The Granite State’s capital offers easy access to all-season adventure.
Many travelers whiz through New Hampshire’s state capital on their way to the White Mountains or Lakes Region. But there’s plenty that makes Concord a destination in its own right. The city is a cultural center, home to a charming, historic Main Street, great restaurants, cultural venues and stores. There’s also the gold-domed State House; McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center where you can learn about the history of space exploration and see NASA artifacts, and, within just a few miles of downtown, trails, rivers, and lakes to explore.
In Town Meandering through the city center, the Merrimack River provides ample opportunities for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, offering an outdoors experience within city limits. Outfitters in town rent paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks. On the western side of town, 85-acre Winant Park is laced with short but steep trails. Lakes Region An hour’s drive gets you to Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake, which together with Squam, Winnisquam, Newfound, and Ossipee lakes forms the Lakes Region. It’s an all-season destination where activities on offer range from hiking and boating in summer to skiing on Gunstock Mountain in winter. On the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, Ellacoya State Park has a campground for RVs and trailers. White Mountains An hour and a half from Concord, the White Mountains are an all-season haven for outdoor adventurers. You can drive the scenic Kancamagus Highway through the White Mountain National Forest; go skiing in Bretton Woods, and hike or ride the cog railway to the summit of Mount Washington. Overnight options range from RV parks to dispersed camping. When to Go Spring and summer are ideal for enjoying the trails and river activities, making these the most popular seasons to visit Concord and the surrounding area. September and October have a different appeal, with cooler temperatures and the landscape busting into rich fall colors: driving the Kancamagus Highway is a great way to view foliage. Winter offers an entirely different experience and opportunities for activities including skiing and dog sledding.