Tag Archives: Maine

Halloween Decorations (Kittery, ME, Portsmouth, NH & Salem, MA)

Date Of Visits: Throughout October, 2017

Locations: Kittery, ME, Portsmouth, NH & Salem, MA

Over the years, businesses and people have both embraced Halloween as being much more than just a day to pull pranks and dress up in crazy costumes.

Halloween has become a season rather than a day and there may be better place to experience the spirit of the Halloween season than in New England.

Below are just a few of the Halloween decorations I have seen in my travels in New England these past few weeks.

Every year during the Halloween season, the owner of this house on Derby St decorates his or her home.  The decorator also has a place to donate money to the Lion’s Club.

When I stopped by October 1st, there was only a few decorations up.

However, the next time I visited, the following week, there were a lot more decorations up.  This home is another staple of the Halloween season.  Frankly, it would feel weird walking past the home this time of the year without seeing the elaborate display.  The bugs really creep me out!

To see the display from last year, you can click on my blog post from last year.

There was a special visitor in the yard during my visit.  A neighbor was walking her cat in the yard.

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This house on Hawthorne Blvd always has some interesting decorations and nick knacks on it property.  This tree was decorated with a variety of bird feeders.

Many of the homes in Salem get into the Halloween spirit.  These are a few historic homes and private residences that were decorated for Halloween.

Many of the businesses in Salem decorate for the busiest season of the year.

Witch’s Brew Cafe (156 Derby St) decorates their windows each year with different popular horror characters.

Mercy Tavern (148 Derby St) also had some fun artwork on their windows.

Dave Engs Flowers ( 136 1/2 Derby St,) put some spooky statues on his building.

These customers at Rockafella’s (231 Essex St,) must have been waiting a very long time for a table.

Witch Tees ( 172 Essex Street Suite 127) had a very useful mirror.

The Purple Scorpion Body Piercing & Tattoo (140 Derby St) dressed up their shop for the holidays.

I am actually not sure if Fivehands Curiousity Shoppe dressed up their store storefront for the season or if it always looks like this.

So, contrary to some people’s opinion.  I am not a vampire.  The person that looked in the mirror before me, though!

You might expect people and businesses in Salem to decorate their homes and buildings.  But, Salem isn’t the only place people like to decorate.

Of course, it’s hard to pull over some places to take photos of decorations and it’s not usually worth it if you’re in a hurry.

But, I was able to pull over to the side of the ride on a quiet road in Kittery, Maine.

Cause nothing says “Happy Halloween” like creepy dolls that look like zombie children.

These creative “pumpkin people” were on display throughout Portsmouth, NH.I found these particular decorations on State St in Portsmouth.

At least they look very happy.

I also noticed this witch on a telephone pole in Salem, MA.  It’s one of my favorites but I think it’s up all year long.

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This lucky dog, Dolly, got carried around the mall!


Ogunquit Dog Park (Ogunquit, ME)

Date Of Visit: August 25, 2017

Location: Spring Hill Rd, off Berwick Rd., Ogunquit, ME

Hours: Open daily, dusk to dawn

Parking: There is room for about 4 or 5 cars by the entrance with additional parking on the side of the road to the park.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: spacious park for dogs to play, kiddie pool, balls to throw, seating

Tips:

  • The park is located on a side road (Spring Hill Rd) with no other businesses or buildings, so there is ample parking on the side of the road if you can’t find a spot in the main parking area
  • I had some difficulty finding the park.  The website says to use this in your GPS as the address: 323 Berwick Rd. Ogunquit.  You will see a sign on Berwick Rd for the park.  It is the turn after Meadow Lane if you are coming from the east.  Or, if you are coming from the west and you see Meadow Lane you have gone too far.

Website: Ogunquit Dog Park

 

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Since its opening on January 15, 2011, Ogunquit Dog Park has been a play land for dogs of all breeds.  But, it may be it’s hidden history and a very special dog that makes the park so special.

Ogunquit Dog Park is spacious enough for lots of dogs to run around and play.  There are also benches and chairs to sit at while your dog enjoys the park.  And, of course, trees.

The one acre park is has a pool, shed, hydrant and tennis balls to throw to the dogs.  The shed at the entrance was built by the students at the local vocational high school in Wells, Maine.  The wood shavings on the ground give the park a pretty look.

Perhaps the highlight of the park is the memorial to Perkins, and all beloved dogs, that is set up inconspicuously near the center of the park by a tree.

IMG_0631 After Perkins, a golden retriever who used to frequent the park, passed away on Monday, October 26th, 2015, the pet’s guardian (Martin) and some other people came together to set up a memorial for him.  Perkins, whose “nana” worked in Perkins Cove, used to act as the “greeter” standing outside the door greeting customers and being cute.  Eventually, Perkins’ dad would decided to look into opening the park.  And, from there, the idea began to snowball.    There is also a note from the dog’s guardian and some photos of him.  I wish I could have met him.

For safety purposes during entry and exit of the park, the dog park is fully fenced with double gates.  There is a separate section for small dogs and a small trail to thee side of the park. Water that is piped in from a 3 year old, 600 foot deep well at the Transfer Station is available from April 1 to mid-November.  Also, the area is sprayed for ticks every 2 months with an organic solution.

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There was a steady flow of four legged visitors during my visit.

Ruby is a 7 year old Wheaton Terrier.  She also played an instrumental role in the opening of the dog park as she helped pull the yellow ribbon on the gate of the park to formally open the park.

Dice is an 11 month old Husky and Blue Heeler.  If you look closely, you may notice he has one brown eye and one blue eye.

Drisky is 7 months old.  Love his white socks!

Delaney is a mixed breed from South Carolina.

Rudy, the brown and white dog in the photos above, is a 9 year old Brittany Spaniel.

Today’s New England related link of the day is a poem dedicated to Perkins written by Richard W. Perkins:

Farewell Dear Friends

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Marginal Way (Oguinquit, ME)

 

Date Of Visit: August 26, 2017

Location: Shore Rd, Ogunquit, ME  (2 hours and 45 minutes south of Bangor, ME and 1 hour and 15 minutes northeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking lots in the area and limited street parking is also available.  I parked at a lot on School St which is directly across from the entrance to Marginal Way.  The lots usually charge by the hour.  Below is a link to the municipal parking lots in the area:

Parking Lots Near Marginal Way

Distance/Difficulty: 1.25 miles (2.5 miles round trip)/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, although some areas are narrow, it is handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes, but only during certain times of the year.  Dogs are permitted on the Marginal Way from October 1st to March 31st

Fitbit Stats: 2,5 miles, 4,768 steps, 752 calories

Highlights: scenic views, easy path, steps on the trail that lead to the beach

Website: Marginal Way Preservation Fund

Trail Maps: Marginal Way Trail Maps

Tips:

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Located Marginal Walk is anything but.  With its scenic views along the rocky coastline, access to Ogunquit Beach and pretty flowers and trees, Marginal Way is  a must see for anyone residing in or visiting Maine.

From the beginning of the walk, Marginal Way serves up some pretty views and a wide spectrum of colorful flowers.  The flowers from Sparhawk, the hotel located next to the entrance.

There are some stunning views along the way.

The path along the walk is generally wide with some narrow areas.  Most of the path is paved and I did see people with strollers.  There is also a bridge that is wide enough for two traffic and also seems to be handicapped accessible.

One of the unique things about this cliff walk is that you can walk down to the beach.  I noticed a few surfers ( I wish I learned how to surf in my younger days – maybe next year!)and sun seekers enjoying this part of the beach.  The rocks on the beach gave the beach a more natural feel.  There are also a few sandbars which allow you to walk out pretty far in the water.

Perhaps the best part of the walk, or at least the most rewarding part, is Perkins Cove at the end of the walk.  There  are a few eateries, several shops and a bridge.  The arts and crafts shops, coffee shop and candy store (which I highly recommend) give the area a quaint feel.

Sadly, dogs were not allowed on Marginal Way during my visit since they are only allowed on the walk during the fall and winter seasons.  But, I did see lots of dogs on the way to my car and at the end of the walk.

Gus, a 5 year old English Bulldog, was dressed to the nines for his photo shoot.

Landon, a 7 year old mixed hound retriever, showed me his pearly whites.

Below are some videos from my walk.  Just listening to the surf is so soothing.

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Kittery Trading Post (Kittery, ME)

Date Of Visit: January 21, 2017

Location: The Maine Outlet Shopping Center, 301 US-1, Kittery, ME

Hours:Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (they have extended hours during the holiday season)

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Parking: There is a big parking lot behind the store

Highlights: large shopping center, wood carvings

Web Site: Kittery Trading Post Facebook Page

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While Maine may be best known for its majestic lighthouses and popular beaches, there are other attractions for the less outdoorsy types.

At first glance, the Kittery Trading Post looks like a group of shops.  It’s easy to make this mistake since the Kittery Premium Outlets are located farther down the same road on US-Route 1.  But, the Kittery Trading Post is one store.The three story building is known as much for its decor as it is known for its wide selection of goods.  Originally geared for the outdoor aficionado, evident by the hunting apparel and accessories, the Kittery Trading Post is so much more now.

Although the store is a lot of fun to browse and shop at, the outdoor attractions may be even more entertaining.

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Fort Foster State Park (Kittery Point, ME)

 

Date Of Visit: January 21, 2017

Location: Pocahontas Rd, Gerrish Island, Kittery Point, ME

Cost: $10 per vehicle; pedestrians or bicyclists $5 adults/$1 under 12 (free during the off season)

Hours: Dawn to dusk for pedestrians; gates open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (presently closed for the season, opens in May)

Parking: The gate was up during my visit so everyone parked along the road in front of the entrance.  When the parking is officially open, there are parking areas available.

Park Size/Trail Difficulty: 88 acres, easy trail difficulty

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: fort, trails, family friendly, play area for children, jetty, views of Kittery, lighthouse

Web Site: Fort Foster State Park

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As a disclaimer, since it had previously snowed in Maine and the weather turned much warmer, the trails were slushy and muddy and I didn’t have my boots on.  So, I wasn’t able to walk the entire trail system at the park.  However, the trails I did walk were pretty even and easy to navigate with a few slight inclines.

Named after John Gray Foster, a Major-General in the United States Army, Fort Foster Park has so much to offer the entire family.  Kids (and a few adults) will love plating at the playground area, especially the playhouse with the tree growing out of it.

Or, if you’re a military history buff,you will enjoy the various military installations.  This is one of the forts at the park.

The trees at Fort Foster State Park are particularly majestic.

The southernmost park in Maine, Foster Park also has a pier with wonderful views of the Piscataqua River and the Whaleback Lighthouse.  To the right of the lighthouse isWood Island Life Saving Station on Wood Island.  It looks like a bridge or perhaps another pier in the water to the left of the pier on the way to Eood Island.  I loved how the clouds played with the landscape and gaave an ominous yet beautiful backdrop to the river.   .

The tide was low and the sand was surprisingly firm,.  So I was able to walk out pretty far and get some shots of the water and the landscape across the water.  The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse can be viewed across the river in the final photo.

The Piscataqua River, which flows into Portsmouth (NH), is a busy waterway for birds and boats.  I saw quite a few of both in or above the river.

It’s funny how you see so many funny things on the trails at parks.  Anyone lose a shoe or croc?

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Fort Foster State Park is a dog friendly park.  I saw many cute dogs at the park during my visit.  But, as one visitor told me, during the spring and summer the park is packed with dogs.  Since it was an unseasonably mild January day, I ran into a fair share of them.

While I was walking the path to the park, I saw a man throwing a ball to a cute dog.  So, of course, I had to ask for a photo.  Charlie, a 1 and a half year old Feist, is looking so intently at his dad because he wanted him to throw the ball to him.

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As I walked along the park, I saw another beautiful dog in a beautiful setting.  Omar, an 8 year old Greyhound, is a rescue who used to race.  He is now retired but he still likes to run and play.  And, as you can see by the photos, he loves his mom.

Missy, a Golden Retriever, and Ruby, a Flatcoat Retriever, (from left to right) both 6 months, are sisters.  Because of the sharp, dark color of Ruby’s fur and the shadows from the sun, it was hard to pick up her features.  But, trust me she is beautiful.

Java The Pup is an 8 year old (almost 9) Poodle.  Not only is he cute, he also does tricks!

Below is a video (360 degrees no less) of the low tide at Fort Foster.

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Nubble Lighthouse Holiday Lights (York, ME)

 

Dates Of Event: November 26, 2016 – January 1, 2017 (photos are from my visit on December 10, 2016)

Location: 11 Sohier Pard Rd, York, ME

Hours: from dusk (roughly 4:30 EST) until midnight

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a parking area for about 20-30 vehicles and adeparate parking lot for about 10 cars nearby

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Nubble Lighthouse decorated and lit up for the holidays.

Each year the Nubble Lighthouse (also known as Cape Neddick Lighthouse) is lit up

The annual lighting of the Nubble Lighthouse is a big event.  The annual lighting begins each holiday season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Santa makes a visit, the fire department stops by to let the children check out their trucks and a bus shuttles people back and forth from Ellis Park to Sohier Park.  Yes, they take their lighthouse lightings pretty seriously in York.

Interestingly, this isn’t the only time of the year the lighthouse is decorated with lights.  In July of each year the lighthouse is lit up as part of their “Christmas In July” celebration.  So, if you miss this viewing you only have to wait 7 more months.

We started the viewing of the lighthouse with the last stages of yet another beautiful Maine sunset.

It was a bitterly cold night at Sohier Park with temperatures in the teens and 20’s and a wind chill making it feel about 10 degrees colder.  So, in between visits to the car to thaw out, I was able to take photos of the lighthouse at various stages.  If you look closely, you may see a drone that a visitor was flying by the lighthouse, presumably for video footage.  Also, you can see a Christmas tree through one of the windows in some of the photos.

Below is a video of the lighthouse lit up.  I had only been there about an hour when I videotaped the lighthouse.  But, darkness comes quickly in this part of New England.  So, the video doesn’t look great.  It actually looks kind of spooky.


Nubble Lighthouse (York, ME)

Date Visited: October 1, 2016

Location: 11 Sohier Park Rd, York, ME

Hours: Open everyday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a designated parking area with about 30 to 40 parking spots.  There are also additional parking spots on the other side of the main parking area on the side of the road as you exit the main parking area

Highlights: lighthouse, scenic, views of the ocean, bird life

Lowlights: Parking can be difficult since it is such a popular spot (there was a line of cars waiting to park when I left and that was on a rainy day)

Web Site: Nubble Light

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Also known as Nubble Light, Cape Neddick Lighthouse is an 41 foot (88 feet above sea level) cylindrical lighthouse on the edge of Cape Neddick, a community in York, Maine.

The lighthouse is actually on Nubble Island, hence the name Nubble Light.  People like to call it Nubble and it sounds like a cuter name.  So, yeah, I’ll go with that.

Originally constructed in 1879 for $15,000 (roughly $342,000.00 in today’s money), Nubble Light is located about 100 yards off Cape Neddick Point.  The light was automated in 1986.

Nubble Light is one of the easiest lighthouses to photograph.  From Cape Neddick, you have wonderful views of the lighthouse.

There is also a rocky area you can climb down to get closer to the water and get some sweet views of the lighthouse.  Uhm, yes.

As you can see in some of the photos, it was a very windy day and the waves were crashing pretty hard against the rocks.  Between the rain and the water from the surf it was almost impossible to keep a dry lens, although I tried.

Since people feed them, birds seem to flock by the area.

The weather conditions didn’t deter this hardy Maine fisherman.  He did catch and release.

As you leave the parking area on the other side of the lighthouse, there are some pretty views.

Cape Neddick is a dog friendly area.  Logan, a 2 year old Red Hound and Coon Hound mix, likes to look out at the lighthouse also.

Video of Nubble Lighthouse:

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:

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Watch Hill Lighthouse (Westerly, RI)

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Nobska Lighthouse (Woods Hole, MA)


Long Sands Beach (York, ME)

Date Visited: October 1, 2016

Location: 1 Stonewall Lane York, Maine (1 and 15 hours north of Boston), (45 minutes north of Manchester, NH), (45 minutes south of Portland, Maine)

Hours: Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There are many metered parking spots along the beach.  They do fill up quickly on “ideal” beach days.

Beach Size: 1.5 miles

Dog Friendly: Yes, Long Sands Beach has the following dog rules: From April 1 to June 15, leashed dogs are allowed at any time of day; from June 16 to Sept. 15, dogs are only allowed before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Highlights: Scenic views, swimming, surfing and other aquatic activities

Web Site: Long Sands Beach

 

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October is not usually the month that comes to mind when one thinks of beach weather. This is not the case at  Long Sands Beach.  The 1.5 mile long beach is a haven for sun seekers and water sport enthusiasts alike.

Maine is known for being hardy folks.  You have to be when the weather can be so extreme.  As my friend told me when she saw my photos, “They will surf in any weather.”  I would add, the more active the water the better.  When I drove by  the beach an hour later, and the weather had intensified there were even more surfers and paddlers in the water than when I had first arrived to photograph the beach and off street parking was almost nonexistent.

As is often the case with our best experiences, I had not planned on visiting Long Sands.  Rather, I happened upon it on my way to Nubble Lighthouse.  When I saw the active water and the activity in the water, I had to pull over to see and photograph the beautiful beach.

The waves were very active and there were many surfers and paddlers in the water taking advantage of the waves.  It was very cool seeing people with such athleticism and grace in the water.

I met these two friendly surfers on the beach.

 

 

 

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Long Sands is a dog friendly beach (see the dog rules above).  I met Ollie, a 1 and a half year old Hound mix at the beach.

Below is a video of the surfers and stand up paddlers at Long Sands Beach.  As you can see, it was very windy and a little hard to control the camera.

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Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:

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Hammonasset Beach State Park (Madison, CT)

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Napatree Point Conservation Area

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Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)


Wiggly Bridge (York, ME)

Date Visited: April 23, 2016

Location: Lilac Lane, York, ME

Cost: Free

Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Parking: There are about a half dozen parking spots on the side of the road across from the bridge on Lilac Lane (a very busy road so be careful parking and crossing there).  There is also additional parking on side streets and farther along the road on Lilac Lane.

 

There are many bridges in New England.  But, only few have the name, reputation and appearance of a bridge that could collapse any moment.  The Wiggly Bridge is a mini-suspension bridge built in the 1930’s which crosses over a tidal flow from Barrel Mill Pond to the York River.  If you’re not careful, you may end up in the York River!

Ok, Wiggly Bridge really isn’t that dangerous.  But, it can give you the willies as you walk across it.  Even though it is safe to walk across, the bridge does wiggle and make noises as you traverse it. I made it across the bridge without much trouble and took some photos of the bridge as I made my way across.

The short walk across the bridge leads to Steedman Woods, a tiny peninsula with a mile long loop.  Dogs are allowed on the beach and on Steedman Woods.  The vieews from the island and bridge are stunning.

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Wiggly Bridge is also within walking distance, or a short drive from York Harbor.  So, you can take in both of these cool attractions in one day.

Cooper is a 7 year old rescue dog and a resident of Maine.  He also likes the bridge.

The videos below shows how unstable the bridge seems when you’re walking on it.

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Hartley Mason Reservation & York Harbor Beach (York, ME)

Date Visited: April 23, 2016

Location: 480 York Street, York, Maine

Hours: Always Open

Parking: 2 hour off street parking is available, but limited.  There are also a few parking areas near the beach.

 

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A common destination for weddings, dog walkers and beach goers, the Hartley Mason Reservation is a small park with benches, memorials and other works of art.  Perhaps the most popular attraction to this site is the rock with the tiny figures, titled, “Pleasure Ground”.  The sculpture was made by Sumner Winebaum, a York resident, in 2011.  He titled it “Pleasure Ground” because Mason had described the reserve as a “pleasure ground”.  The sculpture is built on a rock nearly 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and weighs three tons,.  The bronze figures range in height from 10 to 12 inches tall. Winebaum said his goal was to show people enjoying the park such as the two boys wrestling, the person reading and the two women debating (which he has described as his favorite part of the sculpture).

Tiny people doing all the things regular people do.  I wonder what book that tiny figure on the edge of the rock is reading.  Perhaps, “Little Women”.

An easy, clearly marked path leads down to the beach.

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Along the trail, there are also benches dedicated to people who have passed.

 

There is also a memorial dedicated to those lost at sea.  The York Fisherman’s Memorial is

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The inscription on the front reads: O HEAR US WHEN WE CRY TO THEE FOR THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA.  

On the back of the monument, there is an inscription that states: Dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea & for those who work and love the ocean… 

The memorial is dedicated to Captain Daniel A. Donnell who died at sea hauling traps.  He was 78 at the time of his death.

The trail is also a great place to take photos of the beach from afar.

From the moment I pulled up to the parking in front of the Hartley Mason Reservation, the view of the water struck me, especially with the weather conditions as they were.  A misty cloud covering filled the afternoon sky reaching all the way to the water making it hard to discern where the water ended and the sky began.  For most people, this is hardly ideal beach weather.  But, I, and my sensitive Irish screen, have always preferred this weather to the scorching unabated sunlight.

The trail eventually leads to the beach (there are also side trails, or if you’re feeling spry you can just walk down the rocky or grassy areas off the trail).  Due to time constraints, we just stopped at the beach head and took photos from there.  There were some modest waves and some pretty views. The beach does have a lot of rocky areas that wouldn’t be very comfortable to walk around in on sandals.  Wear comfortable footwear.

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Although the beach area is much larger and may have more accommodations (I will visit again later to capture the beach in its entirety), the section I visited had very little room for lying out.  There really was just rock and a concrete slab to stand, sit or lie on.  The parking is also pretty sparse at this section of the beach.  There are only a few parking spots and some are designated for certain people.  There is also an outdoor pool near the beach.

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The beach was very busy with not only human visitors but cute furry ones as well (I suppose some of the human visitors were furry as well but that is neither here nor there).

Kipper is a 9 year old German Shepherd.  He got to play in the water and he loves to play catch.  And his mom’s boots were pretty cool.

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Gracie is a 7 and a half year old Boxer with a very broad smile.

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Below is a video of the waves at York Beach Saturday.

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New England Nomad