There is no better destination for summer road trips than the New England coast. The scenery is gorgeous and the seafood is at its prime, so locals and tourists alike pack in cars in search of the quintessential summer shack experience! Take note that reservations and fancy pants are not required for this journey, just a little bit of patience (for the inevitable traffic) and a passion for getting your hands on some of the best seafood around.

Below is by no means a comprehensive list, just a little something to get your mouth watering, and your seafood road trips started! So pack up the car - those lobster rolls are waiting for you.


The lobster roll at Chauncey Creek
Anne Barleon

Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier

Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier in Kittery will enliven your senses. From the moment you step out of your car and smell the salty air, to when you set in to devour your seafood platter, you feel as if you caught your food yourself and are eating it on a boat floating down the creek.

The picnic tables offer a variety of seating. And Chauncey is a BYOB establishment, so tables are often lined with coolers full of drinks patrons brought to enjoy with their heaping plates of steamers and lobster.

Garlic steamed mussels served with butter
Anne Barleon

From wine and garlic steamed mussels, steamed clams, lobster any way you want it, and a variety of fried food, Chauncey has something on the menu for everyone. It really is one of the most wonderful places you can go for a relaxing outdoor dining. ~ Anne Barleon

16 Chauncey Creek Rd., Kittery Point, ME, 207-439-1030,

More seafood shacks in Maine:

Bob’s Clam Hut
315 US Route 1, Kittery, ME, 207-439-4233,

The Clam Shack
2 Western Ave., Kennebunk, ME, 207-967-3321,

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights
225 Two Lights Rd., Cape Elizabeth, ME, 207-799-1677,

The Lobster Dock
49 Atlantic Ave., Boothbay Harbor, ME, 207-633-7120,

Young’s Lobster Pound
2 Fairview St., Belfast, ME, 207-338-1160,


The fried fish plate at Roy Moore Lobster Co.
Stacy Buchanan

Roy Moore Lobster Co.

If you're looking for a stellar seafood experience then head up to Roy Moore Lobster Co. in Rockport, a seacoast village on Cape Ann. This place is not only a local favorite, but an institute. The restaurant's casual vibe is relaxing, the friendly staff is inviting, and every seat in the house has a view of Old Harbor and Sandy Bay.

The menu is reasonably priced and stacked with a variety of classics including scallops and fish, lightly battered and fried. You can also find more contemporary options like the their Buffalo-style shrimp appetizer, portioned to feed an army and served with blue cheese dressing. The fried fish platter topped our list and comes with fries and coleslaw, although we recommend you sub in the potato salad. It's creamy and fresh, made with Red Bliss potatoes and just the right amount of mayo.

Roy Moore's fried fish Reuben
Stacy Buchanan

But it's the fried fish Reuben that needs to make its way to your table. Fried haddock, coleslaw, and Swiss cheese are topped with Thousand Island dressing and sandwiched between two slices of grilled rye bread. It's savory, crunchy, expertly stacked and bursting with flavor - the perfect fried fish sandwich.

Roy Moore's lobster roll
Stacy Buchanan

If fried fish isn't what you're looking for then opt for their famous lobster roll. A traditional New England roll is buttered and grilled, then stuffed with large chunks of lobster meat and a side of coleslaw. You'll appreciate the mayo on the side; it gives you the opportunity to taste how fresh the seafood is. (Or slather it on for a creamy texture, yum.)

While we choose to visit the restaurant, you can also opt for the no-frills shack located down the street, smack dab in the middle of the picturesque Rockport shopping district. The lines are long and seating is limited to a few outdoor tables, but it's worth the wait. This is the best lobster you'll find in the area and a "don't miss" for tourists. ~ Stacy Buchanan

21 Dock Square, Rockport, MA, 978-546-6696,

More seafood shacks in Massachusetts:

Belle Isle, Winthrop
One Main St., Winthrop, MA, 617-567-1619,

The Clam Box of Ipswich, Ipswich
246 High St., Ipswich, MA, 978-356-9707,

The Clam Shack of Falmouth, Falmouth
227 Clinton Ave., Falmouth, MA, 508-540-7758,

Hingham Lobster Pound, Hingham
1818, 4 Broad Cove Rd., Hingham, MA, 781-749-1984,

J.T. Farnhams, Essex
88 Eastern Ave., Essex, MA, 978-768-6643,

New Hampshire

Petey's fried calamari basket
Anne Barleon

Petey’s Summertime Seafood

Just off of Route 1A, in Rye, cars line up on the road as people eagerly wait to get a taste of baked, broiled, or fried seafood from Petey’s Summertime Seafood. But don’t be fooled by the name, this place is open year-round, a big plus for seafood lovers.

Greeted by colorful lobster buoys on the outside, you immediately feel like you've found an off-the-beaten-path beach shack. And the vibe carries on through to the inside. Several dining options are available at Petey’s to suit your mood. Order at the outside window and eat at the picnic tables overlooking the river. Or sit inside where you can choose between seat-yourself tables or the formal dining room.

Though the traditional dishes like fried clams and shrimp are undoubtedly delicious, those looking to venture beyond should try Petey’s calamari. It is tender and perfectly battered, not overpowering the taste of the fresh squid. It is the perfect dish to share for those who like either the rings or the tentacles.

Petey's broiled haddock plate
Anne Barleon

If fried food isn’t your fancy, try the broiled haddock served in a gratin dish with a hefty serving of rice pilaf and the most amazing coleslaw on the side. Described by one enthusiastic guest as “indescribable”, broiled scallops and shrimp are also an option. They are buttered, smooth and velvety. And remember to stay for some ice cream afterwards - that is, if you have enough room! ~ Anne Barleon

1323 Ocean Blvd., Rye, NH, 603-433-1937,

More seafood shacks in New Hampshire:

Brown’s Lobster Pound, Seabrook
407 NH Hwy. 286, Seabrook, NH, 603-474-3331,

Clam Haven, Derry
94 Rockingham Rd., Derry, NH, 603-434-4679,

The Ice House, Rye
112 Wentworth Rd., Rye, NH, 603-431-3086,

Pop’s Clam Shell, Alton Bay
55 Mt. Major Hwy., Alton Bay, NH, 603-875-6363,

River House, Portsmouth
53 Bow St., Portsmouth, NH, 603-431-2600,

Rhode Island

Aunt Carrie's fried clam cakes and a Whalers
Stacy Buchanan

Aunt Carrie’s

The Narragansett-based Aunt Carrie's has been a regional favorite for almost 100 years. But after being featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this third-generation, family-owned seafood restaurant is now a nationally adored establishment. Dine-in and be treated to the traditional seafood shack experience; a casual atmosphere with fast and friendly service.

Order take-out to eat outside and be greeted with impressive scenery. Aunt Carrie's sits between some of Rhode Island's most beautiful beaches and the views are stunning. Either way, the seafood is a fresh as can be. And most orders come with a delicious (and complimentary) bread basket to tide you over.

Aunt Carrie's fried shrimp
Stacy Buchanan

The fried plates at Aunt Carrie's are piled high with favorites like shrimp and scallops, and served with house made sauces, a creamy coleslaw and crispy fries. And while diners also love their catch of the day and broiled seafood options, it’s the clam cakes that are the real treat. The 90+ year old family recipe includes a special fritter mixture and fresh clams, combined and deep fried in a beef shortening, giving the famous cakes their unforgettable rich flavor.

Aunt Carrie's famous clam cakes
Stacy Buchanan

Be sure to save room for dessert! Aunt Carrie's also has a reputation for knocking some socks off with scratch-made treats like their strawberry shortcake. Or you can head across the street to the Ice Cream Shoppe and indulge with a giant-sized scoop of their locally-made ice cream. There's nothing better on a hot, summer day. ~ Stacy Buchanan

1240 Ocean Rd., Narragansett, RI, 401-783-7930,

More seafood shacks in Rhode Island:

Blount Clam Shack, Warren
335 Water St., Warren, RI, 401-245-3210,

Evelyn’s Drive-In, Tiverton
2335 Main Rd., Tiverton, RI, 401-624-3100,

Flo’s Clam Shack, Middletown
4 Wave Ave., Middletown, RI, 401-847-8141,

Monahan’s Clam Shack
190 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, RI, 401-782-2524,

Newport Lobster Shack
150 Long Wharf, Newport, RI, 401-847-1700,