The southern coast of Maine is an ideal vacation getaway. Notable towns include York, Wells, Kittery, Ogunquit, and Kennebunkport. With lots of attractions, this area is a perfect trip for the family.
Growing up, the only time I visited Maine was for soccer tournaments. Playing six games a weekend didn’t leave much time for anything else. Fast forward to summer 2016 when I had the summer “off” for my maternity leave after the birth of my son. Excited to start our own family traditions, we decided on a mid week getaway to Wells, Maine.
We enjoyed our time so much, we decided to go again this summer over the 4th of July. Thinking back on my fond memories of family vacations in Vermont and the Jersey shore, I’m excited for my family to create our own memories: walks on the beach, finding a favorite ice cream shack, pool games, and eating too much seafood!
My family went back to the same resort we stayed at last year, Elmwood Resort in Wells, Maine. I’ve never stayed at a resort that is more family friend, this includes trips to Disney! They have an indoor and outdoor pool, a playground, a large grass area with yard games, picnic tables, and a fire pit, and offer grills so you can cook your own dinner. If you have young children, you know how difficult it is to go out to a sit down dinner. Elmwood eliminates that hassle by having available grills to reserve and cook up anything you’d like. Setting up a picnic in the lawn while the kids run around and play is so much better than waiting for your reservation at a busy restaurant!
But these aren’t even the best parts of this resort! It’s the little touches that makes them so family friendly. Every day, a staff member walked around offering free ice pops (both kids and adults!). Every night there is an kid-friendly movie outside on a projector screen. Bring your blanket and sit under the stars watching a movie. Want some popcorn? Don’t worry Elmwood has you covered! On Sunday nights they have live music. There was nothing better than arriving after a long drive, dropping our stuff off in our room, and grabbing a blanket and bottle of wine to sit out on a beautiful night listening to music and watching our son play on the blanket.
During our long weekend getaway we went out to eat one night at Captain’s Hooks Lobster Shack in Wells. I wish every restaurant was as laid back as this. No inside seating (but don’t worry, full bathrooms available), only picnic tables, cornhole boards, and tons of room for little kids to run. We arrived and set up camp for the next couple of hours. A blanket and toys for Noah and a fried seafood platter and wine for Mommy and Daddy.
Elmwood Resort is a short drive to Ogunquit, including the popular downtown area packed full of high-end restaurants and quaint little shops. The past two years we’ve headed into Ogunquit in the morning and took a walk on Marginal Way, a picturesque walking path between Perkins Cove and Ogunquit beach. The mile-long trail offers views of summer cottages, lighthouses, and Maine’s beautiful Atlantic coastline.
I hope to be able to explore more towns surrounding Wells over the next few years. If you are familiar with Southern Maine, leave a comment on your favorite restaurant, activity, beach, or anything else! Also, in case you’re headed up to Portland, Maine, check out my recap, which includes numerous restaurants reviews from the trip my husband and I made there to celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary.
Traci | The Petite Chef
Looks like such a fun trip! I actually went to Portland last summer in early June just a little bit before you went (it looks like), and I went to a lot of the same places you did: Duckfat (that duck panini was awesome), Holy Donuts (seriously the best donuts I’ve ever had), and the Portland Head Light. My husband and I will be back there next summer for a wedding and I hope to try some of the other places you recommend!
If you like oysters, definitely try Eventide!
We go to Wells several times a year. My parents use different to live there so my kids grew up going there and now we take the grandsons. The kids love the beach and the arcade of course. We love the Steakhouse but it is so hard to get into and I will not wait 2 hours. We love Hobbs down by the harbor for seafood. We love Jakes down by Moody for chowder, fried clams and lobster rooms and the casual atmosphere. And of course no trip would be complete with a meal at the Maine Dinero. Next time drive.up to Kennebunkport and check out those shops and drive by the Bush estate.
Thank you for the recommendations Judy! I’m sure as my son grows up, he’ll love the arcade too! I still haven’t been to the Maine Diner! I’m not sure why, will have to add it to the list for next year!