We just returned from a 1 week trip to the NH-ME seacoast. It’s an area that Mr. IT used to visit with his family when he was a mere lad, and where he brought me when we were a courtin’. I’ve come to love it as much as he does, and that’s saying something, because having spend summers on LI, I am mighty picky about beaches.
His family used to spend time on Ogunquit Beach. That’s a gorgeous 5 mile stretch of sea and sand near two lovely villages - Ogunquit proper and Perkins Cove. Look it up, it really is special.
The first day we went to Ogunquit was nice but tiring. Boy wanted to walk the beach looking for signs. Mr. IT and Girl walked a huge stretch of beach, twice, looking for us only to find we were right in front of the beach set up. Fools! Girl and I walked into town to get lunch – that took an hour. Parking was $25 regardless of how long you were there. Which, if you were there all day, made sense. We were there 4 hours, which made it ok. Girl was dive bombed by a seagul wanting to take the chip she was eating. It was a bit exhausting.
The second day we came, it was more crowded and loud, and Boy was not into it at all. He screamed all the way from the car, to the changing room, to the beach…only to spend an hour in the water screaming “THIS IS FUN!!!” So, we weren’t crap-ass parents that day, even though people on the boardwalk might have thought that. But who is judging?
The next beach day, I suggested to Mr. IT that we try York Beach instead. York is a little south of Ogunquit but has a similar beach set-up. There are two main beaches, Short Sands and Long Sands. Short Sands is the beach right in the village area. It’s close to shops, restaurants and a cute little (and I mean little) game arcade. Long Sands runs the length of the southern part of York and is just that. LONG. It’s a fun beach that does get a little cramped when the tide comes in, but you can run across the street to convenience stores and the like to keep yourself entertained.
York Beach proved to be the perfect choice for us, despite Mr. IT’s initial protestations about it being not as nice as Ogunquit. As Frommers says, it’s a super “pick for families traveling with kids who have short attention spans.” Hello us! Boy was able to run from the towel set up to the water without breaking a sweat. Parking was metered, and at a $1 per hour, way cheaper than Ogunquit. We could walk across the beach and to a restaurant in about 3 minutes. Hello lunchtime guacamole! On the second day when we went back, we even found pizza!
I’m certainly not dissing Ogunquit, and when the kids are a little older and can bear a longer walk into town and up to Perkins Cove, I can’t wait to take them. But this was a reminder to us that what we think of as “the biggest and the best” can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes “just right” is perfection.
Top photo of Ogunquit Beach courtesy of Turbluentflow