Seacoast Activities



Outdoor Activities

Hiking & Walking

Wiggly Bridge, Source:  Atlas Obscura

Wiggly Bridge, Source: Atlas Obscura

Source: visitwhitemountains.com

Source: visitwhitemountains.com

There are plenty of trails to enjoy in the UNH area! See a comprehensive list on the Durham town website.

Other nearby trails include the Great Bay Discovery Center (also a museum), Mount Agamenticus in York, Maine and the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, a component of Massachusetts Audubon.

For a shorter walk, visit what might be the world’s smallest suspension bridge, Wiggly Bridge, in York, ME. For some trails that include birding, visit the local Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newington, NH and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge located on the northeast coast of Massachusetts. 

Mount Major provides a beautiful view of the lakes region and is one of the closest mountains to UNH! For a longer drive, visit the stunning White Mountains in northern New Hampshire.

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Mendums Pond, Barrington, NH Source: UNH.edu

Mendums Pond, Barrington, NH Source: UNH.edu

Kayaking & more:

Rent kayaks, paddleboards, and more at UNH’s Mendums Pond, located a mere 7 miles from campus. Or, take a kayak/paddleboard tour with Portsmouth Kayak Adventures.

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York, ME Boardwalk, Source: visitmaine.net

York, ME Boardwalk, Source: visitmaine.net

Beaches:

Visit NH state park beaches, experience superior surfing in Rye, NH, or explore nearby beach boardwalks in York, Maine and Hampton, NH, which feature a wide range of events.

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Gundalow, Source: strawberybanke.org

Gundalow, Source: strawberybanke.org

Cruises & Whale Watches:

Take a cruise out to the Isles of Shoals, or enjoy a traditional gundalow sailing experience, both departing from Portsmouth, NH.

Whale watching opportunities include Granite State Whale Watch and Al Gauron deep sea fishing & whale watching.

Source: granitestatewhalewatch.com

Source: granitestatewhalewatch.com


View of the Oar House, Source: portsmouthoarhouse.com

View of the Oar House, Source: portsmouthoarhouse.com

Food

There are a wide variety of restaurants within UNH walking distance. See a comprehensive list on the Durham town website

Nearby Portsmouth is known for its culinary scene and features one of the highest densities of restaurants (per capita) in the US! Some noteworthy places include the Beach Plum, Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe, Bridge Street Bistro & Wine Bar, the Oar House, the Dolphin Striker, which features live music every night, and the Library Restaurant, famous for its steak.

The Green Elephant, Source: greenelephantnh.com

The Green Elephant, Source: greenelephantnh.com

For some delightful vegetarian or vegan eats, the Green Elephant is hard to beat. For more casual dining, visit the Friendly Toast, Popovers on the Square, or simply stroll the streets and encounter dozens of delicious restaurants.

food-bobs.jpg

In the surrounding area, Bob's Clam Hut and Warren's Lobster House both in Kittery, ME and the Atlantic Grill in Rye, NH offer some great seafood. Dover is known for La Festa pizza, the historic Harvey's Bakery, and recently-opened Garrison City Beerworks. Dover also features some wonderful coffee shops: Adelle's Coffeehouse and Flight Coffee Co.

food-big-bean.jpg

Nearby Newmarket is famous for the Big Bean Cafe, which has won several awards. The Oak House, the Riverworks, and Bloom'n Cow Ice Cream & Gelato are other Newmarket notables. 

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Music & Arts

Concert at Prescott Park, Source: prescottpark.org

Concert at Prescott Park, Source: prescottpark.org

Currier Museum of Art, Source: currier.org

Currier Museum of Art, Source: currier.org

Portsmouth’s Prescott Park offers a wide range of events including music concerts, plays, and movies, all available for a suggested donation to the park. For other Portsmouth events, check out activities for Portsmouth visitors. Take advantage of the free Cocheco Arts Festival in Dover, NH for a variety of music, art, and even a children’s series. For a day at the museum, consider visiting the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH.

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Shopping

Downtown Portsmouth, Source: UNH.edu

Downtown Portsmouth, Source: UNH.edu

For some local, small business shopping, visit downtown Exeter, which features many charming boutiques, restaurants, and small, local businesses. Or, explore downtown Portsmouth for a wide variety of shops and services.

Kittery Trading Post, Source: kitterytradingpost.com

Kittery Trading Post, Source: kitterytradingpost.com

The Kittery Outlets in Kittery, ME are also worth a visit. The nearby Kittery Trading Post is a one-stop for all outdoor apparel and equipment and also features an outdoor tent sale for further deals.

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Historical Sightseeing

Source: portsmouthharborlighthouse.org

Source: portsmouthharborlighthouse.org

Explore historic Fort Constitution and Portsmouth Harbor Light, which are both relics of the Revolutionary War. Fort Foster in Kittery, ME and Nubble Light in York, ME are also worth a visit.

Source: ussalbacore.org

Source: ussalbacore.org

For some revolutionary history, check out the American Independence Museum in nearby Exeter, NH. Other excellent museums include the Woodman Museum in Dover, NH, the Fuller Gardens (part of the historic Alvan T. Fuller estate in North Hampton), and Strawbery Banke and the Athenaeum, both located in Portsmouth, NH.

Portsmouth visitors can also explore inside the USS Albacore, a research submarine designed by the U.S. Navy.

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Kids & Young-at-Heart

York’s Wild Kingdom, Source: yorkswildkingdom.com

York’s Wild Kingdom, Source: yorkswildkingdom.com

Seacoast Science Center, Source: nhpr.org

Seacoast Science Center, Source: nhpr.org

For piles of fun, visit the Hilltop Fun Center in Somersworth, NH and explore York's Wild Kingdom to see some amazing animals (including a white tiger!) and enjoy the park’s rides, aimed at smaller children.

The historic Fun-O-Rama beachfront arcade will provide an exciting day in York, ME; for a more quiet activity, visit the Children's Museum in Dover, NH.

The Seacoast Science Center will amaze guests of any age by our beautiful oceans.

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