7.6 out of 10

Concord

43.2123691390518 -71.5072081857534
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Pest Free
  • Childcare
  • Cost of Living
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Public Transport
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
1 day ago

"Great city on the decline"

(March 2017)
I've lived in the capital region for my entire life, spending the past 4 years exclusively in Concord. I'm really quite sad to witness the transformation it's been undergoing. An aesthetically beautiful city -- the "bad" neighborhoods still have their charm (besides maybe Manchester Street). Unfortunately, the heroin epidemic has moved from Manchester & Rochester to Concord over the past few years, and it's hit us hard. In addition, the state prison being in Concord means that those who get released and inevitably get caught back up in drugs tend to stay in Concord, leading into my next point:
Concord has a HUGE homelessness problem. There are organizations attempting to curbs this (Families in Transition is a great one), but the local government & police force see them as more of a pest than anything.

Schools: I spent a year in a Concord School District elementary school and graduated from Concord High School. I can't vouch for the elementary schools besides the fact that 2 (maybe 3?) have been built within the last 5 years, and they're gorgeous. As for the high school: it's really what you make of it. You can easily slip by and graduate with no problem, but there are plenty of opportunities to extend your learning. AP courses are offered, and the Concord Regional Technical Center (vocational school) is hosted in CHS. There is a comprehensive ELL program as well as comprehensive Special Education services. There are also 3 private high schools in Concord: Concord Christian Academy, St. Paul's School, and Bishop Brady High School.

The public transportation consists of Concord Area Transit buses; I've never used them nor do I know anyone who has. There is no rail system in NH. Concord Coach offers buses to Boston daily. A car is NECESSARY to live in Concord.

As for nightlife & dining, I've heard it can get boring quickly. I'm a creature of habit and have no problem eating at the same restaurant every week, but there are only a couple dozen restaurants across the entire city, including fast food. You won't find much in diversity there, besides the thai place Siam Orchid and the Indian restaurant off Pleasant Street. (The best Chinese place, hands down, is Dragon Star on South Main Street.)

The weather can be crazy! The snowbanks quickly pile up, and the city isn't so good about clearing the sidewalks beyond Main Street, at least for a few days. We tend to get hit by every major system in the northeast.

The city has a disproportionately large refugee/immigrant population for NH, many from Nepal, Bhutan, and the Middle East. They mostly live on Loudon Road ("The Heights").

Other key notes: shopping is easy, provided you have a car. Local businesses on Main Street, box stores on Loudon Rd. Main Street was just renovated this year! It's gorgeous. Don't drive down it if you can avoid it or don't have a lot of patience. Concord as zip code is actually pretty large; there's hiking trails and actual farms within the 3 zip codes. Plenty of parks and pools. As for unsafe neighborhoods? More like streets, really. Thorndike/Perley Street are known for drug dealers living there, but I've never had any issue walking down the sidewalk, day or night. Don't live in the complexes on The Heights unless you like the smell of curry. In a city of 40k, everyone seems to know everyone.
Pros
  • Balance between urban and rural living
Cons
  • Black flies in the spring
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"Gem of a city"

Small, friendly, prosperous but unpretentious city of 40,000 approximately an hour outside of Boston, with a healthy mix of urban and outdoorsy amenities. Locals consider Concord to be the borderline where the north-of-Boston sprawl ends and "true NH" begins. The areas north, east and west of Concord are scenic and rural; the areas south of Concord are suburban and/or urban. Concord itself has a laid-back, artsy hometown vibe and a strong sense of community. People are neighborly and friendly, the professional community is outgoing and supportive, there's a lot of city pride, all of the neighborhoods are safe and family-oriented, people - even rich and insanely accomplished people - aren't snobs, and the city feels much smaller than it actually is. Still, the downtown boasts an impressive collection of fine dining, hipstery coffeeshops, artistic venues (including Capitol Center for the Arts, the Audi and the Red River Theater, which might be northern New England's best indie movie theater) and boutique shopping options. Just about every big-box store in existence has a Concord franchise, but the city is so small and spread out that traffic/parking is never an issue. Most of the downtown neighborhoods are pretty, well-kept, and have nice landscaping and Victorian architecture. Recently, the city has undertaken substantial efforts to conserve its open spaces. This means that there are hundreds of acres of undeveloped forest on the city's outskirts and a striking number of farms still in operation within city limits. The neighborhoods outside of downtown are upscale and suburban, but most of them are within a short walk to these open spaces. So overall, I think that Concord has struck the perfect balance between urban and rural living. I love this city. I grew up here, lived in various places around the world, and Concord is by far the nicest place to live that I've ever encountered. It's not perfect. The city is geared more towards families. Not that there aren't a lot of options for single young professionals in town (and, in the opinion of this ex-New Yorker, the single young professionals in town are, on average, wayyy better-looking than their Manhattan counterparts), but most Concordians are nuclear family-oriented, which might make the rest of us feel like a guest in somebody else's house, even though - again - people couldn't be nicer. A lot of the population is made up of baby boomers on the cusp of retirement - Concord is kind of like Mecca for old hippies with some money - so that's going to change the community's dynamics over the years. (Concord's boomers are quality, quality people, though, and eager to pass the torch to the younger generation; I just foresee a large retiree community soon, which will change things). Even though all political walks of life coexist in peace here, Concord is a staunchly liberal city, kind of like Northampton MA without a college. Now, every hardcore Republican I know who lives in Concord loves this city with a fiery passion, but conservatives ought to know that they'll be a minority here. The city is pretty once you get off of the main drags, but the views from the highway are UGLY. The elementary schools and Concord High are terrific; the middle school has been poorly run for as long as anyone can remember (it seems to be the dumping ground for burned-out elementary and high school teachers biding their time until retirement). Finally, even though there are a lot of employers in town, many of them don't hire at the entry level. Concord tends to be where professionals move after a few years of proving themselves elsewhere. All that said, though, the younger generation has really stepped forward over the past few years, and there's been an amazing resurgence of activity and city pride. We've saved an impressive number of our historical landmarks (including the City Audi and the CCA), and newcomers seem to feel just as strongly about preserving what we have here. Outdoor concerts, new businesses, and athletic events like Concord's famous pond hockey tournaments bring out the whole community. It's not a place to go clubbing or to see/be seen/judge/be judged according to the latest fashion trends, even though there are some decent bars and other opportunities for low-key gatherings. The people in this city are incredible. Just the nicest, smartest, free-spirited bunch of people you could ever hope to meet. If you're lucky enough to get a job in this area, I recommend Concord over any other city in NH (other than maybe Portsmouth) and any suburban/small town as a place to live. Concord isn't the most tourist-oriented town, although there's certainly a lot to do (the Capitol Center and Christa McAuliffe planetarium spring to mind), but it's centrally located to the lakes, mountains, ocean and Boston. It's a great place and comes with my highest recommendations.
Pros
  • Friendly, neighborly community
  • Artistic scene
  • Balance between urban and rural living
Cons
  • Cold winters
  • Black flies in the spring
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Country Lovers

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More