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12 of the Best Things to Do in York, Maine

The town of York, Maine is a true gem located on the southern tip of the state.  Many travelers might overlook the town, as they think they need to travel further north to get the full Maine experience. However, York will provide the quintessential Maine getaway. There are many things to do in York, Maine that will keep you entertained during your time in town.  Whether you want to take to the water, explore the beaches, see the sights, or simply relax, these things to do in York, Maine are perfect for a delightful getaway.

Nubble Lighthouse in Maine

1. Visit Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse

The most iconic sight in the York area is the Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse, and viewing it is one of the favorite things to do in York, Maine.  It’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country, and a photo of the lighthouse was included in the Voyager spacecraft as an example of Earth’s most prominent man made structures should the craft be discovered by extraterrestrial intelligence.  Luckily, visitors to Cape Neddick don’t have to encounter the Voyager to take in this beautiful sight.  Located at the end of Long Sands Beach, the lighthouse is on Cape Neddick Point, which is inaccessible to the general public.  However, don’t let that discourage you from venturing out to get a view of the light from the mainland at Soheir Park.

2. Visit One of the Beautiful Beaches

Another favorite among the many things to do in York, Maine is to visit the beaches in the area.  There are three major beaches for visitors to choose from, so you can find a favorite to frequent or explore all three.  Long Sands Beach is about two miles long and has great surf.  Short Sands Beach is just a quarter of a mile long and is surrounded by attractions such as an amusement park, shops, and a playground. York Harbor Beach is a bit smaller than Long Sands Beach and has free parking as well as amenities to make your day at the beach more comfortable.  All three of these beaches offer sandy shores and beautiful views of the Southern Maine coastline.

sunset over the water near Dockside

3. Take to the Sea

A visit to Southern Maine is the perfect opportunity for you to explore the waters of the coast of New England.  Some of visitors’ favorite things to do in York, Maine include taking fishing and sailing charters and going whale watching. For great sailing, The Silverlining takes daily trips lasting between one and two hours. Fishing charters are also popular, as are whale watching excursions. Guests at Dockside Guest Quarters can also charter our river cruise from our Dockside marina.

4. Play a Round at One of the Area’s Golf Courses

If you’re someone who doesn’t feel they’ve truly taken a vacation without playing a round of golf, then you’re in luck.  There are several great golf courses near York Maine and the surrounding area.  The Ledges Golf Club, The Links at Outlook, Cape Neddick Country Club, and Old Marsh Country Club all offer great courses.

5. Visit the Old York Historical Society

The Old York Historical Society offers a brilliant glimpse at what life was like three centuries ago in one of the first English settlements in the New World. With several recreated sites around York, the Old York Historical Society has gone to great lengths to preserve and educate visitors on life in the early days of North America.

a group on a whale watching tour near Dockside

6. Enjoy a Play at the Ogunquit Playhouse

While not exactly in York Maine, the Ogunquit Playhouse is still a fantastic attraction. It’s one of the last remaining theatres from the “Straw Hat Circuit,” which is known as Summer Stock. These special seasonal theatre companies are a part of New England’s unique charm and a beloved tradition.

7. Take a Cooking Class at Stonewall Kitchen

The Stonewall Kitchen in York, ME has many classes available for those that love to cook, want to learn how to cook or just love food! Bring a friend and enjoy the fun of the Stonewall Kitchen cooking classes. These are a perfect way to try great food and learn more about meals inspired by the local area.

8. Go Whalewatching

Whale watching in Maine is excellent! Spy a gentle giant as whales migrate through Maine’s waters from April to October. Large populations of migratory whales traverse the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod. The waters of Maine’s coast are home to Minke, Humpback, Finback, and Blue Whales.

a woman shopping in Maine

9. Kayak Through the Coastal Waters of Maine

Sea kayaking is an exhilarating way to get out on the water and see the different features that make our home so special. Whether you’re comfortable with a paddle or a  total beginner at kayaking, you’ll find the perfect adventure while kayaking in Maine.

10. Visit York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park

If you have children with you when you come to York (or if you’re just an animal lover yourself), then one of the York attractions you should check out is York’s Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park. This zoo and amusement park has great animal exhibits featuring species like Bengal tiger, kangaroos, camels, macaws, capybaras, zebras, lemurs, monkeys, and much more fantastic wildlife. Plus, there are amusement rides and a haunted house on the premises to add to the fun.

11. Go Shopping in York Village

York Harbor’s local shops are fun to peruse and offer unique selections. The Little Red Hen Gifts & Things, for example, is an eclectic gift shop that features a variety of items for the home. You’ll find souvenirs, soaps and candles, glassware, jewelry and books. You’ll also discover antique furniture and vintage collectibles. This family-owned shop is open 7 days a week May through December.

guestroom at Dockside with deck and ocean view

12. Stay at Dockside Guest Quarters

No matter how many of these things to do in York, Maine you check off of your list, the thing that will make your time in the area truly memorable is a stay at Dockside Guest Quarters. Our accommodation choices include guest rooms in the Maine House, separate suites in multi-unit buildings, and a seaside house. And during your time with us, be sure to reserve a table at our Dockside Restaurant, featuring fine dining in a comfortable atmosphere. We can’t wait to have you with us for the ultimate Maine experience!

Photo credit: rand22/Thinkstock
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