By almost every measure, the New Hampshire coastline is small. Just 18 miles, in fact. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in what it has to offer: quiet towns, big estates, on-the-water restaurants, and, of course, Hampton Beach. This colorful honky-tonk seaside destination has welcomed ocean lovers for generations. The heart of it, known as the strip, serves up true summertime flair, from the arcades to the seafood to the people-watching to, well, all that sand and sun. The lodging options are varied, too. Hampton Beach, NH, hotels runt the gamut, from in-the-middle-of-the-action stays to quieter retreats. Ready for a visit? Then read on for a selection of some of the best Hampton Beach, NH, hotels and inns, as well as a collection of favorite restaurants and attractions to explore.
Set right in the heart of Hampton Beach and offering panoramic views of the scene, this convenient and affordable hotel puts visitors in the middle of all the action. Park your car and leave it there until you’re ready to go home. (That’s assuming you’ll actually want to.)
Something quieter awaits guest at this traditional B&B, located just a half mile from the water. This former carriage house has welcomed guests since 1988, and in 2013 it was completely renovated. Today, it features six spacious guest rooms. Tired beachgoers will enjoy the Queen Room, whose private bath includes a Jacuzzi — a perfect antidote for those sore surfing and swimming muscles.
This small motel — it rents out just 11 rooms — puts visitors within a stone’s throw of the Atlantic but just outside Hampton Beach’s main scene. Many rooms feature a kitchenette and a balcony with dead-on views of the water.
History runs deep at Lamie’s, which makes its home in a building originally erected in 1740. Take advantage of the array of stay-and-explore packages the inn offers. Themes include romance, golf, and a fireside brunch, to name just a few.
Few sights are more impressive than New Hampshire’s remaining turn-of-the-century “grand hotels,” especially the glorious oceanside giant known as the Wentworth, located in the nearby village of New Castle. Dating back to 1874, it boasts three massive mansard-roofed towers that were part of the original structure. And who wouldn’t want to have their very own Turret Suite overlooking the Atlantic? Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Oceanside Resort.”
If you’re staying at Lamie’s, you’re in luck, because the in-house restaurant has long proven to be a tasty destination for Hampton Beach visitors. Fried oysters, chowder, burgers, and higher-end entrées such as baked stuffed lobster and haddock au gratin highlight an overstuffed lunch and dinner menu.
This being the coast, chances are you’re going to want to seafood. Al’s is recognized as one of the best in this category. Go ahead and indulge (or gorge) on the fried clams, Maine lobster, crab cakes, and salmon burgers.
For more than 50 years, the Gauron family has guided fishing trips, fireworks cruises on Wednesday nights, and close encounters with those most awesome of mammals: humpbacks, minke, and finbacks, along with dolphins and sharks. Until you’ve looked a whale in the eye, it’s just another fish story. Named a 2016 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Ocean Adventure.”
If you’re in the market for a new surfboard or paddleboard, every Tuesday and Friday night in summer you can paddle around and test out boards for free, with an expert on hand to see which board is best for you. Named a 2012 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Surf Demo.”
If variety is the spice of life, it also makes for an eye-catching botanical garden at this turn-of-the-last-century summer estate in a neighborhood of mansions just off scenic Route 1A, which hugs the Atlantic. Former Massachusetts governor Alvan T. Fuller liked his formal English perennials and masses of roses, but he was fond of Japanese gardens, too. There’s also plenty of inspiration for sculpted hedges, and a gift shop that sells take-away summer memories. Named a 2015 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Coastal Botanical Garden.”
One of New Hampshire’s premier concert venues, the Ballroom has been a fixture of the Hampton Beach scene since 1899. Some of music’s most recognizable acts have played here, including the B-52’s, Bruce Hornsby, and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry.
When you’re ready for a break from the sun and sand but not quite ready to say good-bye to the strip, Hampton’s largest arcade center is a worthy destination. Gamers of all levels adore this place, which offers just the right kind of throwback fun.
What Hampton Beach, NH, hotels and inns have you stayed at?