Coastal Lodging in Maine
With more coastline than California, Maine's seacoast provides a diverse presentation of sandy beachfront, rocky terrain and quaint seaside towns. Vacationing on the coast of Maine means visitors can exlpore the natural resources of the land as well as enjoy the best of Maine's harbor towns. Southern Maine's coastal towns are conveniently located between I-95 and the beach off Route 1 providing easy access to a dreamy coastal vacation. Passing Portland, I95 diverges inland toward Bangor. With Route 1 running all along Maine's coast, visitors touring the coast can drink in the beauty of the coastal landscape as well as stop in any town the main road passes through. As Route 1 often serves as the main road for coastal towns, you'll find a bunch of boutiques and antique shops, amusement parks, restaurants, bars, diners, coastal lodges, art galleries, along with more attractions and motels than you can imagine.
Many seaside towns and harbors in Maine offer many opportunities for exploring the coast with kayaking rentals, sailing cruises, windjammer tours, kite surfing, lobster boat tours, and ferries that access the many coastal islands, particularly in Ogunquit, Kennebunk, Portland, Camden, Boothbay and Bar Harbor. The coast can also be explored via the many walking and biking trails including the Eastern Trail stretching from Kittery to Portland, Maine. And of course, the beaches attract many travelers during the summer months and even spring and fall. You can even stroll the beaches in winter - when the deep dark blue sea sparkles and the sand crunches under your feet.
York, Maine is endowed with many pleasures that attract people in summer, and all year round. Vacationers can pass their time on their vacation by lounging at the sandy beaches, Short Beach and Long Beach. Mt Agamenticus sitting just inland in York, offers beautiful panoramic views for hikers and bikers with Cape Neddick hugging the Atlantic Ocean to the East and looking out to the White Mountains in New Hampshire to the North West. With a basket of snacks and a blanket, you can visit Sohier Park with The Nubble Lighthouse perched on its own island. During the wintertime, The Nubble Light is worth visiting for the Lighting of the Nubble at Christmas time. Fall is a great time to visit York, there are harvest fests and pumpkins and beautiful fall foliage. Nearby York, you can also go on a shopping spree any season at the Kittery Outlets, famous for its collection of varied shops including the Kittery Trading Post. The upscale nature of this coastal town of York and York Harbor is reflected in the luxurious lodges found here including lovely historic inns, deluxe hotels and seaside resorts.
The little town of Ogunquit has developed into a youthful artful spot. Oguqnuit has become a haven for artists, musicians, great chefs and there is even a gay friendly community. Ogunquit offers loads of great restaurants, shops, boutiques and many bars and clubs along Rt.1 setting the mood for Ogunquit's thriving night life. For those less inclined toward the bar scene, Ogunquit also hosts the famed Ogunquit Playhouse featuring many off-Broadway productions and musicals in a classic summer stock theatre setting. On a warm summer day, Ogunquit Beach is filled with sunbathers, volley ball games, families and fishermen. Marginal Way also provides a lovely stroll over a mile with delightful ocean views from downtown Ogunquit to Perkins Cove.
Sitting between Ogunquit and Kennebunk is Wells, Maine featuring a higher concentration of brand name hotels and shops than its sister coastal towns. You will find mini-golf, movie theatres, and many family friendly restaurants in Wells. As for natural resources, Wells, Maine is home to the long sandy Wells Beach and Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm attracting kayakers exploring the salt water marsh leading to the sea. The marsh, which is part of the Rachael Carlson Wildlife Reserve, is also a sanctuary for birds with 7 miles of walking trails. During the wintertime, the Wells Reserve makes for a perfect area for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing starting out at Laudholm Farm. Lodges in Wells, Maine tend to have more reasonable prices in comparison to hotels and motels in Ogunquit and Kennebunkport.
The towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, collectively known as the Kennebunks, are likely to be the most famous in all of Maine despite the small population size in comparison to the city of Portland. Thanks to the national recognition from famous dignitaries including the Bush family owning real estate on Walker's Point, the Kennebunks are a popular destination for vacations in Maine. Kennebunkport alone hosts many romantic bed and breakfasts, lovely hotels and inns, and resorts with tons of amenities for an active vacation getaway. In the Kennebunks, vacationers are drawn to a heap of boutique shops and restaurants on Rt 1 and along the beach and ocean avenues including Dock Square in Kennebunkport.
The historical seaside city of Portland, once a vital fishing port, is now a revitalized community with a wide variety of flourishing businesses, shopping, art galleries and some of the top restaurants in New England. Even as the largest city in Maine, Portland has maintained its laid back nature providing a place for both the youth and mature alike. During the day, the varied boutique shops and art galleries throughout the Old Port, Art District and along Congress Street are brimming with shoppers and casual visitors. At night, the bars and clubs are open to keep the nightlife and Maine music scene alive in Portland. Many major chain hotels and more unique boutique hotels have come to Portland - so your choice of lodging in town Portland are vast and varied.
Among the many popular Midcoast towns in Maine is Boothbay Harbor, also regarded as the Boating Capital of New England. For anyone with a coastal boat tour on their vacation itinerary, this Midcoast town is an excellent choice for a harbor cruise or a scenic lighthouse trip aboard a schooner. Many boat cruises offer tours to nearby islands including Burnt Island and Monhegan Island where you will often see marine and wildlife including seals, whales and puffins. Aside from the stunning coastal boat tours, Boothbay Harbor is also a spot for gardeners when you visit Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Avid hikers will enjoy a day boat trip to Monhegan where you can hike 17 miles of dramatic terrain and the Lighthouse on Monhegan Island, as well as 20 miles of year-round trails that Boothbay Region Land Trust preserves back on main land.
Traveling up to the Downeast region of Maine is Mount Desert Island, home to the popular Maine destination: Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The scenery along the Bar Harbor coast is a breathtaking experience for those hiking Cadillac Mountain or exploring the coast on a boat tour. Beachgoers can enjoy sunbathing, but it takes a brave soul to swim in this region at Acadia National Park's famous (frigid) Sand Beach - even on the warmest days of summer. Vacationers have many choices for lodgings Down East around Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island as there are so many bed and breakfasts and seaside resorts that spoil their guests with views that celebrate the region's landscape.