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After visiting one of the fine gourmet shops in the area, or just picking up a mess of fried clams, a bucket of chicken, or a few burgers and some fries, a comfortable and scenic place to eat is in order. The beach is the natural first choice (if sand is not an issue), but there are also some great wooded areas, parks, and green open space to relax in with the family or just all alone.
Picnic Area Description
New Hampshire
Adams Point 80 acres between Little and Great Bays with trails, fishing and a boat launch. On Durham Point Road off Route 108, Durham.
Cochecho River Walk A riverside trail, with a covered bridge. Henry Law Ave., Dover.
Fort Constitution State Park A historic fort from 1632 with views of shipping lanes. Just off Route 1B in New Castle.
Fort Stark Another historic fort from 1887 with a view of Little Harbor. On Wild Rose Lane off Route 1B in New Castle.
Great Bay Any place by the bay is a great picnic spot. With 48 miles of shoreline bordered by Dover, Durham, Newmarket, Greenland, Newfields, Stratham and Newington.
Isles of Shoals and White Island Lighthouse 9 miles off the coast and accessible by the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. Star Island is a great place to relax and explore. There's an historic restored garden on Appledore Island.
Lamprey River Boat Dock and Landing A great picnic spot and boat launch near downtown Newmarket. Don't forget to share with the ducks and geese.
Market Square Sit back and watch the world go by in downtown Portsmouth.
Prescott Park Large harborside park off Marcy Street in Portsmouth. Click here for the Prescott Park Arts Festival schedule.
Swasey Parkway A one-mile-long tree-lined drive along Exeter's Squamscott River with benches and soft grass to sit on.
Maine
Fort Foster A great park about three miles from Kittery's outlets. Nature Trails, three beaches, playground, grills, picnic tables and a fishing pier. Pocahontas Road, Gerrish Island, Kittery Point.
The Marginal Way A wonderful trail 1.75 mile trail with benches and wildflowers. Explore tidepools with crabs and sand dollars. Between Ogunquit Beach and Perkins Cove in Ogunquit.
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve A 1,600-acre coastal preserve with scenic picnic spots and seven miles of hiking trails that wind through habitats including woodlands, wetlands, salt marshes, and a barrier beach. 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells.