It might surprise you that New Hampshire is known for having some of the best beaches in New England! New Hampshire isn’t typically the first place you think about for a beach destination, but there are several must-visit beaches that you don’t want to miss.
New Hampshire has the shortest shoreline on the Atlantic Coast, extending only 13-miles. It takes excellent care of the small area by providing clean, picturesque beaches. And don’t overlook New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. It has tons of large lakes offering fun beaches ideal for water fun.
If you’re looking for the best places to swim, boating, or beautiful beach scenery, NH is precisely the place to visit. Check out these 10 best beaches in New Hampshire.
Hampton Beach is the largest, most popular beach in New Hampshire. Even the locals consider it to be among the top beach in New England. The beach is located in the Hampton Beach district, which is a famous resort area.
Visit Hampton Beach during the summer, and you’ll find it filled with locals and tourists. It’s the busiest time for the beach, with lots of people sitting out at any time of day. It’s a family-friendly setting with fun things to do for all ages.
Hampton Beach is known for its soft, white sand leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the cleanest beaches you’ll visit in New Hampshire and is preserved thanks to its state park designation. It’s the most developed beach with visitor facilities like bathrooms and a lifeguard on duty during the summer season, and one of the best New Hampshire state parks.
You can enjoy a range of activities at Hampton Beach. Swimming and sunbathing are the favorite things to do. Take a stroll on the famous boardwalk while visiting Hampton Beach. The boardwalk lines the entire beach with snack bars, restaurants, shops, an arcade, and more. There are many beachfront hotels in the area.
Although North Beach is adjacent to Hampton Beach, it has a stark contrast to its neighbor. Since it’s on the northern end, away from the action, it’s more secluded for a tranquil beach experience.
Many people recognize North Beach as the place “where the wall begins.” Unlike Hampton Beach, the coast is rockier and significantly impacted by the tide. The best time to visit North Beach is during low tide, when the water reveals a lot more beach sand to hang out. During high tide, the water can reach all the way to the rocky shore.
North Beach is a quieter beach, even during the busy season. It’s an excellent place to escape in case Hampton Beach gets too crowded. You can enjoy many of the same activities, such as swimming and a picnic area. There are always people surfing in the ocean. Kids can have a lot of fun finding sea urchins on the rocky walls.
Be sure to catch a beautiful sunrise at the beach.
Visit New Hampshire’s Lakes Region and spend a beach day at Lake Winnipesaukee. It’s the largest lake in the state, with several beaches along the extensive shoreline. The most popular beach at the “Big Lake” is Weirs Beach. It’s a resort destination for the entire family to enjoy time on the beach.
Weirs Beach is located on the southern shore of the lake. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the famous Weirs Beach sign before reaching the beach area. It includes a boardwalk along Lakeside Ave. that has lots of shops, arcades, a fun center for kids, a drive-in theater, and more.
All ages will enjoy time at the beach. It’s a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. It has a public dock for boating. Kayaking and fishing are the most common boating activities at the lake. You can find boat rentals on-site to rent for the day. There are also picnic tables available to enjoy a meal on the beach.
Summer is the popular time to visit Weirs Beach. It has lifeguards on duty during the season. There are several nearby resorts. It also hosts a summer concert series every year.
Ellacoya State Park Beach
On Lake Winnipesaukee’s southwest shore, you’ll find the Ellacoya State Park. It’s a preserved section around the lake that offers many recreational activities. One of the highlights of visiting the state park is the beach.
The beach at Ellacoya State Park is smaller compared to Weirs Beach. It’s only 600-ft long, but the natural setting lined with the forest makes it one of the best beaches in New Hampshire. You’ll have plenty of room to lounge out on the sandy shore. The trees offer lots of shade on a sunny day or sit out in the rays to sunbathe before heading into the water.
Swimming and boating are the top things to do at Ellacoya State Park. Fishing is permitted where you can catch trout, bluegill, crappie, sunfish, and more. Additionally, there are picnic tables open to the public and a kid’s playground. There are nearby campgrounds for tents and RVs, so it’s a unique beach experience to wake upright on the beach.
There is a small fee to visit the beach since it’s located within a state park.
Wallis Sands State Beach
Discover one of New Hampshire’s hidden gems at the Wallis Sands State Beach. It’s a short drive away from Hampton Beach, so it’s an excellent alternative if it’s crowded. It’s a family-friendly beach where you’ll see lots of kids running around and families enjoying the scenic views.
Wallis Sands State Beach is located in the town of Rye. It’s a beautiful crescent-shaped beach with golden sands. It’s spotless, thanks to the preservation efforts of the Wallis Sands State Park. It also means that there is an entry fee to visit.
The beach has a main building where you’ll find a bathhouse with showers and a shop for snacks. You can enjoy a picnic at the designated tables or sit in the paved area to take in the views with the Isles of Shoals in the distance.
You’ll have a lot of fun spending time in the water at Wallis Sands State Beach. It has gentle waves that are great for kids learning how to surf or wade in the shallow area. There are rocky areas of the beach where you might encounter crabs and starfish.
Jenness Beach is a favorite beach destination in Rye. It makes an ideal vacation getaway spot to enjoy a relaxing beach setting with all of the beachfront rentals.
The beach is located on the Atlantic Coast and perfect for water activities. Swimming is always fun, especially when the water is warm during the summer months. It’s also a popular surfing spot. You find lots of people out surfing the perfect waves.
The family-friendly environment means that you can bring everyone down for a day at the beach. It has visitor facilities, including a bathhouse and a parking lot conveniently located in front of the beach. There’s plenty of parking since the beach never gets very crowded.
Bring along snacks to have a bite to eat at the picnic tables or go for a leisure stroll on the beach. Directly across the street from the beach is a surf shop to pick up equipment and rentals—also, an ice cream parlor for those hot New Hampshire days.
Jenness Beach has all the amenities you’d need, which makes it one of the best New Hampshire beaches.
Wellington State Beach
Newfound Lake is the largest freshwater lake in New Hampshire. It’s located within Wellington State Park near Bristol, NH. It’s one of the top beaches in the state where you can enjoy the sandy beach with lots of fun, recreational activities.
Wellington State Beach provides a scenic spot to enjoy a beach day. The clean, golden sands with views of forested mountains surrounding it are picturesque in any season. There are many hiking paths around the shore for fantastic views of the entire beach and the Cliff and Belle Islands inside the lake.
You can easily spend an entire day enjoying the beach. It’s one of the best places to swim because of the clear water. There are shallow areas that kids can play in, although the lake gets very deep in some parts.
Take advantage of the boat ramp and dock. It’s a popular place for boating. You can kayak around the lake for sightseeing or take out a fishing boat to see what you’ll catch.
Beachgoers can use the grills for cooking out during a picnic or grab a snack at the Snack Bar.
Echo Lake Beach
Adventure to the White Mountains, where you’ll discover Echo Lake. The lake has a forested shoreline which makes it one of the most scenic lakes in the state. It opens up to a sandy beach on the southern shore – a must-visit beach in New Hampshire.
Echo Lake Beach is located within the state park. It requires an entrance fee, but you can enjoy the clean beach and picnic facilities. It’s a family destination that also permits pets. The beach is open all year long but designates seasons for different activities.
The beach is a fantastic place to swim during the open season between mid-May to mid-September. It’s when you’ll have warm water and also lifeguards on duty for safety.
Other fun things to do at the beach include snorkeling, diving, boating, and fishing. These activities are year-round. Visitors can sit at the picnic tables located right on the beach for a lakefront lunch. When you need a break from the water, explore the scenic hiking trails extending from the beach for fantastic views of Echo Lake.
Odiorne Point Beach
Odiorne Point State Park is home to a unique beach worth checking out while visiting New Hampshire. The beach is located at Odiorne Point that has two sections. Each section is special and has different activities for beachgoers.
Located near Rye, it’s one of the favorite state parks to visit that offers lots of outdoor recreational activities and centers. The Odiorne Point Beach is always a highlight to visiting the state park. You can reach the beach by taking a nature walk along the shoreline, revealing the rocky coast and sandy beach.
The beach includes both areas – a rocky shoreline and a sandy region. Each section has a different experience.
It’s fun for kids and adults to climb over the rocks and see what kind of marine creatures you’ll find hidden within them. Crabs are commonly found here. During low tide, the water reveals tide pools.
The sandy beach is great for swimming in the ocean. It’s a clean beach with a gentle slope into the water and calm conditions for all ages. Boating and fishing are also accessible from Odiorne Point. Be sure to stick around for the beautiful sunsets.
Mt. Sunapee State Park Beach
Mount Sunapee State Park is one of the top state parks to visit. While exploring the park region, you can rest by the large lake at the foot of Mount Sunapee. The lake has one of New Hampshire’s best beaches.
The best time to visit Mt. Sunapee State Beach is during the summer and fall seasons. During the winter, it transforms into a ski resort. If spending a day at the beach isn’t enough, there are nearby campgrounds and a resort for overnight stays.
It’s an excellent destination for a beach getaway in New England. It busiest on the holidays and weekends when the beach fills up with a lot of people.
The large lake covers over 4,000 acres. It’s plenty of space to enjoy all the beach activities you could imagine. The clean water is great for swimming, kayaking, tubing, and fishing. Boat rentals are available on-site. Even if you don’t get in the water, you can enjoy the picturesque scenery with views of the mountain in the background. It’s great for all ages.
Mt. Sunapee State Beach has a picnic area with tables. Also, a bathhouse with a shower and changing rooms.
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Amy is the founder of New England with love. A proud Vermonter, she hopes to share her love of New England and help you find the best adventures in the region. Amy is also blogger/founder at Two Drifters, where she writes alongside her husband about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. When not working on websites, Amy is probably reading, cuddling with her husband, son, and cats, & drinking a maple latte.