Did you notice that when we first entered Maine we skipped over the very southern end of the state? Yeah…probably not, because I can’t imagine anyone is paying that much attention. Well we did. We went from Cape Ann, Mass up to Freeport, ME which means we missed 66 miles of prime coastline.
Why would we do that? Well, mostly because no one else is skipping over it. The southern coast of Maine is bu-sy in the summer, We’re talking massive crowds of visitors from all the surrounding states and Canada — lots and lots of visitors from Canada. People from Quebec LOVE Maine.
While moose, wild blueberries, and all those cool historic lighthouses are no doubt a draw, the real reason so many flock to southern Maine in the summer is for the beaches.
Beaches that can be found all up and down the southern Maine coast. Nice beaches with long stretches of sand, and clear, clean (but freezing) water. All that sand tends to attracts people in droves, which means that this area is crawling with vacationers. It also means that all those beaches are crowded — very, very crowded. Especially at the height of the season.
So you can see why we skipped over this area. Not that we have anything against massive crowds of people on vacation. I mean…we did go to Disney World. But we’ve already experienced the southern Maine beaches in years past and wanted to see what else the state had to offer. And yet, despite all of that… last week we drove south and joined the masses at Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport.
Why? To hang to with some friends of course! Our Vermont friends Gretchen, Michael, and their kids Sydney and Tosh have been vacationing in this area for many years. They stay at the same campground only a mile from the beach and spend the week enjoying the sand and surf. Over the years the trip has turned into a multi-family vacation, and this year we decided to join.
The campground they stay at is called Salty Acres. It’s a large park geared toward tents and small RVs. Their website doesn’t list size restrictions, but I think anything much larger than out 25′ trailer would be seriously pushing it. Not only because the sites are small, but because the roads are very tight, twisty, and lined with trees. The only largish sites we saw were full of seasonal RVs (of which there were a ton).
We liked our site though. I think it was #178. We had enough room for the Airstream, and managed to squeeze the truck in sideways in front. Our site had a water and a 20 amp electric hook up. I think it cost around $44/night, which is not really out of the ordinary for this part of Maine. The best part is that Salty Acres is only an easy one mile bike ride from the beach.
As always, it was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. I did a terrible job of taking pictures while everyone was hanging out. In fact, I only remembered to take that one family shot as we were saying goodbye. I guess that means I was distracted by fun.
Around mid-week everyone left to back home and back to work and we were reminded how lucky we are to always have our house and work with us. Sometimes when we hang out with other full-time RVers we forget that what feels so normal to us on a day-to-day basis, is actually pretty special.
Later in the week we discovered that the very best time to visit the beach is in the evening. Not only is the parking free after six, but the beach thins out considerably. And if you walk away from the main entrance paths…you might even find an empty stretch of beach.
We also discovered that if you bring your dinner to the beach and then lounge around for long enough…you might see some really cool clouds.
And reflections as the tide goes out.
And then the sky will turn all crazy looking and go from amazing…
See — east coast beach sunsets are thing too :) Despite the crowds, we had so much fun with our friends and can’t wait until we get to Vermont in a few weeks to catch up with more friends and family.
Love the contrast of day and night on the beach! There’s always a silver lining, isn’t there?!
It was amazing how much less crowded it was in the evening. That’s my preferred beach visiting time anyway :)
I’m so thrilled you guys are doing the east coast this year. We had planned east coast for next year, Florida to Maine. It’s awesome to have you blazing the way with all your awesome insights and tips! Very jealous of the new kayaks. We plan to have ours in time for our east coast adventure and will undoubtedly paddle at least some of the same spots you’ve highlighted. Love the blog!
Have fun on the east coast. It’s definitely a great place to have kayaks. My only regret is that we didn’t get them sooner!
And I thought SoCal beaches were nuts in the summer! What a difference in the evening, and definitely a much sweeter experience. The sunset was indeed incredible!
Part of the issue with the beaches here in Maine is that the tide is so large (we’re talking a difference of like 100 feet between low and high). So at high tide the beach shrinks down to nothing and everyone crowds onto a tiny slice of sand. It’s really not our normal scene, but we did enjoy spending time with our friends.
Wow, the herd really did thin out in the late afternoon! People seem to flock to beaches everywhere, no matter how cold the water is. Sounds like you had a great time with good friends. And yes, it’s so wonderful to not have to pack up and go home at the end of the week. :-)
Yup, and even though the air temperature was very comfortable in the high 70s, tons of people still went into that freezing cold water!
Simply beautiful sky and beach pictures. We’ve always avoided southern Maine too especially in August which seems to be THE very busiest of the summer even as far north in Maine as you can go. We fulltimers really are a lucky group and you two especially in being so wise to do this in your “youth” so you can continue for decades to come. Hats off!.
Who doesn’t love a good beach, but I can’t say I blame you for skipping a part of the state that the hordes travel to for vacation. Love your contrasting shots of the beach as day changed to night.