Explore. Experience. Eat.
Southern Maine Area Things to Do
Centrally located in York’s village of York Harbor, a summer resort destination for generations, the Inn at Tanglewood Hall provides a relaxing escape with abundant activities nearby. Every twist and turn, nook and cranny of the southern Maine coast offers natural beauty and historic charm. We specialize in helping you plan each and every day of your visit with detailed maps and suggestions for your explorations and fine dining. Whether it be driving along scenic Shore Road to the Ogunquit Museum of Art, Perkins Cove, and Marginal Way; exploring nearby Kittery, Maine’s oldest town known for ship building, colonial architecture, and Forts McClary and Foster; a jaunt to Kennebunkport’s shops, Walker’s Point, the quaint fishing village of Cape Porpoise and Goose Rocks Beach; wandering historic Portsmouth’s cobblestone streets; or Portland’s Cape Elizabeth lighthouses and shores; we can individually customize your stay in Maine.
Stroll the Cliff Walk just around the corner from the Inn to the York Harbor Beach, an intimate horseshoe-shaped beach surrounded by cliffs and grand Victorian era “cottages”. Named as one of Maine’s hidden gem beaches by Downeast Magazine, it is a centuries old resort destination with an easily accessible bathhouse. Continue to the Fisherman’s Walk along the York River lined with fishing docks, to the Wiggly Bridge and walk through Steedman Woods to quaint village shops and eateries.
Take romantic walks along nearby York Beach’s Long Sands coastline. Short Sands and Cape Neddick beaches lay just beyond. Watch the sunrise in the early whispers of dawn or spectacular evening sunsets upon the horizon’s edge. Cape Neddick Beach is located on the Shore Road heading into Ogunquit. It is a secluded beach that is great for tidal pooling.
Long Sands Beach runs parallel to Coastal Route 1A and is nearly 2 miles of sandy ocean beach with stunning views of the famous Nubble Lighthouse. Sections of the beach are also popular for surfing year round. The best swimming is about the middle of the beach where public restrooms are also available. Long Sands Beach begins just a short walk from the Inn. Metered parking is available along the entire beach for $1 an hour.
Short Sands Beach is a mile further north of Long Sands on Coastal Route 1A. This beach has a higher sand bar and therefore is better for sunbathing at high tide. Enjoy watching salt water taffy being made the old fashioned way at the Goldenrod or play some arcade games at the Fun-O-Rama. York Beach is a traditional New England beach town and is filled with family activities including many gift shops, restaurants, and bowling. Also located in the heart of York Beach is York’s Wild Kingdom and Amusement Park complete with a full zoo, a petting arena, amusement rides and more. Numerous sidewalk shops and places to eat are also located in the park. Summer evenings, local bands and musicians hold free concerts at the Gazebo by the sea. And do not miss a visit to Dunne’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream by the Nubble Lighthouse, where even the kiddie cone is too big!
Restaurants abound in the York Harbor area. Fresh seafood and lobsters are caught every day off our shores by local fishermen and are served up oceanside in both family style or five star restaurants all along the coastline. And you can find the best Maine Lobster roll right here in York at the Maine Lobster Outlet!
Seafarers can travel deep into the Atlantic or stay close in the Harbor and enjoy a fun filled day of Maine fishing, whale watching, or lighthouse tours. Captains will take you out for a full or a half day. Arrange private charters, or cruise and dine with Portsmouth’s Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. Enjoy sea kayaking and canoeing around the coves and harbors and along the York River. Several excursion companies offer tours, instructions and rentals. Scuba diving equipment for onboard guided dives is also available for rent. And our area’s golf courses offer a stunning selection of choices.
There’s mountain terrain for hiking and biking on Mt Agamenticus, where 360 degree panoramic views and stargazing are spectacular, while the White Mountains are an easy drive away. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is scattered along our coast offering dunes, meadows, and tidal salt marshes, along with Laudholm Farm Wildlife Estuarine Reserve.
York County is renown for its many antique and gift shops. Our area is a treasure trove for unique eclectic finds along with antiquarian books and maps.
Museums and historic tours are ongoing attractions at the Old York Historical Society. The Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth is one of America’s finest representations of colonial history with 42 buildings tracing three centuries of our past. In close-by South Berwick, the Georgian Hamilton House is a National Historic Landmark located upon a bluff overlooking the Salmon Falls River, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and trails. Writer Sarah Orne Jewett’s House is nearby.
America’s foremost Summer Theatre since 1933, The Ogunquit Playhouse features celebrity performers in seasonal productions. Along with performing artists at the Portsmouth Music Hall, the Seacoast Repertory Theatre presents a full season of theater in a converted brewery in Portsmouth, while Prescott Park Arts Festival offers outdoor theatre, music, jazz, dance, and movies in scenic oceanside gardens. York Maine offers a variety of special occasions and events including a Memorial Day parade, Christmas in July at the Nubble Lighthouse, York Days, Harvestfest, and the Festival of Lights celebration and parade during the holiday season.
Experience over 300 years of New England heritage when you visit The Museums of Old York and explore historic buildings including a colonial tavern, an old jail complete with dungeons and cells, a riverside estate filled with antiques, and a warehouse once belonging to patriot John Hancock. Also on site are colonial gardens and the idyllic George Marshall Store Art Gallery.