APPLES AND PUMPKINS AND MAZES…OH MY!
The days are starting to get a little shorter, the temperatures a little cooler, and the leaves are ready to explode with all their splendor. Yes, fall is on our doorstep, but the Maine Beaches still offers so much more! While we’ve highlighted some Spooktacular Halloween fun in a separate article below, right here we’d like to share some of the reasons that the Maine Beaches region should be on the top of your list for an autumn visit!
The Maine Beaches is home to several family owned farms where the harvest season is in full bloom. You could spend an entire day at Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton (just fifteen minutes west of Saco and Old Orchard Beach) navigating your way through their six-acre corn maze, choosing your perfect pumpkin from their pumpkin patch, feeding the farm animals, or even launching an ear of corn!
Zach’s Corn Maze in York will take your crew on a twenty-minute hayride to the maze, built over seventeen acres of corn! You’ll want to make sure you find your way out with a little time to spare so that you can stop at the farm stand and select from an array of amazingly fresh produce and gorgeous flowers. And of course no visit is complete without tasting one (or more) of their homemade cider donuts!
In the mood for apple pie? Of course there’s none better than yours made with the freshest pick-your-own-apples from McDougal’s Orchards in Springvale. In addition to dozens of varieties of apples, McDougal’s also grows peaches, nectarines, plums, pears and cherries! The possibilities for your dessert table are endless!
The season of plenty also spills over into our farmer’s markets, located all over the region, many of which also host local artisan and craftsman wares, fresh breads and baked goods, and live musical entertainment to serenade you while you peruse the bounty. We’ve listed a number of them for you below, and we suggest, if time permits, that you create yourself a farmer’s market trail in order to experience and enjoy the diversity in offerings that the Maine Beaches is so proud of.
- Kennebunk Farmers’ Market
- Kittery Community Market
- North Berwick Farmers’ Market
- Sanford Farmers’ Market
- Saco Farmers’ Market
- Saco River Market
- Wells Farmers’ Market
- York Gateway Farmers’ Market
Finally, if you’re not too exhausted, fall is probably one of the very best times to visit our beaches. The first two weeks of September, you’ll find our water the warmest of the year and the temperatures outside still hovering around eighty-degrees. And if you’ve never walked along a stretch of sand by the light of a harvest moon, well, you might just want to add that to your bucket list.
However you spend your autumn days and nights at the Maine Beaches, we can guarantee that a visit this time of year is just as special as one during the gorgeous summer season!
SIGNATURE FALL EVENTS
- 25th Annual Car Show, Old Orchard Beach, September 14-15
- Family Jamboree, Wells, September 15
- Great Pumpkin Festival, Sanford, September 29
- Harvestfest, York, October 13
- OgunquitFest, Ogunquit, October 19-21
HOLD ON TO YOUR BRITCHES…THE MAINE BEACHES HAS WITCHES!
Yeah, we know. You’re all brave. Until the lights go out…muahahahah! But honestly, is there anyplace more spooky than historic New England around Halloween? Skittering leaves swirling around in moaning breezes. Bare trees with their skeletal arms stretched high against the inky dark sky. The moon heavy and full, lighting the way through haunted places that dot the region. If all of this is your cup of tea, may we suggest the following boos?
Destination Haunt in Lebanon was voted ‘most haunted’ walk in and around New England. With stops along the way named The Butcher, the Buried Alive Cemetery, and the Clown House, what could there possibly be to fear?
Have you ever wanted to zip line over zombies? Seriously, who hasn’t? Well we have that here. Night Terrors Haunted Woods Walk in Kittery is scary enough as is. But add the whole zip line thing on top of it, and it’s a heart thumping adventure that will leave you screaming until you lose your voice!
If your preference is immersing yourself in the haunted history of the region, you’ll want to consider one of several walking and trolley tours hosted by New England Curiosities. Guided by Roxie Zwicker, expert on local folklore, ghosts, and mysterious history, these tours are sure to leave you reaching for a hand to hold. Let’s just hope it’s warm and not bony and cold!
A SEASON OF THANKS
November is undoubtedly the month of gratitude. Thankful for our veterans, thankful for our families, thankful for our blessings. While there are a number of events that take place around the region on November 11th to honor our heroes, on November 10th, the Wells Chamber of Commerce will host the 5th Annual Veterans Day 5K Road Race. This event not only honors Veterans, all proceeds are donated to Honor Flight Maine. Honor Flight Maine is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their service and sacrifices by transporting our heroes to Washington, D.C. to tour, experience and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the most frail veterans – terminally ill veterans of all conflicts and World War II survivors. Korean and Vietnam Veterans are also transported on a first-come, first-served, space-available basis.
Additionally, on Saturday, October 20th, Ogunquit will be hosting the Ruck for our Fallen, a military-style ruck event which will take place on Ogunquit Beach. This event is to honor ALL of Maine’s Fallen Heroes and give their families a unique bonding experience.
So as you consider ways to pay your respects to those who bravely served this country, we invite you to participate in either of these great events by signing up as a runner, lining the roadways to cheer on those who are, or donate to these great causes!
AND RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER…
While our Maine Beaches Insider-Winter 2018 will be published by December 1, we wanted to give you a heads up on a few events you may want to add to your calendar now! On November 24th, York will be kicking off the season with the Lighting of the Nubble! This event includes caroling on the beach, seeing this icon illuminate with thousands of lights, and (we have it on good authority) will include a visit from Old St. Nick!
November 29-December 9 ushers in the 37th Annual Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude. This week-plus long holiday celebration is filled with many events around the community including tree lightings, parades of all sorts, artisan and craft vendors, and fireworks!
And December 7-9, Ogunquit will host its 32nd Annual Christmas by the Sea! Concerts, parties, wagon rides and caroling immerse visitors in all things Maine Beaches, holiday style!
Finally, don’t forget that the Maine Beaches is the perfect place for you to spend a day or a weekend checking things off your gift list! The Kittery Outlets Black Friday event is one not to be missed! Follow it up with Small Business Saturday and you’ll find an endless array of one-of-a-kind items for the hard to please person, and if you spend this day in Kenenbunk or Kennebunport, shopping in your pjs is encouraged! Make sure you visit us on Facebook, where we continually update events, holiday and otherwise! We know it’s still early, but happy (they’ll be here before you know it) holidays!