Of all the places that you can possibly go on vacation, heading to charming Hampton Beach, New Hampshire is one of the very best options -- especially if you are traveling with your family and want to entertain your kids. From time on a beautiful beach to great golfing, food festivals, and casinos, there is something for all ages here. We put together this list of ten activities that we think you shouldn't miss on your trip to Hampton Beach this summer.
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Try These 10 Fun Things To Do In Hampton Beach
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1. Visit Tuck Museum
Home of the Hampton Historical Society, the Tuck Museum consists of many structures, exhibits, and artifacts that display the rich history of Hampton Beach. Visitors can browse through old paintings, postcards, and photographs from the area or view the 18th Century Historical Garden, a small flower and herb garden that resembles the type of garden a woman in the 18th Century would have planted. Structures on the grounds include an old barn, school house, millstones and monuments, and a beach cottage.
2. Hit the Greens
Whether you’re a novice golfer or a seasoned professional, Hampton Beach has a place for you to work on your skills. For the true beginners, head to Buc’s Lagoon Mini Golf for pirate-themed putting courses. Their food court also has homemade apple crisp sundaes, ice cream topped with bacon, and more delicious treats. Casino Mini-Golf is another local favorite, as its indoor facilities are great for any type of weather and still look out over the water. Find them upstairs at the Casino at Hampton Beach. For the golfing veterans, head to Exeter Country Club, one of the country’s oldest small courses. Enjoy a round of golf here and feel the ocean breeze as you attempt to master the challenging fairways. There’s also Sagamore-Hampton Golf Course, Portsmouth Country Club, and a few other courses that are within easy driving distance from Hampton Beach.
3. Eat Your Way through the Seafood Festival
Hampton Beach’s annual Seafood Festival offers some of the best tasting seafood around. The festival features 60 of the Seacoast’s top restaurants, arts and crafts stands, a 200-foot beer tent, and, of course, a lobster eating contest. There are also events for kids, three entertainment stages, and other food vendors for the non-seafood eater. Make your way to Hampton Beach from September 8-10th and you’ll get to enjoy one of the hottest events of year.
4. See Some Awesome Sand Sculptures
For over 15 years, Hampton Beach has hosted the annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic, and this year is no exception. The competition takes place from June 15th-17th and offers an impressive cash prizes of a combined $15,000. Contestants come from across the nation to compete in this event, and the finished products are always incredible to see. Check out this unique event and experience Hampton Beach’s most well known competition.
5. Entertain Your Inner Child
At Hampton Beach, you’ll have not one but two chances to entertain your inner child at an arcade. Playland Arcade, located right on Ocean Boulevard in the middle of the oceanfront action, offers the largest selection of pinball machines in Hampton Beach. Just down the street on Ocean Blvd. is where you’ll find Funrama, the largest arcade in Hampton Beach. Whether you’re looking for skee ball, claw machines filled with stuffed animals, fake slot machines that spit out tickets, or even a classic Pac-Man machine, you’ll find it all at Funrama. Let your inner child out and check out these two arcades!
6. Head to the Marina
Feel like taking the boat out for a spin on the open water? Check out Hampton River Marina for all your boating needs. This place features 144 boat slips, dockside water and electric, and is located right next to Hampton Beach State Park. It’s also within easy walking distance to many restaurants, casinos, and the beach, so you won’t even need a car to get you here. The Hampton River Marina is the perfect place to dock your boat or launch out into the water on a warm, sunny day.
7. Browse Some Local Art
The Hampton Arts Network Gallery and Studio is a great place to spend an evening out on the town. Local artists display their work to the public starting in July. Head to the studio and gallery on July 9th from 6-8pm and join in on a free art class or watch a demonstration. Artists and members of the network create paintings, drawings, music, sculpture, photography, poetry, and so much more. You might even catch a culinary arts demonstration!
8. Enjoy the Water
One of the best ways to spend your time in Hampton Beach is on the actual beach! The Atlantic Ocean and miles of sandy shores are what you can expect here. Bring the beach towels, sand castle supplies, and sunscreen as you spend a day lounging ocean side. Don’t forget your favorite book, a picnic basket, and an umbrella to keep you happy during a full day in the sunshine.
9. Press Your Luck
Hampton Beach Casino is a top area attraction, and you’ll definitely want to check it out while you’re on vacation here. Not only does this place offer craps, roulette, BINGO, and poker, their restaurant also features a killer happy hour. Visit between 4-7pm and get some delicious appetizers for just $5.99. When you’re well fed, don’t forget to check out a concert at the casino ballroom. In the past, performers like Hall & Oats, Billy Idol, and Janis Joplin have graced the ballroom with their presence. Get your gambling fix, scratch your live music itch, and eat some delicious, cheap grub at Hampton Beach Casino.
10. Take a Cruise
Let local company, Al Gauron Fisheries, Inc., do all the work and take you out on the water. They specialize in all day, deep sea fishing trips, whale watching cruises, and Pirate Cruises. Take the kids on a pirate cruise and let them get their faces painted, play pirate-themed games, and interact with sea life. This two-hour ride is sure to be a blast, especially since they’ll get to shoot the kids cannon at approaching pirates! If you want a romantic getaway with a loved one, check out the company’s Fireworks Cruise. On this, you’ll get a narrated tour of the Isles of Shoals and then stop about a half-mile from Hampton Beach where you’ll get great view of fireworks on the beach.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.