As you make your plans for the summer, you may find yourself looking forward to a beach trip. While there are many coastlines to choose from, some may be less familiar to you. One state that may not first come to mind when you think about beach destinations is New Hampshire. Though it may appear unassuming, let’s take a closer look at the New Hampshire beaches that you might find calling your name this summer.
Does New Hampshire Have an Ocean Coastline?
Located in the northeast of the country, New Hampshire is surrounded by states that take up most of the east coastline. However, there’s a little section that does fall within New Hampshire’s state lines.
New Hampshire claims 18 miles of the east coast as their own. Though the number pales in comparison to larger states, these 18 miles offer up some beautiful beaches that are definitely worth exploring.
How Many Beaches Does New Hampshire Have?
Along its short coastline, New Hampshire has five primary state-controlled ocean-front beaches. The state is also home to a few lake-front beaches that offer visitors an alternative to the sandy terrain of the coast.
The 7 Very Best New Hampshire Beaches for Fun in the Water
We’ve compiled a list of the best New Hampshire beaches for fun in the water. Take a look and see which of these fits your adventure needs!
Jenness State Beach
Address: 2280 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH, 03870
About the Beach: One of the most family-friendly New Hampshire beaches, Jenness State Beach is perfect for all ages. With lifeguards on duty starting in June, you can enjoy the space knowing that the beach is a safe and fun environment. If you’re looking for a place to do a little fishing, this beach is perfect for you!
It’s important to note that this beach is not pet-friendly, so if visiting with a pet is important to you, that is something to consider. Jenness State Beach sees the start of its season in late May and closes in September. While the summer is technically the beach’s “open season,” the park is open to visitors year-round.
What to Expect: Parking is controlled by meters at $1.50 an hour. It has a bathhouse and lifeguards. There are bathrooms on-site as well as at nearby beaches.
Nearby Attractions: Jenness State Park is in the town of Rye. When needing a break from the sand and water, try exploring the town and seeing the charms Rye offers.
Odiorne Point State Park
Address: 570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870
About The Beach: Odiorne Point State Park is one of the most unique New Hampshire beaches. Located next to the Seacoast Science Center, this state park has a rocky coast and much for curious adults and children to experience. With its proximity to the Seacoast Science Center, it’s the perfect place to visit to learn a little more about New Hampshire’s natural world and its history.
Within the park, you can visit several sites that served as prominent landmarks in the state’s military history. When you’ve had your fill of the educational side of the park, the ocean is just mere steps away and is ready to help you cool off after your day of exploring.
What to Expect: This is a busy park due to its proximity to important local sites. Entrance to the park is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 11. There is a seasonal bathhouse available to visitors and porta potties available year-round. Reservations are available for scheduling your visit to the park.
Nearby Attractions: Seacoast Science Center, the town of Rye, and local historical monuments.
Pro Tip: Want to go beach camping while visiting New Hampshire? Make sure not to break any of these 10 Beach Camping Golden Rules.
North Hampton State Beach
Address: 920 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH 03842
About The Beach: North Hampton State Beach is ideal for those looking to spend the day relaxing in the sand and enjoying an ocean-side picnic with friends. Fishing is a popular activity at this beach, as are water sports and wakeboarding. During the season, you can’t bring your pets. However, leashed pets are allowed during the off-season in the park.
What to Expect: Bathrooms are available on-site at the beach, as is metered parking. This beach, while not the most crowded in the area, is a popular attraction.
Nearby Attractions: This beach is in the town of Hampton. This is one of the busiest New Hampshire beaches with much to see and do. It’s the perfect place to stay on vacation and offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy both day and night.
Hampton Beach State Park
Address: 160 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH 03842
About the Beach: Hampton Beach State Park is a great place to visit year-round, but especially during the summer season. It’s perfect for those traveling with RVs and motorhomes as it has several camping sites with full hook-ups. In addition to the RV campsite and the beach-front access, the park has a playground, dump station, and several picnic sites.
What to Expect: There are bathroom facilities on the property, and parking spots are available by reservation for visitors. Crowds are usually low at this park though the beach does connect to others and may cause some overlap with visitors from other beaches.
Nearby Attractions: Located in the town of Hampton, this is one of the New Hampshire beaches where there’s a lot for you to do during your stay. One of the most notable attractions is Ocean Gaming Casino, a family-friendly resort 0.1 miles from Hampton Beach. The casino has a waterpark and mini-golf course that is great for family fun.
Wallis Sand State Park & Beach
Address: 1050 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870
About the Beach: One of the most stunning New Hampshire beaches, Wallis Sand State Park & Beach is perfect for spending a day on the water and a great place for hiking. From the shore, visitors get a great view of the Isles of Shoals. Though there are several nearby restaurants in town, the Park also has a store that sells food and drinks if you’re looking for a lighter meal for your beach day.
What to Expect: Hiking trails are an exciting feature of this park. There are bathrooms on-site, and fishing is encouraged on the beach. There is plenty of parking as the park can accommodate over 500 cars. Parking is $15 a day.
Nearby Attractions: The town of Rye is nearby and has several restaurants and resorts to check out! The Seacoast Science Center is also close by.
Ellacoya State Park
Address: 280 Scenic Dr, Gilford, NH 03249
About the Beach: Ellacoya State Park is one of New Hamshire’s best lake-side beaches. Located on the southwest shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, Ellacoya State Park is home to a 600-foot-long sandy beach that’s perfect for suntanning, swimming, and enjoying a picnic with friends. There’s also a launch area that’s perfect for small boats and canoes.
With this park being a bit more in-land than others on this list, it’s also home to some great hiking trails that serve as a good alternative to a day spent on the sand.
What to Expect: There are on-site bathrooms, plenty of space to park, a ranger station, and a supply station for those choosing to tent camp within the park.
Nearby Attractions: There are nearby biking trails, a water park, and several restaurants. Due to its more remote nature, you may have to drive a bit farther to reach many of the exciting attractions of the ocean-side towns.
Wellington State Park
Address: 614 W Shore Rd, Bristol, NH 03222
About the Beach: The second lake-side beach on our list is Wellington State Park. Located on a peninsula, it claims to be the largest fresh-water swimming beach in New Hampshire.
There are several trails for visitors to enjoy, and a boat launch leads into the water for smaller to medium-sized boats. Volleyball, picnicking, and grilling are all activities available to you at this particular park.
What to Expect: There are bathrooms located onsite, and parking is available for visitors. Park fees are $5 for adults and $2 for children under 11. The on-site park shop is an excellent resource for all things you may need during your visit to the park.
Nearby Attractions: Seven Birches Winery is close by and is a great destination to visit when you find yourself looking for something other than a water-based activity. Zipline adventures and catamaran tours are also good options for those looking for something a little more adventurous.
Pro Tip: Need help finding a campsite for while you’re in New Hampshire? Try out these Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping.
Which New Hampshire Beaches Will You Enjoy?
This summer, it may be time to give the small New Hampshire coast a try. With so many different beaches to choose from, there’s definitely something for everyone.
Have you visited any of these New Hampshire beaches? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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