New England Travel

These New England boardwalks are worth a visit this summer

Nothing says summer fun like a stroll along a boardwalk. Here's a selection of boardwalks with beautiful views, great food, arcade games, and more.

The Hampton Beach Boardwalk in Hampton, N.H. Courtesy Photo

New England summers bring plenty of boardwalk fun.

Some seaside pathways offer shops, restaurants, music, and carnival rides, while others are simply an escape into nature.

When we asked Boston.com readers to share their favorite local boardwalks, they responded with memories and enthusiasm for the following boardwalks and waterside walkways.

“It’s quintessential New England!” Mark D. from Quincy wrote about the pier at Old Orchard Beach in Maine.

Is your favorite boardwalk missing from this list? Tell us in the comments.

The boardwalk at Bass Hole (Grays Beach) in Yarmouth Port. – Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

Bass Hole Boardwalk in Yarmouth

“Beautiful view, quiet,” wrote Stephanie, who did not name her hometown.

Bass Hole Boardwalk at Gray’s Beach in Yarmouth is an 800-foot boardwalk that extends out over the salt marsh into Cape Cod Bay. Locals head there for peaceful strolls and sunset viewing. Gray’s Beach, also known as Bass Hole, has walking trails, a picnic area, restrooms, a playground, and tide pools great for young beachgoers.

Hampton Beach Boardwalk in New Hampshire

“Plenty to do for people of all ages,” wrote an unnamed reader. “Between an arcade, casino, the shell’s live music, and shopping. There is something for everyone!”

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This beachside strip was once named the best boardwalk in America by Coastal Living magazine. The publication called the 1.3-mile walkway “old-school” and charming due to the stretch of shops facing the water, the shell stage that hosts free, live music, and Hampton Beach Casino, which has offered classic arcade games to beachgoers since 1899. Every summer brings the annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic.

The pier at Old Orchard Beach, Maine – Shutterstock / Jon Bilous

Old Orchard Beach in Maine

“Beautiful views of Maine’s longest beach, quintessential carnival vibe, feels like summer!” wrote Claudia from Boston.

Named one of the 20 best beach boardwalks in America by Reader’s Digest in 2021, Old Orchard Beach has a picturesque pier with shops and eateries, and it features gorgeous views of the Atlantic. Beachgoers can also check out classic amusement rides at the nearby Palace Playland, originally built in 1902. There is also an arcade with over 200 video games, photo booths, and more.

Revere Beach Boulevard in Revere

“In former years, hundreds of thousands walked the boulevard,” wrote Winfred M., from Washington, D.C. “Fireworks on the fourth of July. Evenings, both the sidewalk and street filled with thousands of Boston and New England residents.”

Revere Beach, America’s first public beach, has three miles of coastline and a paved pathway along the water. The rollercoasters and dance halls are long gone. But The Revere Beach International Sand-Sculpting Festival is a popular annual event, and restaurants with staying power include the iconic Kelly’s Roast Beef, which opened in 1951, and Bianchi’s Pizza, which has been serving the same pizza recipe since 1952.

Silver Sands Boardwalk in Connecticut

“The boardwalk was built to embrace nature,” wrote A. from Stamford, Conn.

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Visitors at Silver Sands State Park on Long Island Sound in Milford can enjoy a 3/4-mile all-weather boardwalk great for walking and viewing wildlife. There’s a beach for relaxing and, at low tide, adventurers can access the 14-acre Charles Island. Birders, take note: More than 200 species of birds can be seen here.

Weirs Beach Boardwalk in New Hampshire

“It’s very small, but has all of the classic boardwalk vestiges including arcades, sunglasses and T-shirt shops, restaurants, mini golf, ice cream, and fried dough,” wrote Carolyn from Manchester, N.H. “During NH Bike Week it is packed with motorcycles and bikers and is a great spot to walk around.”

This Lake Winnipesaukee boardwalk runs the length of Weirs Beach and offers beautiful views of the lake and mountains and easy access to the water. There’s a foot bridge with built-in seats where visitors can watch the boats go by and shops, an arcade, and food on Winnipesaukee Pier.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity.

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