Coastal New Hampshire is perfectly positioned for your next vacation. Not only is the region a short drive to Boston, the White Mountains and the Maine coast, but coastal New Hampshire has enough activities to keep you busy for as long as you may wish to stay. The following 10 activities are just a few suggestions on what to do during your next visit.
1. Explore a park - There are several parks located in coastal New Hampshire that are worth a visit. Odiorne State Park includes multiple trails that wind through a salt marsh and along the rocky coastline. Odiorne State Park is also home to the Seacoast Science Center. Prescott Park is located on the riverfront in Portsmouth. This small park hosts gardens, statues, and plenty of grass for a picnic. If you are up for a short drive inland, Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham is a bit larger and has hiking trails as well as camp sites.
2. Visit an amusement or sports park - Whether you are looking for a short mini golf game, or a day trip to a water park, coastal NH has both. Water country on route 1 in Portsmouth has plenty to do for an entire day. Hampton Beach has arcades and mini golf. If you're into skateboarding, don't miss the Rye Airfield Skate Park.
3. Go to the Beach - Like Maine, NH is a combination of rocky coastline and sandy beach. Hampton is the largest NH beach and has plenty of stores and places to grab lunch. If you are looking for a smaller beach, visit Seabrook.
4. Shop and explore downtown Portsmouth - Many shops and restaurant line the streets of this historic seaport. You can also walk the Portsmouth Harbor Trail that departs from Market Street in front of Breaking New Grounds. Contact the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce for more information
5. Catch a show - Coastal NH has multiple theatres and venues that play shows during the summer months. Some of these include: Prescott Park Arts Festival (an outdoor theatre), Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Pontine Theatre, New Hampshire Theatre Project, Portsmouth Music Hall, Granite State Opera, Tracey Theatre Originals, Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, and multiple movie theatres. In addition, many of the bars and restaurants in Portsmouth and Hampton host live music at night, especially during the summer.
6. Go to a museum - There are several museums in the area, including: the Seacoast Science Center in Rye that focuses on the marine environment, Strawbery Banke which includes multiple historic buildings, the Port of Portsmouth Maritime Museum and the USS Albacore Museum that explores ships and submarines and lets you tour the USS Albacore, the Children's museum of Portsmouth which has moved to Dover, but is still an easy drive from the coast.
7. Visit a fair or festival - Throughout the summer months, the region hosts many festivals. Plan your trip to catch one of these events. Perhaps you want to catch the Sand Art Contest in Hampton or the Children's Festival, or perhaps the Stratham Fair in late July,
8. Take a boat tour - The Ocean was and is an important part in the lives and history of coastal New Hampshire. Explore the offshore region or Great Bay by getting out on a boat. There are multiple deep sea fishing companies, as well as the Isle of Shoals Steam ship Company and Portsmouth Harbor Cruises.
9. Visit Fuller Gardens - These gardens located on 2 acres of land in North Hampton are home to over 1700 rose bushes. They also have a gift shop for you to visit.
10. Take a drive -Take a drive inland to explore the NH mountain region, north to explore the rocky coastline Southern Maine (for suggestions of places to visit in Maine click here), or South to Boston. There can be some traffic especially on Friday and Sunday afternoons, so plan accordingly.