NH's coastline is small, just 18 miles in length, but was settled by Europeans in the early 1600's. The
seacoast region offers great dining, diverse retail therapy, pristine beaches, blue water recreation and numerous quality historical
and natural science museums.
Major area tourist attractions include Hampton Beach,
Water Country, Prescott Park and the
Strawbery Banke Museum. Shopping
is popular at Portsmouth's many
small boutique shops, the Fox Run Mall,
and at the Kittery Outlets in nearby Kittery, Maine. If
you have never been aboard a submarine, the USS Albacore is
quite accessible. Daredevils may enjoy parasailing,
a dirt bike or a Segway tour, but we 'calm-water' folks might better
enjoy a harbor or
gundalow cruise or even a trolley tour. If you want to get on the water, try a kayak adventure. If you like getting-above-it-all,
try seeing it by air with a helicopter
or biplane. Live music and theater enthusiasts, check out the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, or the Portsmouth Music Hall.
The coastline drive on Route 1A is quite scenic and unique. If you can manage
it, do get to the Wentworth (Hotel) by the Sea,
built in 1874 and signing site of the Treaty of
Portsmouth to end the Russo-Japanese War. The grounds are immaculate, the views wonderful, and the food is excellent.
There are (5) beaches on NH's seacoast, each with a very different look and feel.
Hampton Beach: New bathhouses at both ends of the beach, and the new Seashell Complex (including an outdoor performance venue), visitor services & administration buildings in the approximate center make this beach's miles of open sand quite inviting. The beach is deep as well as wide - the very busy boardwalk across the street doesn't enter your mind's space unless you choose to let it.
Jenness State Beach: This beach is our pick for families with small children. Much smaller, with gentle shallows and a bathhouse, this one is great for a tribe of small Indians!
North Beach: Hidden behind a fortified sea wall, this beach is perhaps most useful to adults. There is a year-'round bathhouse.
North Hampton State Beach: Our least favorite beach.
Wallis Sands State Beach: Another great family destination, this beach has a bathhouse, a grassy area with picnic tables, a small store selling a variety of items, food, and drinks, a quality sandy beach and a considerable rocky area on the north side for all those science sleuths among us. PLUS, parking for 500 cars.
For More Information:
Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce