The Pine Tree State has many fantastic places to visit, and the charming seaside town of Wells Maine is at the top of the list. Discover some of the top things to do in Wells Maine, along with the history of one of the state’s earliest settlements.
Our ultimate guide will lead you to only the best spots for exploring, dining, and lodging!
All About Wells Maine
Wells is a relatively small town with a population of just over 11,000 but has so much to explore. It’s the perfect place to escape for a summer holiday and sail, relax at the beach, and enjoy nature.
Aside from picturesque ocean views and sandy beaches, there are numerous rivers and brooks in the area that meander through forests and wetlands. When you visit during the off-season, you’ll be treated to a quiet, peaceful respite with amazing coastal sunsets.
The First Settlers
Wells was the third seaside town to be incorporated in Maine. Even before its incorporation in 1653, many fishermen and traders lived on the shores, building temporary homes.
One of the first permanent settlers of Wells was Edmund Littlefield, who established a gristmill and sawmill around 1640. The following year, more settlers came to the town, followers of Reverand John Wheelwright, the man who established Wells’ first church.
During The Indian Wars, from about 1675 to the mid-1700s, Wells was nearly uninhabitable. The town suffered great losses and tragedies, but following the war, settlers rebuilt, leading to Wells’ future success.
Seafaring & Railroading Boom
With the boom of seafaring, Wells prospered. Coastal routes were established to trade as far as Europe and the West Indies.
The arrival of the railroad in the 1840s helped link Wells with the rest of Maine, as well as provide employment for locals and act as an efficient way to transport freight that had previously only been transported on ships.
Wells Maine Today
Today, Wells is a popular tourist destination and resort town nestled on the New England coast, with most visitors vacationing during summer. The town is now comprised of about 60 square miles — In the past, its borders also included the neighboring towns of Kennebunk and Ogunquit.
Keep reading to learn more about “The Friendliest Town in Maine” and the many fantastic things to do in Wells Maine!
Wells Maine Outdoor Things to Do
Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Wells Maine is a coastal resort town with quick access to beautiful beaches and scenic views of the ocean. There are about 7 miles of shore to wander, with several different beaches. Enjoying a day at the beach, is by far, one of the best things to do in Wells Maine.
Catch a spectacular sunrise or sunset at Wells Beach, which is just minutes from the heart of Wells. This beach is one of the top beaches in the town.
There is also a private marina at Wells Harbor, where you can launch canoes, kayaks, sailboards, and boats. The jetty at the harbor’s entrance is also a popular spot for anglers.
Crescent Beach is perfect to visit if you’re searching for a more secluded spot. It’s a small, rocky beach that’s peaceful and dog friendly during certain hours and seasons. Crescent Beach is only accessible at low tide, so plan accordingly.
Other Beaches in Wells Maine
- Drakes Island Beach has a lengthy swimming beach of 2,800 feet. Between suntanning and taking a dip in the waves, you can explore the nearby nature area and sand dunes.
- Moody Beach is a popular beach that offers a gorgeous shoreline to walk on. Much of it is private, but you can still wander through the sand and enjoy idyllic views along the coast.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a protected expanse of wetlands, salt marshes, and estuaries that spans about 50 miles through both Cumberland and York Counties. The refuge, which runs along the coast, is home to various plant and animal species that aren’t found in other parts of Maine.
Explore the area’s other panoramic terrains, too, including meadows, rocky coasts, forests, sand dunes, and beaches. Plus, visitors can hike, fish, hunt (with a permit), watch wildlife, and bird-watch here.
Take the whole family (dogs can come too) for a walk on the refuge’s Carson Interpretive Trail.
Wells Reserve at Laudholm
Wells Reserve at Laudholm is one of just 30 National Estuarine Research Reserves in America. It hosts around 200 fun, educational events for both adults and children.
The programs include children’s camps and workshops, guided hikes and walks, lectures, events and concerts, and the annual Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival over the weekend after Labor Day each year.
Visiting the reserve is one of the best things to do in Wells Maine, drawing in nature lovers, photographers, birders, hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, history buffs, and more.
The expanse of land offers 7 miles of hiking trails through fields, forests, beaches, and marshlands year-round. You can even snowshoe and cross-country ski here in the winter.
Chase Farms has been a family-owned and operated farm since 1659. It has a fantastic selection of homegrown produce and meat, locally-sourced goods, freshly made sweet treats, maple syrup, a greenhouse with seasonal flora, and other seasonal items (like pumpkins).
The farm closes for winter each year and usually reopens in March, so plan your Wells Maine vacation accordingly.
Spiller Farm is run by the Spiller family, which has been farming locally since 1894. The about 110-acre farm offers plentiful strawberries, apples, raspberries, various row crops, hay fields, woods, and a pasture.
It has seasonal U-pick dates with rotating vegetables and fruits, which generally run from mid-June through mid-October, the next of which will begin June 2023 for strawberries.
Visit the Spiller Farm Store while you’re here. The store has various items, including farm-fresh eggs, chicken, beef, pork, homemade cider doughnuts, special gift offerings, fresh lunches, pet treats, and more.
Wonder Mountain Fun Park
Wonder Mountain Fun Park is a great place for families to visit in Wells Maine. The main attractions include Adventure Mini-Golf, go-karts, the Treasure Trap Human Maze, and Franky’s Game Room.
Race a go-kart along the winding Snake Pit racetrack, which has both single and double-seater cars. Try to keep it under par on the two themed mini-golf courses — Mountain Mania and Nautical Nightmare. Next, navigate the large outdoor maze.
If you’ve been through the maze before, don’t fret — the paths change frequently.
If you want another challenge, try your luck in the game room, which has nearly 50 arcade games and around 100 prizes.
If you love to golf, Wells Maine has a couple of fantastic country clubs. Merriland Farm is a family-owned and operated, par-3 golf course that’s surrounded by idyllic farmland. Since 1993, golfers of all levels have enjoyed playing here.
Old Marsh Country Club is an 18-hole championship golf course that has been ranked in the Top 10 Best in America by Golf Magazine. It has a practice facility on site, as well as an in-ground pool, two tennis courts, fitness facilities, an outdoor patio, and a pub.
Enjoy a Scenic Hike
There are many trails to hike in Wells Maine, quite a few of which connect or run adjacent to each other and/or connect with local natural areas — Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Wells Reserve at Laudholm.
You can follow the Wells Beach Trail north to the Wells Jetty Trail, where you can enjoy some quiet walking, birding, or fishing. These trails follow along the gorgeous white sands of Wells Beach and offer stunning coastal views.
Visit Wells Maine Historic Sites
There are quite a few historic sites in Wells Maine with unique and interesting stories. Most of them are quick stops but are definitely worth the visit.
Storer Garrison State Historic Site
This site memorializes battles fought between early British Colonial Wells settlers and Native Americans aligned with the French. A granite monument is located in the park that marks the location of Lieutenant Storer’s garrison.
This historic site features Wells’ first settlement house, along with a monument naming the town’s founders. There is also a walking trail and picnic area here.
Bridge of Flowers at Webhannet Falls Park
This charming bridge pays homage to the first permanent mills in the town, which was established around 1640.
Indoor Things to Do in Wells Maine
Antiquing is huge in this small town and is one of the top things to do in Wells Maine. There are a surprising number of antique shops. The quaint resort town has even amassed enough shops (and a passion for antiquing) to become part of the Maine Antique Trail.
Here’s a list of some of the top antique shops in Wells. Have fun treasure hunting:
- Breakaway Design & Antiques is perfect for those in search of unique furniture crafted from refurbished and repurposed antiques and materials.
- After walking in through the brick-red storefront, you’ll fall in love with the selection of antique and vintage furniture, lighting, decor, and accessories at Carboni Antiques.
- In Wells Maine since 1967, The Farm Antiques specializes in fine English antiques, including English-period accessories and furniture from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It also carries prints, paintings, mirrors, Japanese Imari, and Chinese export porcelains from the 18th and 19th centuries.
- R. Jorgensen Antiques also specializes in fine period antiques and has one of the biggest collections in both Maine and New England. You’ll enjoy the scenic lawns and gardens of the historic property when you visit.
- Featuring 8,000 square feet, Bo-Mar Hall Antiques & Collectibles is a large antique store with a sizable collection of antiques, vintage items, handmade goods, and more.
- Selling a little bit of everything, Reeds Antiques & Collectibles has plenty of collectible treasures, antiques, vintage goods and wares, primitives, and home decor. It’s well worth combing through the selection.
- Anytime Antiques has a wide selection of modern, vintage, and antique goods, as well as furniture and decorative pieces. There are plenty of farmhouse-style items too.
Bibliophiles can get happily lost for hours in Harding’s Books, a massive bookstore in Wells Maine with 14 rooms. It has more than 100,000 books for sale, including rare, out-of-print, modern, new, and used books in every genre and category with specializations in coastal New England history, Americana, antiques, art, and genealogy.
Looking for something older? Harding’s even carries various prints and maps dating from the 1500s through the 1800s.
The shop is a member of the Maine Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association and the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, and it has been a favorite locale and destination for collectors since 1960.
Flagship Premium Cinemas
Are you in the mood to watch a movie on the big screen? Flagship Premium Cinemas has super comfortable accommodations — reserve a power recliner in advance so that you can watch the next box office hit in the theater.
The cinema shows first-run movies and a variety of rotating films using high-quality digital projection technology and surround sound. Before you immerse yourself in a film, stop by the concession stand for a drink and snack, or grab a wine or beer at the on-site bar.
Weathervanes of Maine
This impressive, eclectic shop specializes in weathervanes and cupolas. The artisans at Weathervanes of Maine are second-generation local coppersmiths who have crafted more than 1,000 weathervane designs individually.
The family-owned and run shop has crafted high-quality pieces for more than 30 years, with previous customers including the governor of Maine and the Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown New York.
Take a piece of Wells Maine home with you when you buy one of its fabulous pieces of art.
You and your family can enjoy an array of games at Boardwalk Arcade. Play games like Mario Kart Arcade GP, Duo Drive, Pop-A-Ball, Guitar Hero, and so much more. Plus, it’s within walking distance of Wells Beach.
The arcade is open seasonally, closing for winter each year and reopening in May.
Naviina Salon & Day Spa
Feel relaxed and rejuvenated at Naviina Salon & Day Spa in Wells Maine. It offers a variety of pampering, self-care, beauty, and wellness services.
Refresh your look with a new haircut, color, style, perm, conditioning treatment, extension set, or blowout followed by having a professional MUA do your makeup. Pamper yourself some more with a refreshing facial or massage.
Naviina offers various types of massages, including hot stone, Swedish, deep tissue, and prenatal massage. It also has other cosmetic services and injectibles available — Botox, Jeuveau, Xeomin, dermaplaning, waxing, and eyelash extensions.
Best Restaurants in Wells Maine
R&R Chocolate & Delights
Indulge your sweet tooth at family-owned R&R Chocolate & Delights. You won’t miss the sunny yellow building that’s filled to the brim with decadent treats.
You can expect cannolis, handcrafted chocolates, toffee, peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered Twinkies and pretzels, peppermint patties, caramels, triple-dipped strawberries, and more.
You can create your own custom cannoli at the Cannoli Bar. In need of some lunch too? R&R is also a bistro, so you can enjoy a fresh sandwich paired with an Italian soda.
Perkins Cove Candies
Who knew such a small town could have more than one amazing chocolatier? Perkins Cove Candies is a maker of fabulous gourmet chocolates and candies.
The mouthwatering selection will please lovers of dark and milk chocolate, salt water taffy, and sea salt caramels — and everything in between. However, it is most well known for its turtles, caramel, and nuts wrapped in chocolate.
Perkins Cove Candies has a second location in Ogunquit Maine if you feel like exploring.
Near Moody Beach, Spinnakers specializes in amazingly fresh seafood and Maine craft beer and wine. Treat yourself to Maine comfort classics, as well as creative twists on your favorites.
The fried whole clams and fried natural dry sea scallops are hard to beat. And, the Maine lobster roll can be ordered with warm butter, lemon aioli, or chipotle lime aioli.
Spinnakers closes for the winter, so check its operating hours before going.
In need of a hearty meal? The Steakhouse has you covered. Whether you’re craving surf, turf, or comfort food, the fare will not disappoint.
Some not-to-miss menu items include steak, the baked and stuffed Maine lobster tail combo, broiled scallops, roast lamb shank, Lazy Lobster served with hot butter, and steakhouse shepherd’s pie.
Since 1955, Congdon’s Doughnuts has been serving hot breakfast and some of the best fresh doughnuts that you can find. Nothing pairs better with a steaming cup of coffee than an apple fritter and some corned beef hash.
Some of its other delicious doughnut flavors include maple bacon fritters, chocolate twists, Bavarian creme, and honey dip. It makes whoopie pies as well.
Congdon’s closes for a break in winter, so if your heart is set on a buttercrunch, visit outside of sweater-weather season.
Billy’s Chowder House
Billy’s Chowder House offers great food in a uniquely picturesque location. It overlooks a tidal marsh and the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge. Sit at the bar, and you’re bound to spot some seals lounging and fish jumping through the window.
The restaurant is well known for its delicious chowder and lobster rolls, but all of the seafood is fantastic — everything is extremely fresh.
Like quite a few other places in Wells Maine, Billy’s closes during the chilly season. Check its hours or call ahead if you’re visiting in winter.
Best Places to Stay in Wells Maine
Sun Outdoors Wells Beach
Sun Outdoors Wells Beach is only 1 mile from the beautiful Wells Beach. It’s the perfect place to stay if you are traveling in an RV or want to go camping. The resort has many RV and tent sites available, including full hookup sites with fireplaces and picnic tables.
The resort has numerous unique, on-site amenities — an 18-hole miniature golf course, two playgrounds, a basketball court, a sand volleyball area, a dog park, a heated swimming pool, and an arcade and game room.
The campground resort also has a camp store where you can buy camping supplies and necessities, souvenirs, groceries, ice, wood, and more. There’s even a fitness center, a laundromat, free wi-fi, and more.
Atlantic Oceanfront Motel
Atlantic Oceanfront Motel offers a couple of accommodation types for your stay — the motel itself and two house rentals. The motel is just steps from Wells Beach, while one house rental is across the street from the motel and the other is in nearby Ogunquit.
Most of the rooms have private balconies that provide sweeping views of the ocean, and all rooms include a fridge and microwave, air conditioning, a flat-screen television, and free Wi-Fi.
Elmwood Resort Hotel
Elmwood Resort Hotel offers ample one, two, and three-bedroom condominium suites. For your convenience, the kitchens come stocked with plates, bowls, utensils, and more. The beds are super comfortable — rest well on a Serta Suite Dreams mattress with Cuddledown bedding.
Also, the hotel has an outdoor movie theater, fire pit, picnic area, heated pool, playground, and seasonal live entertainment.
Discover More Things to Do in Wells Maine & Beyond
Now that you have plenty of Wells Maine vacation ideas, you can plan your trip confidently and without missing a thing. Whether you want to relax in nature or at the spa, Wells has something for you.