Beaches in New Hampshire provide the locale for many exciting experiences. There is water everywhere in the Granite State, offering a wide variety of outdoor recreation and water activities to all visitors. There is a spectacular Atlantic Ocean coastline on the western border, beautiful scenic lakes, and pristine rivers across the state. You’ll find great beaches in New Hampshire on all these bodies of water.
North of the Lakes Region are the rugged White Mountains, with runoff filling area lakes and sustaining pristine rivers. The rivers are excellent for white water rafting in the spring (for the experienced only) and peaceful floating in the summer and autumn. These provide good riverside camping areas and there are excellent secluded New Hampshire beaches along their courses, both in state parks and on national forest lands. These are the best beaches in New Hampshire if you want to swim in a wilderness area, catch glimpses of wildlife, and enjoy exploring the rocky riverbanks as the clear mountain waters rush by.
There are more than 270 lakes and ponds in the Lakes Region center of the state. This is a prime destination for New Hampshire vacations and provides hundreds of beaches in New Hampshire for visitors, perhaps thousands if you count the private stretches of sand serving rental cabins and campgrounds on the mainland shores as well as on the hundreds of islands. Step into any dining place or stop people at any of the attractions in this region and ask a question about which are the best beaches in New Hampshire and you will start a lively discussion among the lake devotees. Perhaps the most popular is Weirs Beach, which is located in the town of the same name. The entire town is one of the regional attractions, with nightclubs, dance halls, concert venues, arcades, and restaurants. Charming Victorian bed and breakfast inns line the lakefront wooden boardwalk, and this is where you can board the historic M/S Mount Washington for scenic cruises around the lake. Weirs Beach is a public beach with a huge stretch of sand at the mouth of a canal leading to Paugus Bay and the smaller Lake Winisquam.
On the western border with Vermont
is the Connecticut River, with New Hampshire beaches and state parks dotting
its course. This river feeds Lake Sunapee and a number of smaller lakes located
near Hanover, and all
of these provide even more beaches.
If you want ocean enjoyment, then you’ll probably find that the best beaches in New Hampshire are located along the historic seacoast near Portsmouth. While this region is known for its rugged and rocky coastline, you will also find numerous New Hampshire beaches here, including very long sandy stretches. Vacations here give you access to deep-sea fishing, whale watching cruises, ocean kayaking, and all the attractions lining the beaches. Three of the most popular of these beaches are North Beach, located appropriately on the far northern part of the coast near the border with Maine, and Rye Beach a little further south, and Hampton Beach near Seabrook and the Massachusetts border. All of these beaches that stretch for miles offer entertainment, historic sites, great dining, and plenty of fun in the sand. Numerous resorts, New Hampshire hotels, and beachside cottages provide lodging.