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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Going Down the Shore

We're both from New Jersey where, back home, folks call a beach trip "going down the shore" which refers to heading south to any of the beach towns on the New Jersey shoreline. (Several years ago, The New York Times article, Beach-Blanket Lingo, explained  more about this Jersey phrase and other beach idioms.) 

That's what we did a couple of weekends ago when we took a 90-minute drive to Hampton Beach, NH. Since early March is still the "off season" for sun-loving beach goers, it's the best time to walk the beach with no crowds.


Going off-season to any beach area means there's no driving around looking for where to park. Not only are the parking lots uncrowded now, but they're all FREE. Try this in mid-summer and you may never get to the beach until mid-day for lack of a parking spot.

Hampton Beach is a state park and while the beach is "free" the in-season parking isn't Free. But, if (like us) you're a NH resident, 65 and over, then, you can park Free in a designated parking area, even during peak summer season.

Chances are that even with that Free parking we would steer clear since Hampton Beach is not only a popular tourist destination, but also the busiest beach community within NH. Ocean Boulevard, the main street along the beach, includes a boardwalk, souvenir shops, eateries, seasonal hotels, and the Casino Ballroom, a boardwalk favorite since 1899. The Ballroom hosts many national acts, but wasn't open during our visit. Many other places were closed as well, like the eatery shown below. 


In 2011, this beach was named one of four "Superstar" beaches in the US for having had perfect water quality testing results in each of the previous three years.

Brrr describes the water temperature which was 38 degrees, but that didn't deter these surfers. Yes, they were all wearing wet suits this early in the season.




Of course, no beach visit is complete without the foods. Our meal choices were fried claim strips, onion rings, and New England clam chowder (pronounced chowdah around here). It's not the healthiest meal, we know, but when in Rome . . .


Here's something that distinguishes a NH beach from the ones we knew in NJ . . .
That's right — ROCKS — and lots of (very) large ones.
This was a fun trip, which would have been even better with less wind and warmer temperatures.

We will most likely go down the shore again this year, maybe in the fall after the beach goers have left.

16 comments:

Denise inVA said...

Looks like a lovely trip down to the shore :)

Doris said...

I've never gone to a beach anytime of the year besides summer and early fall. I had a coworker who would always go in the dead of Winter....he said he loved seeing the ocean that time of year and, of course, no crowds :) Beautifil pictures of your beach trip!

Sandra said...

all you views say solitude and that is what I like most. just me and bob and no other people and all that beach and water and the bench to sit on too. LOVE the rocks

William Kendall said...

It seems idyllic this time of year- all the more so that it's quiet.

Emma Springfield said...

I love being on an ocean beach or any beach for that matter. I think even humans have that longing to be back to the water.

Connie said...

Your pictures are lovely. I love being at the beach when no one else is around. Too bad it couldn't have been a little warmer for you, but it sounds like you had fun just the same.

Lynn said...

I posted about my beach trip this morning, too. Same thing - less crowded beaches in the off-season. I like that, too.

Wish I had some of that fried food right now! Yum.

gigihawaii said...

Sounds like you had a good time.

Country Gal said...

Looks and sound like you both had a nice beach walk . Lovely photos . We live only a 6 minuet drive from our beaches on the north shores of lake Erie and they are wonderful to there are 5 beaches in total and 2 are dog beaches very clean and fun . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

diane b said...

Lovely off season beach shots. I agree its the best time to visit the beach. We do that too for all the same reasons and it is usually too hot as well.

baili said...

amazing pics look so vibrant and ful of liffe ,glad you enjoyed your trip so much ,

grammie g said...

Hi you two... Love these pictures, who doesn't love the beach.
Just to let you know I am doing pretty good. 3 weeks out on my surgery, and things are getting looking a little brighter. Some pain, and weakness, and still have problems when talking, with out coughing, so I haven't called you. Do you text ?

Grace

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hello Baili, Thanks also for stopping by our blog and leaving a comment. We always appreciate and welcome new visit. Please come back again anytime.

I read your recent blog post, but was unable to leave a comment as I could not do so without subscribing. You did a great kindness to your uncle by being with him, Baili, and he certainly appreciated having you and your husband with him. As for the other family members, shame on them for their attitudes. You know in your heart that you loved your uncle and he loved you back.

NCmountainwoman said...

Down south we never go to the shore. It's always a trip to the beach. Like you, my husband and I partake of fried seafood when we are there. We have it grilled or baked all the time at home so we indulge when we are there.

Anvilcloud said...

I can well imagine the summer crowds, which the younger set doesn't seem to mind.

Leonora said...

I haven't had fried clam strips in decades! Gosh, I wonder how far I have to drive to find some... you have me craving them now.
Looks like a nice, relaxing beach trip.

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