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Explore Southern Maine

Featuring Maine’s Best Beaches and Bustling Coastal Communities

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AC Hotel By Marriott Portsmouth Downtown

AC Hotel by Marriott Portsmouth Downtown

Portsmouth, NH

The AC Hotel By Marriott is a modern, stylish hotel located in Portsmouth, NH. The hotel features 156 guest rooms and suites, all with free WiFi and a European-inspired breakfast. Amenities include a rooftop bar and restaurant with stunning views of the city, and a fitness and business center. The hotel is within walking distance of restaurants, shops & attractions.

 

299 Vaughan Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Hotel Portsmouth in Portsmouth NH

The Hotel Portsmouth Downtown

Portsmouth, NH

In historic Haymarket Square, this boutique hotel is in a charming Victorian manor house, and provides free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast. Rooms include a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and an iPod docking station. Featuring a bathtub or shower, the private bathrooms also have a hairdryer and free toiletries. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from Prescott Park on the Portsmouth waterfront.

40 Court Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Water Street Inn, Portsmouth NH

The Water Street Inn

Kittery, ME

The Water Street Inn is a charming boutique inn located in the heart of Kittery, Maine. The Inn features 8 recently renovated guest rooms, each with its own stylish sense of place. Amenities include free WiFi, free parking, and a daily breakfast buffet. The Inn is also within walking distance of many restaurants, shops, and attractions.

6 Water Street
Kittery, ME 03904

Discover Southern Maine

From Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Southern Maine, stretching from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, is a coastal stretch of charming seaside towns, pristine sandy beaches, historic lighthouses, bustling shopping centers, world-class dining, and more. The region’s unique character and idyllic settings make it a top tourist destination, especially for those seeking an immersive blend of coastal beauty, history, and sightseeing activities.

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POPULAR SOUTHERN MAINE DESTINATIONS

Popular Southern Maine Tourist Towns & Communities

Southern Maine is a charming tapestry of quaint seaside towns, each with its unique appeal. If you’re planning a vacation to this charming region, here’s a guide to the most popular tourist towns and communities from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach.

Kittery Maine

Kittery, Maine

Begin your journey in Maine’s southernmost town, Kittery. Known for its extensive shopping outlets, Kittery is a paradise for bargain hunters. But there’s more to Kittery than retail therapy. It’s rich in maritime history, boasting historic sites like Fort McClary and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Don’t miss exploring the scenic coastlines and dining on fresh seafood at Kittery Point.

York Harbor, Maine

York & York Harbor, Maine

Just a few miles north of Kittery, you’ll arrive in York, Maine, one of the earliest European settlements in the country. This town blends history, nature, and oceanfront sightseeing fun seamlessly. Visit the historic “Museums of Old York” or York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo And Fun Park with the family. Enjoy York’s beautiful beaches and get lunch in scenic York Harbor, and don’t forget to snap a picture of the picturesque Nubble Light in nearby Cape Neddick, Maine.

Visit our York, Maine page to learn more about this top tourist destination in Maine.

Ogunquit, Maine

Next up the Maine coast lies Ogunquit, a town whose name fittingly translates to “beautiful place by the sea” from the native language of the original inhabitants of the area, the Abenaki Indians. The town of Ogunquit features beautiful Perkins Cove, the amazing Ogunquit Beach, the stunning Marginal Way cliff walk, and a vibrant arts scene with the acclaimed Ogunquit Playhouse and numerous art galleries, combined with a charming downtown filled with unique shops and exquisite dining options.

Visit our Ogunquit, Maine page to learn more about this top tourist destination in Maine.

Wells, Maine

Next is Wells, often referred to as “The Friendliest Town in Maine”. It’s a haven for nature lovers, with the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm. Visit Wells Beach which is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing with soft sand, clear water, and stunning views. Wells is also known for its numerous antique shops, perfect for those looking to discover hidden treasures.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Just 10 miles north of Wells is Kennebunkport, a town renowned for its stately homes and former presidential summer retreats. Explore the historic Dock Square with its eclectic shops, art galleries, and eateries. Enjoy a scenic drive along Ocean Avenue, and take a moment to appreciate the view from Walker’s Point, the private compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, that is the summer home of former President George Bush and the Bush family.

Visit our Kennebunkport, Maine page to learn more about this top tourist destination in Maine.

View of Biddeford Maine from the Saco River

Biddeford, Maine

A short drive north of Kennebunkport is the coastal city of Biddeford. Biddeford is a vibrant coastal town that uniquely blends a rich industrial history with picturesque landscapes, offering a blend of outdoor activities from kayaking in the Saco River to exploring the serene walking trails at Clifford Park, along with a thriving arts scene, and delightful local eateries, as well as the beautiful residential oceanfront community of Biddeford Pool.

Walking Main Street in downtown Saco, Maine

Saco, Maine

Next explore Saco, an enchanting Maine coastal town steeped in history, where visitors can enjoy a blend of natural beauty and cultural treasures, from the sun-kissed sands of Ferry Beach and the lush hiking trails of the Saco Bay Trails to the educational delight of the Saco Museum, the thrill of Funtown, Splashtown USA amusement park, and a host of delightful eateries that showcase local flavors.

Aerial view of the hotel strip on Old Orchard Beach in Maine

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

End your journey at Old Orchard Beach, where seven miles of sandy beach await. This bustling seaside summer vacation town is famous for its old-fashioned pier, complete with food stands, shops, and entertainment venues. Don’t miss the beachfront Palace Playland amusement park, especially at night when it lights up the sky.

Visit our Old Orchard Beach, Maine page to learn more about this top tourist destination in Maine.

Southern Maine Communities Recap

Each of these towns offers a unique slice of Southern Maine charm, from picturesque lighthouses and historic sites to stunning nature reserves and lively shopping districts. The journey from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach is more than a mere geographic move; it’s a journey through history, nature, culture, and quintessential New England charm. Enjoy your exploration of these charming seaside communities!

POPULAR SOUTHERN MAINE ATTRACTIONS

Top Southern Maine Must-See Attractions

Whether you’re seeking picturesque landscapes, outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, or sumptuous local cuisine, Southern Maine has it all. Stretching from Kittery up to Old Orchard Beach, this region offers a plethora of attractions to make your vacation a memorable one. Here are our top must-see attractions when visiting Southern Maine.

Kittery Maine Outlet Stores

Kittery Outlets, Kittery, Maine

Begin your journey in the charming town of Kittery, where shopping enthusiasts will find the Kittery Outlets. Boasting over 120 stores, this shopper’s paradise offers everything from high-end fashion to cozy homewares, all at bargain prices. After shopping, explore Kittery’s historical sites or enjoy some local seafood at one of the many nearby eateries.

York's Wild Kingdom Zoo & Fun Park in York Maine

York's Wild Kingdom Zoo, York, Maine

After your shopping excursion in Kittery head North 10 miles and visit York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park. York’s Wild Kingdom is located in York, Maine. It features a variety of animal exhibits, including lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and more. The park also has a number of rides and attractions, such as a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and a petting zoo. York’s Wild Kingdom is a great place for families to spend a day learning about animals and having fun.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Preserve in Wells Maine

Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, Wells, Maine

For nature enthusiasts, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Wells offers a sanctuary of tranquility and beauty. Established to protect salt marshes and estuaries for migratory birds, the refuge spans 50 miles of coastline and is home to a variety of wildlife. Hike through one of the refuge’s trails to immerse yourself in Maine’s natural splendor.

Marginal Way Cliff Walk in Ogunquit Maine

Marginal Way Cliff Walk, Ogunquit, Maine

In Ogunquit, the Marginal Way Cliff  Walk is a must-do. This 1.25-mile path winds along the rocky coastline, offering breathtaking views of the ocean, gorgeous wildflowers, and an array of bird species. The walk concludes in Perkins Cove, a charming harbor area with unique shops and restaurants.

Perkins Cove in Ogunquit Maine

Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine

Also located in Ogunquit, Perkins Cove is a must-see. This quaint harbor is home to unique shops, art galleries, and some of the best seafood restaurants in the region. Begin the scenic Marginal Way cliff walk here and take in the breathtaking ocean views. Or simply relax and watch the boats in this picturesque Maine harbor hamlet setting.

Dock Square in Kennebunkport Maine

Dock Square, Kennebunkport, Maine

Dock Square, located in the heart of Kennebunkport, is a vibrant hub of boutique shops, art galleries, and superb restaurants. Browse for unique Maine souvenirs, feast on fresh seafood, and soak in the lively atmosphere of this charming waterfront district.

Beachgoers at Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Lastly, no visit to Southern Maine would be complete without a trip to Old Orchard Beach. This seven-mile long stretch of sandy beach is one of Maine’s best-known summer destinations. Enjoy a day of sunbathing, surfing, or simply taking a leisurely stroll along the beach. Don’t forget to visit Palace Playland, New England’s only beachfront amusement park, and the famous Old Orchard Beach Pier with its array of shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Southern Maine Must-See Attractions Recap

These are just a handful of the attractions Southern Maine has to offer. From the shopping outlets of Kittery to the vibrant beach scene of Old Orchard Beach, the region truly has something for every traveler. Come discover the charm, beauty, and allure of Southern Maine and create memories that will last a lifetime.

TOP SOUTHERN MAINE LODGING

Top Southern Maine Accommodations

From cozy inns to luxurious hotel resorts, Southern Maine boasts an array of accommodations that promise a memorable stay. As you plan your vacation from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, consider these top options.

Hampton Inn & Suites in Kittery Maine

Hampton Inn & Suites, Kittery, Maine

The Hampton Inn & Suites in Kittery, Maine, offers a relaxing, home-like setting nestled among scenic coastal views, with modern amenities like complimentary breakfast, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a fully-equipped fitness center, making it an inviting retreat for those seeking to explore the charming coastal shops and historic sites of Kittery, Maine.

Albracca Inn in York Maine

Albracca Inn, York, Maine

The Albracca Inn is a charming bed and breakfast located in York Harbor, Maine that blends classic New England charm with modern comforts, offering tastefully decorated rooms, a cozy fireplace lounge, and close proximity to local attractions. The inn offers 7 guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a hot breakfast buffet. The inn is within walking distance of local shops and restaurants, and it’s just a short drive from the beach.

The Grand Hotel in Ogunquit Maine

The Grand Hotel, Ogunquit, Maine

The Grand Hotel in Ogunquit, Maine, presents a luxurious oceanfront experience, boasting contemporary, spacious suites, an onsite spa, and a heated saltwater pool, all within steps of Ogunquit’s stunning beaches, renowned seafood restaurants, and the famed Marginal Way walking trail — a truly grand choice for travelers aiming for a touch of opulence during their coastal Maine getaway.

The Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel in Wells Beach Maine

Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel, Wells Beach, Maine

Situated directly on Wells Beach in Wells Maine, the Atlantic Oceanfront Hotel offers breathtaking sea views from every room, complemented by amenities like an outdoor pool, hot tub, free WI-FI, private balconies or patios, and easy access to nearby attractions such as the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, making it a dream destination for travelers seeking a blend of natural beauty and convenience. The hotel is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and attractions in Wells Beach, Maine.

The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport Maine

The Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport, Maine

The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine is a historic waterfront resort with a marina, restaurants, and activities. Nestled on the banks of the Kennebunk River, the Nonantum Resort is a historic property offering elegantly appointed rooms, two acclaimed on-site restaurants, and a marina for boating and water sport activities, all while being a short stroll from vibrant Dock Square in downtown Kennebunkport, making it a convenient base for travelers eager to experience coastal Maine’s charming mix of local culture and ambiance.

The Lincoln Hotel in Biddeford Maine

The Lincoln Hotel, Biddeford, Maine

The Lincoln Hotel in Biddeford, Maine is a boutique hotel in a historic mill with stylish guest rooms, a rooftop pool, and a restaurant. The hotel is housed in a former mill that has been beautifully restored. The guest rooms feature exposed brick walls, original beams, and modern amenities. Located in the heart of downtown Biddeford, the Lincoln Hotel offers chic, modern accommodations, coupled with an on-site microbrewery and rooftop bar, providing not only a comfortable stay but also a taste of Biddeford’s local craft culture, ideal for visitors seeking a unique, vibrant upscale Maine experience.

The Beachwood in Old Orchard Beach Maine

The Beachwood, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Steps from the surf and the famous Old Orchard Pier, the Beachwood in Old Orchard Beach, Maine is a family-friendly motel with oceanfront rooms, a pool, and a hot tub. The Beachwood offers clean, comfortable rooms and a family-friendly atmosphere, providing direct beach access and close proximity to the town’s lively boardwalk attractions, making it a perfect choice for beachgoers and fun-seeking vacationers.

Top Southern Maine Accommodations Recap

These accommodations not only provide comfortable stays but also offer unique experiences, whether it’s the history-soaked ambiance of a classic inn, the luxurious waterfront views of the ocean, or the convenience of beachfront accessibility. No matter where you choose to rest your head, you’re guaranteed warm Maine hospitality in these choice establishments from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach. Enjoy your stay in scenic Southern Maine!

TOP PLACES TO EAT IN SOUTHERN MAINE

Top Southern Maine Restaurants

Southern Maine’s dining scene offers a culinary voyage like no other, from fresh-caught seafood to farm-to-table delights. As you travel from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, these top restaurants are not to be missed.

Robert's Maine Grill in Kittery Maine

Robert's Maine Grill, Kittery, Maine

Begin your foodie adventure in Kittery at Robert’s Maine Grill. Known for their elevated comfort food, Robert’s offers delicious Maine classics like clam chowder and Maine lobster dinners. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the lobster roll, the seafood chowder, and the filet mignon. The lobster roll is made with fresh, Maine lobster, the seafood chowder is made with fresh, local seafood, and the filet mignon is sourced from a local farm. The restaurant has been featured in publications such as Food & Wine and Bon Appétit, and it has been awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award. It is also known for its warm and inviting atmosphere and its friendly and knowledgeable staff.

The Central Restaurant & Bar in York Maine

The Central Restaurant & Bar, York, Maine

Next, in York, find your way to The Central Restaurant & Bar. The Central Restaurant and Bar is a popular spot for its wood-fired pizzas, New England seafood dishes, and creative cocktails. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the Margherita pizza, the lobster roll, and the haddock Milanese. The pizzas are cooked to perfection in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven, the lobster roll is made with fresh, Maine lobster, and the haddock Milanese is made with fresh, haddock that is breaded and pan-fried. If you’re looking for a delicious and casual meal in York, Maine, the Central Restaurant and Bar is the perfect place for you.

Barnacle Billy's Restaurant in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit Maine

Barnacle Billy's, Ogunquit, Maine

Barnacle Billy’s is a popular restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine known for its fresh seafood dishes. The restaurant is located right on the water in Perkins Cove, so you can enjoy stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean while you eat. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the lobster roll, the fish and chips, and the clam chowder. Barnacle Billy’s also has a full bar and offers a variety of creative cocktails. If you’re looking for a delicious and authentic New England seafood experience, Barnacle Billy’s is the perfect place for you.

Mike's Clam Shack in Wells Maine

Mike's Clam Shack, Wells, Maine

Mike’s Clam Shack is a casual seafood restaurant in Wells, Maine known for its fresh seafood dishes. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the lobster roll, the clam cakes, and the fried clams. The lobster roll is made with fresh, Maine lobster that is cooked to perfection and served cold on a toasted bun. The clam cakes are made with fresh clams and are deep-fried to perfection. The fried clams are made with fresh clams that are coated in a light batter and deep-fried to a golden brown. If you’re looking for a delicious and affordable seafood meal in Wells, Maine, Mike’s Clam Shack is one of the top casual seafood restaurants in Southern Maine.

White Barn Inn Restaurant in Kennebunk Maine

The White Barn Inn, Kennebunkport Maine

In Kennebunkport, the White Barn Inn offers a dining experience like no other. The AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant is housed in a beautiful, rustic barn and serves up a menu of elegant, gourmet dishes. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the lobster pot pie, the filet mignon, the roasted Maine lamb shank, the seafood risotto, and the chocolate soufflé. The lobster pot pie is made with fresh Maine lobster, the filet mignon is sourced from local farms, and the seafood risotto is made with fresh, seasonal seafood. If you’re looking for a delicious and upscale meal in Kennebunkport, Maine, White Barn Inn is the perfect place for you.

Joseph's By The Sea Restaurant in Old Orchard Beach Maine

Joseph's by the Sea, Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Joseph’s By The Sea is a popular spot for its fresh seafood dishes and stunning views of the ocean. Some of the restaurant’s signature dishes include the lobster roll, the fish and chips, and the seafood pasta. The lobster roll is made with fresh, Maine lobster, the fish and chips are made with fresh, Atlantic cod, and the seafood pasta is made with a variety of fresh seafood in a creamy sauce. The restaurant has been family-owned and operated for over 50 years, and it is known for its friendly and attentive service. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and it is often crowded during the summer months.

Top Southern Maine Restaurants Recap

These restaurants, from Kittery to Old Orchard Beach, not only offer mouth-watering cuisine but also embody the spirit of Southern Maine, with an emphasis on local produce, seafood, and unique flavors. Each has its own charm, whether it’s the rustic elegance of a converted barn, the stunning ocean views of a seaside eatery, or the historic charm of a colonial farmhouse. Enjoy your culinary journey through Southern Maine!

EXPERIENCE SOUTHERN MAINE

Visit Southern Maine and Experience More

From stunning landscapes and charming towns to vibrant cultural events and culinary delights, Southern Maine is a region teeming with experiences just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer, history buff, food connoisseur, or simply in need of relaxation, Southern Maine has something to offer for every traveler. Plan your vacation today to this popular region of Maine and find your own “beautiful place by the sea.”

Southern Maine Region

TRAVEL MAINE BLOG

Discover the best of Maine with our travel blog highlighting special travel tips, sightseeing suggestions and regional interest stories to make the most of your Maine vacation trip. We bring you insigthful articles about unique places, kid-friendly activities, and regional entertainment that will help in planning your trip to Maine.

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