Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Hampton Beach, NH

  • Published 2022/11/15

New England is known throughout the United States for its cultural and historical treasures.

However, it’s also home to breathtaking coastal communities that thrive along the vast Atlantic Ocean.

The best example would be New Hampshire’s small village district, Hampton Beach.

This small community has a vibrant beach community with sprawling entertainment and leisure.

Hampton Beach is a census-designated area in New Hampshire’s Rockingham County, widely known across the region as a beach resort town.

It also serves as the busiest beach community statewide.

So, what awaits you in this popular beach destination in New England?

Well, most of Hampton Beach’s attractions and activities are mostly happening along the scenic Ocean Boulevard.

There are many things to do in Hampton Beach.

Whether you’re a beach lover or a casual tourist, you will enjoy its century-old casino, restaurants, and shops that offer something for everyone.

Not to take this long, here are the 20 best things to do in Hampton Beach, NH:

Take a Dip at the Hampton Beach State Park

Aerial view of Hampton Beach State Park

Wangkun Jia /

The entire Hampton Beach State Park spans 50 acres and is situated on the southeastern tip of New Hampshire’s peninsula.

Swimming would be the best activity in this area, but more awaits you there.

You can surf, parasail, fish, camp, or stroll through the white sand beach and appreciate its beauty.

View of the clean sand of Hampton Beach State Park

Wangkun Jia /

In addition, the entire state park has all essential amenities, such as lifeguards, public information offices, pavilions, public restrooms, playgrounds, and first aid.

There’s no better way to introduce yourself to Hampton Beach than to head straight to its famous beach and coastline upon arriving.

Hampton Beach State Park's shore

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Spot Migratory Birds at the Hampton Salt Marsh Conservation Area

The Hampton Salt Marsh Conservation Area, situated on the northern part the Hampton Beach, is a wildlife conservation spot known for birdwatching activities.

Also considered as an estuary, the Hampton Salt Marsh Conservation boasts a scenic marshland teeming with wildlife.

The entire conservation is open to everyone who wants to visit there.

It has trails and a birdwatching area to spot numerous migratory bird species such as Canada Goose, Mallard, American Black Duck, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Glaucous Gull, and Peregrine Falcon.

The establishment of the Hampton Salt Marsh Conservation Area was the culmination of Hampton Beach’s conservation-minded locals, who recognized the area to conserve their natural resources and wildlife.

Overall, this conservation area is a cool place to visit for a different activity in Hampton Beach.

Discover Ocean Life at the Blue Ocean Society

The Blue Ocean Society is a fascinating place to check out along Ocean Boulevard if you’re interested in learning more about marine life.

The group operates the Blue Ocean Discovery Center with numerous water tanks filled with various marine invertebrates and marine plant species that are interesting to check out.

In addition, the Blue Ocean Society offers educational tours hosted by its educators, making it a must-visit place, especially for kids.

Furthermore, it has a separate exhibit for maritime history, featuring memorabilia and artifacts collected from the New Hampshire region.

Lastly, other activities you can join at the Blue Ocean Society are beach cleanups, whale watching, and marine debris research.

Do Whale Watching with Al Gauron Deep’s Open Sea Charters

Hampton Beach is also a popular destination for open sea charters, which mainly focuses on fishing and whale watching activities.

One of the most trusted open sea charter companies in Hampton Beach is the Al Gauron Deep’s Open Sea Charters located along Ocean Boulevard.

This family-owned company has been operating in Hampton Beach since 1934.

The company has a fleet of charter boats that takes tourists to the Atlantic Ocean for whale watching and fishing charter.

Its largest ship, the Northern Star, can accommodate more than 120 passengers.

Meanwhile, the smaller White Star can fit around a hundred passengers.

If you want to get a closer look at the gentle giants of the ocean or perhaps want to experience fishing charters on the Atlantic, contact the Al Gauron’s Deep Open Sea Charters.

Watch Exciting Concerts at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

A band performing in Hampton Beach Casino

Michael Borkson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the best features of the Hampton Beach Casino is its Ballroom, which happens to be a popular concert venue.

If you’re in Hampton Beach, your visit won’t be complete if you miss a concert there.

As a rite of passage, make sure to watch a concert at this popular venue in Hampton Beach.

Performers in Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

Gerry, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In addition, the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom also hosts other shows such as comedy shows, stage plays, and more.

Hampton Beach Casino’s former owner John Dineen established the Casino Ballroom in 1927 as an additional entertainment feature that fits around 5,000 people.

Buy a Brand New Surfboard at the Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co

Still located along Ocean Boulevard, the Cinnamon Rainbow Surf Co is a popular surf gear shop in Hampton Beach that’s been in business since 1983.

The family-owned shop is known throughout Hampton Beach for its top-notch surfboards, wetsuits, paddleboards, surf apparel, and accessories.

This shop has already served countless local and visiting surfers who look for good-quality surfing essentials before hitting the waves.

Recently, the Cinnamon Rainbows Surf Co got chosen as the top five surf shops in the entire United States by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

With that in mind, this shop is worthy of checking out while you’re in Hampton Beach.

Buy Souvenirs at Mrs. Mitchell’s Gift Shop

Mrs. Mitchell’s Gift Shop along Ocean Boulevard has been one of the most popular shops for novelty items in Hampton Beach since 1966.

Founded by George and Freda Mitchell, this family-owned gift shop in Hampton Beach is the perfect place to buy souvenirs to take home from your travel there.

The shop itself has an inspiring story after being gutted by fire in 2010.

It reopened in 2011 and maintained its reputation to sell a top-notch selection of novelty items, gifts, and apparel.

So, if you’re looking for unique souvenir pieces from your Hampton Beach travel, Mrs. Mitchell’s Gift Shop is your go-to place.

Learn History at the James House Museum

The James House Museum is a must-visit place in Hampton if you want to take a closer look at a genuine ‘’first period” colonial structure in New Hampshire.

The house was constructed for Benjamin James way back in 1723, situated along Towle Farm Road in Hampton, an eight-minute drive from Hampton Beach.

In addition, the James House has been regarded as one of the earliest surviving structures with a ‘first period’ colonial architecture, a common architecture for first settlers in New Hampshire.

The house’s entire structure is quite simple; it only has two rooms with a center chimney, but its history is significant.

The James House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 2002 to preserve its historical value.

Today, you can tour around the James House, which features a mini-museum, housing a collection of the original artifacts from 1723.

So, if you want to add history to your itinerary while touring around Hampton Beach, visit the James House Museum.

Tour Hampton Beach on a Scooter

If you want a fun and exciting way to discover Hampton Beach’s hidden gems and surrounding attractions, why not ride a scooter?

At Hampton Beach Scooter Rentals, you can rent its scooters hourly, half a day, or full-day with varied but very affordable rates.

It’s a more convenient way to tour through Hampton Beach’s streets, especially the Ocean Boulevard, teeming with restaurants, hotels, bars, and shops.

If you’re tired of walking, this is your go-to ride to take you to Hampton Beach’s best attractions.

Its shop is located along Ocean Boulevard.

Try Your Luck at the Hampton Beach Casino

Exterior of Hampton Beach Casino

Wangkun Jia /

The Hampton Beach Casino is not your typical casino; it’s also an important historical location in the area.

This casino has been running since 1899, making it one of the oldest casinos in New Hampshire.

Aside from being an entertainment establishment, the Hampton Beach Casino has many activities to enjoy.

The casino is also known for its casino ballroom, packed with regular concerts.

In addition, the casino along Ocean Boulevard fronts Hampton Beach’s beautiful coastline that is teeming with activities and leisure.

Whether you’re trying your luck on the casino’s games and machines or perhaps want entertainment or leisure, the Hampton Beach Casino has something for everyone.

Historically, the casino has been passed its ownership numerous times over the century, with each ownership bringing something new to its patrons and visitors.

Currently, the casino is under Sal Lupoli’s ownership, aiming to bring in new exciting features in this local icon.

Learn Hampton Beach’s Backstory with Hampton Historical Society

The Hampton Historical Society manages numerous historical sites, buildings, and museums across Hampton and Hampton Beach.

One of its most notable historical attractions is the Tuck Museum.

It is located along Park Avenue in Hampton, a five-minute drive from Hampton Beach.

The group also offers historical tours through Hampton and Hampton Beach’s historical sites, which is an enlightening way to appreciate the area’s rich history, heritage, and culture.

In addition, the group will take you to various exhibits, collections, and artifacts mostly housed in the Tuck Museum.

These exhibits feature the artifacts from the earliest inhabitants or pioneers of New Hampshire to the current generation.

Whether you’re a history buff or a simple tourist, the Hampton Historical Society is a must-visit group in Hampton/Hampton Beach Area to learn its rich backstory.

Walk along the Scenic Boardwalk

To get a better view of Hampton Beach’s beautiful coastline, check out its boardwalk, which gives you a whole new perspective of its natural beauty.

However, Hampton Beach’s boardwalk is not your average wooden structure.

Instead, locals call the wide space between the parking area and the beach their ‘boardwalk.’

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful place to visit, especially for those who want a peaceful afternoon or morning while enjoying the sea breeze and sceneries.

Once you’re finished strolling through the boardwalk, you can head straight to the shops, bars, restaurants, and arcades across the street.

Enjoy Free Concerts at the Sea Shell Stage

The Sea Shell Stage is nestled in the middle of Hampton Beach’s beautiful coastline.

It is a popular venue for free musical concerts and other entertaining shows that you should not miss in Hampton Beach.

It particularly holds shows at night, which many locals and visitors of all ages love to watch.

More reasons to watch shows at the Sea Shell Stage is because of its free admission while it’s adjacent to New Hampton’s beautiful beach area.

Various musicians perform there from the country, modern, and other music genres that offer wholesome entertainment for the whole family.

If you’re up for some night concerts in Hampton Beach, the Sea Shell Stage is the best place to go.

Watch the Awesome Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic

The annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic happening every Labor Day weekend is a must-see event in Hampton Beach.

More than 200 tons of sand are used to build various sculptures from participants that are just simply amazing to watch.

Once the participants’ respective sculptures are completed, you can take a closer look and even take pictures of them for a day before the judging.

Amazingly, these sculptures are not your average sandcastles; the participants intricately build various designs from faces, bodies, landscapes, etc., which is just fascinating to watch.

So, when you’re in Hampton Beach during Labor Day weekend, make sure to check out the annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic.

Get Spooked Out with the Haunted Island Path Road

To complete your Hampton Beach visit, make sure to join the spooky Haunted Island Path Road.

It takes you to the creepiest places on Hampton, Hampton Beach, and other locations in New Hampshire.

It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you should not miss if you’re brave enough to join fellow adventurers in this spooky tour around the region.

You will visit several haunted places in Hampton Beach and Hampton with various spooky stories from the tour guides.

Overall, this is the ultimate haunted road trip in New Hampshire that is worth trying out, but make sure to bring someone with you if you’re easily spooked out.

Book an Overnight Stay and Enjoy the Meals at Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn

Exterior of the Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie's Inn

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the lovely coastal town of Hampton, New Hampshire, there is a family-run restaurant and inn called The Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn.

Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn started as a business on Hampton Beach, just down the road.

They quickly developed a following of devoted patrons and friends by blending a welcoming, informal ambiance with great local seafood and family specialties.

View the different menu options they have, including the bar menu, the restaurant menu, the early bird menu, and the gluten-free menu.

This New England inn, created in 1740, still provides warm hospitality to visitors worldwide.

They have preserved the beauty of the period in which their house was established by decorating guestrooms in colonial style.

Test Your Luck at Ocean Gaming Casino

The greatest charity gaming is available at Hampton Beach’s Ocean Gaming Casino, headquartered at 81 Ocean Boulevard.

Nightlife, entertainment, alluring residents, and gaming opportunities at Ocean Gaming Casino draw tourists from everywhere.

Their poker area and casino show a stunning view of the lovely Atlantic Ocean.

The casino features two dozen poker tables and games like Roulette, Blackjack, and Craps.

Accessible seven days a week, gates open at 11:00 am, and gambling begins at noon.

The location is ideal for business gatherings, birthday celebrations, bachelor parties, and other parties!

Purchase Assortments of Chocolate at Huckleberry’s Candies

Almost every day from 10 am to 6 pm, Huckleberry’s Candies is open so everyone can delight in their sweet tooth.

They provide plenty of sweets, seasonal items, maple products, candies without nuts, and tons of holiday treats.

Browse through their exclusive sweet dessert selections, including peanut brittle, salted giant cashews, fruit slices, sugar mints, and more!

A personalized chocolate box is a wonderful present for anybody.

It is possible to select from Handmade Custom Chocolate Assortments, Pre Assorted Gift Boxes, Chocolate Truffles, and other chocolate-related goodies.

Expect to Have a Fun Time at Captain’s Cove Adventure Golf

The stunning waterfall at Captain’s Cove Adventure Golf establishes the tone for more than just a few enjoyable rounds of difficult mini-golf.

It’s a getaway to a stunning maritime theme park with magnificent landscaping, luscious fields, flowing streams, picture-perfect coves, and meandering, rolling walkways.

Discovering shipwrecks and other maritime riches is an adventure.

Sand and water traps, tricky twists, crafty hazards, and some strange things will be in your path.

Visit the most thrilling mini-golf course on the Seacoast and indulge in ice cream while you’re there.

They gladly provide Dippin Dots, slushies, and every one of Blake’s Ice Cream’s top flavors.

Fill Your Tummy with a Delicious Meal at the 401 Tavern

The 401 Tavern, a beautiful seaside town diner, and tavern on Route 1 in central Hampton, New Hampshire, was first constructed in the 1600s.

It offers a variety of settings and meal options.

They take pleasure in serving consistently excellent pub grub and comfort food, a wide variety of constantly-evolving drinks, an enormous selection of beer on tap, and the warmest quality of service.

Delight even in the simplest pleasures life offers, such as delicious food and eating with friends and family.

They are accessible from 11:30 am to 1:00 am, Monday through Sunday.

Although they generally prefer you stop inside and spend some time with them, takeout and delivery are possible.

Final Thoughts

Hampton Beach is nothing short of spectacular because of its pristine beach, lively community, and tons of exciting activities to do.

This small community is worthy of a quick vacation to shake off stress and anxiety.

With so many things to do in Hampton Beach, you’re guaranteed to have a blast.

Hopefully, you’ll find time to share this post on your social media, friends, and fellow travelers.

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