New Hampshire

One of the best things about New Hampshire is the state’s many beaches. The coastline stretches for miles and there are so many different types of beaches from soft sand to rocky cliffs, from long expanses to more intimate coves. Most of the well known beaches are located along the ocean, but there are plenty of great beaches to check out that dot the lakes and rivers across New Hampshire.

 

What makes New Hampshire beaches special?

Well, for one thing, it is illegal to use metal detectors when exploring NH’s coastline in search of buried treasures which means that you are more likely to find actual treasure on these shores – shells, driftwood, and other naturally occurring items. Some portions are even designated as ‘glass-free’ areas so visitors can enjoy the beauty of this state without having to worry about stepping on broken bits of glass. Another unique characteristic of many New Hampshire beaches is the presence of freshwater springs where fresh water bubbles up from beneath the surface creating habitats for freshwater clams known as quahog. The salinity levels here also differ from ocean water making them ideal places to find a variety of marine life.

New Hampshire’s Best Beaches

Below we will take a look at some of the most popular and beautiful beaches in NH: Hampton Beach State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, Salisbury Beach State Park, and Hampton Harbor.

Hampton Beach State Park

One of the most popular spots in New Hampshire with one mile (1.6 kilometers) of wide sandy beach that faces south-east on Long Island Sound; has lifeguards on duty during summer months; features public restrooms, showers and change houses as well as an amusement park.

Crescent Beach State Park

Beautiful crescent-shaped beach with warm shallow waters; located near the mouth of the Lamprey River in New Hampshire’s Great Bay Estuary. Public access to the park is limited by private land ownership along much of its shoreline however, other portions are accessible via boat or kayak only. A small parking lot adjacent to Route 286 provides vehicle access during the summer months when lifeguards are on duty; no swimming is allowed off the end of this point due to strong currents and undertow. Picnic area and restrooms available for use year-round; no fee required to enter the park during winter months (November 1st through April 30th).

Salisbury Beach State Park

The southern half of this beach has calm, shallow water and is popular with families; the northern half features larger waves and is often populated by college students looking for a wild time. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months; full facilities are located here including showers, change houses, food concession stands, picnic areas, and public restrooms.

Hampton Harbor

This long stretch of sandy beach is popular with swimmers as it features calm waters protected by large dunes that create a natural breakwater. There are no lifeguards on duty but there are picnic tables, grills, bathhouses, and freshwater showers available year-round for visitors to use along the waterfront. Parking lots adjacent to Route 1A serve as gateway access points to the beach.

Other Beaches Worth Visiting

Salmon Falls River

This beach is located in Portsmouth NH and features a section of the Piscataqua River that runs through the heart of this historic seaport. Visitors can access it from public parking areas along Water Street to enjoy panoramic views, fresh saltwater breezes, and calm waters for swimming. Beachgoers must remain on the seawall or grassy area at all times due to past incidents which have occurred when people tried to venture out onto the sandbar. There are no lifeguards on duty but grills, picnic tables, and restrooms are available here during summer months; no fee is required to enter the park during winter months (November 1st through April 30th).

Fletcher Beach State Park

This expansive stretch of sand is located about two miles south of Glen NH and is perfect for family gatherings; calm waters and mussel-free shoreline make it an ideal place for children to splash around. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months while a snack bar, picnic areas, and restrooms are available year-round at no charge. Parking lots adjacent to Route 16 serve as gateway access points to the beach. Public parking fees may be required during peak season or when lifeguards are on duty however, no fee is ever charged on the memorial/labor day weekend or during winter months (November 1st through April 30th).

Lake Massasecum Beach & Boat Launch

This quiet little beach on Lake Massasecum features calm water that is great for families and children. It has a boat launch located nearby which makes it popular with boaters, swimmers, and fishermen alike. Lifeguards are on duty during summer months while a concession stand, picnic areas, and restrooms are available year-round at no charge to the public – the parking lot is adjacent to Route 110 and serves as an entrance point to the beach.

Baxter Beach

Located in southern NH near the town of Seabrook this small stretch of sand is protected by protective dunes and offers visitors panoramic views of Monomonock Island. There is no lifeguard on duty but hikers will enjoy exploring trails that lead through the dunes; grills, public restrooms, and water fountains are found here all year round (no fee required to enter the park during winter months November 1st through April 30th). Public parking with direct access to the beach is found along Ocean Boulevard.

Beverly Beach State Park

This short stretch of sandy coastline located in southern NH near the Massachusetts state line features calm waters that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and boating activities. A lifeguard is on duty during summer months while a full range of facilities including showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and grills are available year-round at no charge; parking lots adjacent to Route 107 serve as gateway access points to the beach (no fee required to enter the park during winter months November 1st through April 30th).

New Castle Town Beach

An expansive stretch of sand on Little Harbor is located just south of New Castle Town Beach on Route 1A. It is protected by a rocky seawall and features calm waters which are great for paddling small kayaks or canoes. A snack bar, public restrooms, and parking lot adjacent to Route 124 serve as entry points to this beach. No fee is required during winter months (November 1st through April 30th).

Canobie Lake Park Beach

This small stretch of sand is found right next to the popular Canobie Lake Park Amusement park in Salem NH. There are no lifeguards on duty but there is a concession stand, bathhouses and picnic areas available from May to October at an admittance fee – there’s also a direct connection from the parking lot to the beach during this time (no fee required November 1st through April 30th).>

Lake Winnipesaukee Beach

This popular sandy stretch in Alton Bay features calm waters and is perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. There’s a small admission fee to enter the park but it includes parking, public restrooms, and showers; lifeguards on duty from late June until mid-August (11:30am-6:00pm) while boat tours, ice cream, picnic areas with grills, and shopping are available year-round at no admittance charge (during winter months November 1st through April 30th).

Kearsage Beach

An expansive stretch of sand here features calm waters that are great for swimming or boating activities. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months while showers, vending machines, picnic areas with grills, and snack bar are available year-round at no charge to visitors; parking fees do apply in season (Memorial Day through Labor Day) however, there is no fee required outside of summer months.

Killington Town Beach

Located at the base of Killington Resort, this long stretch of clean sand features calm waters that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Showers and restrooms are available year-round while vending machines, grills, and picnic areas with shade shelters are found in season (Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day) – visitors can also enjoy scenic chairlift rides to the top of Killington Peak; no fee is required to visit the town beach during winter months November 1st through April 30th.

Gunstock Mountain Resort Beach

This small stretch of shoreline is located near America’s second oldest 18 hole golf course on Route 11A. It features calm waters with a direct connection to the resort’s bike trails and many other outdoor activities; lifeguards on duty during summer months, public restrooms located near the beach house/cafeteria (open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day), grills and picnic areas with shade shelters available at an admittance fee (no fee required November 1st through April 30th).

Pinehollow Beach

This small stretch of sand is found on the southern end of Lake Winnipesaukee in Tuftonboro NH. The lake here contains mostly white cap waves making it great for surfing, paddling, or fishing – visitors can also find grills & table-shaded picnic areas as well as vending