Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, is situated midway between the east and west borders of the state. Its location on the Merrimack River allowed the Abenaki Indians to travel by canoe between Lake Winnipesaukee and the Atlantic Ocean. Lured by excellent fishing and the rich soil of the surrounding flood plains, the Pennacook tribe settled the land thousands of years ago.
The city was originally incorporated as Rumford in 1734. It was renamed in 1765 following a heated boundary dispute with neighboring Bow. “Concord” was selected to symbolize the newly created accord between the two communities. Concord became the official seat of state government in 1808, the year after a canal and lock system was created to circumvent the Amoskeag Falls in Manchester. Boats were then able to navigate directly from Concord to Boston. Concord prospered into the 19th century and featured a textile manufacturing center served by a railway hub to points north and south. Manufacturing and granite quarrying were eventually replaced by the legal, insurance and healthcare professions of today.
Things to do in Concord
With its restored 18th and 19th century buildings, Concord’s downtown retains much of its historic charm. Main Street landmarks include the guilt-domed New Hampshire State House and The Mary Baker Eddy House. History buffs will find the New Hampshire Historical Society to be an invaluable resource.
Concord attractions include the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, which features the sciences and an impressive planetarium, the Capitol Center for the Arts and the state’s oldest golf course, Beaver Meadow.
Nearby Canterbury Shaker Village is a popular family destination and NASCAR enthusiasts can enjoy The NH Motor Speedway, just 10 miles away in Loudon.
Getting to and around the City of Concord
Because Concord is surrounded by a variety of attractions outside the city limits, visitors generally find cars to be the most convenient form of transportation. Many visitors take advantage of Concord’s central location and close proximity to Boston, the Lakes Region, the NH seacoast and the White Mountains, all within 45-minute to 2-hour car rides.
Visitors can also access Concord by bus service (from Boston and Portland, ME) and rail service (from Boston and the NH Lakes region and the White Mountains).
On average, January is the coldest month of the year with temperatures that typically range from 10 °F to 30 °F. November tends to be the rainiest month, and visitors can expect frequent but generally light snowstorms from December through March. July is usually the warmest month. While there may be an occasional summer heat wave with high humidity and thunderstorms, temperatures rarely exceed 90 °F, and nights are generally cool.