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What do you get once you mix the fantastic thing about the southern Maine coast with the irresistible draw of small-town America? You get the great city of York!
With an space of solely 55 sq. miles, York is a gorgeous city situated within the southernmost a part of the state. It’s recognized for its beautiful seashores, historic landmarks, and traditional New England environment. York is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot for individuals from everywhere in the world, particularly households, and shortly you’ll see why!
I’m from Massachusetts and I’ve been visiting York since I used to be a child, all the time getting hypnotized by the taffy machines on the Goldenrod. However York’s not the form of place you develop out of — each time my pals and I do a day journey as much as Maine, we all the time must eat on the Maine Diner in Wells and cease in York on the best way again!
York has a relaxed and welcoming vibe, particularly in comparison with different close by cities. One of many issues that provides York its distinctive taste is its unlikely place, as if town needed to be positioned with probably the most spectacular views attainable. Snuggled up into the Atlantic Ocean ocean, you’ll be able to take pleasure in miles of sandy seashores and breathtaking ocean views.
York is residence to a number of locally-owned outlets and cafes, and boasts a vibrant arts scene. The city additionally hosts a number of festivals and occasions all year long, like York Harvestfest.
And naturally, you’ll be able to’t neglect concerning the meals! York is residence to a number of the greatest high quality eating seafood eating places in Maine, and also you’ll discover all the pieces from lobster rolls to contemporary oysters.
Let me present you what makes York particular.
This publish, revealed in November 2023, was co-written by Adventurous Kate and Susan Stephens.
Finest Issues to do in York Maine
Nubble Lighthouse is among the greatest lighthouses in Maine — and considered one of my private favorites. The lighthouse resides on a small island, or “nubble,” simply off-shore, and is among the most iconic landmarks in Maine. This picturesque beacon has been guiding ships safely into the harbor since 1879. Its red-roofed Victorian-style lightkeeper’s home is straight out of a romance novel!
With nice views from Sohier Park in York, the lighthouse presents breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged shoreline. Whereas the island will not be open to the general public, the Nubble Mild Present Store is open from Could by way of late October as climate permits.
Come throughout sundown and also you’ll be sharing the view with numerous photographers! In truth, weddings at Sohier Park are fashionable because of the superb backdrop of the lighthouse.
Loosen up on the Seashores
York has a number of the most lovely seashores within the state. With a number of miles of shoreline to take pleasure in, you’ll discover loads of area to unfold out, sunbathe, swim, or take pleasure in water actions.
York Harbor Seaside is understood for its beautiful views, clear water, and smooth sand. Well-liked with locals, this seaside presents facilities together with restrooms, showers, and a playground.
Right here you can too go fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Lifeguards are on responsibility seasonally, and parking is out there alongside Route 1A.
Lengthy Sands Seaside is a beautiful, mile-long stretch of seaside located between York Harbor and York Seaside. Right here you’ll be able to swim, sunbathe, and even surf!
The seaside is well-maintained, and there are lifeguards on responsibility throughout the summer season months. Public restrooms can be found, and metered parking may be discovered alongside Lengthy Seaside Avenue.
The favored Quick Sands Seaside is simply north of Lengthy Sands in Ellis Park, and true to its title, the seaside is simply 1 / 4 of a mile lengthy.
The seaside is well-maintained with restrooms, seasonal lifeguards, and a pleasant promenade with benches that run alongside the seaside. A sandy playground, basketball courts, and a gazebo make this seaside additional particular. Parking is out there for $2 per hour, payable at kiosks.
The Outdated York Historic Society
That is the right place to be taught concerning the historical past of the southern coast of Maine — it was one of many earliest English settlements in america, in any case! Guests will uncover what life was like three centuries in the past with a set of over 100,000 artifacts, together with furnishings, clothes, instruments, and extra.
Step again in time and discover this residing historical past museum that features buildings just like the Emerson-Wilcox Home, a garrison home in-built 1690, and the York Nook Schoolhouse, courting again to 1745. The Outdated York Purpose, additionally situated on the property, is a powerful crimson barn that after served as a jail for greater than 150 years.
Guests can select from a number of guided strolling excursions. Common admission to the museum is $10 for adults and free for kids below 18. The guided strolling excursions are an extra $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
York Seaside Cliff Stroll
The York Cliff Seaside Stroll is a beautiful one-mile, out-and-back scenic stroll that winds alongside the sting of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hearken to the crash of the surf whilst you move pretty coastal houses, native birds hovering — that is what individuals image when they give thought to visiting Maine!
The stroll begins at Hartley Mason Park and ends at a pebbly seaside, the place you flip round to return. The path is paved, however the cement has seen higher days, with alternating sections of filth path. You’ll see a number of benches alongside the best way the place you’ll be able to relaxation and take within the surroundings. And the sunsets listed below are implausible.
The path is rated straightforward to reasonable, and there are just a few stone steps and uneven surfaces to navigate. Metered parking is out there on York Road, beginning on the park and all the way down to Norwood Farms Highway.
Situated within the coronary heart of Quick Sands Seaside and open seasonally, this excellent sweet retailer is understood for its saltwater taffy. The Goldenrod has been in enterprise since 1896 and nonetheless makes use of the unique taffy recipes. And as a child, this was my favourite a part of visiting York.
For those who’d like, you’ll be able to take a self-guided tour of the artwork of taffy-pulling, however many individuals merely collect across the giant home windows outdoors and consider the age-old course of of constructing taffy Goldenrod Kisses! That is additionally an excellent spot for ice cream (not like you might want to be talked into that!).
It is a must-visit for anybody visiting York Seaside with a candy tooth! And to make the deal even sweeter, they’ve a full-service restaurant providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
In some methods I really feel like Maine is a state the place time stands nonetheless just a little bit. Enjoyable-O-Rama is a nostalgic arcade that might simply match into the York of the 90s or earlier. Not that stunning, because it’s been in enterprise for greater than 50 years.
You’ll discover traditional video games like Pac-Man and Skee-Ball, in addition to newer video games like Dance Dance Revolution. Additionally they do quite a lot of redemption video games, the place gamers can win tickets that may be redeemed for prizes. Good alternative to stroll round with an enormous penguin in your arm!
If it’s a wet day in York, Enjoyable-O-Rama is a good place to spend your time. With round 250 video games and rides to select from, you’ll be able to simply spend hours right here!
Wiggly Bridge Distillery
The Wiggly Bridge Distillery is a family-owned, small-batch distillery that produces award-winning spirits, that includes gin, vodka, and whiskey. The distillery is situated in a historic constructing that was as soon as a gristmill. It’s named after the close by Wiggly Bridge, which is the smallest suspension bridge on this planet.
The daddy-and-son crew determined they needed to deliver their ardour for glorious booze to the individuals of Maine. They even hand-built the copper pot stills!
The distillery presents excursions and tastings, and you can too buy their merchandise on-site. Tastings begin at $30 per particular person and excursions begin at $50 per particular person. They even have cocktail-making lessons on some days!
Discover the Hartley Mason Reserve
This gem of a seaside park presents climbing trails, birdwatching, and fishing. The reserve is residence to quite a lot of wildlife, together with deer, turkeys, and foxes. There are a number of climbing trails within the reserve, starting from straightforward to reasonable.
The paths wind by way of the woods and provide great views of the York River with benches sprinkled all through to pause and soak it in. With such a pleasing backdrop, weddings are held right here incessantly within the hotter months.
Metered parking is out there alongside Route 1A and York Road.
Hike Mount Agamenticus
Mount Agamenticus is a 692-foot mountain situated simply outdoors of York. The mountain presents a number of climbing trails and the summit offers panoramic views of the encompassing space. On a transparent day, you’ll be able to see the Atlantic Ocean, the Isles of Shoals, and even the White Mountains of New Hampshire!
The hike to the summit is reasonable and takes about two hours round-trip. The path is well-marked and simple to comply with. For those who don’t need to hike to the summit, there are a number of trails to select from, starting from straightforward to troublesome, so hikers of all ranges can benefit from the mountain.
One of the best time of yr to hike Mount Agamenticus is within the fall when the leaves are altering colour and the air is crisp. Nevertheless, the mountain is open year-round and is a good place to discover in any season. Be sure you deliver correct climbing sneakers.
Go to the Wild Kingdom Zoo and Amusement Park
Situated close to Quick Sands Seaside, the Wild Kingdom Zoo and Amusement Park is the place to go to for a fun-filled day. The zoo has all kinds of animals, together with lions, tigers, monkeys, and a lot extra. The amusement park has rides for all ages, together with a curler coaster, bumper automobiles, and a carousel, simply to call just a few.
Different points of interest on the Wild Kingdom Zoo and Amusement Park embody a butterfly kingdom, mini-golf, and a halfway. That is nice for younger households as there’s one thing to entertain everybody.
The Wild Kingdom Zoo and Amusement Park is open seasonally from Could by way of September. Admission is $17.25 for adults, $11 for kids ages 3-10, and $1 for kids below 3.
York, Maine, is residence to a few essential golf programs, all meticulously maintained. Whether or not you’re a seasoned golfer or simply beginning out, you’re certain to discover a course to fit your talent degree within the York space.
The York Golf and Tennis Membership, which is a non-public 18-hole course, options difficult terrain and delightful ocean views. It has a wealthy historical past and is among the oldest programs in Maine, making it a preferred selection for golfers of all talent ranges. A professional store is on web site.
The Ledges Golf Membership, a public course, includes a difficult 18-hole structure that winds by way of a surprising panorama. It is a fashionable selection for golfers who take pleasure in a extra relaxed, pure setting.
Cape Neddick Nation Membership is a semi-private 18-hole course north of city, the place golfers can take pleasure in a difficult spherical simply minutes from York’s seashores. A professional store is on web site, in addition to a pub and grill.
Stroll Throughout the Wiggly Bridge
Wiggly Bridge is a historic suspension bridge close to the mouth of the York River, and is the smallest suspension bridge on this planet! At solely 75 toes lengthy and 4 toes huge, it sways forwards and backwards as you stroll throughout it. Constructed within the Thirties, it stretches throughout a tidal movement that intersects at Barrells Millpond and the York River.
You’ll see the tell-tale inexperienced metal constructions that mark both facet of the bridge as you method from State Route 103.
Wiggly Bridge is a well-liked vacationer attraction and is a good place to take a photograph. The bridge could shimmy and shake as you stroll throughout it, however concern not! It’s well-maintained and secure to cross. It’s additionally the start of a pleasant hike by way of Steedman Woods, taking hikers previous scenic water views.
Go to Ogunquit
Only a few minutes north of York is Ogunquit. The most effective issues to do right here is to stroll the Marginal Manner. This scenic strolling path winds alongside the rocky shoreline, providing beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. That is the place you’ll be able to greatest take within the sights and sounds of the ocean, and if it’s your fortunate day, you may spot a whale or two!
One other fashionable attraction is the Ogunquit Playhouse. This historic theater has been presenting Broadway musicals and different dwell performances for over 80 years. That is the place you’ll need to be to catch a present and luxuriate in an evening out in town. Singing present tunes after on the Entrance Porch bar is a should!
For those who’re in search of one thing just a little extra low-key, you’ll be able to take a stroll by way of the city’s downtown space. Right here, you’ll discover quite a lot of unbiased outlets, eating places, and galleries. You can even discover some nice ice cream outlets and cafes right here.
Learn Extra: 17 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Ogunquit, Maine
Go to Kittery
Venturing south of York, Kittery is a pleasant coastal city with a wealthy historical past and a vibrant current. It’s the good vacation spot for a day journey, with sufficient points of interest for a enjoyable afternoon.
Historical past buffs will take pleasure in visiting the Kittery Historic and Navel Museum, and the Fort McClary State Historic Website. Artwork lovers will admire galleries reminiscent of Simply Us Chickens, or catching a efficiency on the Dance Corridor. And beer lovers will delight within the city’s craft breweries reminiscent of Tributary Brewing and Woodland Farms.
Kittery can be residence to a lot of distinctive outlets and boutiques — with loads of offers available on the Kittery Shops. You could find all the pieces from handmade jewellery to classic clothes to residence décor. And should you’re in search of a memento to take residence, you’ll discover loads of choices in Kittery.
Go to Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth, New Hampshire is an inviting coastal city situated only a brief drive south from York, Maine. With its wealthy historical past, vibrant tradition, and delightful surroundings, Portsmouth presents an ideal day journey vacation spot for guests to York. In truth, it’s simply over the bridge from Kittery!
This city is residence to a lot of historic websites, together with the Strawbery Banke Museum, a residing historical past museum that tells the story of the city’s early settlers. Different historic websites embody the John Paul Jones Home, the place the well-known Revolutionary Conflict naval hero as soon as lived, and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which has been in operation since 1800.
Portsmouth is understood for its vibrant arts scene. The city is residence to a lot of galleries, theaters, and music venues. Throughout the summer season, the Prescott Park Arts Pageant is to not be missed. A number of the extra fashionable eating places in Portsmouth embody The Oar Home, which serves contemporary seafood with a view of the river, and the Portsmouth Brewery, which presents quite a lot of craft beers and pub fare.
Learn Extra: 27 Enjoyable Issues to Do in Portsmouth, NH
The place to Keep in York Maine
York is a reasonably small city. For those who’re in search of premium lodging, a number of the greatest properties are by the seaside of your selection. And should you’re on a price range, you’ll discover just a few worth properties near the freeway.
Luxurious: The ViewPoint Resort is an distinctive property situated on a hill overlooking York Harbor, providing beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Exuding traditional New England appeal, the resort has an off-the-cuff and relaxed ambiance; good for many who need to take pleasure in the fantastic thing about the Maine coast. And maybe better of all, they’ve a grass roof!
Midrange: Escape the extraordinary and keep on the Stage Neck Inn! Open year-round, this oceanfront boutique resort resort presents 58 deluxe and luxurious visitor rooms, every designed to offer you the utmost consolation throughout your keep. Visitors take pleasure in a kaleidoscope of facilities reminiscent of informal oceanfront eating, a must-see bar, health room, indoor and out of doors swimming pools, seasonal clay tennis courts, turn-down, and room service.
Midrange: Inn on the Blues is a very nice boutique inn. Simply steps from Quick Sands Seaside, the outlets, and Wild Kingdom, select from considered one of their studio suites or the cottage. Every options fridges and microwave, and a espresso/tea maker. Soak up view from the terrace, and luxuriate in a meal on the restaurant, providing consolation meals and dwell music.
Funds: The Finest Western York Inn is arguably the only option for a price range possibility. The inn has a conventional really feel, and it’s a pretty place to remain for many who don’t thoughts staying a bit out of city. The inn has quite a lot of facilities, together with a heated indoor pool, a health heart, and a complimentary breakfast.
When is the very best time to go to York Maine?
One of the best time to go to York is throughout the summer season months, from mid-June to early September. The climate is heat and sunny, making it good for out of doors actions. That is additionally the height vacationer season, so count on crowds and better costs, and most of the points of interest are solely open throughout summer season.
For those who’re in search of a extra peaceable and relaxed expertise, think about visiting York within the shoulder season, reminiscent of spring or fall. Fall is a greater climate for clear, nice climate, although foliage season may be very busy alongside the Maine coast (peaking in early- to mid-October).
York is quiet in winter, and you’ll seemingly be the one particular person on the seaside (as I used to be within the picture above!). Not a variety of locations shall be open, so it’s an excellent place to go to if you would like peace and quiet (and are okay with self-catering).
The way to Get to York Maine
To get to York, you must have a automobile, as the general public transportation right here kind of doesn’t exist. The closest airport is Portland Worldwide Jetport (PWM) which is lower than an hour’s drive from York. The following closest airport is Boston Logan Worldwide which is about 90 minutes away.
If coming by practice, Amtrak’s nearest stops are in Dover, NH, and Wells, Maine on the Downeastern line from Boston to Portland. Sadly, there isn’t any direct bus service to York. Portsmouth, NH is the closest bus hub.
Take into account that parking generally is a little bit of a ache right here in excessive season. It’s price asking your lodging about parking. Simply because a resort presents free parking on their web site doesn’t imply that they’ve sufficient parking for each visitor.
How Lengthy to Spend in York Maine
I feel a day or two is ample in York. This permits time to go to the city’s essential points of interest, reminiscent of Lengthy Sands Seaside, Quick Sands Seaside, the Nubble Lighthouse, and the York Village Historic District.
Nevertheless, should you’re in search of a extra in-depth expertise up and down the southern coast of Maine, York makes a beautiful base. It’s fairly straightforward to get out and in as you please.
Is York Maine Price it?
Sure, York is unquestionably price it! It’s one of many nicest cities alongside the southern coast of Maine, and the form of place that makes you nostalgic for a quieter tempo of life.
Go take pleasure in your time on this great a part of New England. I hope you take pleasure in it as a lot as I do.
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Have you ever been to York Maine? Any ideas? Share away!