Tag Archives: travel

Scarecrow In The Park (Cushman Park, Bernardston, MA)

Dates Of Event: October 19 – 21, 2018 (I attended Oct. 20)

Location: Cushman Park, 19 South St, Bernardston, MA

Cost: Free

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Scarecrows, parade, vendors

Website: Scarecrow In The Park (Facebook Page)

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Boo!

Now that I have your attention, Salem isn’t the only part of New England that celebrates the Halloween and Fall season.

Last weekend, the Bernardston Kiwanis sponsored the annual Scarecrow In The Park event to raise funds for the scholarship fund.

Among the three day event, the festival included an exhibition of classic cars, a tractor parade and a wood carving demonstration. But, the main attraction for most of the visitors are the scarecrows.

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The scarecrows were made by individual artists or a group of artists. The scarecrow below, which is a tribute to Dr Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel), a native of nearby Springfield, MA, and thing number 1 and 2 from one of his stories, was created by a local elementary school.

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Another artist with ties to the area, Eric Carle, had a scarecrow dedicated to him. Holding one of his picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Carle is shown sitting on the ground with other symbols from his book. Although he is not from New England (he is a native of Syracuse, NY and has also lived in Florida among other places), he lived in Northampton, MA, for some time and there is a museum dedicated to him in Amherst, MA.

No, this isn’t your ex or your in-law.

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The scarecrows ran the gamut from the scary (and that could refer to the witch or the objects in the background in the photo above – I find them both to be very frightening)…

..to the humorous like this funny pirate.

But, most of the scarecrows were made for fun and they were all family friendly.

In addition to the scarecrows, there was a Halloween-themed graveyard display with phrases many of us from New England and anywhere else can relate to.

There were lots of vendors at the festival as well. A news article stated they were hoping to attract 60 vendors to the festival. It seemed like there were many more though.

This vendor make their own wares. The gentleman pictured below carves shapes and figures out of wood he finds. He does not plan the shapes ahead of time. He tole me he goes with the shape and feel that it gives him.

Another more popular vendor was the witch hat shop.

This cute wood carving shop was also a popular shop.

Speaking of wood carvings, wood carving exhibits and demonstrations were provided by Laker’s Acres from Orange, MA.

Some of the visitors came in costume. These visitors are actually parade marchers who participated in the tractor parade.

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If you did not wear a costume to the event, there were face painters there to help you get made up for the event.

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The make up artists did a great job on all of the people they worked on.

A parade of tractors (new and older models) drove down South St with parade marchers in tow.

A mad scramble ensued as some of the drivers threw candy to the onlookers. Note to festival planners: try throwing some Starburst next year.

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Across the street from the park, the fire department had some huge pumpkins that seemed to fit into the fall theme of the festival.

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The festival is a dog friendly event and we saw lots of cute dogs.

Pumblechook (named after Mr. Pumblechook from Great Expectations) is a 19 week old Boston Terrier. He is sporting a stylish skull and cross bones sweater.

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Nami is a 3 year old, Redbone Coon Hound and black Lab mix.

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Harley is a 3 year old Puggle.

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The video below shows some of the tractor parade.


Wickham Park (Manchester, CT)

Date Of Visit: May 30, 2017

Location: 1814 Tolland St, Manchester, CT

The address on the website is for the back entrance which is locked   Do not enter this address into your GPS.  The best way to go is to follow the instructions on their website or try using the address listed above.  I had to pull into a Dunkin’ Donuts to get directions.

There is also limited free parking on a side street (Vernon Rd)

Cost: $5 per car

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Park Size/Trail Difficulty: 250 acres/easy trails with some gentle inclines

Handicapped Accessible: Yes.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic views, ponds, wetlands, wildlife, art, well maintained grounds, disc-golf field, bird sanctuary, nature center, gardens, flowers,hiking trails, picnic areas, ample parking

Website: Wickham Park

Map of Wickham Park: Map Of Wickham Park

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Wickham Park has a little a bit of everything for everyone.  There are gardens, wetlands and hiking trails for the nature lover.  There is a nature center and bird sanctuary for animal lovers to learn more about the inhabitants of the grounds.  There is also a play area for children and a beautiful scenic outlook for people to sit and enjoys beautiful views of the Hartford area.  There’s even tennis courts, pavilions and a disc golf field.  It is also one of the most beautiful parks I have visited (I know – I say that about all of the parks I visit).

If you have limited time or you don’t want to walk around too much, I would suggest going to Lot B first.  But, you can drive from lot to lot so tall of the areas of he park are very accessible.

Lot B is across from the Japanese themed Lotus Gardens, Irish Garden and other natural beauties.

There are also pretty structures and statues along the paths.

Knot Garden has a maze (it’s not as easy as it looks), statues and beautiful flowers.

There is a wide variety of birds, mammals and other animals at Wickham Park.

I caught this bird taking a dust bath.

These frogs were busy.  So I left them to their privacy, as much as there is at a park.

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There is also a bird sanctuary at Wickham.  All of the birds at the sanctuary were either injured or unable to survive in the wild on their own.  And, it looks like more are on their way.

Not all of the animals at the sanctuary were birds.  This sneaky fella found a way to score some choice feed.

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There is also a fun and educational nature next to a playground.  The animals are the nature center were much easier to photograph.

Wickham Park also offers stunning views of the Hartford and surrounding area.

There is also a disc golf field and easy to moderate hiking trails.

Wickham is worth the visit just for the art and architecture and nature alone.  The trails and gardens are just an added bonus.

Dogs are allowed at Wickham Park.  I was able to click a few photos of Holly as she hunted for a rabbit.

The only bad thing about my trip to Wickham Park was getting there.  The website has the address listed as 1329 Middle Turnpike West, Manchester, CT.  This is the back entrance and there was a gate preventing entry this way.  The main entrance is actually on Tolland St.

If you do use the address on their website (1329 Middle Turnpike West, Manchester, CT), to get to Wickham, drive west onto Burnside Ave and take a right onto Long Hill Drive (at a set of lights after about a mile (a Dunkin’ Donuts and strip mall will be on your left).  Then, take the next right onto Tolland St. or Tolland Turnpike.  The main entrance to Tolland Park will be on the right after about a mile.

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Castle Rock (Marblehead, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 9, 2016

Location: 377 Ocean Ave (it is also listed as Castle Rock Lane), Marblehead, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily, dawn until dusk

Parking: There is lots of of unmetered, 2 hour, off street parking available on Ocean St

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Views of the Atlantic Ocean, fishing, benches to watch the ocean

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Once used as a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets as well as pirate and enemy ships, both British and French, Castle Rock is yet another hidden treasure along the North Shore of Massachusetts.  Heck, it’s in my own backyard and I had not even heard of it until recently.

Also known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock gets its name for the castle-like looking home next to the lookout area.  Now, it serves as a place to sit or stand and look out along the Atlantic Ocean and remember how small we really are in comparison.

It was a rainy, fall-like October morning (oddly enough during October) when I stopped by Castle Rock.  It felt like the rain would never end and the water was very active.  The entrance to Castle Rock is nestled between two homes, although I’m not sure if anyone resides in the castle-like home to the right of the lookout area.

The views were not diminished because of the inclement weather.  I did, however, have to make a few trips to my car to dry off my equipment and try to keep my lens clear.

The 1.20 acre lookout is also known for its off-shore sailing, although there really isn’t a safe place to launch from Castle Rock.  But, you get some great views of the boats that did dare to venture out in the choppy waters.

This brave fisherman made his way down the wet, slippery rocks and went fishing for stripers.

The rain didn’t stop the birds.

Castle Rock is another beautiful area in New England with some very pretty views.  Below is a video of the area.  You can hear the wind and the rain pelting down.  It wasn’t a “beach day” by any means but it was still a great place to visit during any type of weather.

Similar Places In New England  I Have Visited

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Nubble Light House (York, ME)

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Cliff Walk (Newport, RI)

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Nelson Memorial Park (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visit: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Location: Nelson St, Plymouth, MA

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There are about 50 parking spots

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Free parking, handicap-accessible, picnic benches and tables, playground area, beach area, restrooms, boat docking area, seasonal water play area, bike path

Web Site: Nelson Memorial Park

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When people think of Plymouth Massachusetts certain places automatically come to mind; Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, Nelson Memorial Park.  No, that’s not a typo.  In fact, Nelson Memorial Park may be one of the best kept secrets in Plymouth (except may be the Grace Trail).

 

Located approximately a mile from the aforementioned rock, Nelson Memorial Park is a family friendly park with activities for children, pretty views and ample parking.

The water activity area, called a “splash pad” is an area that shoots out water for children, and probably even a few adults and dogs, to play in.  A sign states that due to water restrictions the pad will be on only on days when the air temperature is above 80 degrees.  There’s little threat of that happening for some time, although we have had some unseasonably warm weather lately.

The park is relatively small but it still offers some very pretty scenery.  I’ve always marveled at how clouds, even wispy clouds, can really accentuate the beauty of an area, especially by bodies of water.

Some kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and calm water.

There is also a bike path from Nelson Memorial Park that goes all the way to North Plymouth (roughly 1.5 miles from Nelson Memorial Beach or over 2 miles if you start from Grace Trail which is located behind the park’s parking lot).

Although it is a small park, Nelson Memorial is a wonderful, peaceful area just minutes from the busy  waterfront and downtown areas and a must-see if you’re in the Plymouth area.

A boy and his dog take in the views at Nelson Memorial.  This is why dogs are so great.  No matter how bad your day is or how lonely you might feel, you always have your dog.

There were many other dogs at Nelson Memorial Park and I was able to get some great shots of a few of them.

Remy is a 13 year old Lab, Boxer and Rottweiler.  He had head and leg injuries when he was adopted.  But, he looks fine right now!

Stella is a 7 year old Boston Terrier with a special talent.  She likes to chase balls and hit them with her head, soccer style.

Below is a video of Stella playing.

Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:

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Salem Willows (Salem, MA)

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Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)

 


Plymouth Lobster Crawl (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visitis: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Locations: All over Plymouth MA (see attached map for exact locations)

Cost: Free

Parking: There was surprisingly lots of parking, metered and unmetered and several lots in the area (hint – you can park at Jenney Grist Mill for free and hoof it or so I hear)

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: decorative lobsters made out of fiberglass

Web Site: Plymouth Lobster Crawl

Lobster Craw Map: Lobster Crawl Map

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The lobsters have come to Plymouth.  And they’re everywhere.  Well, at least, everywhere in Plymouth.

The “Lobster Crawl” is a great activity, especially for families.  There are 29 (26 after some were vandalized and others removed).  There is also a handy map to help you locate them.  But, even with the map, it is no easy task.

Each lobster is sponsored by a different business or organization and they are painted with their own distinct theme, usually a theme related to the business or organization sponsoring the lobster.

The lobsters are 5 feet high and made of fiberglass, similar to the buoys that are in the harbor.  They can weigh up to 150 pounds.

If you haven’t seen them yet or if you are not sure when you will be able to get over to Plymouth to check them out, take your time.  The lobsters are expected to remain on display for 2 years.

As you can tell by the map, the lobsters are scattered all over Plymouth.  There is only one that is not in walking distance which is the last one I am posting.  The backgrounds made the lobsters look even more pretty.

Most, if not all, of the lobsters were painted on both the front and back.  I was unable, or unwilling, to photograph both sides of some of these lobsters, though.  I have added the corresponding number of the lobster from the map in paranthesis after the description to make it easier to find.  I’m not sure how the decision to number the lobster statues was made but they don’t go in order based on location.

If you want to see all or the majority of the lobsters in one day, the best idea is probably to park near Pilgrim Memorial State Park (near Plymouth Rock) and start with the first statue on Water St.  Then, you can make basically walk all of Water St and then see the lobsters on the other side of Water St and on the side streets of Main and Court St. , on your way back to your vehicle.  You can then drive to the remaining lobster statues.

This is the first lobster on Water St, the main road in Plymouth, MA.  There are several accessible on or off a side street from Water St. (I counted 13).  This lobster is called “Ed #Endalz” at Pilgrim Memorial State Park.  It was created by Mary Johannesen (24).

The lobster pictured above, “”Rocky”, is sponsored, appropriately, by Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway.  “Rocky” was created by Kate Vannata. It is also located off Water St, just past Plymouth Rock along the harbor (25).

This lobster, also located off Water St, is sponsored by Plimoth Plantation and is called “Celebrating Living History”.  It was made by Vincent Crotty.  It is located on State Pier by the Mayflower II (26).

Farther along Water St is “Lu-Sea”.  It is sponsored by J.F.  Carpenter Construction Corp and was made by Jennifer McCarthy (27).

“Childhood Memories” was sponsored through an anonymous donation, always the best kind.  Terry Cole is the artist for this lobster (28).

“Clawdia” is the next lobster statue on Water St.  It was made by Andy Driscoll and is sponsored by Wood’s Seafood and Plymouth Cruises (2).

Some of the lobsters are harder to find than others (hence my second trip to find the ones I had missed during my first visit).  The next lobster statue, “Louie”, is  located on Town Pier.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Bay Lobster Co (3).

The lobster “Bugsby Bibs” is sponsored by Cabbyshack and is located in front of the restaurant at 130 Town Wharf, off Water St.  It was created by Chickie Celli and Beatriz Whitehill.  Theere is also a cardboard replica of a lobster for people to have their photo taken next to Bugsby (4).

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“Ms. Clawmerce” is located by the jetty off Water St.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce and it was created by Donna Ann Secour (5).

This is one of my favorites.  “Sea Horses” is located along the path to the Ms. Clawmerce statue.  It is sponsored by SmartPak and was created by Tamara Tagg.  There is a huge piece of driftwood behind it (6).

There were 3 lobster statues located at Nelson Park.  However, one of the lobsters was damaged.  So, the city decided to remove all of the lobster statues from this venue, at least for the time being.  They are listed on the map but they are not there. So, the 7, 8 and 9 numbered lobsters are not available for viewing at this time.

There are more lobsters located on the other side of Water St.

Another one of my favorites, “Luigi The Lobster” is located at 1620 Winery and Wine Bar at the Village Landing Marketplace, 170 Water St.  The artist for Luigi is Genevieve Visser (10).

“Rasta Lobstah”, created by Heather Ritchie Casey, is located at The Blue-Eyed Crab Carribbean Grill & Rum Bar.  It is also located at the Village Landing Marketplace at 170 Water St (11).

The next closest lobster is probably located at the Plymouth Visitor’s Information Center at 130 Water St.  It is the last lobster on or in the vicinity of Water St.   It was made by Samantha Shields and it is sponsored by RE/MAX Spectrum (1).

As an aside, I stopped in to the visitor center for some help finding the last lobster ( I tried to do it on my own but the last one is a little complicated).  Anyway, they were very helpful and excited to help me.  So, they are a great resource to utilize if you do need help.

From the visitor center, you may want to drive, although I walked the entire area.  It’s just easier to walk than to find a parking space and getting your bearings all over again (although parking was plentiful when I visited).

From the visitor center, the closest set of statues is S. Park Ave.  Hopefully, you won’t run into Kenny on your way.

This lobster statue is called “Grace” and it was created by Kate Wilkins.  It is sponsored by WH Cornerstone Investments (12).

“Lobsta Love” is another popular lobster statue, for obvious reasons.  The bright colors and designs make it hard to miss.  it is located next to ERA Belsito & Associates at 100 Court St.  But, it is actually located on the side of the building on Samoset St.  It was created by Heidi Mayo and Wendy Reiffeiss (13)

From here, many of the remaining lobster statues are located south on or off Court St and Main St.

“Brewster” is located in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum (75 Court St).  It is sponsored by 1620 Capital LLC and the artist who sculpted it is Andrew P. Linde.  Stickers with 1620, the American flag and other historic symbols are stuck to the front and back of the statue (16).

If you continue on Court/Main St, there are a cluster of statues.

“Rocking Lobster” is located on the corner of North and Main St.  It was sculpted by Marla Gratta-Pagnani and Monica O’Brien and it is sponsored by King Collision Center.  My favorite photo is the one that shows the reaction of the baby in the stroller (17).

“Big Blue” is located on North St, a short distance from the “Rocking Lobster.”  It is sponsored  AS you can tell by the photos, it is a pretty neighborhood and the older, historic looking homes give a great backdrop for photos.  This sculpture is sponsored by Brabo Benefits (18).

“Welcome” is located on Leyden St.  It was sculpted by Frances McLaughlin and is sponsored by Plymouth Lions & Leos.  You’ll note the map has the 16th and 19th lobster statues switched.  They both have lobsteers at each location but they misidentified these two on the map (19).

On Sandwich St (Main turns into Sandwich St) is the destination of the next statue, “Clawdia-Woman Of Gold.”  It is appropriately located in front of Verona at 89 Sandwich St.  This statue was sculpted by Marion Carlson.(21)

You will find the next two lobsters across the street from Verona on Lincoln St.

Another one of my favorites (as you can probably tell based on all of the photos I took), “Lynx The Lucky Lobster” is located in the parking lot aarea of the Cat Clinic of Plymouth( 80 Sandwich St).  I especially like the little paw prints at the base of the sculpture.  The lobster is actually on Lincoln St behind the clinic.  It was sculpted by Jill Voelker (22).

“Oceanus” by Marissa Scola is also located a little farther down Lincoln St on the other side of the cat clinic at Town Hall (11 Lincoln St).  This lobster is sponsored by Kerr Dental Associates.  There are 10 hidden toothbrushes on the lobster.  I found a few for you.  Can you find the rest? (23)

At this point, it is point, it is easiest to drive to the remianing lobsters.  After arriving back at your vehicle, you can drive to the Jenney Grist Mill (48 Summer St) where you’ll find the next lobster.

“Claws Monet” by Jeannette Lyons Carney is sponsored by Laurelwood at The Pinehills & Stafford Hill.  Stop by the grist mill while you’re there (20).

The next 2 lobsters that are nearby are on Samoset St.  You can also stop by these places after you view the other lobster on Samoset St (the “Lobsta Love” lobster).  But, I decided to drive to these lobsters.  They are very close to each other and if you drive too fast you could easily miss one or both of them.

“Penny” by Jen Connolly is located in front of Cape Auto Body, 53 Samoset St (14).

“Personal Injury Law-bster” is located in front of the Winokur, Serkey & Rosenberg Law Offices at 81 Samoset St.  This lobster was created by Cheryl Greenwood.   At least they have a sense of humor (15).

The last lobster is not located in walking distance of the other lobsters.  In fact, I had to get on the highway and drive a considerable distance to get to it.  But, it’s worth the drive if you have 10 or so minutes to spare.

Another very pretty sculpture and display, “Cranberry” is located in front of the Meetinghouse in Redbrook, an A.D. Makepeace Community.  It is like a community or complex in and of itself.  The address for The Meetinghouse is 1 Greenside Way North.  But, I had better luck using their address at 237 Wareham Rd s the other address didn’t work in my GPS.

The remaining lobsters that have been removed because they have been stolen (and recovered) or damaged are from left to right “Cordage”, “Sid-Supporting Independence & Dignity” and “Sir-Loin The Lobster.”  They were all located at Nelson Park off Water St.

The days I went lobster hunting were perfect fall days and, yes, there were dogs, as well as lobsters, everywhere.

Harley, a 4 year old Goldendoodle, was visiting the Jenney Grist Mill with his mommy or sister.

Bear is a 6 month old Newfie and he’s already 90 lbs!

Rooney , a 6 year old Chocolate Lab, liked to look out at the harbor.

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Plymouth Long Beach (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 8, 2016

Location: 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth , MA (45 minutes south of Boston, MA, 1 hour west of Providence, RI)

Cost: (Memorial to Labor Day) Weekdays: $15
Weekends: $15
Bus (by reservation): $50 (check this fee with Town Hall above)

You can also purchase a sticker for the beach for a $50 annual fee

Free after Labor Day until Memorial Day

Parking: There is ample parking available (at least 100 spots)

Dog Friendly: Yes, in certain areas (signs are clearly marked in these areas)

Highlights: Rocky jetties, scenic views, ample parking, restaurant on premises, fishing, boating and other aquatic activities

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Plymouth Long Beach, more commonly known as just Plymouth Beach, was another spot I happened upon unexpectedly.  While trying to find the painted lobsters in Plymouth (blog post to follow soon), I pulled over into this parking lot to get my bearings.  Since I was there, I figured I would check the place out and take some shots.   I’m so glad I did!

There is a rocky jetti you can walk out to get some photos of the bay.  Yes please.

The waves were pretty, well, wavey.  But, otherwise it was a pitcure perfect beach day.

One of the great things about the beach is there is a deli and comfort stations as well.

On the other side of the beach is a stream that runs between the beach area and the residences of the neighborhood.  There are also some bridges that connect the residents to the beach.

The birds aren’t very shy at the beach, probably because they are so well fed by the beach goers.

In fact, some of them lurk around, waiting for crumbs.

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People also like to go fishing, mainly for stripers, at Plymouth Beach.

Plymouth Long Beach is beach friendly (but only in designated areas).

Proving that it is indeed a small world, I ran into Vivi, a dog I had photographed during my visit to Chestnut Hill Reservation.  Vivi is still her playful self.

Daisy, a 4 year old Black Lab, and Cricket, a 2 year old Chocolate Lab, had fun playing in the water.

Below is a video of the waves and scenic views of Plymouth Beach

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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.