12 Best New Hampshire Beaches (Hampton, Weirs, Etc.)

New Hampshire is one of the best states to retire in due to good-quality healthcare services, low housing costs, and small tax burdens. One worry for retirees, though, is the number of beaches where they can dip their toes, relax, and more.

Are there any New Hampshire beaches, and if so, where? Yes, New Hampshire has several amazing freshwater and saltwater beaches you’ll mostly find in the towns of Hampton, Rye, Seabrook, and North Hampton.

Below are 12 highly recommended beaches you should consider visiting in the state of New Hampshire.

  1. Hampton Beach
  2. Wallis Sands State Beach
  3. Jenness Beach
  4. North Beach
  5. North Hampton Beach
  6. Odiorne Point Beach
  7. Weirs Beach
  8. Wellington State Beach
  9. Sunapee State Beach
  10. Echo Lake Beach
  11. White Lake State Park Beach
  12. Ellacoya State Park Beach

12 Best New Hampshire Beaches

New Hampshire has around 18 to 20 miles of shoreline, shorter than most states in the US popular for beachgoers, such as Florida. However, it’s one of the reasons you won’t run out of beautiful ocean beaches to visit and enjoy the Atlantic Ocean waterfront. Some of the highly recommended and rated ones are as follows:

1. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

The most popular, biggest, and family-friendly beaches that both locals and tourists love, Hampton Beach, has soft, white sand where you can sunbathe, walk, play games, have a picnic, and more. You’re also allowed to fish and have an RV camp, but you’ll find several beachfront hotels where you can rest and relax. You can also bring your pets from October to April, which is the same for the next three beaches (2 to 4).

Hampton Beach also has a well-fenced playground secured with one gate where your kids can play without you worrying about their safety. Likewise, they have lifeguards on duty during their busiest dates. Thanks to its state park designation, it is also one of the cleanest and most preserved.

It has a lively boardwalk where you can stroll and visit restaurants, snack bars, an arcade, gift shops, candy stores, entertainment venues, and more. The beach also provides its guests with many outdoor recreational activities, such as a fireworks display, sand sculpting competition, Children’s Festival, and Seafood Festival.

2. Wallis Sands State Beach

An excellent alternative to Hampton Beach is the smaller and quieter crescent-shaped beach, Wallis Sands State Beach. Its sands are gold while the waves are gentle, perfect for children. Like Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, and the following three New Hampshire ocean beaches, they have lifeguards on duty on certain dates.

Rocky walls border the Wallis Sands State Beach, ensuring it stays safe from gate-crashers and preserving the beach’s cleanliness. Wallis Sands State Park also puts too much effort into protecting and preserving the beach. Thus, you would need to pay a minimum entry or admission fee.

Apart from swimming and other water activities, there’s a grassy area where you can play games, have a picnic, or sit to enjoy the view of the Isles of Shoals. The rocky parts of the beach are also perfect spots, especially for your children, as they might find starfish.

3. Jenness Beach

Despite being smaller than its neighboring beaches, Jenness is one of Rye’s most popular surfing destinations. It has a limited metered parking space that can accommodate up to 67 cars, making it a little less crowded than other beaches. However, you’ll find nearby parking lots.

Jenness has a bathhouse and picnic tables where families can enjoy bonding, checking the views, and relaxing while watching their kids swim in the water and play in the sand. Though you can bring your own food, you’ll find restaurants, ice cream parlors, pizza houses, and coffee shops across the street. There are also shops to rent out and purchase surfing equipment and other beach necessities.

4. North Beach

Adjacent to Hampton Beach is the more tranquil, secluded, and rockier beach, North Beach; hence, the popular phrase is “Where the wall Begins.” However, the presence of rocks makes it one of the beaches affected by tides. Thus, it’s one of the most famous surfing destinations during high tide.

The best time to visit it if you’re not a surfer is during the low-tide season, as it’s when there is more sandy shore and safer to swim, play, and stroll. You and your family, especially the kids, can also enjoy looking for sea urchins on the beach’s rocky wall. It also has a designated picnic area.

5. North Hampton Beach

Sunset, North Hampton Beach

Unlike the four state park designated seacoast beaches above, North Hampton doesn’t allow pets year-round. Like the rest of the ocean beaches in New Hampshire, they have picnic areas, a bathhouse, and clean restrooms. They also have a metered parking space for your convenience but easily gets filled during weekends and peak season. The benefit is that the beach won’t be too crowded.

If you don’t like the hassles of looking for a parking spot or waking up too early to drive to the beach, many recommend that you visit the place or have a day trip during weekdays. This handicap-friendly beach is also popular for surfers, and adults and children can climb the rocks to watch the surfers or simply have fun.

6. Odiorne Point Beach

Divided into two sections, sandy and rocky, Odiorne is perfect for all ages. The beach’s sandy area has clean and calm water and gentle slopes for swimming, boating, and fishing. On the other hand, the rocky section is excellent for searching for crabs and other marine creatures. During low tide, you’ll also find tide pools.

Around the area, you’ll also find grassy fields, handicap-accessible walking trails, a wooded picnic space, and a kid’s playground. Following the walking trails, you’ll be welcomed with salt marsh, uplands, and ponds.

The state boasts plenty of lakes where you can swim, enjoy several water activities, and relax to enjoy the scenic views and breathe fresh air. If you don’t prefer saltwater or want to have a different experience, try visiting the best New Hampshire beaches with freshwater or found near a lake. Most tourists and locals recommend the following:

7. Weirs Beach, New Hampshire

You’ll find the handicap-accessible Weirs Beach at Lake Winnipesaukee’s southern shore. It’s approximately 680 feet long and 260 feet wide, with an estimated 1,300 feet boardwalk. You’ll find a bathhouse, many shaded picnic tables, and nearby motels.

Most of the beach water near the shoreline is shallow, so the kids can play water games and enjoy activities safely. Nonetheless, like Hampton Beach, Weirs Beach, New Hampshire also has lifeguards on standby from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

You can buy tickets for a scenic Meredith and Laconia Lakeport ride or tours and cruises. You’ll also find plenty of attractions and fun activities, such as ziplines, arcades, and go-karts. The beach also hosts a family-friendly Motorcycle Week event during Father’s Day.

8. Wellington State Beach

Enjoy clean and clear freshwater and gold sand in Wellington, one of the best beaches in New Hampshire with a picturesque view of nature. It has a shallow area where kids can safely swim and play with water, but keep in mind that there are also deep areas.

You can also grill, hike, and have a picnic. Another activity you can enjoy is fishing and boating or kayaking, as there’s a boat dock and ramp. The beach also has a snack bar where you can purchase food, beverages, souvenirs, and other items and nearby volleyball and horseshoe courts. You’ll also find well-maintained restrooms and bathhouses.

9. Sunapee State Beach

The Sunapee, also known as Mt. Sunapee Beach and Newbury Beach, is a beach along the Lake Sunapee with a scenic view. No matter your age, you can swim, kayak, fish, have a picnic, hike Mt. Sunapee, and camp in the nearby campgrounds. During the winter, snowy season, it’s one of the best lakefront beaches in New Hampshire that turns into a ski resort.

Some of the beach’s facilities include kayak, canoe, and boat rentals, a bathhouse, a store or shop, and a playground. There is also a nearby resort that you can book if you plan to stay for more than a day.

10. Echo Lake Beach

Echo Lake, New Hampshire

As another New Hampshire beach found within a state park and requires an entrance or admission fee, expect to be welcomed with clean water and facilities. It’s open daily, but different activities are designated for different seasons. Activities you can enjoy year-round are swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and boating.

This pet-friendly beach’s open season is from mid-May to mid-September, as the water is warm and there are lifeguards on duty. It also has picnic facilities, hiking trails, and rock ledges.

11. White Lake State Park Beach

Take a dip into the White Lake State Park Beach’s clean and clear water to cool off from the summer’s heat. It’s another state-run small place where you can rent out a boat, fish, and camp. You can also take a stroll on its well-maintained path, where you can see loons or beavers if you’re lucky enough.

12. Ellacoya State Park Beach

The top reason Ellacoya is considered one of the best beaches in New Hampshire is its natural setting. It’s a preserved area around the lake and lined with a forest, so you can find trees that can offer you shade during the hottest time of the day. It also has handicap-friendly bathhouses, snack and refreshment stores, and a small kayak and canoe launch.

Do note, though, that this small beach on Lake Winnipesaukee’s southwest shore collects a minimal entrance fee. Plus, it has a limited capacity, so make sure you arrive early when planning to visit Ellacoya, especially during the peak season.

New Hampshire Beaches Worthy of Visiting

To review, here are our picks for the 12 best beaches in New Hampshire:

  1. Hampton Beach
  2. Wallis Sands State Beach
  3. Jenness Beach
  4. North Beach
  5. North Hampton Beach
  6. Odiorne Point Beach
  7. Weirs Beach
  8. Wellington State Beach
  9. Sunapee State Beach
  10. Echo Lake Beach
  11. White Lake State Park Beach
  12. Ellacoya State Park Beach

Whether you’re planning to spend your retirement days in New Hampshire or looking for places to visit alone or with your partner, friends, and family, the 12 beaches in the state are excellent options. They’re considered family-friendly not only because they’re clean and safe, but they offer various facilities and activities, so no one gets bored and would feel out of place. Also, most of them are state-maintained, found within a state park, handicap-accessible, and pet-friendly.

Choose the beach or beaches that meet most of your or your family’s wants and include them in your bucket list. Also, don’t forget to pack your favorite swimwear, sunscreen, sun protection, water-repellent hat (view on Amazon), and other essentials. You can also bring and test out your new inflatable kayak set (view on Amazon) if you prefer.

Have fun!

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