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Exploring Southern Maine's Beaches

John Kernick Maine Lobster

Photo: John Kernick

Sandy beaches, wild blueberries, rowboat rides, and lobster at least once a day! Look no further than the state’s southern coast for summer as it was meant to be. The southern shore is Maine’s beachside boardwalk, its most kid-friendly playground. Here the beaches have sand—sand! Prices are reasonable, even in summer. And nothing beats the state’s south end for sheer variety of landscapes and attractions.

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Inspired by: The Maine Attraction | T+L Family — by Peter Jon Lindberg, Published May. 2007

Hotels (4)

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    Dockside Guest Quarters

    Situated directly on York Harbor, this family-owned inn is housed in a white clapboard cottage built in the 1890’s, with covered porches overlookin

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    Stage Neck Inn

    Set on a rocky bluff between York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean, the Stage Neck Inn is designed in an old New England style, with shake roofs, whit

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    Beach House Inn

    This 1891 inn, a sister property to the nearby White Barn, is set right on Mother’s Beach overlooking the steel-blue waters of the Atlantic. Purcha

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    Yachtsman Lodge & Marina

    This single-level, yellow and green inn operates from May through the first week of December on the eastern shore of the scenic Kennebunk River, a

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Restaurants (9)

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    Goldenrod

    This candy store and restaurant has been a pillar of the Cape Neddick area since 1896, thanks mainly to their homemade saltwater taffy, fudge, and

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    Grissini, Kennebunkport

    In a region with so many seasonal restaurants, Grissini stands out for being open year-round and for its refined Tuscan food. The space sports whit

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    Flo's

    For 50 years, the Stacy family has been serving up some of America's best dogs from this ramshackle, cabin-like red shed in Maine. The franks come

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    Wild Willy's Burgers

    Now one of six regional locations, the original Wild Willy’s began serving its signature handmade burgers in 2001. Like the other branches, the fla

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    MC Perkins Cove

    Chefs/partners Mark (“M”) Gaier and Clark (“C”) Frasier of the esteemed Ogunquit restaurant Arrows opened this seaside bistro in quaint Perkins Cov

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    The Clam Shack

    The Clam Shack has been a summertime tradition since 1968. That’s when Richard Jacques debuted his seafood hut above the Kennebunk River. In 2000,

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    Barnacle Billy's

    In 1961, longtime fisherman and lobsterman Billy Tower started scouring nearby waters for seafood to serve at his casual, Perkins Cove restaurant,

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    Maine Diner

    This instant institution has been open along Highway One since 1983. The low-slung white building with a blue awning flies a series of flags along

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    Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier

    This massive red-roofed building remains open daily throughout out the year (with truncated hours from Mother’s Day to Columbus Day) and specialize

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Activities (17)

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    Buffum Hill Farm

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    York Corner Gardens

    Located in southeast Maine, minutes from the New Hampshire border and just off the Maine Turnpike (i-95), this roadside stand on the Bluestar Memor

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    Spiller Farm

    There's a whole lot happening at Spiller Farm. Strawberries, apples, raspberries, potatoes, and other fruits and veggies are grown on the land, and

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    Congdon's

    This family-owned bakery and diner is beloved for its doughnuts, which come in unusual flavors like butter crunch, maple crème, and powdered chocol

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    The Eleanor

    This four-sailed schooner offers visitors the chance to take a ride on the wild side — of the Atlantic, that is. Cushioned cabin seating, a teak co

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    Nick's Chance

    Guests can experience a beloved New England tradition aboard Nick's Chance, a state-of-the-art whale-watching vessel that sails the Gulf of Maine d

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    Finestkind Scenic Cruises

    Finestkind Cruises has three diesel-engine vessels making as many as 15 trips a day along the Ogunquit shore of Coastal Maine. The boats—named Fine

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    Ugly Anne

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    Fun-O-Rama

    Harkening back to the early 1970’s, this old-fashioned arcade sits directly on Short Sands Beach in a white, corrugated metal building with big red

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    Short Sands Beach

    A great place for a stroll, this quarter-mile stretch of Atlantic coastline bordering downtown York Beach is one of New England's top summertime de

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    Fort Foster

    The land of this 88-acre park was purchased by the federal government in 1872, eventually becoming a defense outpost for the Naval Shipyard in resp

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    Wells Auto Museum

    Home to more than 80 antique cars, this nonprofit museum appeals to auto enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Founded in 1946 by husband-and-wife t

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    Seashore Trolley Museum

    Ted Santarelli, John Amlaw, and Gerald Cunningham founded this museum in 1939 to celebrate the region’s rail-riding tradition. The non-profit New E

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    Wells Reserve at Laudholm

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a National Estuarine Research Reserve that protects 2,250 acre

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    Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

    Encompassing over 5,000 acres of salt marshes filled with migratory birds, maritime forests, and coastal dunes, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife

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