Where is there better to spend time this summer than some of New England's best beaches with boardwalks? From arcades to top-notch restaurants, you'll always have something to do along these ocean-side destinations. If you're ready for some of the best salt-water taffy around and live entertainment you can get down to, we recommend penciling these stops into your road map to summer fun. Join us as we visit our five favorite beaches and boardwalks this season!
1. Old Orchard Beach Pier and Boardwalk, Maine
The fun is endless at Old Orchard Beach (1 Old Orchard St.), with a classic wooden pier offering numerous food, shopping, and entertainment options, and the seaside Palace Playground, an amusement park just off the sand—the only one of its kind left in New England. The city of Portland is not even 20 minutes away so you can have lunch on the beach and dinner in the city. Nothing beats a ride on a rollercoaster seaside and getting your first OOB bumper sticker!
2. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
There’s so much to do at Hampton Beach (Ocean Blvd., Hampton) you’ll want to return multiple times throughout the summer. So easy to get to with plenty of parking, this spot is great for families! In addition to shops and restaurants just off the sand, this boardwalk also features an arcade, mini golf, a casino, and even laser tag. Although there’s a classic New England feel, the bathrooms and other amenities are renovated and modern. Pack enough stuff to last you the entire day because you won't want to miss the weekly firework show!
3. Nantasket Beach, Hull, Massachusetts
Although it’s about to undergo a 10-year, $78 million restoration, Nantasket Beach (Rte 3A, Hull) is a close-to-the-city gem where you can still find skee-ball, salt water taffy, fried clams, and the historic Paragon Carousel. On a hot summer day, thousands of people will flock to this beach, so you can expect to pay a premium for parking. Get there early to claim your spot! And seriously, the lines may be long but the fried clams are worth the wait!
4. Winnipesaukee Pier at Weirs Beach, New Hampshire
On historic Winnipesaukee Pier (263 Lakeside Ave., Weirs Beach), you’ll find classic arcade games, shops, ice cream stands, and typical beach food like fried dough and pizza. Ever so popular among families as a summer vacation spot! If you’re looking for more upscale fare, there are sit-down seafood restaurants overlooking the lake, too. Some of these popular dining spots are open all year long so you can even visit then when you hit the slopes this winter!
5. Ocean Beach Park, New London, Connecticut
With mini golf, waterslides, a pool (an added bonus for those who don't want to be salty), and a boardwalk with shops and restaurants, it’s no wonder the half-mile, sugar sand Ocean Beach Park (98 Neptune Ave., New London) was named one of the best in the U.S. by National Geographic. Also known for being quite popular, get there early to claim your spot on the sand or poolside!
Reapply your sunscreen and head over to New England's prized destinations for the ultimate fun this summer. Devour the details of these classic establishments and find your favorite beach and boardwalk!