What perfect time to enjoy New England in summer! Even better is happening upon a seafood festival where crustaceans and sea creatures are the stars of the show! So, if you love clam chowder, scallop rolls and lobster boils, then you need to get planning your northeast adventure
to attend one of these best New England seafood festivals! Because while cooking those lobsters and preparing the chowder is fun, trying different varieties and flavorful seafood dishes is even better!
…and our dinner plates! Summer, in my opinion, is the best time to visit the North Atlantic coast.
One of our favorite things to do when we lived up in New England was watching the lobster and fishing boats return to port with their fresh catch. The smell of the ocean breeze coupled with thoughts of a good lobster boil on a summer evening just couldn’t be matched.
I guess I’m a bit partial to these New England Seafood Festivals because we’ve lived up there for twenty-five years while serving in the Coast Guard. One of Dan’s duties included conducting waterside security during coastal festivals off the coasts of Newport, Rhode Island, Portland and Rockland, Maine and even Cape Cod. And when he had time off, we’d go down to the festival to score some plates of lobster, clams and other delicacies from the sea.
So, for you RV travelers who will be headed up the coast with your RV, why don’t you put these in your itineraries!
Oh and by the way, we’ve included some awesome travel guides (such as the one below) that you may want to help get you started on your New England Summer Seafood Festival adventure!
So pack up your RV or camper, put on your clam diggers and lobster bibs, and have yourself a wicked good lip-smacking time!
12 Best New England Seafood Festivals 2023
Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival
Did you know that RI is home to upwards of 45 oyster farms? The flavors are distinctive to each farm so this is your big chance to savor many of them all in one festive atmosphere! Growers will be shucking alongside a select group of local restaurants, sweets vendors, and others under festival tents.
So if you’re planning to be up in the Newport area mid May, you’ll want to check out the Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival, know that tickets go on sale in March. You can also shop for favorites as you find them, meet the growers, and learn all about aquaculture. Restaurants that have Rhode Island oysters on their menus are included in the Rhode Island Oyster Trail.
Oh, and you’ll not want to miss the shucking contest that Sunday, supported in part by the Nature Conservancy of RI!
Portsmouth Chowder Festival
The WOKQ Chowder Festival kicks off each summer season at Prescott Park Arts Festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Close to twenty different restaurants from around the region compete for the Best Chowder title and win the Golden Ladle trophy!.
This taste-testing tradition has become a New England favorite for chowder lovers in New England. An array of different chowders in the past have included Corn Chowder and Spicy Seafood Chowder, Smoked Scallop Chowder, Manhattan Chowder, and yes, even Vegetarian Chowder
Yarmouth Clam Festival
JULY 21 – 23, 2023
The Yarmouth Clam Festival takes place every summer, during the third weekend in July in the charming coastal village of Yarmouth, Maine. This summertime tradition draws more than 80,000 visitors from all over the country who come to enjoy the live music and arts, events and competition, Friday night parade, and of course, the delicious food. Over 6,000 pounds of clams and 6,000 lobster rolls make it to festival tables during this 3-day event.
Approximately 165 crafters, artists, and photographers display and sell their work. And, more than 40 musical acts and entertainers will perform. Also included is a midway carnival full of rides and fun for all ages.
Maine Lobster Festival
I won’t apologize for saying this, but the Rockland Lobster Festival is my ultimate favorite of all New England seafood festivals!
Perhaps it’s because Rockland was one of our favorite duty station locations when Dan was Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Station Rockland.
you can see why! Rockland, nestled between the rocky coastlines of Midcoast Maine and the islands of Penobscot Bay, rolls out the red carpet for nearly 30,000 visitors for five days of fun!
Since 1947, amazing coastal Maine Lobster Festival highlights the absolute best of Maine summers. King Neptune offers up 20,000 pounds of lobster cooked in the world’s greatest lobster cooker! There’s a huge parade, arts and crafts vendors, contests, the famous international crate race and live entertainment.
Oh, and while you’re there, we recommend you tour the Lighthouse Museum and right down the street, also take a guided tour of the Rockland Coast Guard Station.
Charlestown Seafood Festival
A gastronomic extravaganza of Rhode Island’s best seafood, lobsters, steamers, chowder, fish & chips, lobster rolls, clam cakes, corn on the cob and a raw bar, as well as an array of all types of foods for every taste. The Charlestown Seafood Festival offers a wide variety of arts and crafts on display, amusement rides, rock wall climbing, car show, midway entertainment, bungee jumping, kayak, overnight getaways, 50/50, lobster raffle and more. Continuous music entertainment and events.
And WHOA!! They will have RV parking for the event!
Self contained units only, no hook ups. $150.00 fee includes four days of camping Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and two admission bracelets (Valid all three days) to the event. Additional guests need to pay $20.00 for a three day bracelet (one day free). Space limited to the first 150. (No-Refunds) so you’ll need to reserve quickly!
Boston Seafood Festival
The Boston Fisheries Foundation welcomes you to their 8th Annual Boston Seafood Festival on the historic Boston Fish Pier.
Why have a seafood festival? Festival co-founder Joe Zanti, owner of Yankee Lobster Co., explains, “We want to offer a fun day to enjoy one of New England’s most important natural resources in a responsible and enjoyable way. We’ll be celebrating our maritime heritage together, and eating some really good food!”
Enjoy the food and festivities and learn about the oldest industry in the United States!
Milford Oyster Festival
The 45th annual Milford Oyster Festival has the largest variety of OYSTERS at any festival in the USA. This year we have about 40,000 oysters with 21 varieties from 8 states on the East Coast. The festival will also have 6,000 clams.Try one of each and enjoy them with a craft beer or premium wine!
40,000 Oysters & 6000 Clams along with other great foods, Beer and Wine are available in two locations: Fowler Field directly behind the library and at Lisman Landing Harbor Stage. Several varieties of oysters will be sold at the Festival representing some of the most prominent oyster growers on the east coast. Eat one or eat a coupla’ dozen. Enjoy oysters both salty and sweet, grown from Maine to Virginia. Many of the growers will be at the Festival with their oysters so you can ask them how they do it and why their oysters are the best.
Milford Oyster Festival has events happening all over the festival grounds, all day long!
Wrapping up these 10 Best New England Seafood Festivals
So, those are just a handful of New England seafood festivals.
Summer Coastal Festivals! There’s a bunch more smaller venues that are calling your names!!!
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We know it’s not seafood but here’s a yummy recipe…
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