Tag Archives: southern maine

Top Things to Do on the Southern Maine Coast

If Maine is the way life should be, you should be here… we think the best of Maine is the southern Maine coast. Its easiest to reach, has the most sandy beach, plenty of lighthouses and lobster, everything iconic Maine, without the long drive upta Bar Harbor and beyond….

  1. Lobster – get ya lobstah just ovah the bordah… (Maine slang) you can stop in York, Kittery, or carry on further “down east” to satisfy your crustacean craving. We love the lobster at York Harbor Inn or Dockside, both have a water view, for a lobster roll, baked stuffed lobster, steamed and more. See How to eat a Maine lobster
  2. Lighthouses – Southern Maine has a dozen lighthouses, including two of the world’s most majestic and most photographed- Cape Neddick’s Nubble Light, and Portland Headlight – Maine’s oldest – 1791. See this Guide to Maine Lighthouses on the southern Maine coast.
  3. Beaches – our coast is loaded with lovely sand beaches, from York’s Long Sand and Short Sands Beach to Ogunquit Beach, Wells Beach, several beaches in Kennebunk and Kennebunkport and Goose Rocks, to Old Orchard Beach and near Portland Ferry Beach, Scarborough and Higgins beach. Sand, surf, salt air and sea views…. Here are Maine’s best beaches on the south coast.
  4. Boating – the best way to see the Maine coast is by sea. Charter a sailboat cruise, hop on a lobster boat tour to pull some traps, take a Whale Watch to the outer banks, a Ferry around Casco Bay, or just kayak the harbors and along the coast. See our guide to Boating, Sailing and Fishing Charters.
  5. Bike around the beautiful country roads and scenic ocean side drives in southern Maine. To rally appreciate the serenity and scenery of Maine, take the road less traveled and pedal, along Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport, or the Eastern trail, or the more adventurous mountain bike paths of Mt Agamenticus.
  6. Shop the treasure of southern Maine. Whether its that weathered antique you seek from a Wells boutique- the antique shoppers capital of Maine, or a cool Maine made craft from Perkins Cove in Ogunguit, to the bargain hunters haven of Mardens  and Reny’s in Biddeford. Last but not least is Kittery – the outlet capital of Maine, and Freeport – home to LL Bean, open 24/7/365.
  7. Explore the seaside towns – many of New England’s best towns are in the southernmost part of Maine. Kennebunkport has its cute shops, galleries and restaurants, while Portland’s Old Port is packed with cool boutiques and bars. Ogunquit is an art community with flair, while Freeport has a beautiful hidden waterfront – on the Harasseeket – most don’t see when they beeline to the outlets on Main Street..
  8. Eat Maine – its not just lobstah and buttah. Maine has a real up and coming foodie scene. Top Chefs are coming to Maine and the cuisine is up and coming because of it. Portland has amazing restaurants, James Beard award winning chefs, and Maine is home to some hot food and wine festivals like Harvest on the Harbor and The Kennebunkport Festival – fun food and wine infused celebrations on the cusp of going big.
  9. Stay for a day, a night or two. Since southern Maine is so easy to get to, just over an hour from Boston, you can come for just an overnight or two, play all day – hit the beach, the boutiques, have that bite of lobster, go for a boat ride, and book a beautiful room at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, a waterfront resort like The Cliff House or Stage Neck Inn, or a cozy BnB like Captain Lord Mansion or an inn like Breakwater Inn and Spa in Kennebunkport or The Seaside right on Kennebunk Beach.
  10. Leave only your footprints on the beach, but take lots of photos. Maine is a most photogennic place, so you’ll want to snap lots of picks to post on facebook and instagram  #visitmaine #vacationland #Sea you soon on the southern Maine Coast!

    See also  Visit Maine Lodging Directory and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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The changing coastline of Maine

pineapple-ketchThe Maine coast has been a retreat for city folks for over a century – people continue to love to escape for a summer by the sea. There is something so relaxing and restorative  about the cool ocean breeze and the quiet natural setting of Maine.

At the turn of the century and even into the 1920s, people from away, Boston and New York,  would come to southern Maine and stay for weeks, even months or the entire “season” by the sea, staying in a summer cottage or one of the grand oceanfront resorts in York, Ogunquit, Kennebunk Beach and Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Portland. shawmut-kennebunkportThere were large hotels on the water, with grand porches, pools and beaches.

Today, many of those historic seaside hotels have closed, converted to condos like the Narragansett on Kennebunk Beach, or were torn down and replaced with massive private mansions like the Shawmut Inn (pictured here courtesy of Kennebunkport Conservation Trust) formerly located off Ocean Ave in Kennebunkport, now a private residence.

pineapple-ketch-nonantumBut a few gracious and grand hotels remain on the coast, from the Wentworth in Newcastle New Hampshire, to the York Harbor Inn in York, The Cliff House in Ogunquit, the Colony Hotel, Breakwater Inn and Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, and the Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach.

Guests can no longer afford to stay for a month or the summer season, time and stripers-fishing-boatmoney constraints in our fast-paced lives don’t allow for such long lavish getaways, but a few days at these top seaside hotels can feel like a grand getaway even if its just for a few days.

Sipping a cocktail on The Colony porch’s gazebo overlooking the Atlantic, or watching the sunset over the Kennebunk River from an Adirondack chair at the Breakwater Inn is rejuvenating…and reflective of the good ole’ days on coast in the summer.

colony-kennebunkport-festival-aspenConsider a summer escape to the southern Maine coast… the way life should be, by the sea.

See our southern Maine lodging guide, and things to do on the southern Maine coast from boating, the best beaches, shopping and dining.

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Say I Do in Southern Maine

Maine Wedding CeremonyWith inviting sandy beaches and manicured oceanfront landscapes, Southern Maine is the perfect site to host a beautiful wedding. Southern Maine wedding venues can range from an elegantly displayed coastal backdrop to luxuriously decorated reception halls, or wedding ceremonies on the beach. Your wedding in Southern Maine can exploit the natural beauty of the coast to give you a memorable wedding.

Not only is Southern Maine a perfect setting for a wedding, but it’s also an ideal location for a destination wedding. With two major airports, Portland’s Jet Port and Boston’s Logan Airport (only 45 minutes from the southern tip of Maine), the wedding party and guests can reach your wedding destination in Southern Maine with ease. Your guests may even be tempted to take a week long vacation for your wedding to check off big Maine tourist attractions from the list. Between the beach, sail boat tours, and coastal attractions, your guests are sure to be kept busy.

When compared to weddings in Cape Cod or New York City, wedding venues in Southern Maine are very inexpensive. You may be thinking a wedding in Southern Maine is too good to be true. It is! Hosting your wedding reception at a hotel or resort in Southern Maine is an ideal choice so guests don’t have to go far if they’re unfamiliar with the area.

Feel free to ask us for recommendations on wedding venues or tell us about your wedding in Southern Maine!

For Maine lodging, visit Southern Maine Coast Lodging Guide , Visit Maine Lodging Directory, and Kennebunkport Maine Lodging Guide.

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Affordable Southern Maine Getaways

Kennebunkport Maine InnThere’s no arguing that the Southern Maine coast is a beauty with coveted luxury inns, oceanfront cottage rentals, and beachfront resorts for a perfect vacation stay. With her white sandy beaches, scenic rugged coastline, intriguing boutiques and divine dining, it’s not hard to see why people make the Southern Maine coast their annual vacation destination. Despite her top of the line scenic allure, you can still find vast opportunities for affordable lodging in Southern Maine. Continue reading Affordable Southern Maine Getaways

Best Hotels in Southern Maine

york harbor inn ocean viewYou’re on the search for the best place to stay in Southern Maine–maybe it has to be the most romantic, affordable, luxurious, has the most resort amenities, or the best beachfront location? Then you’ve found the right place. Here are the best hotels, resorts and inns in Southern Maine that includes everything you’re looking for on a Maine vacation. Continue reading Best Hotels in Southern Maine

Southern Maine Company Outings

meeting_ballroom2010Looking for the perfect location to host a company outing or inspirational conference? It’s no secret that Maine is known as Vacationland, so it’s not a stretch to imagine the possibilities for a business retreat. Southern Maine is a great destination for business retreats not only to enjoy the great outdoors, but also to roll up your sleeves and get some work done while you’re at it! Companies surveying locations for a business retreat or conference event should consider a few things when determining Maine as the choice destination: expenses, travel and obviously, the fun part: staying an playing in Maine.  Continue reading Southern Maine Company Outings