Scarborough, a charming coastal town in Maine, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and unique attractions. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors like Portland and Kennebunkport, Scarborough remains a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From its pristine beaches to its lush nature preserves, Scarborough offers a tranquil escape for those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. This article aims to uncover the hidden gems of Scarborough and provide a comprehensive guide to exploring this coastal haven.
1. Pristine Beaches
Scarborough is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Maine. These include the Scarborough Beach State Park, Ferry Beach, and Higgins Beach. Each beach has its unique charm and offers a variety of activities for visitors.
- Scarborough Beach State Park: Known for its wide sandy beach and powerful surf, this is a favorite spot for sunbathers and surfers alike. The park also offers facilities like picnic areas and bathhouses.
- Ferry Beach: This beach is perfect for families with its calm waters and playground. It’s also a great spot for bird watching, especially during the migration season.
- Higgins Beach: A popular spot for surfers, this beach is also known for the shipwreck of the Howard W. Middleton that is visible at low tide.
2. Nature Preserves
Scarborough is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. The town boasts several nature preserves that offer hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and stunning views.
- Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center: As the largest salt marsh in the state, this nature preserve is a haven for bird watchers. Visitors can also rent canoes or kayaks to explore the marsh.
- Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Named after the famous environmentalist, this refuge offers a variety of habitats including salt marshes, forests, and coastal dunes.
- Eastern Trail: This 65-mile trail passes through Scarborough and offers scenic views of the marshes, forests, and beaches.
3. Historical Landmarks
Scarborough is steeped in history, and visitors can explore several historical landmarks in the town.
- Scarborough Historical Society and Museum: This museum offers a glimpse into Scarborough’s past with its collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents.
- Winslow Homer Studio: Once the home and studio of the famous American artist Winslow Homer, this landmark is now a museum that showcases his life and work.
- Black Point Inn: This historic inn offers stunning views of the ocean and has been a landmark in Scarborough for over a century.
4. Local Cuisine
No visit to Scarborough would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. The town offers a variety of dining options, from seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants.
- Ken’s Place Seafood Restaurant: A local favorite, this restaurant is known for its fresh seafood, especially the lobster rolls.
- The Cheese Iron: This gourmet shop offers a wide selection of cheeses, wines, and other delicacies.
- Bite Into Maine: Located at the Portland Head Light, this food truck is famous for its Maine lobster rolls.
5. Unique Attractions
Beyond the beaches and nature preserves, Scarborough offers several unique attractions that are worth exploring.
- Len Libby Chocolatier: Home to the world’s only life-size chocolate moose, this chocolate shop is a must-visit for chocolate lovers.
- Beech Ridge Motor Speedway: For those who love speed, this NASCAR-sanctioned race track offers thrilling races.
- Scarborough Downs: This harness racing track is a great place to spend an afternoon. It also hosts several events throughout the year.
In conclusion, Scarborough is a coastal haven that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, a foodie, or just someone looking for a peaceful getaway, Scarborough has something to offer. So why wait? Start planning your trip to this hidden gem in Maine today!
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