softly twinkling cityscape when the sun goes down. It’s the perfect accommodation for a romantic getaway.
New Hampshire is lovely during the summer and fall and can be a little chilly in spring. Winter, however, is freezing cold. Plan your Concord getaway weekend accordingly.
Concord has lots to offer visitors and is a fun weekend adventure. If you have more time to spend in the Granite State, check out these articles on New Hampshire stays: