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Welcome to Kittery, York, the Berwicks & Ogunquit

Welcome to Maine! There’s no better place to start your adventure than off Exit 7. With beaches, lighthouses, scenic trails, historic summer theaters, art galleries and plenty of delightful places to stay and eat, the communities of York, Ogunquit, Kittery and the Berwicks are popular vacation spots.

 

1. York Beaches

With miles of sandy beaches, the Yorks—York Village, York Harbor and York Beach—are popular places to get some sun and surf. Long Sands Beach, along U.S. Route 1, is more than a mile long, with views of Cape Neddick Light, umbrella rentals and designated surfing areas. Short Sands Beach, though unsurprisingly a shorter beach, is surrounded by a cute little village with places to eat and shop. The Fun-O-Rama arcade is right off the beach, and York’s Animal Kingdom, an amusement park and zoo, is within walking distance.

2. Cape Neddick (Nubble) Light

Cape Neddick Light (“Nubble Light”)

Nubble Light is one of the most photographed places in York County. Though its official name has been the Cape Neddick Light Station since 1939, the lighthouse, built in 1879, was originally Nubble Light and the name has stuck. The public is not allowed on the island (owned by the town of York), but you can get good views of the lighthouse from Sohier Park, on Nubble Road off U.S. Route 1 in York; there’s visitor parking, benches and restrooms. A small gift shop run by volunteers is open through October; proceeds benefit the park and lighthouse. If you get hungry, Fox’s Lobster House and Dunne’s Ice Cream are nearby. (nubblelight.org)

3. The Goldenrod

The Goldenrod. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Saltwater taffy has been pulled in the display window here every summer since 1896, when the Goldenrod was the first stop for visitors who came to the beach by train. More than a century later, the Goldenrod at 2 Railroad Road, York, sells 8 million pieces of taffy a year, not to mention other candies, sundaes and sandwiches. There’s an old-fashioned penny candy counter and an ice cream soda fountain with a menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. (thegoldenrod.com)

4. Flo’s Steamed Hot Dogs

It’s worth standing in line at the red hot dog shack at 1359 U.S. Route 1, Cape Neddick for steamed hot dogs with Flo’s famous onion-and-molasses relish, mayonnaise and a sprinkle of celery salt. No ketchup! The family business hasn’t changed much since 1959, other than branching into online sales of jarred relish (well worth slathering on). Open year-round 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., except Wednesdays. There are counter stools and a few picnic tables. (floshotdogs.com)

5. Andy Happel and Los Galactacos

Los Galactacos, a musical group made of adventuring stringbenders, strummers, pickers and percussionists exploring an atlas of musical styles and songs, is putting on a show at Ogunquit Performing Arts (S. Judson Dunaway Center, 23 School St.), Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Their wide repertoire includes: Tex/Mex folk; Appalachian string music; Canadian maritimes fiddle tunes; the Classic American Songbook; ol’ time Country; and music for wherever people gather and celebrate. ($15 in advance, $20 at the door, $5 for students; ogunquitperformingarts.org)

6. The Museums of Old York

Museums of Old York. Photo by Robert Taylor, courtesy Old York Historical Society

York was the site of one of the earliest English settlements in the country, and the maritime community here became the seat of government for the Province of Maine. The Museums of Old York offers tours of eight historic buildings going back to the colonial period, including the Old Gaol (Jail), the one-room York Corner Schoolhouse, The Old Burying Ground, the Elizabeth Perkins House and the Emerson-Wilcox House Museum. $15 for  all-day tickets ($10 under 16), or visit just one building for $8 ($5 per child). Fall hours start Sept. 5; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and Sunday 1–5 p.m. (oldyork.org)

7. Mt. Agamenticus

Mount Agamenticus. Photo by Taylor Roberge

What better time than Indian Summer to hike Mount Agamenticus in York, which offers 40 miles of trails, picnic tables, birding platforms and perfect views of Maine’s sunrise and sunset. While most of the trails are moderate, somewhat rocky hikes to the 692-foot summit, a universal access trail is partially finished and affords views of the Presidential Range to the northwest and the coast to the south. Dogs welcome on leash. For directions to the trailhead and more information about the various trails leading up to the top of the mountain. (agamenticus.org)

8. Marginal Way

Marginal Way

When they say the best things in life are free, they must have been referring to Marginal Way. This mile-long cliffside nature path in Ogunquit has some of the most stunning ocean views in New England. Marginal Way runs “on the margin” of the rocky coastline from the Sparhawk Resort to the docks of Perkins Cove. Claim one of the cliffside benches and savor the view.

9. Ogunquit Museum of American Art

The Ogunquit Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Amy Paradysz

The Ogunquit Museum of Art is closely tied to one of the earliest art colonies of the American modernist era. The View from Narrow Cove, an exhibit that highlights Ogunquit’s influence as a major art colony, as well as Eating Flowers: Sensations of Cig Harvey and Subject Matters: Sebastian Martorana in Sculpture run through Oct. 31. A small sculpture garden overlooks Narrow Cove and the Atlantic Ocean. The museum is at 543 Shore Road, a short walk from Perkins Cove. Daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students and free for kids 12 and under; 207–646–4909; ogunquitmuseum.org)

10. Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit Playhouse. Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

The Ogunquit Playhouse carries on its legacy as “America’s Foremost Summer Theatre” with a full calendar of musicals through late October. Menopause The Musical runs through Sept. 4–14, followed by Kinky Boots, Sept. 18–Oct. 27. (ogunquitplayhouse.org)

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