Seacoast Attractions Near UNH

January 05, 2015
New England foliage on a lake

NH Seacoast Activities

Cliché, yes, but the real question to ask is “What does the NH Seacoast not have to offer?" You did your research and chose University of New Hampshire Conferences and Catering for your function or event. Great choice, but that was the easy part!

Whether you’re having family fly in from all over the country for your wedding, or your company has scheduled a weeklong conference, you are going to want to experience the wealth of things to do and places to see throughout the scenic Seacoast of NH and Maine. It would take years to soak in all of what the Seacoast has to offer, but you are only visiting for a short time. Check out a few of the following places, and you’ll have the itch to visit the Seacoast again.

Beaches and Parks

Hampton Beach is New Hampshire’s most popular sandy spot, featuring a well-maintained beach accompanied by a happening boardwalk full of restaurants, bars, and shopping. There are regular fireworks shows, a half-shell stage for free live entertainment, and if the timing is right, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the famous sand sculpture competition.

Wallis Sands Beach and Jenness Beach, both located in Rye, NH, are much smaller and quieter than Hampton Beach. Scenic and full of history, they are the perfect place to go for a quiet walk, have a picnic, or just relax on the beach and wade into the ocean.

History and Art

Discover Portsmouth, operated by the Portsmouth Historical Society, is the gateway to the historical, cultural, and artistic facets of this beautiful city. With a mission to stimulate the study of Portsmouth history, Discover Portsmouth is a great place to start your historical journey through the Port City.

Interested in nautical history? Check out the USS Albacore Submarine Museum in Portsmouth. Guided tours are offered aboard the vessel, which is the most advanced pre-atomic submarine ever constructed. The Kittery Historical and Naval Society sports nautical artifacts and old town memorabilia such as authentic photographs, and ancient tools. The Portsmouth Harbor Light is a stunning 48-feet-tall lighthouse marking the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor.

Fan of architecture? Be sure to visit the Jackson House, which is the oldest wood-frame house in New Hampshire. You may also be interested in the Wentworth-Gardener House, which has been called “the most perfect specimen of Georgian architecture”.

If the arts are more your thing, visit Worldly Goods in Portsmouth. Locally owned, this gallery features the finest of contemporary American arts and crafts. Take a stroll through Prescott Park and the immense flower gardens. If you are lucky enough to be in the Seacoast area during the Prescott Park Arts Festival, you're in for a treat!

Shopping and Entertainment

Looking for a good deal on the latest fashions? The Kittery Outlets are for you. Located just over the Piscataqua River Bridge in Kittery, Maine, there are more than 120 stores, from Adidas to Zumiez, so it would be hard not to find something worth buying! Downtown Portsmouth is the place to visit for boutique shopping. Just to name a couple, Serendipity carries trendy fashions and outlandish accessories, and Prelude imports personal care products from around the world.

You can’t beat live music on a beautiful summer night. Stop by the Gaslight in Portsmouth for a drink at the outdoor bar and listen to some local tunes. While you’re visiting the Seacoast, be sure to check out the lineups at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom. Big name bands and acts regularly tear down the house at this intimate concert venue.

The Music Hall in downtown Portsmouth NH is considered one of the best performing arts venues in the area with famous authors and artists regularly performing.

Wine & Spirits

If you appreciate fine wine or the art of producing high quality, distilled spirits, Flag Hill Winery and Distillery in Durham, N.H., has been perfecting their fine wine for more than 20 years. Located just minutes from the UNH campus, Flag Hill has the unique distinction of becoming the Granite State’s first distillery in 2004.

Learn how vodka is made, sample New Hampshire’s finest homemade wines, take a walk through the vineyard, or enjoy a picnic right on their scenic grounds.

Food and Beer

There are more restaurant seats in Portsmouth than there are people! This can make choosing a daunting task, but here are a few places where you can’t go wrong:

  1. Jumpin’ Jays Fish Café is perfect for the seafood lover, located 2 blocks from Market Square.
  2. The River House’s chowder has been voted best in the city three years running, to go along with their beautiful deck overhanging the Piscataqua River.
  3. Old Ferry Landing has great fried seafood baskets, and an equally impressive deck facing the Portsmouth tugboats.
  4. If you are looking for a light meal, stop into Moxy for sharable tapas and locally grown produce.
  5. If you are with a special someone and would like to go “over-the-top” make reservations at the Wellington Room. Exquisite dining, an intimate atmosphere, and breath taking view of the harbor will surely make your night memorable.
  6. If you are willing to cross the bridge into Kittery, crack some shells at Warren’s Lobster House. This destination, known far and wide, offers a casual family atmosphere and fresh Maine lobster. Mmmm…lobster.

Who doesn’t love a cold beer on a hot summer day? Portsmouth has some great craft breweries that are worth a taste test! The Portsmouth Brewery is New Hampshire’s original brew/pub where you can grab a bite and sample their dynamic list of craft beers. The Red Hook Brewery is the largest Seacoast brewery, offering daily tours and generous samplings for the beer lover in you. There is also the Smuttynose Brewery, New Hampshire’s leading craft brewer, which offers tours by appointment.

Family Friendly Attractions

Visiting the Seacoast with the kids? You’ll have no problem keeping them busy. Daily whale watches leave Portsmouth HarborWater Country, New England’s largest waterpark, is located on Route 1 (Lafayette Road) just a hop, skip and a jump outside of downtown Portsmouth.

Just three miles from the UNH campus is Wagon Hill Farm, a beautiful 139-acre property popular for hiking, dog walking, kayaking, and in the winter time, sledding and snowshoeing! Check with one of our representatives to find out if your stay coincides with one of the farm’s summer concerts.

The Children’s Museum of NH in nearby Dover is New Hampshire’s largest children’s museum and offers dozens of interactive and educational exhibits. Dinosaurs, music, history, geography – you name it, it’s all there and presented in a perfect blend of fun and education.

Strawbery Banke, in downtown Portsmouth, NH, is a blast from the past featuring restored homes, and actual working artisans to provide a realistic feel of historical New England.

York’s Wild Kingdom, in York, Maine, is multiple days’ worth of fun in itself, with a petting zoo, family friendly rides, a rare white Bengal tiger, elephants, kangaroos, you name it! Free parking and the beach, along with dining and shopping, within walking distance make a trip to the zoo fun for the whole family.

You may want to spend a relaxing evening at the ball park and catch a Seacoast Mavericks Baseball game at Leary Field in Portsmouth, and if it’s raining, why not stop by Regal Cinemas in Newington and take in a 3D movie with the kids.

Contact University Conferences and Catering for information on any of our services, or for more information on things to do while you’re working with us!

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