Concord, New Hampshire’s state capital, has always had a fond place in my heart. My mother was born in Concord and shared many stories about the area over the years. I have been to Concord many times in recent years, for work and pleasure, and I drive through it quite often on my trips back and forth between the North Country and my obligations in the Boston area.

Concord is roughly the half-way point between where I live in New Hampshire and Boston. It is always nice to see the golden dome of the State House as I pass through as if it were a beacon guiding me to and fro home.

Anyway, for the longest time I have wanted to stop in Concord on a Saturday in the summer to visit their well-regarded farmers’ market and to check out the Concord Arts Market, a seasonal open-air art fair. However, if I am near Concord on the weekend it is generally on my way to somewhere else and the stars have never aligned to allow me to partake in these events. So last weekend I decided to make a special trip to Concord on Saturday morning and I am glad I did.

Concord Farmers’ Market

con3First, the Concord Farmers’ Market is great. The market is set up on a side street that abuts the capitol building and it is a perfect – and quite picturesque – setting.

About the Concord Farmers’ Market: “The Concord Farmers’ Market has enjoyed over 25 years of presence in downtown Concord. Our market has over thirty vendors with a diverse selection of offerings. Our market has all manner of seasonal veggies, organic and natural. We have meat that is organic and natural, lamb, pork, beef, chicken and venison. We have some bakers that treat the eyes and the senses with offerings of bread, cookies, muffins and all manner of treats . Our vendors also offer specialty items such as potted plants, seafood, herbs, honey, NH wine, cut and potted flowers, jams and jellies, eggs, garlic, berries, homemade soaps and composting worms.”

I skipped the worms, but I bought some great yellow plum tomatoes and a ton of fresh basil and used them as toppings for a great summer pizza that night.

The Farmers’ Market in the shadow of the New Hampshire State Capitol Building in Concord:

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The Concord Farmers’ Market runs Saturdays from 8:30 to Noon, June through October.

Concord Arts Market

con4Meanwhile, just a couple of blocks away through Concord’s quaint back alleys is the charming Concord Arts Market, an outdoor artisan market that features a nice selection of fine arts.

About Concord Arts Market: “The award-winning Concord Arts Market is New Hampshire’s first market of its kind – a juried weekly, outdoor artisan and fine arts market that made its enthusiastic and successful debut in the Fall of 2008. New Hampshire is home to an amazing variety of creative people, and it’s only fitting that our state capital should give them a home to sell their work. Guest artists from the New England region also join us, to bring shoppers the best variety of handmade goods our region has to offer. Admission is FREE, all are welcome–come out and support local artists. The key to a great outdoor market is variety and that’s what we bring. Blown glass, handbags, accessories, paintings, multi-media art, handmade baskets, pottery, handmade books and jewelry are just some of the items you’ll find, at a variety of prices. Modern twists and traditional styles meld to create a market you’ll love to explore!”

On my visit to the Concord Arts Market, there were pottery makers, painters and photographers set up in the square which is surrounded by outdoor cafes and shops. As an added bonus, the Concord Arts Market regularly features live music which adds to the festive atmosphere.

The Concord Arts Market runs 9am – 3pm, Saturdays June to October in Concord’s historic Bicentennial Square.

Who says you can’t have a fun day out in New Hampshire’s Capital City?

Here’s a gallery of some of the sights from my Saturday morning in Concord: