old orchard beach

BEST Things to Do On the Southern Maine Coast

The Southern Maine Coast has a lot to offer, so there is something fun to do throughout the entire year. It is a melting pot of cultures, which creates an opportunity to try delicious foods, explore the history of the area, and enjoy unique things to do on the Southern Maine Coast.

Regardless of whether you are visiting Old Orchard Beach, Kittery, or any of the beautiful towns in between, there are always fun activities on the SMC. Here are a few of the top Maine attractions that you should explore during your visit.

Kittery beach - Fort Foster
Kittery Maine

Featured Attractions

Kayak Excursions | Kennebunkport 207-204-8888 | PO Box 2643, Kennebunkport, Maine
Kayak Excursions is a full-service kayak, paddle board, and bike company based in Kennebunkport, Maine, and serving Southern Maine from York to Portland. Kayak, SUP, and bike rentals are delivered to your choice launch location or vacation rental, and guided tours depart from various locations in southern Maine. Learn More
Fort McClary State Historic Site - Kittery, Maine - Things to do in Kittery
Fort McClary State Historic Site | photo via @patrick_oleary_art

Things to Do in Kittery Maine

Kittery is a beautiful Seaside town, and it is the first town you will come to as you cross into Maine. Located at the southernmost tip, it is a popular occasion for tourists throughout the region, and its history dates back to 1623. With nearly 400 years of history, there are plenty of fun things to do.

Fort McClary State Historic Site

Pepperrell Rd, Kittery Point, ME 03905

One of the first locations you might want to explore is the Fort McClary State Historic Site. The fort has stood for nearly 300 years, and it has played a role in five separate wars.

It is located at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, and it is named after a soldier who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Today, this is a great location to hike, fish, and explore the history of the area. There are also beautiful views that are perfect for photographs.

Just Us Chickens

156 State Rd, Kittery, ME 03904

Kittery is a great location for people who love art. Just Us Chickens is a cooperative of artists located in the center of town. The gallery has work from dozens of artists who all specialize in something different.

For example, you might see everything from paintings to jewelry to amazing sculptures. The co-op is completely run by the artists themselves, so you will even get a chance to meet the people who created the exhibits.

Take Flight Aerial Adventure Park

506 Blue Star Memorial Highway, Kittery, ME 03904

If you are looking for something a bit more active, consider tackling this ropes course. Take Flight Aerial Adventure Park offers a variety of area activities, and people come to participate from all over the country.

With more than 65 activities, you can enjoy obstacle courses, zip lines, ropes course challenges, and amazing views, all while taking in the glory of the Southern Maine Coast. Since it is so popular, you may want to call ahead of time to make sure that you get a spot.

Seapoint Beach - Kittery, Maine
Seapoint Beach | photo via @ben_ramblin

Seapoint Beach

11 Seapoint Rd, Kittery, ME 03905

Seapoint Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Southern Maine Coast. It has a rocky shore with a variety of tidal pools, and the water will be warm enough to swim in during the summer.

Even if you cannot get in the water, you can still relax on the coast, take in the views, and listen to the waves roll in. You will also meet a lot of residents taking their dogs for walks on the beach, so you might get to pet a few furry friends.

Find more things to do in Kittery Maine.

York River - York Harbor

York Maine Things to Do

York is an inviting city in Maine with plenty to do, and numerous tourists from all over the region visit every year. The town was founded in 1624, and it was incorporated in 1652, making it one of the oldest towns in the country.

If you are interested in a slower pace where you can explore the beaches, enjoy the view, and check out delicious restaurants, York might be the best place to go.

Mount Agamenticus

186 York St, York, ME 03909

If you are looking for the best view in the area, you should explore Mount Agamenticus. It used to be a beautiful seaside area, but it is now a great place to go hiking.

The mountain itself is approximately 692 feet tall, and it has an intricate trail system for you to explore. You will have beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, and on a clear day, you might even see a bit of Boston to the south.

Mount Agamenticus-York
Mount Agamenticus | photo via tidesoflifesupyoga

Hartley Mason Reserve

481 York St, York, ME 03909

At one point, this reserve was private property. Now, it is open to the public and provides a gorgeous view of the ocean.

It is situated just on the other side of the York Harbor Inn, and you can enjoy gorgeous views of the York River and the Atlantic Ocean. Also, this is a peaceful wedding location, but if you want to have your wedding here, you will need to book your wedding well in advance.

Sohier Park

11 Sohier Park Rd, York, ME 03909

If you are looking for the most beautiful view in all of York, you may want to visit Sohier Park. This is a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic, but the true highlight of this area is the Nubble Lighthouse, aka Cape Neddick Light.

It is one of the most popular photo ops in the country, and it attracts countless visitors every year. While you cannot go into the lighthouse, you can see it lit up in July and during the holiday season.

York's Wild Kingdom-Kittery-
York’s Wild Kingdom | photo via mainely.momma

York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo

1 Animal Park Rd, York, ME 03909

If you have children, or if you simply want to see animals, you may want to swing by the local zoo. It is only a short distance from Short Sands Beach, and it has more than 50 animals for people to see and interact with.

Both large and small animals are represented at the zoo, and you can talk to the staff members to learn more about them. The zoo is home to a miniature golf course and several amusement park rides as well.

Find more things to do in York Maine.

Marginal Way-Ogunquit
Marginal Way | photo via molldoll113

Activities in Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit is one of the major commercial centers of Maine. It has plenty of tourist attractions, amazing restaurants, opportunities to shop until you drop, and gorgeous beaches.

Because this is such a varied area, there is something for just about everyone regardless of whether you want to swim in the ocean or explore the unique shops in the middle of town.

Marginal Way

49-39 Cottage St, Ogunquit, ME 03907 to Perkins Cove Rd, Ogunquit, ME 03907

Even though you can certainly get around Ogunquit using a car, it is not required. You may want to go for a walk along Marginal Way. It is approximately 1.25 miles long, and it starts at Shore Road (where parking is available) before ending near Perkins Cove.

While it won’t take you very long to walk from start to finish, you can check out some of the shops along the way. Additionally, there are plenty of benches where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful view.

Ogunquit Beach & Footbridge Beach

End of Ocean St, Ogunquit, ME 03907

Of course, you can relax on the beaches. The two most popular beaches are Ogunquit Beach and Footbridge Beach. Lifeguards are on duty, but they are only there during the warm months of the year.

There are plenty of parking spots, snack bars, gift shops, and formal restaurants. During the summer, you will see people going out on inner tubes and rafts. The water is still pretty cool, but it can feel refreshing.

Liquid Dreams Surf Shop

696 Main St, Ogunquit, ME 03907

If aquatic activities are what you are looking for, you should swing by Liquid Dreams Surf Shop. You will find paddleboards, surfboards, tubes, and rafts available for rent.

You may also sign up for kayaking or sailboating activities. If you have forgotten anything that you need for your trip to Ogunquit Maine, you can probably find it at Liquid Dreams, but you may want to swing by anyway just to see what is in stock.

Perkins Cove-Ogunquit
Perkins Cove | photo via erinhebertphotography

Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove Rd, Ogunquit, ME 03907

As alluded to above, Perkins Cove is at the end of Marginal Way, and it is definitely worth exploring. It is an old fishing village that dates back to the turn of the century, and it draws impressive crowds every summer.

The cove has a drawbridge, plenty of shops, delicious restaurants, and unparalleled views of the ocean. You may want to find handmade jewelry at one of the shops before exploring one of the bistros on the waterfront.

There are plenty of art galleries and boutiques to explore too. You might even want to sign up for a boat tour departing from Perkins Cove.

Find more things to do in Ogunquit Maine.

Wells Beach aerial view
Wells Beach

Wells Maine Things to Do

As you continue making your way north along the coast, you will eventually come to a town called Wells. It was founded in 1643, so it is the third-oldest city in the state. It has also been called the “friendliest town in Maine” and the “antique capital.”

On top of that, Wells Maine has a tremendous amount of natural beauty with scenic locations where you can take beautiful photos. You will find theaters and antique shops in the city as well. 

Wells Harbor

362 Harbor Rd, Wells, ME 04090

If you have ever wondered where the delicious lobsters that you enjoy throughout the state come from, swing by Wells Harbor. There are lots of lobster fishermen who depart from this location.

If you want to get out onto the water yourself, you may want to try canoeing or kayaking along the Webhannet River. There are also amazing sailing excursions and fishing adventures that you can sign up for.

Wells Beach

Mile Rd, Wells, ME 04090

You might also want to check out Wells Beach, which is more than 1.5 miles long. There are plenty of sand dunes and sea grass, and it is one of the best spots to gaze out over the harbor itself.

You can find free parking near the beach, and it is home to gift shops, arcades, and public restrooms. Also, it is a popular location for fishermen who are trying to catch dinner.

TIP: There is a dramatic difference between high tide and low tide, so keep that in mind if you plan on spending a long time on the beach.

Billy's Chowder House-Wells
Billy’s Chowder House | photo via angeliquepiwinski

Billy’s Chowder

216 Mile Rd, Wells, ME 04090

If you are interested in delicious seafood, this could be one of the best restaurants to explore. You can get a lobster dinner, a fresh lobster roll, or a big bowl of chowder. You should talk to the host when you arrive to see if any specials are available. During warm months, the restaurant arranges to have live music.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

321 Port Rd, Wells, ME 04090

At the edge of town, you will find the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. It is a home for area animals while preserving the local salt marshes.

The reserve includes approximately 50 miles along the coast, and it was created in 1966. It is home to a variety of local habitats that are perfect for animals of all types.

If you decide to visit, you can learn more about the conservation and preservation efforts. You might also decide to hike the Rachel Carson Trail, which is approximately 1 mile long.

Find more things to do in Wells Maine.

Kennebunkport Maine harbor at night

Things to Do in Kennebunkport Maine

Another one of the top towns to explore along the Southern Maine Coast is Kennebunkport. It is relatively quiet and insulated, but the people who live there are still very friendly.

There are plenty of local attractions to explore, and you will find sites that you cannot find anywhere else. It is home to beautiful lighthouses, sandy beaches, and amazing boat tours where you can learn more about the history of this amazing town.

Colony Beach

Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Even though there are plenty of beautiful beaches in Kennebunkport, one of the best locations is Colony Beach. It is home to soft sand, which might be a nice break from all of the rocks and pebbles that define most of the other beaches in the state.

This beach also has lifeguards on duty during the summer. And, it is a great place to take your dog if you want to go on a scenic walk along the coastline.

St. Ann's Episcopal Church-Kennebunkport
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church | photo via rawsdebbie

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church

167 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Arguably the most popular tourist attraction in Kennebunkport, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church actually served as a family home for many years. It was turned into a church in 1970, and it still has an active congregation today.

Everyone is welcome to attend a service, and you may want to take a tour of the historic grounds. This will give you a chance to learn more about the architecture of the building itself. Keep in mind that the church is particularly busy during the holiday season.

First Families Kennebunkport Museum

8 Maine St, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

You may already know that Kennebunkport Maine is a popular vacation destination for presidential families, and this museum provides an opportunity to learn more about their visits.

For example, you may want to check out the Bush Family Exhibit, which is located in the White Columns Building. The building itself is a Greek Revival structure, so you may want to learn more about the architecture as well.

The property stretches out into the Atlantic Ocean just a bit, and you may want to climb on the rocks nearby for a beautiful photograph and a unique view of the region. Just don’t fall.

Ganny’s Garden

51 Ocean Ave, Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Across the street from Arundel Yacht Club, you will find Ganny’s Garden. It was dedicated to Barbara Bush as a thank-you for her service to Kennebunkport.

The garden is beautifully manicured, and it blooms in a variety of colors during the summer. Also, there are statues to explore, and it is a beautiful place to relax with a good book. If it is quiet, you may be able to hear the waves roll in.

Find more things to do in Kennebunkport Maine.

The Saco River adjoining the two towns of Biddeford and Saco in Maine
Saco River, Biddeford

Biddeford Maine Activities

The first settlement in the area was founded in the middle of the 17th century near the Saco River. Biddeford eventually grew into an important location full of old mills. Many of the jobs in the area were in textiles, but the town has evolved significantly since that time.

Now, Biddeford Maine is a major tourist destination because of its beautiful coastline, delicious restaurants, and endless variety of activities for people of all ages.

Welcome Center

28 Water St, Biddeford, ME 04005

The Welcome Center is run by the Biddeford Saco Chamber of Commerce and Industry, so this is the perfect location to get information about the local area. Here, you can learn more about small businesses, look at the list of local restaurants, and learn about the history of the town.

The staff at the Welcome Center are all volunteers, so you know that they are enthusiastic about their jobs and will do anything to ensure that you have a nice visit to the area.

Shevenell Park

149 Main St, Biddeford, ME 04005

This relatively small open area is situated along Main Street, but it is a comfortable place to sit down and relax. There are plenty of trees to provide some shade, and wrought iron tables and chairs are the perfect places to read a book or enjoy a meal.

Workers come by regularly to sweep the area and prune the trees, so it always looks beautiful. If you need a break while you are exploring the shops and restaurants, this is a nice place to relax.

City Theater

205 Main St, Biddeford, ME 04005

The City Theater is a restored theater from the Victorian era situated on Main Street. It was opened in 1895, and numerous renovations have taken place to ensure that everyone has a view of the stage.

You can watch a variety of performances — from music concerts to dance shows and even comedy acts from time to time. The majority of the performances receive exceptional reviews. You may want to take a closer look at the calendar to see what is coming up during your visit.

Biddeford Mills Museum - Biddeford, Maine
Biddeford Mills Museum | photo via @connor.blakephotography

Biddeford Mills Museum

2 Main St, Biddeford, ME 04005

If you want to learn more about the history of Biddeford Maine, swing by the Biddeford Mills Museum. It used to be a very important textile mill in the local area, providing a lot of jobs to the residents of the town.

The museum is still relatively new, but a significant amount of work has taken place to restore the mill itself. Now, you can take a tour, learn more about the textile industry in the region, and see just how much work it took to produce finished products more than 100 years ago.

Find more things to do in Biddeford Maine.

Get Ready for Fun Things to Do on the Southern Maine Coast

These are just a few of the many towns situated along the Southern Maine Coast, and there is always something fun going on. Don’t miss exploring these other SMC towns and attractions:

Regardless of whether you want to spend time on the beach, enjoy delicious restaurants, or check out the museums and theaters, you have plenty to keep you busy during your visit.

As you explore, you will see beautiful places to stay, so consider reaching out to some of the smaller hotels and villas ahead of time to see what is available.

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