What's On Your Bucket List

Anyone who’s ever crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge, the I-95 connector between New Hampshire and Maine, can testify to that certain feeling one gets knowing your perfect beach vacation is at hand.  Daily life has just been left in the rearview mirror and long days stretch ahead, filled with the sights and sounds unique to coastal life here in the Maine Beaches.  For some, this is a first-time visit.  For others, this has become a trip steeped in tradition, and awakens generations of memories.  Either way, a vacation here in the Maine Beaches region is worthy of ‘Bucket List’ status.  And in that vein, whether this is your first or hundredth visit, we would love to suggest our own ‘Bucket List’ for anyone choosing to make the Maine Beaches their vacation destination.  Below you’ll find several well-known, and some lesser known experiences that make any trip here unique, special, and authentically Maine Beaches.  So grab your pen and we hope you enjoy checking each of these items off your list!

Visit the Nubble

The Cape Neddick Lighthouse (fondly known as Nubble Light) is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world.  Located in Sohier Park just off Nubble Road, this majestic icon has been lighting the way since colonial times.  Open year round, the Nubble boasts exceptional views, is a perfect place to bring your picnic lunch, and is home to several unique species of birds.  You might even spot a harbor seal or two sunning themselves on the rocks! 

Walk the Marginal Way

When one meanders this one-mile cliff walk in Ogunquit, there is no doubt the words “majestic”, “spectacular” and “unparalleled” will come to mind while taking in the views.  Benches dotting the path invite visitors to sit a while, giving the sights and sounds a chance to embed themselves into memory.  The Marginal Way is wheelchair accessible and easily walkable, making it something everyone in your entire family will enjoy. 

Indulge in some Pier Fries

While seeing the pier jutting out from Old Orchard Beach is a treat in and of itself, as is the seaside amusement park located there too, a trip to OOB wouldn’t be complete without savoring an order of Pier French Fries.  Whether you have them with salt, ketchup or vinegar (yeah, we do that here), they are sure to join lobster rolls and fried clams as your “must-eats” on your Maine Beaches vacation! 

Ride Excalibur

Time to get your brave on!  The last time a wooden roller coaster was built in Maine was 1938. That coaster burned to the ground 10 years later and was never rebuilt. In 1998, Maine finally got a new wooden roller coaster when Excalibur began running through the woods of Funtown Splashtown USA. This is the largest and tallest coaster in the state’s history, and the largest in Northern New England.  Although there are many types of roller coasters in the world, until you’ve ridden Excalibur, you cannot call yourself a true roller coaster aficionado! 

Take a Scenic Flight

You may have seen our coastline by car, by trolley and on foot, but may we suggest taking in the amazing expanse by plane?  The Maine Beaches is home to the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, which offers scenic flights for those seeking a unique view of the area.  Bring your family, and most certainly bring your camera for this experience.

Photograph the Wedding Cake House

Called the “most photographed house in the state” of Maine, the Wedding Cake House, known formally as the George W. Bourne House, is a historic house located at 104 Summer Street in Kennebunk.  The “Wedding Cake” name came from its wedding cake-like appearance. Legend had it that the busy Bourne, a sea captain, had done the carpentry work to atone for not having taken his bride, Jane, on a proper honeymoon. Although this was not the case, like the Wedding Cake House, legends have a way of capturing our imagination! 

Explore Wells Reserve at Laudholm

Steeped in rich history, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm is a National Estuarine Research Reserve with its headquarters listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Reserve is home to miles of trails (open year-round for hiking, snow shoeing and cross-country skiing), guided tours, a remarkable array of birds and wildlife, and in 2017, is hosting the Summer of Art & Science.  A visit to this hidden gem is sure become something you’ll want to do again and again!

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