A Beach for Making Perfect Memories
Old Orchard Beach
is the closest you will find to iconic family beaches that bring together every good beachy joy. The low surf makes this a favorite spot for swimming. Hungry kids can explore the boardwalk for pizza, or you can choose from the many family restaurants around town. The beach, amusement rides, nightly entertainment, auto races, and harness racing are favorite activities. Many special events – including weekly fireworks over the ocean -- entertain in the family. Phone: 207-934-2500.
Allure of the Olden Days Hangs On in this Antique Village
on Elm Street in Newfield
is a re-creation of a 19th century village with historic houses and barns, a reproduction schoolhouse and bandstand, a millpond, and a carousel from 1894. Displays include horse-drawn sleighs and carriages, an 1849 stagecoach, and various trade shops from blacksmith to harness maker. Open Memorial Day through mid-October, daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Phone: 207-793-2784.
Art and Outdoor Beauty at Ogunquit Museum
The Ogunquit Museum of Art,
at 543 Shore Road, Ogunquit
presents the art of nature when visitors first step through the door and then look directly through the glass wall of the main gallery to the dramatic coast, the ocean, and the far horizon. The museum's permanent collection includes sixteen hundred works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photography and graphics. The grounds cover three acres of landscaped gardens and oceanfront ledge. While strolling the grounds, people can enjoy the sculptures, a reflecting pool, and secluded benches for quiet contemplation. Museum is open daily May 1 through October 31. Phone: 207-646-4909
Art Happens Here at All Times of the Year
The people who operate and visit River Tree Arts
at 35 Western Avenue in Kennebunk
are not deterred by wintery weather. This community arts organization operates music, dance, and performing arts school, and also has three galleries open to the public year round. Stop in for some quiet time in Kennebunk and enjoy luscious original artwork in the heart of a community of artistry in all its forms, static and moving. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone: 207-967-9120.
Carson Name Still Defends the Earth
The author whose seminal work, “Silent Spring,” launched the American environmental movement is the namesake for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
, consisting of a patchwork of properties along 50 miles of coastline from Kittery
to Cape Elizabeth
, with a headquarters on Route 9 in Wells
. The refuge serves as protected region of valuable salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds. Visitors are welcome to hike on the developed trails of the Refuge. is permitted in several rivers and creeks in the Refuge. Phone: 207-646-9226.
Celebrating Life's Finer Arts
It's a little difficult to summarize the charming retail store, The Clown
, at 659 US Route1 in York
. Under a motto of "Celebrating Life's Finer Arts," the owners explain "the idea for providing an eclectic mix of cultural products at good prices started on a farm in the hills of Tuscany…" bought and restored by the Clown's owners in the 1990s. The Clown, which also has retail stores in Belfast, Portland, and Stonington, offers a mix of fine art, antiques, artisan gifts, wine, and gourmet food in a warm, relaxed setting. Phone: 207-351-3063
Come and Go Wild in York
York’s Wild Kingdom
at 1090 US Route 1 in York
features exotic animals from around the world, family rides, paddleboats, miniature golf, a petting zoo and a haunted house. It is near the quaint shops and restaurants for which downtown York is famous. The Ferris wheel offers a memorable view of the ocean waves and sandy beaches. With 75 landscaped animal exhibits, 18 rides for all ages, five food and ice cream stands, and two gift shops. Open late May through September. Phone: 207-363-4911
Compliments In Your Future
, at Dock Square and Ocean Avenue in Kennebunkport,
is located in a beautiful region that inspires artists of all persuasions. The store sells home decorating pieces, furniture, blow glass, jewelry, and lighting that are original, unique, often hand-made, and destined to become family heirloom pieces. A wonderful place to secure a memento from your Maine seacoast vacation. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone: 207-967-2269.
Cool Shopping in Kittery
With the slogan “Outfitters with Style Since 1938,” Kittery Trading Post
, a sprawling and beautifully designed outdoor sport supplier, greets visitors – appropriately – just as they cross into southern Maine, at 301 U.S. Route 1 in Kittery
. This is the source for everything outdoors worthy from boogie boards to shotguns. Really fun to explore. Keep the kids busy by counting moose images. Open daily. Phone: 888- 587-6246.
Insider View of a Historic Lighthouse
The Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse offer tours to Wood Island
and the lighthouse in July and August (weather permitting). This historic lighthouse, built in 1808, is a picturesque keeper's house connected to the stone tower. Wood Island is an uninhabited island at the mouth of the Saco River off the coast of Biddeford. Tours are Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Reserve your trip aboard the Lightrunner to traverse the mile from Biddeford Pool to the island. Phone: 207-286-3229.
Jammin' at Stonewall Kitchen
In Maine, the name Stonewall Kitchen is synonymous with jam and jelly made close to home. A couple of friends started Stonewall Kitchen in 1991 making jams and vinegars at home. Since then, Stonewall Kitchen has exploded as a specialty food producer and kitchen store headquartered in York
. Its flagship store and café
are Stonewall Lane next to Route 1A at the York exit (exit 7) off of the Maine Turnpike (I-95). The York store offers preserves, cookware, cookbooks, supplies and garden gifts. A bistro next to the store offers aid and comfort to travelers. Phone: 800-826-1752
Nubble is an Icon of the Maine Coast
The Cape Neddick Lighthouse -- known as the Nubble Light
-- is one of the most beloved lighthouses on this rugged coast. It is on a promontory north of York and visible from York Beach. An odd bit of history: When NASA officials picked photos for the Voyager Spacecraft to identify the Earth, they included a photo of the Nubble. The station is off-limits to the public except for occasional tours by Friends of Nubble Light, but it is easily viewed from York Beach. Phone: 207-363-1040
The Kittery Outlets
on Route 1 in Kittery
are also known as America’s Maine Street for Shopping, and you’ll see why when you visit this one-mile-long strip of famous outlet stores. The outlets include 120 stores – way too many to name here – but dedicated shoppers can easily guess the names of the major brands to be found there. Many stores host special events and all kinds of sales, Located at the gateway from New Hampshire into the South Coast region of Maine, Kittery is home to many wonderful attractions, from beaches to museums, to entertain family members of all ages and tastes while shoppers are doing their thing.
Plants Transformed into Artwork
Snug Harbor Farm,
open year-round at 87 Western Avenue in Kennebunk,
is a beauty of a place for sophisticated gardeners, with a special emphasis on topiaries and beautifully potted arrangements. The farm offers unique garden accessories and arrangements with a flavor of old European courtyards. There is always something unusual to find in the greenhouses or The Shop. The farm's topiaries are grown in handmade terra cotta vases and bowls and stone planters. Instruction is offered, along with special seasonal events, like the Haunted Barn at Halloween and classes at Christmas in wreath making and boxwood topiaries. Phone: 207-967-2414.
Slide! Splash!! Repeat!!!
is two amusement parks in one on U.S. Route 1 in Saco
. Funtown USA is the home of the wooden roller coaster Excalibur, the vertical thrill ride Dragon's Descent, the log flume ride Thunder Falls, and many kiddie rides. Splashtown Water Park has water slides for all levels of bravery, including Splish, Splash, and Liquid Lightning. A Fun Lagoon is best for smaller guests. Seating and a large wading pool are available. Phone: 207-284-5139