Maine is a fabulous state for families who enjoy being outdoors and bonding over lobster rolls. Most visitors head to the popular little town of Kennebunkport or the vibrant cobblestone streets of Portland’s Old Port, but a little stretch of beach called Biddeford Pool, which lies about halfway between these two destinations, is ideal for a laid back coastal family vacation.
Tidal pools and nature walks
This area is never overwhelmed with tourists because it is mostly a local spot. (I know because I’m a local!) You can take your toddler to the beach for a swim, although you may not be too keen to go past your ankles as the ocean temperature barely goes over 60 degrees, even in the heat of summer. Ankle-deep is the perfect depth to splash along as you venture down to the rocks where your child will discover all sorts of little creatures like snails, shrimp, crabs and starfish in the tide pools. Don’t be surprised if you find a bunch of lobster claws—sans the meat unfortunately—when you go hunting for seashells on the way back to your blanket.
Driving to Maine? Have a look at local car rental companies, or compare rates via Expedia.
Another great way to spend a day in Biddeford Pool is to head to the East Point Sanctuary. Take a walk along the trails which border the ocean or bring your toddler for a climbing adventure on the rocks. This area is maintained and preserved by the Maine Audubon Society, so it is always in top shape. Biddeford Pool provides lots of opportunities for little people to stretch their legs and push their boundaries—all while they watch the ocean crash into the rocks nearby. Right outside of the East Point Sanctuary is a small public beach with pebbles instead of sand—just follow the little pink flowers. Toddlers can continue to improve their climbing skills here or help mom and dad search for pretty pieces of sea glass.
The best homemade ice cream around
On your drive back up to Portland, be sure to drive on Route 1 through Saco and stop at Martel’s for some ice cream. You don’t have a chance of getting better homemade ice cream anywhere else in the state or beyond, and their Maine-inspired specialty flavors—like Lady Bug, Fluffernutter, Maine Mud and Blueberry—are always fun to try.
You can stay in family-friendly hotels near the Biddeford Pool. Some options include a Ramada hotel that’s super spacious, or the Pine View Lodge with a great pool.
There is so much natural beauty in Maine that you will appreciate—and your toddler will love to climb on. Whether you decide to take a drive way up north or simply take a train Downeast from Boston—another toddler approved activity. Maine will surprise you and will provide a family adventure that will tire everyone out in the best possible way.
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Biddeford Pool is definitely a gem to be enjoyed by kids of all ages, including grown-up ones!
Biddeford Pool is probably my favorite place in the whole world. I was really lucky to share it with my son before we moved out of Maine. Can’t wait to go back and play on the rocks!
Beautiful the coastal area tends to relax every nerve ending.