NH’s Seacoast in the Off-Season


View along Route 1A in Rye

If you’ve visited New Hampshire’s Seacoast during the summer, you may be familiar with scenic Route 1A, the stretch of road that hugs the state’s petite coastline, from Portsmouth to Seabrook.  The views along this stretch are, in a word, stunning.  As summer is an incredibly popular time to visit this part of the state, the roads, as you might imagine can get a bit crowded.  Why not treat yourself to some of that spectacular scenery, during the off-season.  That’s just what I did, and I discovered winter is a wonderful time to take a leisurely drive and enjoy the picture perfect scenery, but with a little less congestion.


Sure, it is a little bit colder during the winter months, but the scenery is still picture perfect. I started my trek in Portsmouth.  I didn’t go to far without making my first stop.  Yup, a cup of coffee at The Golden Egg, a popular breakfast and lunch spot among the locals (and they had my favorite blend: flavored coffee)!

The Golden Egg Coffee Cup

The Golden Egg Coffee

You can access 1A right when you leave the Golden Egg.  Head south toward Odiorne Point State Park in Rye.  If it’s a chilly day, grab your mittens, hat and warm coat, and take some time to see the park. It’s a great place to explore.  There are a number of paths around the park and there are spots where you can walk along the rocky shoreline.



Odiorne Point State Park

Odiorne Point State Park

After you’ve gotten a good dose of sea air, head back out on the road.  You won’t go too far though without making another stop.  The next place I stopped to admire the view was Wallis Sands State Beach.  I pretty much had the beach to myself, except for seeing an occasional seagull or two, which is another bonus to visiting during this time of year.



Not far from Wallis Sands, is Petey’s. A hot place for seafood in the summer, but super popular in the off-season too.  The day I stopped by the parking lot was packed.  There are some really cool spots here for photo opps.  So even if you’re not hungry it’s worth the stop!


Back on the route, wind your way down Ocean Boulevard (1A) through Rye, onto Rye Harbor State Park, and North Hampton.  Find a place to  pull off and park your car.  Then meander along Little Boar’s Head Scenic Walk.  You’ll have a fantastic view out to the Atlantic and will also be walking right nearby some of the beautiful mansions that line this stretch of the road.


Route 1A in Rye


Rye Harbor State Park


Rye Harbor

One of the cool things to see along New Hampshire’s coast during the winter time is the surf scene.  New Hampshire has a vibrant four-season surfing scene, with winter providing some pretty awesome swells!  While the ocean was fairly calm the day I visited, it’s something to be watching for as your traveling through!


North Hampton


North Hampton – Little Boar’s Head Scenic Walk


Along Little Boar’s Head Scenic Walk

Hampton Beach State Park

After enjoying the peaceful calm of ocean waves crashing on the rocks, head south again to Hampton and Hampton Beach State Park. This is another great place to stop and enjoy a walk on the beach.  Take a look around, how often is it that you have this place to yourself!

Wrap up your drive by heading south to Seabrook.  If you’ve worked up an appetite from all that sightseeing and ocean air, Brown’s and Markey’s both in Seabrook are open this time of year! Consider stopping in for a bite to eat.

So, while the weather can be a bit brisk in winter, bundle up and enjoy the sights.  After all, beach days aren’t just reserved for the summertime!

















2018-08-27T13:29:05-04:00Tags: , , , |


  1. Dorothy January 14, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Nice photos, but would be easier to view them with the correct orientation. Previous posts have the same issue and readers may not return.

    • kneilsen January 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Hi Dorothy, Thank you for your feedback. We are working on some issues with the WordPress platform and hope to have it fixed today. Appreciate you getting in touch.

  2. Vicki Walker June 12, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Not sure this is where I should type this, but my husband and I are satisfying my bucket list of visiting all 50 states. I have 5 along the eastern seaboard. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maryland and Delaware are the states I want to see. We are seniors and want to see the seaboard and some special sights as we go. As of now looks like we might come into Manchester and rent a car. We will drive to Vermont and then back to NH and then go down to Rhode Island , Delaware and Maryland and fly home from there. We are looking for places to go that are special to each state, not to vigorous, we both love the water and historical things. We have been told to drive on highway 1. Is around August 22-29 a good time for your area?
    Thanks for your help and look forward to visiting your beautiful state.

Comments are closed.