Author: Hippo Press

Best Beach Boardwalk in America

Best Beach Boardwalk in America

Hampton Beach Named Best Beach Boardwalk in America

Voted by readers of Coastal Living Magazine

This upbeat New England village boasts a mighty boardwalk—and now it’s the must-visit beach boardwalk of the summer!

Every week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, our readers are voting for the best spots of the summer—and this week’s winner for the Best Beach Boardwalk is in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire!

Located almost midway between Portland, Maine, and Boston, Massachusetts, on New Hampshire’s short Atlantic coastline (less than 20 miles!), Hampton Beach is a charming destination both for a summer day-trip and a weeklong getaway. This old-school boardwalk boasts summer pleasures galore, with all the fresh seafood you can eat, a long stretch of shops facing the water, a wide sandy beach, and a world-famous sand sculpting competition.

The beachfront Sea Shell stage, a centerpiece of the 1.3-mile-long boardwalk, hosts free concerts all season long; another Hampton Beach hallmark, the Hampton Beach Casino, has offered classic arcade games to beachgoers of all ages since 1899. A swim in the crisp Atlantic Ocean here is the perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months, and, when you’re in Hampton Beach, there’s nothing better than a stop at Blink’s Fry Doe for a sweet treat after a day on the sand.

Words & Waves

Words & Waves

Writers showcase highlights sea-inspired writing

Four writers who have found creative inspiration at sea will read from some of their nautical works during “Beyond the Ship’s Log,” a writers’ showcase happening Sunday, Sept. 10, at The Word Barn, an intimate performing arts venue in Exeter.

The Word Barn will host the showcase in partnership with The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke, an offshoot of Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth that offers expanded maritime-related exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and programs.
“Being out on the water is an interesting vehicle for experiencing nature and life, and how do you capture what’s meaningful about those experiences?” said Caroline Piper, program director of the Boatshop, who proposed the idea to The Word Barn owner Sarah Anderson. “For some, it’s taking pictures; for some, it’s drawing or painting, and for others, it’s writing.”
The featured writers include Anderson, a poet and freelance writer; Nicholas Brown, a columnist; Erica Plouffe Lazure, a fiction writer; and Kate Garaffa, a blogger. Each will read from their writing for around 15 minutes and then, if time allows, the audience will have a chance to ask the writers questions.
Anderson said a number of her poems contain images or scenes reminiscent of her summers spent by the water and in boats. She hadn’t realized that her poetry had so many sea-inspired elements until she started looking through it after Piper asked if she’d be interested in reading at the event.
“It seems like certain images keep coming back and recur in my poetry, and [the sea] is one of them,” she said. “The whole poem isn’t necessarily sea-related but there are echoes of it throughout my work.”
The showcase is a prelude to The Boatshop’s workshop, “Beyond the Ship’s Log: Capturing the Spirit of your Adventures with the Written Word,” happening at Strawbery Banke on Sunday, Oct. 22. The day-long workshop will guide participants in writing about their impressions and thoughts about the sea and transforming those notes into memoir. It will include a 90-minute trip aboard the gundalow Piscataqua (weather permitting) as the basis for the workshop exercises.
Piper said the showcase is intended to give people who are interested in taking the workshop a taste of the type of writing they’ll be doing.
“Certainly when you have a memorable experience, the joy is being able to relive it and bring people along with you,” she said, “so we’re hoping this [showcase] will be a chance to travel alongside these four writers, and then be inspired to do it on your own.”
Anderson will instruct the workshop.
“Hopefully when people hear these stories [at the showcase], they’ll realize that they have their own stories they want to tell about their experiences by the water or on a boat,” Anderson said. “It’s exciting to hear new voices and see all of the different ways people can write about this theme.”
Summer is Heating Up!

Summer is Heating Up!

Hampton Beach Fire Show

Gather on the beach at the playground and let the Boston Circus Guild’s fire performers delight and amaze you with a fully choreographed, high-energy, live display of fire arts…featuring flame-wielding, fire-eating performers who spin, juggle and dance with blazing props.

These daredevils combine jaw-dropping stunts, graceful movement and just enough comedy to create an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages.

 

Date: September 16, 2017
Location: Hampton Beach, near Seashell stage
Time: 8:15pm

So Much to Sea!

So Much to Sea!

For three days each year on the weekend after Labor Day, Ocean Boulevard in Hampton transforms into a huge showcase of fresh seafood, with options from more than 60 local restaurants, a lobster roll eating contest and culinary workshops highlighting the foodie side of the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.

Dozens of artisan and craft vendors, live entertainment, beer tents, fireworks, skydiving demos, contests and more are also featured at the festival’s 28th year. It’s happening Friday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 10.

For the main event, local restaurants will provide a variety of different seafoods, like lobster rolls, fish and chips, clams and various chowders, lobster bisque, seafood Newburg, and fish tacos and sandwiches. Some vendors, like the Tuscan Kitchen in Portsmouth, are joining the festivities for the very first time, while others like The Old Salt Restaurant at Lamie’s Inn in Hampton have been at the festival since the beginning.

“We go through literally thousands of cups of clam chowder and lobster stew for the festival,” said Joe Higgins, owner of The Old Salt. “We’ve tried different things over the years, like half-boiled lobsters, bacon wraps and scallops. For the past few years, we’ve done clam chowder and lobster stew in a cup and also in bread bowls.”

Other vendors will be bringing specialized desserts, like Spud’s Restaurant & Pub offering fried ice cream sundaes, and Simply Cannoli, who will have specialty cannolis and cappuccinos.

There are plenty of options for non-seafood-eaters as well, like chicken fingers, onion rings, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and more. Many of the restaurants also compete for bragging rights and several titles, like Best Fried Food, Best Chowder, Freshest Catch and others, determined by a panel of judges.

“There really is quite a variety,” said John Nyhan, chairman of the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the festival. “Some vendors will bring back some of the foods that have been the most successful in the past and have won prizes, and others always like to bring something that’s totally new, so it’s a combination.”

Live performances will be held every hour on the hour on both the Main Stage and Beach Stage throughout the weekend, according to Nyhan. An opening ceremony featuring a ribbon-cutting by Gov. Chris Sununu will take place on the Main Stage on Friday at 6 p.m.
Returning features include the lobster roll eating contest, which will be held on the Main Stage beginning at 2 p.m., and local culinary demonstrations featuring more than a half dozen local restaurants, with hosts of the Wicked Bites television and radio shows.

Restaurants like The Old Salt, Colosseum in Salem, Lobster Q in Hampstead and Savory Square Bistro in Hampton will be participating on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fireworks display on the beach will close out the festivities on Saturday at 8:15 p.m.
On Sunday at 5 p.m. there will be a skydiving demonstration courtesy of Skydive New England, a feature Nyhan said has always been a huge draw. Sixteen skydivers will jump from more than 14,000 feet high before landing in the center of Hampton Beach.

The festival has become a large draw for Hampton Beach, with new adjustments and endeavors made this year to make it even bigger than ever, according to Nyhan.

“Especially if we have good weather, we can see anywhere from 100,000 to 125,000 people walking the streets of Ocean Boulevard,” he said.

Ocean Boulevard will be closed to traffic for the duration of the festival, giving way to several dozen arts and craft vendors, merchant sidewalk sales, face-painting, train rides and a Kiddie Land with games for kids, in addition to all the food that will be for sale.

“The focus is all about running a top-notch event in the Seacoast area … with our vendors and our seafood,” Nyhan said.