Maine is known as America’s favorite getaway: it is commonly called “Vacationland” and it’s motto is “the way life should be.” Spend a few days in a coastal town like Scarborough and it will be easy to see why. This charming seaside destination is just a few miles south of Portland but is rich with small-town charm. It also features accommodations like Airbnb vacation rentals to make you feel right at home. Scarborough is notable for its beaches, like many coastal cities in southeast Maine, but there is much more to do in the city. Scarborough has stunning natural beauty and is home to the state’s largest salt marsh. Aside from outdoorsy recreation, there is also lots of entertainment options and a great variety of activities! Refer to this list of things to do in Scarborough, Maine, and start planning your itinerary for the ultimate Vacationland adventure.
1. Spot the birds at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
One of the most peaceful spots in Scarborough and a great place to spot wildlife is the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. This nature preserve protects Maine’s largest salt marsh along with all of its animal inhabitants. Birds are particularly plentiful, with egrets, herons, and grassland songbirds making the marsh their home along with otters, deer, and muskrats. Explore the marsh by walking on the marked nature trails or even from the water by renting a canoe or kayak.
Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
Address: 92 Pine Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
Opening hours: 9am - 5:30pm (daily)
2. Enjoy go-karting at Maine Indoor Karting
If you’re looking for something that will give you a bigger adrenaline rush, try go-karting at Maine Indoor Karting. This huge entertainment center lets teens and adults feel what it’s like to drive a race car. The cars are gas-powered and go up to 40 miles (64 km) per hour. The track changes several times a year, so you will always get a new challenge. No reservations are needed–just show up ready to drive!
Maine Indoor Karting
Address: 9782, 23 Washington Ave, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Maine Indoor Karting
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 8pm; Fri: 11am - 11pm; Sat: 10am - 11pm; Sun: 10am - 8pm
Price: 24 USD
3. Plan a day out with children at Pine Point Beach
A visit to Scarborough wouldn’t be complete without going to one of the city’s famed beaches. Pine Point is a great option for families with kids. This idyllic sandy beach stretches 4 miles (6.4 km), offering plenty of room for lounging, swimming, or playing beach games. If kids get antsy, bring them to a nearby snack shack for lunch or an ice cream cone.
Pine Point Beach
Address: East Grand Ave, Scarborough, Maine 04074
Website: Pine Point Beach
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4. Go skate boarding at Memorial Park
If skating is your thing, Scarborough has you covered–head to Memorial Park, where they have a great spot for skaters to try new tricks! You can do everything from riding rails to jumping off ramps. Even if you’re not a skater, Memorial Park is a great place for relaxing or recreation. Jog on trails or play on the athletic fields. You can also take in the scenic pond and fountains or the gazebo.
Address: 5 Durant Drive, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Memorial Park
5. Stroll along Higgins Beach
Higgins Beach is possibly the most charming neighborhood in Scarborough. This beach community has a small-town feel and is full of small cottages and beach houses, providing a classic New England background as you splash in the water. The ocean here is mostly gentle and is a starting point for kayakers, but if the surf picks up it’s a go-to place for surfers.
Address: 41 Ocean Ave, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Higgins Beach
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Unleash your dogs at the Fuller Farm Preserve
The Fuller Farm Preserve is a great place to bring your pup, and they even allow dogs to be off-leash as long as they are under voice control and it is not during the summertime nesting season. No matter what season you’re visiting Scarborough, the Fuller Farm Preserve is a beautiful spot to visit. During fall, the trees are vibrant with color and in the winter you can go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Fuller Farm Preserve is part of the Scarborough Land Trust and has the largest trail network of the trust. There are 2.9 miles (4.5 km) of trails which wind through pretty wooded scenery and are home to local birds and wildlife.
Fuller Farm Preserve
Address: 309 Broadturn Rd #299, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Fuller Farm Preserve
Opening hours: 5am - 9pm (daily)
7. Spend some family time at Ferry Beach
Just Another Tuesday In Maine. #funwithkaren #mainelifePosted by James Flowers on Tuesday, 20 August 2019
Ferry Beach is in a location that is protected from large ocean waves by a jetty located at the end of the channel. The gentle water makes it the perfect pick for novice swimmers and families with kids. There is a snack bar as well as a public restroom, so you don’t have to worry about piling the children back in the car until the end of your day. If your family includes a furry friend, Ferry Beach is a great place to take them for a walk or swim during certain times of the year! From Labor Day to April 1, dogs are allowed either off-leash or on a leash from 1pm - 3pm.
Address: Nonesuch River, Scarborough, ME 04074
Opening hours: 5am - 9pm (daily)
8. Witness live horse racing at Scarborough Downs
The thrill of cheering a horse as it races to the finish line can’t be replicated. See the excitement for yourself at Scarborough Downs. This horse-racing track is Maine’s largest and has been in operation for over 50 years. Though the track used to have thoroughbred racing, today it only has harness racing. You can catch a race from the large grandstand, or watch as you dine and drink at the two lounges or the Downs Restaurant, all of which have great views of the track.
Address: 90 Payne Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Scarborough Downs
Opening hours: 12pm - 6pm (daily)
9. Cheer for your favorite at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
8/3 Car Wars opening night cancelled under rain and a poor forecast. See you all next week for the best Friday night...Posted by Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Friday, 3 August 2018
See a race of a different variety at the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Cars zoom around this 1/3 mile (½ km) track at super-fast speed. The Beech Ridge track has the distinction of being one of just 60 NASCAR sanctioned tracks in the United States, which means the facility meets exceptional criteria. It’s also known for being one of the top short tracks in the country. Tickets average about 15 USD for races in the evenings, but the track opens midday and the earlier you arrive the cheaper tickets can be–you could even get in for free.
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Address: 70 Holmes Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 7pm - 9pm (closed from Mon - Wed)
Price: 15 USD
10. Have some fun with your kids at Scarborough Beach State Park
Any beach in Scarborough is going to be a great experience, but what sets Scarborough Beach State Park apart is its great amenities for families. The ocean water is still chilly, like many New England waters, but is popular for being warmer than other beaches in the area. Kids will have no problem splashing around. The state park also offers equipment rentals to enhance your visit and keep everyone entertained. Choose from kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, and boogie boards. You can even rent chairs and umbrellas if you forgot to pack them in the car.
Scarborough Beach State Park
Address: 418 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Scarborough Beach State Park
Opening hours: 9am - 7pm (daily)
Price: 6 USD
11. Enjoy the natural landscape along Prouts Neck Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk at Prouts Neck offers some of the most idyllic scenery in Scarborough. This 4.3 mile (6.9 km) trail winds along the rocky bluffs on Prouts Neck, a peninsula that is surrounded by ocean views. Prouts Neck is a quaint neighborhood and as you walk along the trail you’ll catch glimpses of shingled seaside cottages. Notably, this is where American artist Winslow Homer once lived and worked, and as you take in the nautical vista, smell the ocean roses, and feel the sea breeze in your hair, you’ll understand why this was a place he wanted to capture on canvas. The Cliff Walk connects back to main roads so you can walk as little or as much as you want.
Prouts Neck Cliff Walk
Address: Prouts Neck, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Prouts Neck Cliff Walk
Opening hours: 5am - 9pm (daily)
12. Have a look at the Richard Hunnewell House
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Richard Hunnewell House is one of the oldest surviving structures in Maine. The home dates back to 1702 and was built by Hunnewell, an early settler and leader of the local militia. In the centuries since, it has been used as a home and a school, and today is a testament to the early settlers in the area. The home is a charming red Cape-style building with a pointed, shingled roof and white trim. Though you can’t go inside the house, the exterior is well maintained and the grounds have some pretty gardens which are maintained by the Scarborough Garden Club.
Richard Hunnewell House
Address: 81 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Richard Hunnewell House
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
13. Check out the amazing artistic work at Winslow Homer Studio
Winslow Homer is one of America’s most beloved painters and well-known for his landscapes and marine subjects. From 1883 to 1910, he lived in a studio on the coast of Prouts Neck and many of his masterpieces were painted during this time. The studio was purchased by the Portland Museum of Art and restored to appear the way it did when Homer lived and worked there. Now, this studio is open to the public so they can learn more about his life and heritage as a Maine artist. The studio is not only historically significant–it is also located on the idyllic Prouts Neck and if you walk around after, you will see how the scenery inspired Homer’s paintings.
Winslow Homer Studio
Address: 5 Winslow Homer Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Winslow Homer Studio
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 65 USD
14. Enjoy and mingle with the crowd at Scarborough Winter Festival
Scarborough draws a crowd in the summer, but there are lots of good reasons to visit in the winter too! You can get a sense of Scarborough’s fun-loving community during either season by attending the Scarborough SummerFest or Scarborough Winter Festival. The summer festival is an evening where you can enjoy music, food, and arcade games. Join a treasure hunt, sign up for a 5K race, or jump around on a bounce house, bouncy obstacle course, and bouncy slide. The winter festival has great options too: the ice rink is free and open for skating throughout the whole event. You can participate in the snow sculpture contest or take a wagon ride. There are fire pits around the festival to keep folks warm and fireworks to end the evening!
Address: 20 Municipal Dr, Scarborough, ME 04074-8263, United States
Website: Scarborough SummerFest
Opening hours: 5pm - 10pm on days of the event
Price: Free entry
15. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Len Libby
Come in and Hand Select Mom’s Favorite Truffles! Hazelnut, Strawberry Cheesecake, Wicked Dark, Cafe Espresso, Limoncello, Raspberry, Cherries Jubilee, Creme Brûlée, Peanut Butter and MORE!Posted by Len Libby Candies on Monday, 6 May 2019
If you’re craving something sweet, head to Len Libby, a chocolatier and confectioner who has been providing Scarborough with treats for decades. Today, the store is one of the oldest businesses in the town and they still make all their candies by hand, using the same techniques the founder used in 1927. Many of their chocolates have Maine flavors, like blueberries, or themes, like moose and lobster shapes. They also sell saltwater taffy, lobster gummies, and blueberry tea and coffee. On a hot day, you can also get your sweet fix in the form of an ice cream cone!
Address: 419 US-1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Len Libby
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm
16. Try candlepin bowling at the Big 20 Bowling Center
Candlepin bowling is a popular New England pastime. Compared to traditional bowling, the pins are smaller in diameter and the ball is smaller in size and weight. It is a fun challenge to try candlepin if you’ve only ever played tenpin bowling, so head on over to Big 20 Bowling Center in Scarborough to give it a shot. Big 20 has been in operation since the 1950s and is a fixture in the town. This large bowling alley has 20 lanes in a cool, retro interior. You can either play per game or rent out a lane with bumpers at an hourly rate.
Big 20 Bowling Center
Address: 382 US-1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Big 20 Bowling Center
Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 9am - 10pm; Wed - Sat: 1pm - 10 pm (closed on Sunday)
Price: 4 USD
17. Enroll your children in a camp program at Broadturn Farm
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
One of the great things about Maine is how closely Mainers interact with nature. This is especially true at Broadturn Farm, a community-centered organic farm that grows flowers and produce, and has livestock. Broadturn is also keen to educate about farms and their importance and one of the ways they do so is by hosting kid camp programs. Campers learn about how farms operate by observing and helping out with chores such as feeding and watering animals, collecting eggs, and mending fences. They’ll come home with unforgettable stories and a greater appreciation for nature and where our food comes from.
Address: 388 Broadturn Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Broadturn Farm
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
Price: 200 USD
18. Rock climb with friends at Salt Pump Climbing Company
The Weekly Update: 4/29 Setting: Boulder set week. New routes on the 5 degree wall and on the Mezzanine Bloc. One of...Posted by Salt Pump Climbing Co. on Monday, 29 April 2019
Though there are lots of opportunities for outdoor activities in and around Scarborough, you can get a fun workout indoors at Salt Pump Climbing Company. This huge climbing facility has over 100 bouldering routes for you to explore. If you’re a novice, round up some friends and purchase a day pass or sign up for the beginners class. The staff at Salt Pump loves climbing and teaching newcomers, and they will show you the equipment, techniques, and everything else you need. Best of all, after a long day on the robes, you can grab a beer to unwind!
Salt Pump Climbing Company
Address: 36 Haigis Pkwy, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Salt Pump Climbing Company
Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)
Price: 17.50 USD
19. Buy local items at the Scarborough Farmers Market
Another great way to appreciate the bountiful produce of Maine is by visiting the Scarborough Farmers Market. This summertime market showcases delicious and local produce and you won’t be able to find anything fresher. They not only sell fruits and veggies, but you can also get handmade goods like pottery, baskets, and ornaments. If you’re worried about surviving the rest of the year when the market is closed without farm-fresh goodies, be sure to pick up some non-perishable items like home-made salsa, maple syrup, granola, and jam.
Scarborough Farmers Market
Address: 259 U.S. Route One in Scarborough, Maine
Website: Scarborough Farmers Market
Opening hours: Sun: 9am - 1pm (closed from Mon - Sat)
Price: Free entry
20. Check out antique items at Gurley Antiques Gallery
Whether you’re an antique collector or just looking for a spot to spend a few leisurely hours indoors, visit Gurley Antiques Gallery and get happily lost in their offerings. Gurley specializes in goods from the 18th - 20th centuries and you can find things like furniture, folk art, paintings, silver, ceramics, jewelry, and textiles. The gallery is housed in a large, new building so you’ll have lots of space to explore all the treasures they have. The store’s owner comes from a long line of antique dealers and has an eye for unique and rare goods, so you’ll be sure to come home with something no one else has.
Gurley Antiques Gallery
Address: 581 US-1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Gurley Antiques Gallery
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
21. Pay a visit to Flaherty's Family Farm
Flaherty’s Family Farm is more than just a farm. In addition to the fresh produce they sell from May to December at their farm stand, they also offer horseback riding lessons! Both of the teachers are certified level 3 instructors and their students have gone on to participate in shows and take trail and beach rides. Younger riders can take pony riding lessons. Flaherty’s is located in an idyllic location with a cute covered bridge barn that adds to the rustic ambiance.
Flaherty's Family Farm
Address: 123 Payne Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Flaherty’s Family Farm
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
22. Try American cuisine at O'Reilly's Cure Restaurant & Bar
O’Reilly’s Cure is now hiring year round line cooks and dishwashers. Come work with our awesome team! Benefits include...Posted by O'Reilly's Cure on Saturday, 18 May 2019
O'Reilly’s Cure may sound like the name of an Irish pub, but the restaurant is uniquely American. The owners are a couple: one is a native of Scarborough and the other is Korean American. They honed their talents working in New York City and decided to bring their skills to Maine. The menu is unique in that it is American-based with a Korean flair you can taste in the seasonings. However, O'Reilly’s isn’t just about the food: this is a place to socialize and unwind inside while listening to music or outside around the fire pits on the patio.
O'Reilly's Cure Restaurant & Bar
Address: 264 US-1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: O'Reilly’s Cure Restaurant & Bar
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11:30am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11:30am - 10pm
23. Relish exquisite beer options at Sebago Brewing Company
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Maine is a state known for its many breweries, with new ones popping up each year. One of the classics is Sebago Brewing Company, which has a brewpub location in Scarborough. For over 20 years, Sebago has been perfecting its unique craft beers and striving to become New England’s favorite brewery. Taste all of them at the Scarborough brewpub and choose your favorite for yourself. They have year-round classics like IPA’s, ales, and a stout, and seasonal offerings like a pilsner and a barleywine which is aged in bourbon barrels.
Sebago Brewing Company
Address: 201 Southborough Dr, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Sebago Brewing Company
Opening hours: 11am - 1am (daily)
24. Relax your mind and body at Scarborough Hair & Day Spa
Whether you need some pampering after all the sun and sand or you’re looking for a romantic spa day with your partner, Scarborough Hair & Day Spa is the place you should go to. They offer an extensive variety of treatments, from hair cuts to manicures to facials. Give yourself the ultimate treatment by getting the Day at the Spa package, which includes a salt glow, 60-minute Swedish massage (60min), the signature facial, and a paraffin manicure and pedicure. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on whatever is next on your trip.
Scarborough Day Spa
Address: 311 Beech Ridge Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Scarborough Day Spa
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 8pm; Sat: 9am - 5pm (closed on Sunday)
Price: 25 USD onwards
25. Shop till your feet hurt at Scarborough Gallery
You don’t have to drive up to Portland for good shopping. The Scarborough Gallery mall has everything you need right downtown. Visit Home Goods and Marshalls to pick up anything you forgot to pack in your suitcase. If you need to stock up on pet food or supplies, head to the Petsmart for all your furry friend’s needs. If all that shopping gives you an appetite, refuel and rest your feet by grabbing a bite at Dunkin Donuts, Red Robin, or Texas Roadhouse.
Address: 700 Gallery Boulevard, Scarborough, ME 04070
Website: Scarborough Gallery
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 9:30am - 9:30pm; Fri - Sat: 9:30am - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 8pm
26. Play golf at Nonesuch River Golf Club
Nonesuch River Golf Club has one of the premier golf courses in Southern Maine. This 18-hole public championship golf course has carefully maintained grounds that make for a great game. If you’re new to golf, all the more reason to play here. The club features a practice range, two putting greens, and a golf academy with professional PGA Instruction. After a long game, retire to the spacious clubhouse for some food and drink as you watch the sunset over the green.
Nonesuch River Golf Club
Address: 304 Gorham Road, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Nonesuch River Golf Club
Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)
Price: 26 USD
27. Aim and hit the target at Scarborough Fish & Game Association
Pre-State Shoot Buddy Shoot happening now!Posted by Scarborough Fish & Game Trap Shooting on Wednesday, 24 July 2019
Mix it up from your typical entertainment and activities and visit the shooting range at the Scarborough Fish & Game Association. This is a great place for first-time shooters learning how to play the sport safely and responsibly or seasoned shooters looking to improve their aim. They offer many kinds of shooting, including clay-target shooting, an indoor range, pistol and rifle shooting, and even archery. They also offer special programs geared toward women and youngsters.
Scarborough Fish & Game Association
Address: 21 Fish and Game lane, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Scarborough Fish & Game Association
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
28. Pay your homage at Blue Point Congregational Church
Blue Point Congregational Church is one of the best places to have a spiritual experience in Scarborough. All are welcome to worship during Sunday morning services, even kids. They also offer a Sunday school program when school is in session. The church is also home to the Blue Point Preserve, an area of land behind the church that stretches down to the marsh. The land is preserved as part of the Scarborough Land Trust and protects an area rich with animal and plant life. Whether you attend a service or not, take a stroll through the preserve and appreciate the natural beauty that is one of the great gifts of Scarborough.
Blue Point Congregational Church
Address: 236 Pine Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074
Website: Blue Point Congregational Church
The way life should be
Scarborough has the perfect balance of touristy locations, like beaches and museums, and low-key activities like bowling and nature walk. This makes it a great place for a relaxing vacation that allows opportunities for fun adventures. You’ll fall in love with Scarborough’s charming atmosphere and understand what people mean when they say Maine is the way life should be!
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