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Welcome to Scarborough

Scarborough has miles of beaches, the largest saltwater marsh in the state, a network of walking and biking trails, golf courses, a disk golf course and a race karting track. Scarborough also has great eating, with a bunch of seafood restaurants, Maine-made ice cream stands, a Maine potato donut shop and a candy shop with a life-size chocolate moose.

 

1. Eastern Trail

Eastern Trail. Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

This mostly off-road walking and biking trail runs 65 miles from Kittery to Bug Light Park in South Portland. Some of the most scenic sections of this popular trail run through the Scarborough Marsh. This portion of the trail can be accessed off Pine Point Road/Route 9. See the website for trail details, including a free downloadable trail guide. (easterntrail.org)

2. The Holy Donut

The Holy Donut. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

One of the first stops off exit 42 is the Scarborough location of The Holy Donut, serving Maine potato donuts with gourmet flavors such as dark chocolate sea salt, chai, maple bacon, triple berry and Allen’s Coffee Brandy. They open at 6 a.m., and sell out, so get there before noon for the best selection. When the donuts run out, they close. Another treat: the Coffee by Design iced coffee made with coffee ice cubes. The restaurant is at 398 U.S. Route 1. There’s a drive-thru, but if you go in you can see all the options.(theholydonut.com)

3. Len Libby

At this candy shop in Scarborough (419 U.S. Route 1) you can take a selfie with a 1,700-pound life-size chocolate moose. Len Libby’s has been making candy in Scarborough since 1926. They’ve got hand-dipped chocolate, taffy, fudge, ice-cream and touristy gifts. Local candy favorites include Needhams and Bangor Taffy. (lenlibby.com)

4. Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center

Scarborough Marsh. Photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald

The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center (92 Pine Point Road, Route 9) is a starting point for exploring the state’s largest salt marsh (3,100 acres!). Early fall, when the salt hay turns golden-colored, is arguably the most beautiful time of the year. The Marsh is beloved by naturalists, birders, canoers, kayakers, photographers and artists. The nature center hosts guided walks and canoe tours and has exhibits, a nature trail and a nature store that rents canoes and kayaks (open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Labor Day and the following two weekends). (207–883–5100)

5. The Clambake

The Clambake. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

This supersized seafood joint (358 Pine Point Road) has four large dining rooms overlooking marshland just around the bend from Pine Point Beach. Fisherman’s platters with shrimp, haddock, clam strips, scallops or whole bodied clams are served with French fries, cole slaw, rolls and butter. The Clambake is open daily, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday) through Columbus Day. (theclambake.com)

6. Pine Point Beach

Pine Point Beach

Don’t be confused by the signage calling this Hurd Park; locals know it as Pine Point Beach. It’s a long sandy beach with a municipal parking lot on Avenue 5 (off King Street) on Pine Point (off Pine Point Road). Pine Point Beach runs into Old Orchard Beach and is the quieter, just-the-beach end of things with public restrooms. Surfing is allowed (with a surfboard leash), dogs are not allowed during prime hours and there are no lifeguards. Parking $15 per day through Labor Day—and then it’s free, with some beautiful late summer fun still be had.

7. Scarborough Beach State Park

One of the best swimming and surfing beaches in New England, Scarborough Beach State Park (418 Black Point Road, Scarborough) is open daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sept. 15, then 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sept. 30. (Maine residents are $6 adults, $4 kids, $3 seniors; for out-of-staters, $8 adults, $6 kids and $4 seniors; 207–883–2416)

8. Pleasant Hill Disc Golf

Disc golf involves throwing a concave plastic disc into a series of metal baskets on an outdoor course, and just like regular golf, win by using the fewest possible throws. Try it at Pleasant Hill Disc Golf (38 Chamberlain Road), which has an 18-hole course on a former golf course. It’s a big playing area, 40-acres including wide-open lawns as well as densely wooded shots and a few water hazards. ($9 for unlimited daily play; 207–883–8387; philldiscgolf.com)

9. Maine Indoor Karting

Experience what it feels like to drive a race car! Racers behind the wheels of these gas-powered go-karts hit speeds of up to 40 mph on a multi-turn course inside a 42,000-square-foot entertainment facility. There’s also a mini golf course and arcade. (207–885–0058; maineindoorkarting.com)

10. Winslow Homer Studio

Winslow Homer Studio. Photo by Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald

A visit to the Winslow Homer Studio on Prouts Neck in Scarborough highlights the sweeping ocean views where the famous American artist painted many of his best-known masterpieces in the late 1800s. The Portland Museum of Art, which owns the studio, offers 2.5-hour tours that start and end at the PMA (luxury van included) at 7 Congress Square, Portland. Guests leave the studio with a fuller appreciation of Homer the artist and a deeper understanding of Homer the man: how he saw the world, lived his life and found his inspiration. ($65 for adults, $40 for museum members, $25 for students with an ID; 207–775–6148; portlandmuseum.org/homer)

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