The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

Loud, Lively Affordable Hampton Beach, N.H.

If you’re looking for a lower cost New England summer beach vacation, you just might want to “coast” into Hampton Beach, N.H.

Hampton Beach might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this honky-tonk, sometimes tacky travel destination has a few things going for it that are undeniably wonderful: a

beautiful stretch of ocean beach and lots of things to do. The beach, by the way, is exceptionally clean and long enough so that you can usually find your own spot. Just get there early on a summer day to ensure prime space!

This long-time popular New Hampshire seacoast vacation destination has arcade games, mini golf, fried dough galore, great restaurants with lobster and fried seafood, weekly fireworks displays, 80 free summer concerts, and a “gift” for featuring myriad souvenir shops.

Everyone has their favorite Hampton Beach memory. The stories I’ve heard dating back to high school have been either filled with lovely vacation stories or just plain ugly party tales. I liked best seeing comedian George Carlin perform many years ago at the Casino Ballroom over a couple glasses of my strongest preferred drink, tonic water with lime. Yes, I know, but on the plus side I remember everything with clarity so I can report it to you!

One of the advantages of Hampton Beach is that there’s most likely a vacation available for all budgets — that’s not always possible in other travel destinations. Hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions generally don’t fall into the upper price echelon — that’s why you see such a diversity of people come to Hampton Beach. Aside from a few dopes that tend to show off and behave on a subpar level, Hampton Beach is family-friendly the way it was, say, 30, 40 or 50 years ago.

If you just want to hear the bird chirping on your peaceful, quiet vacation, Hampton Beach is probably not for you. If, however, you think those overly expensive, for-the-“portfolio” coastal destinations are for the birds, we suggest you take flight to Hampton Beach!

Book a room in Hampton Beach at the lowest available rate

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