The town of Rye, New Hampshire sits on a 17-mile stretch of the state’s coastline and offers many things to do for both tourists and locals alike. What is Rye New Hampshire known for? A place with several outdoor attractions, the town is home to Odiorne Point State Park, offering stunning natural settings and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation activities, as well as the Wallis Sands State Beach. For a chance to see whales, there’s Granite State Whale Watch. With a neighborhood feel, laid-back atmosphere, fresh seafood, and beautiful ocean views, Rye is a relaxing town that’s great for people who enjoy being outdoors.
1. Odiorne Point State Park
Odiorne Point State Park is a seaside park that boasts one of the New Hampshire coastline’s most beautiful natural settings. Guests will find a playground, grassy fields, a wooded grove for picnics, the Seacoast Science Center, military fortification remains, and miles of trails, with many being handicapped accessible. While the state park is a great spot for outdoor recreation by the sea, it’s also well known for its seven distinct habitats and rich social history. The sandy beach, saltwater and freshwater ponds, salt marsh, uplands, woodlands, and rocky shore together offer one of the most diverse nature walks in the region.
570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-436-7406
2. Wallis Sands State Beach
Named one of New Hampshire’s top-rated beaches, the Wallis Sands State Beach provides opportunities for swimming in the ocean, a sandy beach for visitors to relax, and views of the nearby Isles of Shoals. Amenities at the beach include a grassy picnic area with tables, a bathhouse with both cold and hot showers, and a store selling an array of drinks, food, and other items. In addition to sunbathing and swimming, guests at Wallis Sands State Beach can also do some surfing, biking, hiking, or fishing. Keep in mind that fires aren’t allowed at the beach, as well as no pets.
1050 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-436-9404
3. Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH
© Seacoast Science Center
The Seacoast Science Center, located at Odiorne Point State Park, is a nonprofit organization for marine science education. The center is full of hands-on discovery and fun exhibits about the animals and habitats along the coast of New Hampshire. Upon entering the science center, guests are greeted by skeletons of a harbor porpoise, two pilot whales, and a 32-foot humpback whale. One of the favorite spots in the Seacoast Science Center, particularly among younger visitors, is the Tide Pool Touch Tank, which offers a chance for people to touch hermit crabs, sea urchins, sea stars, and other sea creatures.
570 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-436-8043
4. White Island State Historic Site
The White Island State Historic Site in the town of Rye is home to the only offshore lighthouse in the state of New Hampshire. In 1820, the Isles of Shoals’ first lighthouse was built on White Island, constructed out of wood shingles and stone. Today, the White Island Lighthouse is among the great historic landmarks of New England. A wooden walkway that connected the lighthouse to the lighthouse keeper’s cottage from 1850 to 2007 was destroyed by a storm wave. However, the walkway was replaced in 2013 and can now be used by visitors to the White Island State Historic Site.
Other Northeast Gillnet Waters Area, Rye, NH 03870, 603-271-3556
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5. Granite State Whale Watch
© Granite State Whale Watch
Granite State Whale Watch offers whale watching excursions led by qualified and experienced naturalists who have a passion for sharing their love for the area’s marine environment with guests, and are also always happy to answer any questions passengers may have. Because whale watchers are “guests” in the whale’s natural environment, the whale watching tour company considers each whale watch an expedition instead of a sightseeing excursion, a chance to see wild animals that are rather rare. Granite State Whale Watch boasts a 99-percent sighting record, however, they do offer a free pass good for a year if none are sighted.
1870 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 800-964-5545
6. Things to Do in Rye, NH: The Carriage House
© The Carriage House
Owned by RJ Joyce and James Woodhouse, the Carriage House is a modern, oceanfront New England restaurant in the scenic Rye Beach area of New Hampshire that’s committed to honoring the rich traditions of the restaurant rooted in hospitality. Dinner is served every day of the week in the dining room, where guests can take in ocean views or sip on a cocktail by the fireplace. The Carriage House gets its inspiration from the seasons and offers an approachable menu that’s fitting of a modern seaside tavern. The raw bar also offers a selection of caviar, crudo, and oysters.
2263 Ocean Blvd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-964-8251
7. Seaport Fish Co., Rye, NH
© Seaport Fish Co.
The Seaport Fish Company aims to bring its customers the freshest and highest quality seafood possible, sourcing its seafood daily both internationally and locally and processing it in their FDA-approved facility, promoting a “boat-to-table” philosophy that’s rather unique in the seafood industry. Open all seven days out of the week to both retail and wholesale customers, Seaport Fish gathers fresh catch daily, from the seacoast’s local docks to the Boston Fish Pier. The Seaport Fish retail market often offers daily food specials, such as lobster rolls and fish tacos. Along with seafood, the market also carries several other items.
13 Sagamore Rd, Rye, NH 03870, Phone: 603-436-7286
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