Seacoast — The Essence of New England's Oceanfront
The attraction of the Seacoast is, of course, the Atlantic oceanfront. In the 18 miles of New Hampshire’s coastline, there are long, sandy beaches, working ports, offshore islands, surf-stung rocks, and popular resort towns and villages that date back nearly four hundred years.
Many visitors begin their tours of New Hampshire along the coast, drawn by the sound and scent of the sea. With beaches like Jenness, Wallis Sands and North Hampton State Beach, the stretch of sandy shore is the magnet that brings visitors to the region, but there are enough attractions to spend the whole summer. Indeed there are campgrounds in the Seacoast Region that are strictly for seasonals but there are still plenty of places for the traveling camper. However, we suggest you plan ahead and make reservations.
Portsmouth, the attractive old-fashioned city that is the hub of this area, is a place of historic homes, beautiful parks, and a variety of museums and amusements. Window shop as you walk the brick paved streets or relax at a sidewalk café. Narrow lanes lead down to the Olde Port area midst tugboats and small gourmet restaurants. Strawbery Banke is a historic recreation of life in Colonial days. The Submarine USS New Hampshire is commissioned at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and you can also venture inside the smaller USS Albacore, built at Portsmouth and now on display at Albacore Park.
Hampton Beach is not only for sunbathers and swimmers, it's a place to go for a variety of fun from theaters and nightclubs to amusement rides, arcade games and specialty shops. You can spend the day on a deep sea fishing expedition, take a narrated boat tour of the harbor or go on a whale watch. Enjoy seashore nature at Odiorne Point State Park or shop at the malls, and factory outlets.
Explore the shops and the homes in the historic small towns such as Exeter, Durham and Newcastle. Take a mini trolley ride around the region to get acquainted. Spend some time enjoying the beauty of the flowers in Portsmouth's Prescott Park or at Fuller Gardens in North Hampton. Explore the Great Bay Discovery Center or Great Bay Wildlife Reserve in Greenland, the Seacoast Science Center in Rye or Exeter’s American Independence Museum. Take time to walk the streets and pathways or just go bicycling for a day.
Campgrounds small and large, some with waterfront sites, may be found in the Seacoast region. Campers come earlier and stay longer at the Seacoast than elsewhere in the state. It's a region that is easy to love, a place most folks are reluctant to leave.