Known for the rugged beauty of its mountains, New Hampshire has a variety of charms that are easy to experience. Concord residents are especially fortunate to be located at the hub of a variety of attractions, most within an hour's drive.
These destinations are great for day trips and overnights, or you can take a more leisurely approach and fill up an entire weekend for yourself, friends, family or grandchildren. You'll enjoy both the natural beauty of the Granite State and its abundant amenities. The next time you have the urge to travel, check out these destinations for seniors near Concord, NH.
Ride the Rails
The Conway Scenic Railroad is one of the best ways to experience the spectacular White Mountains of the Granite State.
For the ultimate in adventure, choose the five-hour tour aboard the Notch Train. Shorter excursions are available aboard the Valley Train, but if you opt for the Notch, you'll be traveling a route that was forged in the 1870s and will marvel at the feat of engineering this route represents. Featuring amazing mountain views, this route travels past mountain streams and cascades and over a trestle and a bridge. Live commentary will enhance your appreciation of the sights. A short layover midway in the excursion will even allow you to get off the train and explore a bit.
In addition to traversing a historic path, your tour will take place in restored passenger cars pulled by vintage locomotives. You will have access to modern amenities such as restrooms and food service, with a choice between Coach, First Class or Premium seating. First Class and Premium passengers may opt for a tasty meal in an elegant dining car. Coach passengers can picnic before their trip, bring food aboard the train or purchase food from the snack bar. Wheelchairs are allowed in Coach seating.
You'll board the railroad in North Conway Village, home to craft shops, restaurants and other retailers that you can visit before or after your trip. The area also offers a variety of lodgings ranging from motels to bed-and-breakfast accommodations. Conway is located about two hours from Concord, so this is a great overnight or weekend trip.
Tour the Harbor
See lighthouses, submarines, mansions and historic sites, all from the water on an hour-and-a-half tour of Portsmouth Harbor. You'll learn about the history of the area going back to 1623 in an enjoyable narration that combines information and humor. The boat is equipped with restrooms and food is available.
A number of cruises, including evening and fall foliage tours, are available from Portsmouth Harbor Tours, so you'll be sure to find one that suits your interests and schedule. A slightly longer trip is required to visit the Isles of Shoals, a group of picturesque islands about six miles from shore. But if you are subject to seasickness, you might want to choose a trip that sticks to sheltered water.
Portsmouth has plenty of other attractions for those who want to fill a weekend. You can visit a brewery, tour a historic home, take a walk in a park or soak up knowledge in one of a dozen or more museums. You can also tour a retired Navy research submarine, the U.S.S. Albacore. Portsmouth Harbor is about an hour's drive from Concord, making it an ideal day trip.
Learn About the Shakers
Many who live in Concord will have visited the nearby Canterbury Shaker Village. You can take your knowledge to the next level by exploring the Enfield Shaker Museum, located about an hour's drive northwest of Concord. Through tours and special demonstrations, you'll learn about this unique settlement, which dates to 1793. You may even be able to try a craft such as wreath-making. Most of the buildings are wheelchair accessible, as are the gardens and the cemetery.
If stairs don't daunt you, you can spend the night in the Great Stone Dwelling, which has rooms for overnight guests on its third and fourth floors but no elevator. If you need accessible accommodations, you'll find other lodging choices in Enfield and a wide variety in nearby Lebanon.
Be a Mountaineer
If you’re active or want a destination that's suited for lively grandchildren, check out the Highland Center Lodge in Crawford Notch. Built in 2003, this lodge is a property of the Appalachian Mountain Club, a group dedicated to promoting and protecting the outdoor areas of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. In this idyllic setting, youngsters and active seniors can hike, bike, paddle or enjoy winter sports. Little ones will love the Big Mountain Playscape. You can also enjoy peaceful moments by a crackling fireplace, find a good read in the library or soak up the views from the patio.
Private rooms or bunkhouses are available and most lodging packages come with breakfast and dinner. Also included are guided day hikes, evening programs and informational presentations. The lodge will even lend you items such as boots, backpacks and snowshoes.
Pop Over to the Hop
If you'll travel for the arts, you owe it to yourself to visit the Hopkins Center for the Arts, popularly known as The Hop, located on the campus of Dartmouth College. Offering around 500 events a year, the Center includes a number of venues for experiencing the arts. You can buy tickets for an event, find free offerings or look for rehearsals that are open to the public. The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra is a popular choice.
- Enjoy film and concerts in Spaulding Auditorium, the largest space in the Hopkins Center, seating 900.
- Check out dance and theater in the Moore Theater, with seating for 480.
- Explore the Warren Bentley Theater, designed for intimate events with flexible seating to accommodate up to 181 guests.
- Get inspired by the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir in Rollins Chapel, a nondenominational worship space.
- Catch a fresh air performance at BEMA, an outdoor performance space that hosts an eclectic variety of events.
The Hopkins Center also has a number of smaller venues. Those who enjoy the visual arts can visit the Hood Museum of Art, reopened in 2019 after an extensive renovation, or check out galleries that display work by students and by the current artist-in-residence.
The Hopkins Center is dedicated to making its events available for all. In addition to accessible parking and seating, the center supplies assistive listening devices for those who need them. Many films include closed captioning. A number of free events are slated for each month. The city of Hanover offers many reasonably priced lodging choices, as well as more upscale options. Hanover is about a one-hour drive from Concord.
Go to the Shore
Although New Hampshire has only around 18 miles of shoreline, it has a highly-rated seaside destination in Hampton Beach, located just an hour from Concord. The water quality is excellent, and the waves are perfect for the grandkids to try out their boogie boards. The beach is also home to numerous events including pageants, sand sculpture competitions, fireworks displays and outdoor movies. The Sea Shell Stage provides nightly entertainment during the summer.
When you get tired of surf and sand, you can mosey over to the nearby casino or check out the arcades and other traditional beachside attractions. Some attractions may not be accessible to all. Varied accommodations are located within walking distance of the water. Some are open year-round for those who prefer the quiet of the offseason.
Enjoy New Hampshire Day and Weekend Trips
The best trips for seniors combine convenience and excitement, and these weekend trips near Concord are great options. Whether you're traveling alone, with family or with peers, these unique outings will feed your mind and raise your spirit.
At Havenwood Heritage Heights, we encourage our residents to get out and take these types of trips on their own, but we also schedule regular activities as a group. Check out some of the trips we’ve taken recently, such as a SnowCoach tour on Mount Washington or an excursion to a local art gallery. Or, if you’re interested in touring our community, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to talk about our central Concord location as well as how we can help you find the best senior living community for your needs – in a location that encourages travel.