Hampton Beach Boardwalk for Summer Fun

Hampton Beach, NH is a popular vacation spot for a lot of New Englanders. During July and August, Hampton Beach boardwalk is packed with people and cars. The area is a peninsula surrounded by marshland, which means the tourist area is very densely populated. Subsequently, this is the major perk of vacationing here: all of the cottages are within walking distance to the beach and the boardwalk – you’ll never have to get in your car.

The beginning of the Hampton Beach boardwalk
The beginning of the Hampton Beach boardwalk

Walking down Hampton Beach Boardwalk

On a busy summer’s day, people cram the sidewalk roaming around Hampton Beach boardwalk, while the street is packed full of cars trying to find parking. Even with all of this congestion, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of Hampton Beach; there are so many stores and restaurants on this strip that crowds are not an issue.

Stores and shops on the boardwalk
Stores and shops on the boardwalk
Hotels and shops, Hampton Beach
Shops and hotels at Hampton Beach

The ocean side of the boardwalk (Ocean Blvd.) has more shops and restaurants, so it is the more crowded side. There are so many unique boutiques crammed into this tiny area, they range from your standard souvenir stores to tattoo parlors to art galleries. Also along this boardwalk is one of the main entrances to Hampton Beach State Park.

Beach entrance pagoda off the boardwalk
Beach entrance pagoda off the boardwalk

This is one of the few places that has public bathrooms on the boardwalk. Keep that in mind as you pass by it. The beach is great, the water is always a bit cold but it’s a clean, enjoyable beach.

Hampton Beach
Hampton Beach!
Hampton Beach near the hotels
The beach near the hotels

Another point of interest is the carnival games located near the Casino Ballroom. Just follow along Hampton Beach boardwalk and you’ll find them. They’re expensive to play, but have some decent prizes.

Carnival games on the boardwalk
The carnival games on the boardwalk
Carnival games
Winners at the carnival games

Food on the ‘Walk

There is a lot to choose from when it comes to food in Hampton Beach. Most of the food selections revolve around seafood or fried treats, but there are many restaurants and shacks to grab a bite.

Popular spot: Blink’s Fry Doe

Make your choice: Do you want to get take out and sit somewhere along the beach? Or do you want the whole dine-in experience? Hampton Beach has some great pizza, seafood and fried dough take out. A popular restaurant for dining-in is The Purple Urchin

Purple Urchin
Upstairs to the Purple Urchin
Dining room seating at Purple Urchin
Dining room seating, The Purple Urchin
The bar seating area, Purple Urchin
Bar seating at The Purple Urchin

The Purple Urchin serves burgers, wraps, seafood and steaks and normally their food is good. The last time I went, however, I ordered swordfish from their specials. It looked really appetizing when I got it, but it was rubbery and tasted like it was previously frozen (or very overcooked, either way it was not good).

Looks can be deceiving

Even though the food wasn’t that great, they do have some great ocean views. The drinks are pretty good though, at night The Purple Urchin has a hopping bar scene.

View of the ocean
The view from my seat

After Dinner

After you’ve eaten, take to the streets. There are so many shops where you can find a unique gift or cool trinket. Or start a night of bar hopping, there are more than a few interesting venues to grab a few beers. The best part of Hampton Beach and the Hampton Beach boardwalk is its walkability, so take full advantage of that.

Related Links:

Hampton Beach
Blink’s Fry Doe 
The Purple Urchin 
Purple Urchin Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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