For those of us who truly love the ocean, it doesn’t matter what time of year you go, as long as you can feast your eyes on a water filled horizon and step onto a sandy beach. Saturday’s warm temperatures were enough to coax us into driving the back roads to the southern coast of Maine. Thanks to relaxed rules about dogs on beaches post-summer season, Cody got to come along for the ride.
Although a longer trip, we chose to drive route 11 to Rochester, driving through Andover, Franklin, Tilton and a host of other New Hampshire towns, before crossing over on Route 140 and rejoining 11, which was a more direct route. Every town we drove through seemed to outdo the other in Halloween and Fall decorations.
Our first beach stop was Wells Beach. I have fond memories of this beach as it was the first time my son saw the ocean and played in the waves. Plenty of people were on the beach enjoying the lovely sunshine, and though we had to keep him leashed, Cody didn’t mind a bit. There are two hotels that border this beach that are open all year round, Lafayette’s and the Atlantic. We made a mental note to book a room the next time we are looking for a weekend getaway either this winter or during mud season.
Driving a little south, we next stopped at North Ogunquit beach, which borders Moody Beach, which is private. Unlike Wells, Cody was able to roam freely and greatly enjoyed making a lot of new friends. Bordering the parking area is a lovely marshland where we saw plenty of birds including a Great Blue Heron in the distance.
I normally avoid Route 1 and Ogunquit and York in the height of the season, due to the traffic. Although crowded, we easily found parking and walked around Ogunquit and admired the many creative displays for Halloween. Although we had originally planned to walk the marginal way, we were getting hungry. There was enough of a crowd that wait times at the restaurants were thirty minutes or more, so we opted to continue south towards York.
York is a very different community post-season. The arcade is shuttered, as is the York Wild Animal park. But there are still shops open, including several good candy stores for those of us who were not completely ready for tricks or treats tonight.
Recalling a restaurant we discovered over a year ago, we hoped that it was on Route 1A, as we made our way to Kittery. Luckily, we found it, and the York River Landing was just as good as we recalled and we enjoyed excellent seafood before heading home as the sun set. Given how decorated these coastal communities were for Halloween, I am looking forward to what they do for the upcoming holiday season.