Hampton Beach is New Hampshire’s most popular family vacation destination, not just because of its mile and a half by 150 yards of sand beach (groomed daily), but also because of its proximity to restaurants, snack bars, arcades, free summer concerts nightly at the bandshell, its Wednesday fireworks other attractions, and large, modern and clean bathhouses just steps across the boardwalk from the sand. Its population explodes from around 2500 in winter to more than 100,000 on summer weekends.
Hampton Beach was rated by the National Resources Defense Council as one of the Top Three Cleanest Beaches in the United States, and one of the Top 10 Values for Resorts in America. It is far from the only beach in New Hampshire, of course, but it certainly is the only beach with overnight accommodations and the many, many convenient amenities for families.
Getting to Hampton Beach.
Hampton Beach is an easy one-hour drive up I-95 from Boston, and an hour from Manchester via NH Route 101, literally straight to the end, at the beach, with no turns in between.
From Portland (an hour away on I-95) and points north, exit I-95 at Exit 2 onto 101 East and take it to the end. Turn right and you’re at the Ashworth by the Sea.
From Montreal and Quebec City, take I-89 or I-93 respectively to Manchester, turn east on NH 101 and take it straight to the ocean.