Road Trip! Destination: Hampton Beach, N.H.
For anyone looking to squeeze the last bit from summer with a trip to the Atlantic Ocean, Hampton Beach, N.H., offers an award-winning, entertainment-filled option.
The town is home to stretches of sand, a slew of boardwalk shops and an upcoming annual festival devoted to the delicious seafood the town is known for.
Hampton, once a major farming community, transformed into a vacation-friendly destination with the formation of the Hampton Beach Village District in 1907.
Examples of efforts to attract tourists include free concerts, fireworks, an annual sand-sculpture contest and more. One of the most popular events, the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, draws thousands each year.
The efforts haven't gone unnoticed. Among its many honors, CNN recently named Hampton Beach among the country's 22 can't-miss beaches. Budget Travel named Hampton Beach on its list of Most Awesome Boardwalks, and the Weather Channel placed it among the Top 6 Favorite Beaches. The Natural Resource Defense Council named Hampton Beach as one of the country's “superstar beaches” for water cleanliness.
Hampton Beach and the surrounding area offer a wide range of ways to enjoy being outside. Options on the water include whale watching, deep-sea fishing, surfing, Jet Skiing or parasailing.
There are camping sites and golf courses from full 18-holes to mini golf.
For a full list of attractions and events, visit hamptonbeach.org
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or email@example.com.
Hampton Beach Casino
It's called a “casino” but has nothing to do with gambling. The Hampton Beach Casino is an expansive stretch of shops offering everything from food to fashion to fun. There are coffee shops, pizza joints, french fries and fried dough. Entertainment options include arcades, a water slide and mini golf.
The stretch also features the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, a seasonal live music and comedy venue open from April to November. Upcoming acts include Billy Currington and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Details: 603-926-4541 or hamptonbeachcasinonh.com
Fuller Gardens, a nonprofit public botanical garden, features a formal rose garden designed in the Colonial Revival style commissioned during the late 1920s by Massachusetts Gov. Alvan T. Fuller at his summer estate.
In addition to the rose gardens, the site features a Japanese garden and English perennial plantings.
The gardens are open daily through mid-October, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Details: 603-964-5414 or fullergardens.org
Seacoast Science Center
The Seacoast Science Center, a few minutes north of Hampton Beach, features exhibits relating to the natural and human history of the local seacoast area. Visitors can learn about tide pool animals in an indoor touch tank, watch deep ocean-fish swim the 1,000-gallon Gulf of Maine tank and learn about nearly four centuries of local history.
Details: 603-436-8043 or seacoastsciencecenter.org.
The Hampton Beach Seashell Stage, which resembles its namesake with its uniquely curved roof, features live entertainment weekly.
Upcoming acts include The Reminisants, offering oldies and family fun, on Sept. 6; classic-rock band Soulmate on Sept. 7; and The Continentals, a classic oldies band, on Sept. 8.
Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, a few scenic miles up Route 1A from Hampton Beach, was first established in June 1771, making it the first light station north of Boston in the American colonies. Today's 48-foot tower was built in 1878. Open houses are from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Cost to climb the lighthouse is $4, $2 for age 12 and younger.
Visitors also can check out Fort Constitution, one of seven forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor.
This annual festival has become a staple of the region and attracts seafood lovers from around the country. The 24th installment will be Sept. 6 to 8, with more than 60 of the Seacoast's top restaurants serving an abundance of delicacies.
The event also features 80 arts-and-crafts vendors promoting locally made products, hundreds of Ocean Boulevard merchants offering end-of-the-season sidewalk sales, a Kiddie Land with entertainment and games presented by Radio Disney, continuous culinary chef demonstrations and two stages of entertainment with 15 local bands. A lobster-roll eating competition and fireworks display will be Sept. 7. On Sept. 8, spectators can catch a sky-diving extravaganza.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.