New Hampshire Seacoast Guide: How to Visit this New England Region

Measuring about 18 miles, the New Hampshire Seacoast offers a scenic destination that welcomes families and nature lovers. Its proximity to Boston also makes it a top vacation option for those who want to stay away from the crowds but still explore big-city attractions. To learn about this popular area in New England, check out the New Hampshire Seacoast guide for first-time visitors.

New Hampshire Seacoast Guide: Vacation Tips for First-Timers

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Getting Here

The New Hampshire (NH) Seacoast region is located about an hour north of Boston, making it accessible via several transportation routes. From the north and south, interstates and highways offer access. Cities located within an easy drive include Portland, Maine; Concord, New Hampshire; Hartford, Connecticut; and Boston, Massachusetts.

Those flying into the area can book flights to Portsmouth International Airport at Pease, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Boston Logan International Airport. Those coming from the east may prefer to get here by boat and will find marinas in Portsmouth, New Castle and Hampton. In addition, the Seacoast region offers public transportation and trains. Once settled, guests will find the area bikeable and walkable.

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Hampton Beach

Hampton Beach is part of this New Hampshire Seacoast guide for its scenic beauty and entertainment options. As early as the 1840s, vacationers have flocked to the area for sunshine and good times.

Hampton Beach features spacious, clean beaches perfect for relaxing and playing. Then visitors should check out Explore the Ocean World Aquarium, Ocean Gaming Casino and state parks. Those planning a summer trip should attend Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic, one of the largest sand-sculpting events in the U.S. To reconnect to nature, head to Fuller Gardens in North Hampton.


Another one of the top destinations in the area is Portsmouth, which dates to the early 1600s. This area plays an important role in American history and settlements. Today, this town operates as a working seaport full of family-friendly attractions, local shops, restaurants and culture.

Top sites include Strawberry Banke Museum, Market Square, USS Albacore Museum, Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Isles of Shoals and Prescott Park. Families also love Seacoast Science Center and its interactive exhibits and Portsmouth Harbor Light.

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New Hampshire Seacoast Guide: Other Things to Do

In addition to historical sites, the region provides opportunities for outdoor adventure. Dozens of parks scattered throughout the area provide a place to swim, hike, para-sail, watch wildlife, sail and hunt for shells. Fishing is also a popular pastime. Several local charters host fishing and whale-watching trips for all ages.

Those not interested in outdoor activities also have fun things to do. The NH Seacoast region showcases talented performers and live shows at theaters, music halls and small venues. There is also a children’s museum, historic homes, museums and art studios.

Food and Shopping

The region also has earned a reputation for delicious local flavor and interesting shops. Most restaurants focus on serving fresh seafood – including crab, Maine lobster, clam chowder, oysters and fried clams. However, there are plenty of restaurants that serve American favorites, breakfast and pub fare.

For more local flair, each town in the Seacoast region has a place for visitors to shop all day. Downtown Portsmouth has brick sidewalks lined with boutiques. Fox Run Mall in Newington has more than 100 big brands such as JCPenney, GameStop and American Eagle. In Kittery, shoppers will find great deals at Kittery Outlet Malls.

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Photo: iTrip Vacations® NH Seacoast

Where to Stay in NH Seacoast

Travelers will find hotel chains and private accommodations here. Those who want the space and comfort of home may enjoy a a New Hampshire Seacoast vacation home. Other options include boutique inns, historic hotels and hotel brands such as Marriott. In addition, most accommodations feature all the comforts of home paired with scenic views.

Want to learn more? Read about other things to do in New Hampshire.