Bordering the Atlantic Ocean with a mere 18 miles, the Seacoast region makes up for its shortage of coastline tenfold with its richness of history, culture, art and utter beauty. For those who love the water, the ocean tickles the sands at Hampton Beach and Rye.
Take a ferry ride to the Isles of Shoals, a group of nine small islands a few miles off the coast of New Hampshire; charter a boat for deep-sea fishing or take a whale-watching cruise from several locations along the shore. Bike along paths, take a ride through a countryside populated by historic homes and farmlands, or simply slip your toes in the sand and bask in the sunshine. The New Hampshire seacoast has it all.
The area was home to many native cultures, predominantly Abenaki, who lived and worked the land long before the European settlers arrived in the 1600's. These settlers nearly eradicated the native people with the diseases they brought. A man by the name of David Thompson holds the honor of founder of the state of New Hampshire and he chose the seacoast area as his stomping ground.
Thompson was sent to the coastal area to develop a fishing colony. He settled on the land that is now known as Odiorne Point in Rye. Early on, the primary industry in the seacoast was fishing, but trading would become an anchor to the region and eventually timber and textile mills, and especially shipbuilding, would dominate the area.
The town of Portsmouth is home to an assortment of historic sites, which are showcased along the Portsmouth Harbor Trail. The eating and drinking establishments attract visitors to downtown shops, allowing artists to flourish in the community. And the beauty of Portsmouth, from Prescott Park to the cobblestone sidewalks to the picturesque harbor, is nearly unparalleled.
The town of Dover, New Hampshire's first permanent settlement, is a place seasoned with Colonial and Georgian architecture. Nearby Durham is home to the University of New Hampshire. The town of Seabrook is best known for its Nuclear Power Plant. Much of the surrounding inland area is abundant farmland and charming countryside. As with the rest of the state, many old structures still stand as meetinghouses, covered bridges and town halls that make up a character that is uniquely New England.
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