Wells summer cottages
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Your guide to Wells
The third-oldest town in Maine, little Wells (established 1643) has picked up a couple of additional superlatives in its nearly 400-year history, including Friendliest Town in Maine, and the state’s Antiques Capital. Located in coastal York County, between Ogunquit and Kennebunk, Wells attracts summer tourists with its sandy beaches, perfect New England vistas, and more than 25 antique shops selling period furniture, vintage jewelry, and rare books. Even with its increased population in summer, Wells remains a more relaxed, less crowded alternative to nearby Old Orchard Beach. Between the natural attractions and the irresistible charm of small-town village life, the options are endless: Pick up fresh local blueberries at a farmers’ market; go for a summertime swim (or surf) at Wells Beach or Drake’s Island Beach; kayak the Webhannet River; or treat the family to a lobster-roll picnic lunch at Wells Harbor Park.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Wells?
Summer is the high season all across Maine. Balmy days with gentle breezes and temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit make a day at the beach an enticing proposition. The water is warm enough for swimming between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The fall is an especially lovely time to book one of the area’s vacation rentals, when the storied New England foliage is in full multicolored effect, and it’s still warm enough to enjoy the great outdoors, provided you pack warmer layers. By January, expect freezing temperatures, snowfall, and overnight lows averaging a frigid 12 degrees.
What are the top things to do in Wells?
Get up close and personal with the migratory birds, cottontail rabbits, and other residents of York County’s saltwater marshes at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, located just across the river and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both feature miles of nature trails that wind through wild landscapes, from rivers to forests to marshland.
Famous as the summer retreat of former presidents, this nearby town is worth exploring for its charming beaches, the 1833 Goat Island Lighthouse, and the Seashore Trolley Museum, the world’s largest mass transit museum, with its collection of historic streetcars.
This neighboring town comes alive with cultural offerings in the summer: there are musicals at the local playhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, and work by Maine artists on display at the local galleries and its Museum of American Art.