The sun is setting earlier every day. It’s a tragic fact of life that summer doesn’t last forever. Here is a list of strictly seasonal activities I think every summer in the New Hampshire Seacoast should include.
• Immerse yourself in the salty sea. My own favorite swimming spots are the Seabrook side of Hampton Inlet, with views of the marsh and Hampton Harbor, with the tide coming in, and rocky Bass Beach in North Hampton where my dog can join in the fun after hours. What are yours?
• Get an ice cream cone. I like The Beach Plum after dinner. Sit on the seawall across the street at North Hampton Beach and watch the dark of night approach from the east over the water, with reflections of pink and purple sunset colors in the clouds.
• Get out on the water. Go party boat fishing or whale watching out of Hampton Harbor, Seabrook Harbor or Rye Harbor. Or get invited to set sail with friends who have a boat. See the wonders of the deep, taste the salt on your lips, and fall asleep that night with the gentle rocking sensation of still being on deck.
• Visit the arcades along The Strip in Hampton Beach. Play skeeball at Playland. Get a ridiculous workout on the Dance Dance Revolution machine at Funorama. Shoot the piano players (and much more) at the vintage shooting gallery in the Casino building. Keep up your gaming strength with fried dough from Blink's.
• Watch fireworks at Hampton Beach. Spectacular displays every Wednesday night, plus Labor Day weekend, the Seafood Festival, and October 6.
• Play miniature golf. I like the lushly landscaped Captain’s Cove Adventure Golf on Route 1 in Hampton. It is very close to four or five great restaurants now too. Go with friends and make the loser pay for beer and pizza.
• Eat and/or drink outside on a deck. Try Castaways in Seabrook for amazing sunsets (and Neptune margaritas), North Beach Bar & Grill near "The Wall" and the surfing scene in Hampton, The 401 Tavern in downtown Hampton (Sunday brunch with bloody marys), and the Sea Ketch at the center of the action in downtown Hampton Beach.
• See hundreds and hundreds of blooming roses, and more, at Fuller Gardens in North Hampton. Nearby, at the north end of the fishhouses at North Hampton Beach, admire the seaside garden maintained by the gardening women of the Rye Beach-Little Boar’s Head Garden Club.
• Fly in a helicopter or a vintage open-cockpit biplane at Hampton Airfield. See the Seacoast from the sky!
That’s my list; what’s yours? What am I missing? I want to make the most of summer while it lasts!