Strolling the streets of Kennebunkport, finding treasures...
Sep 21, 2018 at 6:00 AM by
When people think of Maine, they often think of craggy coasts. They make for super scenic seascapes but for real beach going, go to Wells, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport for the biggest selection of oh-so sandy beaches in Maine. You can try out three nice beaches within the Kennebunk Beach district, including Mother’s Beach, Middle Beach and Gooch’s Beach. The water at Mother’s Beach usually laps gently at the shore, so it’s a great place to go with kids. (Hence the name Mother’s Beach!)
If you’re looking for a nice beach community where you can find a good summer rental for you and the family, Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport is a good place to start.
Wells also boasts huge swathes of sandy beaches on the Atlantic, notably Wells beach, Drake Island Beach and Parsons Beach. A couple of the big properties such as Lafayette’s Oceanfront Resort and Atlantic Oceanfront Resort serve as the anchors on this big, beautiful beach, establishments that offer just about everything you need for a fun seaside vacation.
It’s always fun to see what’s happening on the water. You can watch boats and seals from Moody Point, one of the better viewing spots in the region. Drake’s Island Beach is also lovely and they even typically have lots of public parking.
Inform yourself ahead of time about which beaches require a special parking pass (most of them, in fact). Here’s a good and super enjoyable way to deal with that:Rent a bike or scooter from Coastal Maine Scooters in Kennebunk and pedal your way in for free. You can also rent paddle boards and kayaks there and line up a guided tour, which means there’s no excuse for not finding yourself out on the water. Kennebunkport Marina can also outfit you with kayaks and canoes as well as power boats for the more adventuresome vacationers. Landlubbers should know that the trolley also rates as a good, environmentally-friendly option for transport. When in Maine, it’s important to be extra green.
Ever take a lobster cruise? It’s a must in these parts. Chug along and find out about all the doings behind lobstering with Rugosa. If you’re lucky, they’ll even let you empty one of the lobster pots. Not! They also organize scenic coastal cruises, which is a great way to see all of the magnificent homes from the water. You might even get the lowdown on the Bush Family Compound at Walker’s Point. Be sure to bring binoculars!
Go inland some at Wells to set up camp at Stadig Campground, Gregoire’s Campground or Riverside Park Campground. This is a terrific way to experience nature in the Maine woods. There’s nothing like camping to get away from it all. Try to turn off (or hide!) your cell phone for the duration of your stay or at least for a few hours a day. And if you have a big RV with a TV, enact the same policy there. You won’t regret it and you’ll be amazed how relaxing it is to stare into the fire for hours on end. OK, at least an hour–with s’mores of course. Yum!
Immerse yourself into nature via hiking trails, events and other inspirational activities at Wells Reserve at Laudholm. Like most of what you find within Wells and The Kennebunks, the ocean and wondrous marshland make up much of the experience here in addition to the inland glory. If you are captivated by the wondrous duality between tranquility and animation synonymous with estuaries and saltwater marshes, you must visit the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge nearby. Depending on the season, its salty waters quake with almost incessant activity from a colorful array of migratory birds big and small.
Congdon’s, on Route 1, is a great outdoor place, especially in the evenings. If you’re into music, beer, food trucks and/or the best donuts around, this is a good place for you and your family and friends.
There’s nothing like an outdoor concert and you can take in some good ones at Hope Hobbs Memorial Gazebo. And don’t forget about miniature golf, the perennial family-fun activity that amuses and entertains on many levels. Wonder Mountain and Wells Beach Mini-Golf offer super fun experiences for young and old.
If you haven’t yet found yourself having a roaring good time–or even if you have–plan to spend either a whole day or a half day at York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo & Amusement Park, only about ten miles from Wells.
Since you’re sure to find your own outdoor fun along the way, always head out with sunscreen, water, snacks, sneakers, flip flops (to change into after your big walk, pedal or hike) and, of course, lots of layers. In this far-reaching corner of the United States, you have to be doubly prepared.