Growing up outside of Boston, Hampton Beach State Park was one of my favorite destinations. As a kid, it meant sand castles, arcade games, and boogie-boarding in the surf. When my friends and I were finally old enough to get our licenses, taking a trip up to Hampton Beach became a weekly escape during the summer. From May to September, Hampton Beach is thriving with people, delicious smells, and music. An awesome music venue, Hampton Beach Casino, is right on the waterfront. A trip to Hampton Beach State Park is more than just a day at the beach; it’s the epitome of summer. Sand, sun, fried food, and fun await you. Going to the beach during the off season was a surreal experience. The boardwalk, normally buzzing with people, was deserted and boarded up. Few remnants of summer remained. The streets might have been empty and forgotten, but the ocean was as beautiful as ever. Dozens of people were taking advantage of the warm weather by strolling down the shoreline and using metal detectors. For years, Hampton Beach has been famous for having more than 80 free concerts every year on their open-aired, beachside stage. There was a massive angular pavilion called The Seashell that was a huge presence on the beach. In 2001, as the aging building became difficult to maintain, the Hampton Beach Redevelopment Plan was born. This past January, the new Oceanfront Pavilion at Hampton Beach State Park opened. The new Seashell stage is bigger and better than before, and will host plenty of free concerts this summer. Behind the stage is a banquet room with a beautiful ocean backdrop, perfect for an unforgettable wedding. The room, which can accommodate 80-120 people, offers panoramic views of the Atlantic. It also has a large new mural capturing scenes from Hampton through the years. Along with the indoor banquet room, the pavilion has several patio areas that would be great places to tie the knot. Dreaming of summer (and weddings!), I plopped down mid-January to enjoy an afternoon at the beach. Have you ever been to a NH State Park beach during the off season? Interested in booking the Oceanfront Pavilion for a wedding or another event? Click here to get more information!