When the highway clogs with summer vacationers heading off to Cape Cod and Cape Ann, we suggest you drive a bit further north to York Maine, where you’ll find great beaches, festive amusements and even a bit of early American history. Just over an hour’s drive north of Boston, York, Maine, offers something to interest every member of your family. Whether you’re looking to outlet shop, collect antiques, play at amusement parks or simply sit with your toes in the sand, York has you covered in spades.
We ventured to York Beach for a girlfriends getaway and found ample activities to keep us busy for days. We whizzed right by the Kittery Outlet Malls, but made a stop at the Stonewall Kitchen flagship store to pick up tasty snacks. We considered signing up for one of their entertaining cooking classes, but decided to leave that for another time.
Our hotel of choice was the Anchorage Inn located directly across from Long Sands Beach. This sprawling gray-shingled property has several accommodation buildings. The largest is a 3-story main building with direct oceanfront views and shared balconies, giving everyone a wonderful ocean view, although not a lot of privacy. We had a great time here and would definitely return again. When making your reservation we suggest you phone the resort to talk about the room description and view options – because there are many!
We stayed in the new Ocean Suites building that was wonderful and well worth the higher cost. If you’re traveling as a family, for a romantic getaway or simply want a luxury experience, this is where you want to be. We spent hours sipping coffee and wine on our lovely balcony overlooking colorful flower beds and the ocean. The living room has a gas fireplace for even more atmosphere; but my absolute favorite amenity was the heated bathroom floor!
Beach-goers have the best of both worlds at Long Sands Beach. One half-moon beach is craggy and rocky – great for kids to climb on rocks and play in tide pools. The other side has smooth sand and allows surf and paddle boards. Perched atop the beach divide bluff is a great restaurant – The Sea N Surf. After a day of sunbathing and beach walking we freshened up and walked across the street from the hotel to enjoy dinner right at the ocean’s edge – how great is that!
Lots of Activities in York
Travel a short distance north on Rt 1A to the beach village where you’ll find a festive amusement park atmosphere. Along the way you’ll want to make a stop to see Cape Neddick and the famous 1879 Nubble Lighthouse. Once in the village visit the Goldenrod Candy Company for freshly made salt water taffy and other yummy confections. Rossi’s Bakery is a must visit for mouthwatering Italian pastries. Of course, ice cream shops, restaurants and souvenir shops abound. And like any turn-of-the-century beach town, you’ll find throw-back arcades and amusements as well. Just past the town is York’s Wild Kingdom Amusement Park to entertain the little ones.
Heading south from the hotel on Rt 1A will bring you to York Village, a quintessential historic New England town. York Maine was the first incorporated town in America, being established in 1642. The Museums of Old York have done an outstanding job of preserving the history and historic buildings of this seafaring town. Tour the Old Gaol, Corner Schoolhouse, Homesteads, John Hancock Warehouse and Jefferd’s Tavern, just to name a few of the preserved properties. You could easily spend a day immersed in colonial life by visiting York Village.
So for a wonderful beach getaway with some honky-tonk charm, ocean view lodging and historic village, take the short drive north to York, Maine.