Welcome back to Food Crawls (or in this case, Booze Crawls), a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food and booze crawls in the Boston area and beyond.
When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant (or bar) at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary.
What do you get when you combine a Jersey Shore aesthetic, a bunch of Quebecois on holiday, and that “Live Free or Die” attitude? Well, you get Hampton Beach in summer, of course. This stretch of beach and commerce in New Hampshire’s Seacoast region is a trip, and a visit should be on the summer checklist for anyone who’s close enough to make it happen — it’s just an hour north of Boston.
Go during the day and pack onto the beach with thousands of sweaty others; stay through the night for drinks and some most excellent people watching. (And while you’re at it, you might as well spring for an airbrushed T-shirt with, like, a dolphin riding a motorcycle painted across the chest.)
Make sure you’ve got a designated driver for this one, or that you’ve rented a room at one of Hampton Beach’s, er, finest motels.
- Total stops: 4
- Cheap domestic beers swilled: 4
- Dive bars patronized: There are non-dive bars on Hampton Beach? Kidding, just two.
- Distance traveled: A few hundred yards, maybe
This crawl was originally published on June 22, 2018; it is updated periodically, and the date of the most recent update appears above.
A Very Boozy Mixed Drink at the Sea Ketch
127 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
The Sea Ketch is a bit of a meet, so it’s not for everybody, but there are some pretty great beach views — and people-watching perches — on its several decks. The bartenders here make a stiff mixed drink, making this a good first stop: Get that buzz going nice and early.
A Beer at Ashworth by the Sea
295 Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
The Ashworth by the Sea has been in Hampton for more than a century — it’s one of the oldest hotels on Ocean Boulevard, in fact. Have a beer (or two) there, and feel like you’ve stepped back in time for half an hour or so. The best part about the Ashworth bar is that you’re bound to share a drink with folks that span several generations.
Another Cheap, Light Beer at Wally’s Pub
144 Ashworth Ave., Hampton, NH 03842
Wally’s Pub is without a doubt one of the more bizarre places on Hampton Beach, or anywhere. It used to be a full-blown biker bar, then transformed into a meeting place slash concert venue slash beer pong hall slash place to get lobster rolls. But it is still kind of a biker bar (and there aren’t currently any lobster rolls, but there’s all-you-can-eat fish and chips on Fridays). You’ll want to make a quick visit to experience this place. Slam a Bud Light, and head out to the night’s final watering hole.
A Couple More Cheap Beers at Charlie’s Tap House
9A Ocean Blvd., Hampton, NH 03842
Exit Wally’s and run to Charlie’s Tap House for a couple more cheap beers. And for some karaoke. This place used to be called Stacy Jane’s, a bar that was beloved for its karaoke nights. Thankfully, Charlie’s has kept up the tradition.
If you’re craving a bit of food after all that drinking, Ocean Wok is but a minute or two walk from the karaoke stage. Live that crab Rangoon life.