Some people don’t like the crowds, and others can’t stand the traffic. “It’s nicer in the offseason!”, they claim.

But as a tried-and-true New Hampshire beach kid, I like it. And from the sounds of it, I’m not alone.

Country Living just published a list of eight classic beach boardwalks that are “all about summertime nostalgia.” Just one New England boardwalk made the cut.

And it’s not in notorious “beach states” Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Maine. Our very own Hampton Beach in New Hampshire is among the eight great old-timey boardwalks.

Said Country Living:

“Skee-Ball, old-school pinball machines, raucous music, pizzerias, and saltwater taffy stands are all part of the seaside experience on this mile-long asphalt boardwalk, as is a summertime concert in the Sea Shell Stage.”

I actually like that for Hampton Beach. “Welcome to the Mile-Long Asphalt Boardwalk.” Put it right there on a sign, like on the Las Vegas Strip.

While it’s nice to see Hampton Beach get a big nod, I gotta say that in terms of nostalgia, it still feels like something’s missing when you cruise the strip. I guess because something is missing.

I'm talking, of course, about the Hampton Beach Shooting Gallery.

Now I certainly understand the "optics" involved nowadays when it comes to handing kids pretend rifles (in fact just recently, one commuter in Boston nearly learned the hard way how alarming a phony firearm can be).

But man, it was just cool! Call me anti-gun all you want, but I am as pro-making-robots-play-the-piano as they come. It was one of the few places where you could take aim...and give life.

Maybe they could set up a Laster-Tag Gallery? Eh, I guess that's technically what it was. But when I hear "Hampton Beach" and "nostalgia," this is where my mind goes...

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