South Central — City Scene Meets Country Ease in Merrimack Valley
Where the capital's name, Concord, is a synonym for "harmony," it is not surprising to find music and the performing arts central to life in the city and the entire Merrimack Valley Region. The state's three largest cities, Concord, Manchester, and Nashua, have an especially rich cultural life, with a variety of offerings year-round. The Merrimack Valley is sure to please campers seeking a bustling city environment or the quiet countryside.
In the South Central Region of New Hampshire, also referred to as Daniel Webster country, it's easy to travel around the New Hampshire turnpikes. Shopping is abundant with malls, small shops and factory outlets. Campgrounds are idyllic, along scenic New England byways, yet just a few miles from the theater, fine dining, nightclubs, amusements and educational attractions.
Visit Manchester’s SEE Science Center or take in a concert at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The seat of NH’s government and business, Concord hosts the Capital Center for the Arts and the Museum of New Hampshire History, a 19th century warehouse renovated to provide an up-to-date setting for such attractions as the Concord Coach. Explore the museum of Family Camping, which traces the history of camping in Bear Brook State Park and is just halfway between Manchester and Concord. Concord’s Coach & Eagle Trail provides a walking tour of 17 historic sites. Among the cultural and historical attractions are Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, America's Stonehenge in Salem with its mysterious rock creations believed dating back 4000 years and the Hannah Duston Memorial in Concord. The Merrimack Valley was also an inspiration for Robert Frost where you can still visit the Frost Farm in Derry.
For family amusement, ride the roller coaster at Canobie Lake Park, visit a petting zoo, see the show at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, visit an ancient culture at the Shaker Village in Canterbury or take in a Fisher Cats baseball game. The New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon attracts fans from all over the country. You can visit a brewery and tour the Anheuser-Busch plant in Merrimack where the famous Clydesdale horses are stabled or tour and taste at the New Hampshire Winery in Henniker.
As for recreation, golfing, swimming, fishing and boating abound. Ride your bicycle along the country paths or explore the woods on your ATV. Nearby trails for hiking, much of which is along the banks of the Merrimack River, are fit for rookies or experts and riverside parks offer places to picnic on a sunny afternoon. Winter offers an abundance of activities such as skiing, tubing, and riding the snowmobile trails.