The Maine Coast's southernmost stretch—including Kittery, the Yorks, Ogunquit, the Kennebunks, and Biddeford—features miles and miles of inviting sandy beaches and beautifully preserved historic towns and charming lighthouses. There is something for everyone here, whether you seek solitude in a kayak or the infectious conviviality of locals and fellow vacationers alike.
North of Kittery, long stretches of hard-packed white-sand beach are closely crowded by nearly unbroken ranks of beach cottages, motels, and oceanfront restaurants. The summer colonies of York Beach and Wells brim with family crowds, T-shirt and gift shops, and shorefront development; nearby wildlife refuges and land preserves promise an easy quiet escape. York Village's acclaimed historic district evokes the New England of yesteryear, while Ogunquit attracts visitors with its array of boutiques and art galleries and its paved cliff-side walk.
More than any other region south of Portland, the Kennebunks—and especially Kennebunkport—provide the complete Maine Coast experience: classic townscapes where white-clapboard houses rise from manicured lawns and gardens; rocky shorelines punctuated by sandy beaches; quaint downtown districts packed with gift shops, ice cream stands, and spas; harbors with lobster boats bobbing alongside stately yachts; and both five-star restaurants and rustic, picnic-table eateries serving fresh lobster and fried seafood.