Concord Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Concord, New Hampshire - NH, USA)

The many attractions of Concord are certainly varied, ranging from historical sights and museums, to theaters, parklands, a motor speedway and even a space science center.

Formerly named the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium after Sharon Christa McAuliffe, a local teacher from Concord who sadly lost her life in the tragic Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is especially appealing to tourists and dedicated to the world of space travel and astronomy.

For a little more in the way of excitement, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one attraction that will certainly deliver in that department. Residing within the neighboring town of Loudon, roughly a 20-minute drive to the north of Concord, the NHMS can be reached via the Rocky Pond Road (US-106) and began its life in the 1960s as the Bryar Motorsports Park.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

Address: 2 Institute Drive, Concord, New Hampshire (NH), 03301, USA
Tel: +1 603 271 7827
The Discovery Center itself is hard to miss, with its enormous towering replica of a space rocket (Mercury Redstone). There is also an onsite planetarium, an observatory on a rooftop, a gift shop selling science-themed goodies, various scale models of spacecraft and your chance to plan an expedition to the planet of Mars, as well as an eatery known as the Countdown Cafe.
Open hours: Thursday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 11:30 to 17:00, first and second Friday of the month - 18:30 to 21:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors and children, children two years old and under are free

Penacook Lake

Address: Lake View Drive, Concord, New Hampshire (NH), 03301, USA
Penacook Lake is situated roughly 4 miles / 6.5 km to the west of downtown Concord, in between Knight Park and the Abbott State Forest. This reservoir covers an area exceeding 350 acres / 142 hectares and is responsible for the city's water supply, whilst also feeding a tributary of the Merrimack River. Surrounded by wild parkland and wooded areas, the lake offers tourists a reasonable choice of recreational attractions and activities, such as seasonal fishing, boating and picnicking, and trails suitable for walking, jogging and mountain biking.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS)

Address: 1122 Route 106 North, Loudon, New Hampshire (NH), 03307, USA
Tel: +1 603 783 4931
This attraction stands next to the Infield Campground, close to the Shaker State Forest, where it has played host to the annual NASCAR racing since the early part of the 1990s. The New Hampshire Motor Speedway opened its present track in the summer of 1990 and features a giant grandstand capable of accommodating more than 90,000 spectators.
Open hours: hours vary according to race
Admission: charge

Red River Theatres

Address: 11 South Main Street, Suite L1-1, Concord, New Hampshire (NH), 03301, USA
Tel: +1 603 224 4600
Red River Theatres is a popular not-for-profit traditional cinema in Concord. This attraction offers the opportunity to head indoors when the weather is particularly cold or wet and enjoy a film. The movies screened here tend to be either limited-release films and independent / foreign productions, along with some mainstream movies. Don't come expecting the giant screens of modern cinema complexes though - the two theater settings here are on a much smaller scale, with each seating just over 100 people and boasting far more character. Weekend screenings can be especially busy, so do bear that in mind and arrive in plenty of time.
Open hours: daily - performances vary
Admission: charge

Capitol Center for the Arts (CCA)

Address: 44 South Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire (NH), 03301, USA
Tel: +1 603 225 1111
This leading performing arts centre / entertainment venue certainly deserves a mention and comes with a large theater named the Chubb Theater, which can comfortably seat audiences of just over 1,300 people. Over the years, many major productions and Broadway musicals have been staged here, together with concerts by award-winning performers and household names. The center was recently renovated at the cost of more than US$4 million and enjoys a healthy workforce made up of unpaid volunteers. Various events, including art exhibitions, also take place at the onsite Governor's Hall and Kimball House.
Open hours: box office, September to May, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - 11:00 to 18:00, Saturday - 11:00 to 16:00
Admission: varies with performance