Dogs welcome – planning a trip to Concord
It’s International Dog Day and Reviews.com recently named Concord a top city to visit with your dog. Here are some ideas for you and your best friend to have fun in New Hampshire’s capital city whether you’re driving through or staying in the area:
The Capital Region Visitor Center on South Main Street is a great place to begin your visit. Racks are stocked with maps and brochures of fun things to do in New Hampshire, and there’s a cute gift shop with NH-themed keepsakes. Take a selfie with Chocolate Moose, the Visitor Center’s must-see mascot. Put a plan together to explore the area and pick out post cards for your dog day care provider and groomer back home. You’ll find P.O. boxes right outside the door and all along Main Street if you want to fill out your post cards over a cup of coffee next door or in one of Concord’s many parks.
Take a walk:
If you’re into history and a leisurely stroll: The Capital Region Visitor Center offers a self-guided Historic Walking Tour of Downtown Concord that’s a fun way for you and your pooch to explore New Hampshire’s state capital. Concord is a walkable city making the tour both easy and enjoyable. Sites include historic churches, Victorian-era buildings with ghost signs, a haunted jail, stately homes, and impressive government buildings like the New Hampshire State House and the State Library. The entire tour is a few short, flat miles and depending on your pace and the number of breaks you include, will take about 1.5 to 3 hours.
If you’re looking to wear your energetic dog out: You are in luck. Concord is surrounded by trails. You’ll find a helpful trail map in the Guidebook to Greater Concord (get one in the Capital Region Visitor Center or order it online ahead of your visit) and can set out on a hike that’s just right for you and your dog. Favorites include the Majory Swope Trail for its proximity to downtown Concord and summit view of Penacook Lake, and the Oak Hill Hiking Trails for the fire tower loop and sweeping vistas. Please keep your pup on a leash where posted. If your pooch is better off-leash and likes other dogs, head over to Terrill Dog Park.
If you like green areas: Concord is also full of parks. White Park features meandering paths, places to sit, and a pond with ducks. Rollins Park has a gazebo, paved walking paths and a large playground.
Concord is full of unique shops and fun places to explore with your pet.
Downtown: Stroll through the historic Downtown area and enjoy a break on one of the city’s glossy red benches. Other pleasant places to relax outside include Eagle Square and Bicentennial Square. Both are right off Main Street, have seasonal fountains, places to sit, trees and adjacent eateries with everything from sandwiches to coffee and ice cream. Several shop owners put out water bowls so your pup can stay hydrated. And some even welcome your dog to come in and shop with you. Dog-friendly stores include Concord Photo Service, Fifty Home, Gibson’s Bookstore and Lilise Designer Resale. On weekends you can take your dog to the Concord Farmers Market where you’ll find a wide variety of local produce and locally made dog treats for your pooch to sample. The outdoor market runs from 8:30 a.m. to noon every Saturday from May to October on Capitol Street next to the State House. Walk a few short blocks to the Concord Arts Market in Bicentennial Square where you’ll find one of a kind handcrafted items in one of Concord’s pretty pocket parks tucked right off Main Street.
Fort Eddy Road: Bring your dog to Petco and Lowe’s.
South End: Blue Seal in Bow carries everything from dog food to treats.
Grab a bite:
If you and your dog are on the go:
Spending the day one-on-one with your dog? Here are some places you can order food without leaving your dog’s side: Puppy Love steams up delicious hot dogs from her stand on North Main Street and Arnie’s Place offers barbecue, burgers, homemade ice cream and frozen dog treats at 164 Loudon Road. A fun community mural art project is being planned for the latter!
If you are looking for a more leisurely dining experience:
Lots of Concord restaurants offer outdoor café seating where dogs are welcome on the patio: Beefside, Cheers, The Clean Take, Dos Amigos, El Rodeo, Granite State Candy Shoppe, Live Juice, Margarita’s, Orange Leaf, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Tea Garden, True Brew Barista and its sister Café at Gibson’s Bookstore, UNO Pizzeria & Grill, Vibes Gourmet Burgers, Washington Street Café, The Works Bakery & Café, etc.
Enjoy a hand-crafted beverage:
Concord Craft Brewing uses all-natural ingredients to brew beer right in downtown Concord. Lithermans Limited Brewing offers fun selections in its funky tap room over on Hall Street. True Brew Barista and True Brew Café specialize in coffee, espresso drinks, loose leaf teas and smoothies. They also offer great craft beer on tap!
Your dog’s usual routine can get disrupted when you travel. He or she might welcome some pampering and Concord offers great options for your dog to enjoy a relaxing spa day. Bark Now on South Main Street offers grooming in a kennel-free environment so dogs can play with one another or take a nap while they wait for their appointment. Pawtopia on Sheep Davis Road provides grooming in a calm and peaceful environment. The Natural Canine Salon & Spa on North State Street is highly recommended by industry peers.
Darbster Foundation is a 501(c)3 animal rescue located in Chichester that is planning its first annual 5k Walk for the Animals in Rollins Park in Concord on Saturday September 14, 2019. They are hoping for a successful day with many attendees and dogs, with an ultimate goal to fundraise for Darbster so they have the resources to rescue more dogs and cats from euthanasia in Florida. All are invited to participate! Bring your pooch and run or walk for a good cause.
Pope Memorial SPCA is holding its Walk for the Animals on Sunday, September 22, 2019. Participants will enjoy a one- or three-mile walk – either as an individual or a team. Leashed dogs are welcome. All proceeds from the event go to provide shelter, food and medical care to the many lost and abandoned pets that come to the shelter each year.
It came as no surprise to us that Concord was recently voted one of America’s most welcoming cities for dogs. Come for the day or plan a longer visit – the Concord area offers pet-friendly places to stay with your dog!
Kristina Carlson is a communications and marketing manager who enjoys writing, social media, graphic design, web design, photography, videography, economic and business development. When she's not working on campaigns, posts and marketing collateral she is out exploring her home state of New Hampshire on a horse, snowboard, boat or hiking trail. She's very excited to take her one year old golden retriever Mara on adventures around the Granite State this year.