Things to Do Near Concord NH

Spend your New England vacation with us at Colby Hill Inn. Our Henniker inn is located nearly in the geographic center of New England, making it the ideal central spot for seeing all of New England. We are near many area attractions and activities, including some highlights listed below. Our Inn sits at one end of the 30-mile Currier & Ives Scenic Byway – a great bicycle ride –   or take a slow scenic drive with great stops along the way. If kayaking is more your thing, you’ll find lots of ponds, lakes and the Contoocook River very close by. For anyone visiting during the fall, here is a link to some of the most scenic drives to view New Hampshire’s brilliant foliage.

Local Highlights

Andres Institute of Art (Brookline, NH) – New England’s largest outdoor sculpture park. A forested hiking trail with over 80 sculptures.

Antique Alley (Route 4) –  Antique Alley is New England’s oldest antiques shopping district with more than 500 dealers in the towns of Northwood, Epsom, Lee, and Chichester. At the end of the route, we suggest you spend some time in Portsmouth.

Audubon Society of New Hampshire – The Audubon Society of NH is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife throughout the state. Located 20 minutes from the inn in Concord, the ASNH offers programs in wildlife conservation, land protection, environmental policy, and education. Interesting displays and programming.

Canterbury Shaker Village (Canterbury, NH)- Canterbury Shaker Village, Inc., is an internationally-known non-profit museum founded in 1969 to preserve the heritage of the Canterbury Shakers. Designated as a National Historic Landmark for its architectural integrity and significance, the Village has 25 restored original Shaker buildings, 4 reconstructed Shaker buildings, and 694 acres of forests, fields, gardens, nature trails, and mill ponds under permanent conservation easement.

Capital Center for the Arts – Concord is home to this newly renovated and most successful performing arts center in New Hampshire. It presents a wide mix of high quality events including Broadway shows, dance performances, pop and country stars, family shows, international performances, school time shows, business conferences and seminars. Enjoy the exceptional dining at the inn and travel a mere twenty minutes to enjoy some of the best entertainment in the area.

Chauncy Creek Lobster Pier (Kittery, ME) – Our favorite lobster shack! Set on the beautiful Chauncey Creek River, this has been a classic Maine ‘lobster in the roiugh’ dining destination for generations. Travel by car OR boat (you can dock at their pier!) and enjoy the scenic views and delicious seafood.

Contoocook River Canoe – In nearby Concord; Canoes, kayaks and paddleboarding. Great fun on the Contoocook River.

The Currier Museum of Art – The Currier is an internationally renowned art museum located in Manchester, NH. Just 30 minutes from the inn, the Currier features American and European paintings, decorative arts, photographs, and sculptures including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keefe, and Wyeth, with exhibitions, tours and performances year round. The Currier also owns Frank Lloyd Wright’s Zimmerman house in Manchester. Tours are available to both the museum and the house.

Edmund’s Hardware Store (Henniker) – A family owned and operated  hardware store since 1942. Customer service and diversity of product are two strengths that will convince you not to go to the big  box store. They will also research and place special orders to get you those hard to find items!

Falconry – New Hampshire School of Falconry – Touch the wild… The opportunity to have hands-on experience in the ancient sport of Falconry. Only minutes from the Inn and a completely experiential opportunity! By appointment only 603 464-6213.

The Fells/Hay Estate in Newbury, New Hampshire is one of New England’s finest examples of an early 20th-century summer estate, with outstanding gardens. Stroll the length of a 100-foot perennial border, and admire the view of Lake Sunapee from the formal Rose Terrace. A brook trickles to a Japanese water lily pool in the hillside rock garden, which includes a nationally significant collection of alpine and native plants.

(Northeast) Fly Fishing School – If you were ever interested in learning how to fly fish these are the guys. They have group lessons as well as private instruction. Maybe you just need a guide so you don’t waste your vacation trying to find the right location. Log onto their website and give them a call.

The Franklin Pierce Homestead is the childhood home of our 14th President, Franklin Pierce, located in nearby Hillsborough, New Hampshire. The Franklin Pierce Homestead is maintained and operated by the Hillsborough Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the history and historic properties of Hillsborough, New Hampshire. The Homestead is open to the public and is often the site of featured programs sponsored by the society throughout the summer months.

The Gallery at Well Sweep occupies a beautiful barn in nearby historic Hillsborough Center. Originally owned and operated as an antique shop by Edith Withington-Kyle, the barn still reverberates with her personality. Foremost among these reminders is the massive fieldstone fireplace reaching from the brick hearth to the ceiling rafters. Engraved on a small cement marker set in the hearth, is the date 1937, along with a drawing of the well sweep outside. Don’t miss this wonderful gallery offering photography, fine crafts, folk art, sculpture, oriental rugs, and paintings, in addition to exhibits all summer.

The Fiber Studio – Great yarns, weaving supplies, and workshops. Many inn guests spend time attending their workshops and wish they could have stayed longer!

Forster’s Christmas Tree Farm – Just a few minutes from the inn, this tree farm is in a beautiful location right here in Henniker. Their trees and wreaths are stunning and they have a unique selection of European ornaments in their gift shop. They are open from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. The views are breathtaking. Tell them we sent you!

Gibson Pewter (Hillsborough, NH) – Second-generation pewterer, Jonathan Gibson carries on the craft year-round with his wife, Camille, and their two children, in historic Washington Center, NH. Jon is a state juried member of the League of N.H. Craftsmen and has been recognized by Early American Life Magazine as one of Americas 200 top traditional craftsmen since 1992. Over 100 pieces of traditional and contemporary designs are available for sale. Each lead-free piece is made with hands-on care, whether cast, hammered, or spun. The Gibson Fruit Bowl and Wood-Grain Beaker were the only pieces of 20th century pewter taken into the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Golf Courses are abundant and picturesque, many within minutes of the Colby Hill Inn here in Henniker, NH

Granite State Candy Shoppe (Concord) – Established and managed by the Bart family in 1927 just a block off Main Street Concord where they have been delighting customers for three generations. Today, the charming shop dazzles with the old-fashion quality of its layout and homemade chocolates, candies and nuts which are prepared daily and available on the internet. 

Henniker Book FarmYankee magazine named Henniker Book Farm as among the“Best Used Bookstores in New England”. With roots stretching back to 1964, this might be New Hampshire’s oldest used bookstore.  The store features more than 30,000 volumes in its carefully groomed collection — all watched over by Toby, the bookshop dog.  The history and science sections are particularly robust, but there are treasures to be found across the spectrum.

Henniker Farm Store – Our go-to store for goat and chicken food, but there is so much more! Get lost looking at their garden and pet supplies, or wander into their outdoor clothes section. We also love the quality of the plants and unique local food and craft products.

Henniker Brewery Tours – Brewery tours are available on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., and the tap room is open weekdays from noon to 6 p.m.

Indigo Blues & Co. (Contoocook, NH) –  A jeans boutique and more! They go to great lengths and distance to cultivate clothes, jewelry and accessories that not only make you look good but feel good too!  From eclectic to classic, everything they carry will be a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. As a clothing store in central New Hampshire, they strive to carry items that appeal to both the country girl as well as the urban-chic. Specializing in stocking feminine and natural styles, but also keeping in mind adventure and practicality – you will always be inspired by what they have in the store for you. They also provide great custom-fitting services for men with the J. Hilburn line! 

Intervale Pancake House – Serving up pancakes, waffles, eggs, and coffee from the same place on Flanders Road for over 30 years. The New Hampshire maple syrup is the best around!

Kancamagus Scenic Highway – Highway 112 runs from Center Conway (NH) to North Woodstock, just south of Franconia Notch. Passing through the White Mountain National Forest, it is considered one of the most scenic highways in the U.S. and offers a number of interesting stopping off points.

Kayak Country Adventures in Andover, New Hampshire brings the exciting sport of kayaking to New Hampshire! Rentals, sales, demos, instruction, and tours. Don’t miss summer photography and fishing clinics too.

King Arthur Flour Co – Visit America’s oldest flour company and New England’s oldest food company located one hour from the Inn in Norwich, VT. King Arthur Flour Company offers baking classes in their state-of-the-art Baking Center located on-site as well as an array of the finest baking products in their gift shop. If you love to bake, don’t miss this stop. They also have a nifty little café if you need a snack of coffee/tea/pastries while shopping!

Keepsake Quilting – America’s largest quilt shop and favorite-quilting supplies located at 12 Main Street in Center Harbor, NH. Whether you are a novice or serious quilter, this is one place you don’t want to miss!

LaBelle Winery (Amherst) – Daily wine tastings offered. Also, within their gift shop, you will find all of their 35+ wine varieties as well as The Winemaker’s Kitchen culinary line – distinctive products for amateur & professional cooks alike.

League of New Hampshire Craftsmen – This organization nurtures New Hampshire’s rich craft heritage by supporting the state’s finest craftspeople while educating an audience for their work. There are nine shops throughout the state and the closest one is in nearby Concord,NH. The annual Craftsmen’s Fair is the oldest in the country held each August at Mt. Sunapee, just 20 minutes from the inn. This is a don’t miss event as it is covered by national home magazines and features demonstrations by artisans as well as many beautiful items to purchase including wood, glass, jewelry, leather, furniture etc.

McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center – In nearby Concord, the McAuliffe-Shephard Discovery Center is a living memorial that combines Christa McAuliffe’s dream of traveling through space with her dedication to teaching and her belief that everyone should have the opportunity to “reach for the stars.”

Main Street BookEnds of Warner – Our favorite bookstore. Not only a bookstore but an art gallery, as well, featuring great local artists and special events. Log on and check out their events.

(New Hampshire) Motor Sports – New England’s largest sports facility and home to professional motor sports in New England. New Hampshire Motor Sports hosts the prestigious NASCAR races twice per year. Located just 30 minutes northeast of the inn in scenic Loudon, NH.

Mt. Sunapee – Downhill skiing, kayaking, canoeing, adventure course, swimming (at Sunapee State Park) and more. About 30 to 40 minutes from the inn.

New England College – Find out what’s happening at NEC located right in Henniker. You won’t want to miss the ice hockey games!

New Hampshire Historical Society – Conveniently located in historic downtown Concord, the museum offers award-winning exhibits and collections that include an original Concord Coach, rare examples of early furniture, magnificent White Mountain landscape paintings, and the memorabilia of NH notables like Daniel Webster, John Stark, Franklin Pierce, Mary Baker Eddy, and Sarah Josepha Hale, to name just a few.

New Hampshire State Parks – Great guide to the State Parks of New Hampshire. Several are a very short drive from the Inn including hiking, swimming, boating etc.

Old Number 6 Book Depot (Henniker) – If you love books, this is the place to be. We can’t begin to describe how many thousand books there are, all well organized by subject. Be sure to check all the nooks and crannies upstairs for books that have yet to be sorted.

Pat’s Peak Ski Area – Your name doesn’t have to be Jean-Claude to have fun here. Great place to learn to ski, snowboard or go tubing. Just 3 miles/3 minutes from the inn. Great ski school, fun pub with entertainment and easy to get to. Worth a visit!

Pickity Place – Rustic and very special. Beautiful gardens, gardening and children’s books, and exquisite lunches. Their menu changes monthly. Wonderful history tied to the author of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Check out the “Wolf Room” while you are there.

Pierce Manse – Located at the corner of N. State St. (US 3) and Penacook St. in the northern end of downtown Concord stands the only house in Concord owned by Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States. 20 minutes from the inn, the house is open to the public and is now an important historical attraction.

Quilted Threads (in Henniker) – A quilter’s destination! Classes, events, materials. A delightful walk from the inn…just a few blocks. 603-428-6622

St. Paul’s School – The Colby Hill Inn has been welcoming St. Paul’s families and alumni since 1959. Just 20 minutes away in nearby Concord, St. Paul’s School is a co-educational, fully residential high school founded in 1856 with approximately 525 students from all over the world.

Strawbery Banke Museum (Portsmouth)  – Strawbery Banke Museum is a vibrant 10-acre campus dedicated to bringing 300+ years of American history to life through dozens of historic buildings on their original foundations, heirloom gardens, hands-on traditional crafts, and engaging costumed roleplayers sharing the experiences of those who lived and worked in the waterfront neighborhood of Puddle Dock.The Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is a seasonal outdoor ice rink created by a volunteer committee in collaboration with Strawbery Banke Museum.

Sunapee Cruises on Sunapee Harbor – Relax in your deck chair and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Lake Sunapee while your Captain narrates the history, landmarks, and lore of this crystal clear mountain lake. Sailing daily from Sunapee Harbor.

Tanger Outlet Center – Tilton, NH ~ “The shop ’till you drop spot.” New England Outlet shopping at its best. Guarantees credit card meltdown! 30 minutes away, but well worth the drive for great shopping at Coach, Gap, Bass, Nine West, etc.

Terrapin Glassblowing Studio (Jaffrey, NH) – Glassblowing and flameworking private lessons, advanced classes, supervised rentals, experienced studio rentals, team building workshops. 

“Beautiful and peaceful.” L.C.