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Southern Maine Coast: 7 Day Travel Itinerary

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Marginal Way Beach | Ogunquit | Southern Maine Coast
Marginal Way Beach | Ogunquit

This 7-day travel itinerary of the southern Maine coast explores four New England seaside towns (Kittery, York, Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport) as well as the maritime city of Portland. Our down east Maine vacation guide includes advice on seaside attractions, shopping, and other things to do in Maine.


On the 7-Day itinerary, visitors will experience the rugged charm of the region’s weathered harbors and rocky Atlantic shore. Our guide includes visits to lighthouses, cliff paths, fishing villages, and beaches. It is the perfect location to take in the Yankee essence of the southern Maine coast. Your in for a wicked good time!


Perkins Cove | Ogunquit | Things to do in Maine
Perkins Cove, Maine

WHERE IS THE SOUTHERN MAINE COAST

The itinerary covers a 50-mile stretch of the southern Maine coast. Ogunquit and Portland serve as travel bases. Ogunquit is about 2.15 hours north of Boston, and 4.5 hours north of New York City.


Nubble Lighthouse | York, ME | Maine Travel Guide
Nubble Lighthouse | York, ME
Southern Maine Coast 7 Day Travel Itinerary At A Glance - Things to do in Maine

For more information on traveling to a Maine vacation destination read our articles on:


Fishing Boat | Perkins Cove Maine | New England Coast
Fishing Boat | Perkins Cove, ME

SOUTHERN MAINE COAST HOTELS

We recommend you stay days 1 - 5 in Ogunquit. The town centrally located minimizing drive times. Stay close to the downtown area you can walk to the Marginal Way, Perkins Cove, and Ogunquit Beach. Click here to check out some of the best hotels in Ogunquit Maine.


The last two days of the vacation we recommend you look at hotels in Portland Maine in the Portland Old Port neighborhood.


Main Street | Kennebunkport | Maine Coast
Main Street | Kennebunkport

Transportation

To fully enjoy this Maine vacation destination a personal vehicle is required. Like many locations in New England the roads are heavily trafficked, and there is a lack of public transportation and bike lanes. Ogunquit, York, Kennebunkport, and Portland have public trolleys to utilize while in town. Click here to check out rental cars.


Goldenrod Kisses | York | Southern Maine Coast
Goldenrod Kisses | York

Maine Coastal Weather

Maine has four distinct seasons. You are likely to experience temperatures in the 40-50’farenheit range in the spring; high 70’s in the summer; 50-60’s in the fall, and 20s-30’s in the winter. It is a maritime climate. Wind, rain, snow (and lots of sunshine) should be expected. Dress in layers.


Portland's Old Port | Maine Vacation Guide | New England
Portland ME Waterfront

SOUTHERN MAINE COAST 7 DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Ogunquit Beach, the Marginal Way, & Perkins Cove

Check in. Then, start your week by walking the soft, white sand of Ogunquit Beach. The beach is often mentioned as one of the best beaches in the US. It sits on a point between a tidal river and the Atlantic Ocean. After 3 miles, Ogunquit Beach melds into Wells-Moody Beach, so it seems as if you could walk forever.


Ogunquit Beach | Low Tide | Maine Travel Guide
Ogunquit Beach at Low Tide

As sunset approaches, make your way to the 1.15 mile (2km) Marginal Way walk. The paved path runs between the villages of Ogunquit and Perkins Cove along spectacular wave-battered granite cliffs. The path starts on Shore Road next to the Spar Hawk Hotel in Ogunquit. Walking the Marginal way is an unforgettable experience with some of the best scenery the New England coast has to offer.


Marginal Way | Ogunquit | New England Coast
Marginal Way Scenic Outlook

At the end of the Marginal Way, you will be in picturesque Perkins Cove. The village is flanked by the Atlantic on one side and a sheltered harbor on the other. Lobster and fishing boats bob in the harbor. There is a drawbridge that provides views of the harbor. Wander the shops, then get dinner at one of the many restaurants. If you enjoy the water, try a late afternoon luxury catamaran cruise along the New England coast.


Drawbridge | Perkins Cove | Ogunquit Maine on the New England Coast
Drawbridge | Perkins Cove

Day 2: York Beach, the Nubble Lighthouse, & York Beach Village

Beach day! Pack up and head to York’s Long Sands Beach (7 miles south of Ogunquit). Leave early to park along Route 1A (kiosk parking). Long Sands is a 1.5-mile beach popular with swimmers, sunbathers, and surfers. Midway on the beach there is visitor center with public restrooms.


Long Sands Beach, York ME, | Maine Coast Itinerary
Long Sands Beach, York ME

Later in the afternoon, drive to Cape Neddick’s Nubble Lighthouse. The unmanned lighthouse sits on a rocky island just off shore. You can’t visit the structure, but there are beautiful views of the lighthouse and New England coast from the shore. There is a small gift shop, take-out restaurant, and parking lot onsite.


Nubble Lighthouse Park | York Maine Things To Do
Nubble Lighthouse Park

Next, drive to York Beach Village (kiosk parking in the Short Sands lot). Wander the beach shops. Stop in at The Goldenrod where you can watch them make taffy. There is a boardwalk with arcade games and an amusement park. If you are still craving the beach, get some take-out and picnic on Short Sands Beach.


Short Sands Beach | York Beach Village | Maine Travel Destination
Short Sands | York Beach Village

Day 3: York Historic District, Kittery Outlets, & The Front Porch Piano Bar

Today, we will complete a 31-mile loop taking in historical attractions, regional food, and shopping. Our first stop is at the Stonewall Kitchen York Company Store (opens at 9am). The Route 1 facility houses a large store where you can sample delicious sweet and savory mustards, jellies, and other foodie delights. After you stock up on gifts, grab breakfast in the café.


Old York Museum Center | Things to do in Maine  | New England Coast
Old York Museum Center

From Stonewall Kitchen it is a short drive into Old York (York Village, Maine). Settled in the 1600s, York is one of the oldest towns in the United States. There are several historical buildings to visit around town including the Emerson-Wilcox House, Jefferd’s Tavern, the Old Schoolhouse, and the John Hancock Warehouse. Opening hours vary by season so call ahead in the off-season.


Emerson Wilcox Museum | York Historic District | Maine Attractions
Emerson Wilcox Museum, York

Make sure to visit the Old Gaol. The site of Maine’s first prison is a National Historic Landmark. The Old Gaol functioned as a correctional facility between 1656 and 1860. Today, it displays colonial and Native American artifacts. Also, visit the nearby Old York Cemetery. Onsite, there is said to be a witch buried under a stone slab.


Old York Cemetery | York Historic District | New England Coast
Old York Cemetery

Our next stop is the Kittery outlet mall district. Set your GPS for the Kittery Trading Post. The trading post is packed with gear for camping, hunting, fishing, summer sports, housewares, clothing, shoes, and so much more.


Kittery Trading Post | Kittery Outlets | Maine Things To Do
Kittery Trading Post

Exiting the trading post, cruise along Route 1 where you will find a wide range of outlet malls filled with upscale, nationally known stores. In a compact, roughly 1-mile strip, Kittery hosts some of the best shopping on the eastern seaboard. There are a number of seafood restaurants along the strip. When you get hungry, we recommend you head to to one of them to get your fill of lobstah, clams, and chowdah.


Weathervane Restaurant | Kittery Outlets | Maine Things To Do
Weathervane Restaurant | Kittery

Tonight, head to the Front Porch Piano Bar in downtown Ogunquit. This fun destination restaurant and bar has been serving up food and sing-along piano tunes for over 35 years. Or, if you love the theater, check out what is playing at the Ogunquit Playhouse. The historic play house’s summer season generally runs between May and October.


The Front Porch Piano Bar | Ogunquit, Maine | New England Coast
The Front Porch Piano Bar

Day 4: Explore Cape Porpoise & Kennebunkport

Our road trip this morning is another 30-mile loop. This time we head north to Kennebunkport.


Begin the day exploring the fishing village of Cape Porpoise. The port sits just north of Kennebunkport on Route 1. Onsite you can walk the Cape Porpoise Pier and observe lobstermen at work, and view the Goat Island Lighthouse. In the village, there is a General Store, several art galleries, and a few chowder houses serving fresh seafood. If you like to kayak, check out this Cape Porpoise Kayak outing.


Walker Point | Kennebunkport | Maine Coast Itinerary
Walker Point | Kennebunkport

From Cape Porpoise, drive to Kennebunkport’s Walker Point. The Bush family compound can be viewed from a scenic outlook along Ocean drive. Continue a leisurely drive south along Ocean Drive. The avenue is lined with old merchant and sea captain’s houses that overlook the stunning southern Maine coast.


St. Ann's Episcopal Church | Kennebunkport | New England Coast
St. Ann's Episcopal Church

Along the route, you will come to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church (1887). The stone church sits on a lovely grassy plateau with magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. There is a rustic outdoor chapel. Next, as you motor into Kennebunkport, pass a series of magnificent old hotels and yacht clubs.


Kennebunkport River | Southern Maine Coast
Kennebunkport River

Park in the Dock Square public lot in Kennebunkport (hourly rate), and exploring the charming and historic village. The atmosphere is slightly more formal than in York and Ogunquit. There are many art galleries, artisanal cafes, wine bars, and upscale shops to discover. If you love old homes, check out this walking tour through Kennebunkport's Historic District.


Fishing boats and million-dollar yachts fill the surrounding harbor and Kennebunk River. You can rent kayaks to explore the area. There are sailing, catamaran, lobster boat, and sunset cruises that leave throughout the day. Stay into the evening and enjoy a ghost walking tour.


Kennebunkport Marina | Southern Maine Coast
Kennebunkport Marina

Day 5: Ogunquit Beach Day

Today, relax and enjoy Ogunquit. Our perfect day would include an early morning walk of the Marginal Way, and breakfast downtown. Then, head to Ogunquit Beach. If you can’t walk to the beach there are parking lots at the Main Beach and (more tranquil) Footbridge Beach. There are restrooms and trolley-stops at both lots.


Ogunquit Beach and Tidal River | Maine Coast, New England
Ogunquit Beach and Tidal River

Tonight, have dinner in the Wells-Moody area. Some of our favorite restaurants include Mike’s Clam Shack, Billy’s Chowder House, The Steakhouse, and the Ogunquit Lobster Pound.


Day 6: Portland, Maine Old Port and Schooner Cruise

It’s time to leave Ogunquit and drive 40-miles north to the city of Portland, Maine. Spend the morning exploring the quaint cobblestone streets of Portland Old Port. The area is full of wharves, warehouses, and blocks of winding streets and brick buildings.


Cobblestones | Portland's Old Port | Maine Coast
Cobblestones | Old Port

With its 19th century architecture, much of Portland Old Port is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bull Feeney’s at the corner of Fore and Exchange Street is a good example of this style.


During the day, Old Port’s coffee bars, boutiques, and gourmet food shops stay lively with shoppers. At night, the area comes alive with busy breweries, bars, and nightclubs. One fun evening activity is the Portland Original Beer Bus Tour.


Bull Feeney's | Portland's Waterfront Historic District | Maine Coast
Bull Feeney's | Portland Waterfront

There are working piers along the waterfront. Sandwiched between a ferry terminal and a commercial fishing complex, the wharves are filled with restaurants, shops, fishing boats, cruise hubs, yacht clubs, and so much more. In the afternoon, take a schooner tall ship cruise to see Casco Harbor from a different perspective.


Day 7: Pick Your Activity: Whale Watch, Trolley Tour or Portland Lighthouse.

In the morning, take a whale watch or harbor cruise to see the Portland Head Light on Cape Elizabeth (the most photographed lighthouse in America). There are many tour operators along the waterfront.


Casablanca Cruises,  Portland's Old Port | Maine Attractions
Casablanca Cruises, Portland ME

If you prefer not to be on the water, take a trolley tour of the city. Tickets can be purchased from a booth on the waterfront. Or, drive (5-miles) to the 90-acre Fort Williams Park where you will find the Portland Lighthouse. There are picnic grounds, hiking paths, a cliffside walk, and rolling lawns.


Now, its time to head home. Hope you flatlandahs had fun! Laura and Randy

For more information on traveling to a Maine vacation destination read our articles on:


Antiques | York, Maine | Things to Do in Maine
Antiques York, ME



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