15 Best Things to Do in Saco, ME

Saco, ME
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Discover an incredible seaside holiday destination in Maine by heading over to Saco.

The city is the perfect destination for families looking to go on an adventure together.

It’s near the beach, where you have access to many water-based activities throughout your vacation.

The city is also home to many nature centers, amusement parks, and museums.

It’s a place where everyone in the family can find something that they would love to do and experience.

Do you want to visit this wonderful city?

Here are the 15 best things to do in Saco, Maine.

Discover a Unique Naturescape at Saco Heath Preserve

View of Saco Heath Preserve
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A popular attraction in this city is the Saco Health Preserve.

This place protects a natural formation of a raised coalesced bog.

The said bog was formed when peat-filled ponds next to each other grew higher than the water table.

The bog serves as a significant and unique habitat where you can find many plant species.

View of Saco Heath Preserve
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These species have adapted to survive where the soil lacks nutrients, such as this bog.

One such plant is the Atlantic White Cedar, which you may come across when you hike one of the amazing trails you can find here.

You can also find amazing flora and fauna when you’re here.

In spring, you can even witness a stunning carpet of wildflowers covering most of the area.

Appreciate Nature at Ferry Beach State Park

One of the most popular Saco attractions is a 120-acre recreation area that you and your entire family can visit.

You can find this place in the middle of Saco and Old Orchard Beach.

Something rare that you can come across in this state park is the Tupelo, a black gum tree that usually doesn’t grow in this part of the world.

Apart from this, you can also traverse several impressive hiking trails or visit its nature center.

You can also go to the stretch of sandy beach that you can find here.

From this site, you can witness breathtaking views of the Atlantic, making your trip all the more special.

There are picnic areas that you can stay at for people who just want to hang out.

Check this place out when you’re in this part of Maine.

Discover Local Wildlife at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center

As you follow the previously mentioned Eastern Trail, you can find the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center.

It’s an estuary that spans 3,000 acres, and it is managed by the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Here, you can find a marsh that is important for both the local and migratory bird species found here.

There are two ways to explore this marsh.

You can either walk around or ride on a canoe or a kayak.

If you want to learn more about the marsh and its role in nature, you can go to Audubon Center.

The staff there offer tours that provide information about the site from experts.

If not, you can still go on a self-guided tour of the site and birdwatch.

Here you can have the chance to spot shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl, among others.

You can also spot several mammalian animals here, like otters, deer, and mink.

Learn About the City’s History at Saco Museum

If you’re interested in the background of this city in Maine, don’t forget to visit Saco Museum.

You can find this place right in the middle of the city’s historic Main Street.

Apart from being an educational attraction, this museum is also one of the first museums in the state.

The place was founded in 1866, and it has always aimed to collect, preserve, and share historical artifacts and items with the public.

The museum now houses a huge collection of over 10,000 artifacts.

Some of the items you can find here include fine art, antiques, textiles and costumes, silver, and more.

To get a glimpse of Saco’s past, add the Saco Museum to your must-visit list for your holiday in the area.

Follow the Eastern Trail

Bridge in Eastern Trail
Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are many amazing attractions in Saco for outdoor lovers, and one of them is the Eastern Trail.

This 8-mile trail links Saco and Scarborough through Old Orchard Beach.

When you follow this path, you get to witness amazing wildlife during your walk.

However, the majority of this trail is not completely off-road.

It follows what used to be a railroad that operated between 1840 and 1945.

Apart from being an amazing nature trail, history is also connected to this attraction.

It’s one of the amazing places you can discover in Saco, Maine.

Make a Splash Aquaboggan Water Park

If you’re looking for a place to spend the day with the entire family, then head over to Aquaboggan Water Park.

This place has the distinction of being the state’s first water park.

It first opened its doors to the public in the late 70s.

Here, everyone can enjoy the park’s many incredible water features.

You can experience some thrill by going to one of the park’s many high-speed water slides.

It also has tubes and a wave pool that most adults will enjoy.

For a more relaxed time, the park also offers boating activities.

If fun in the water is not your thing, you can play a round of mini-golf while your kids can try out go-karts at a mini Grand Prix circuit.

When you come here, you can discover that there’s fun for everyone.

Shop at Saco River Market

Do you want to find souvenirs or local produce when you come to Saco?

The best place to shop for such items is the Saco River Market.

This market aims to promote products and items that are locally made.

Here, you can find anything from fresh eggs and meat to processed artisanal food like cheese.

While you’re shopping, you can also enjoy some entertainment when you come here.

You can find local musicians playing here live.

Given the many things you can find here and its aim to promote local produce, Saco River Market is a great place to do your shopping during your vacation.

Take the Entire Family to Funtown Splashtown USA

Aerial View of Funtown Splashtown USA
Paulec252, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Saco, you can also find Funtown Splashtown USA.

This place is an amusement park and a water park combined.

The amusement park section of this attraction, aptly called Funtown, has a myriad of exciting rides that all ages can enjoy.

These include the Excalibur, an incredible wooden rollercoaster, and the Thunder Falls Log Flume ride.

You can also find kids’ rides, such as the Teacups Ride, Red Barons Planes, and Kiddie Swings.

The other part of this destination is the water park aptly called Splash Town.

Here, you can go in one of their many exhilarating tube slides and loops.

Meanwhile, children can go have an amazing time at the Fun Lagoon.

This place is one of the best attractions where you can take your entire family and have a fantastic day.

Walk Along the Cascade Falls Trails

In Saco, historic trails lead to a beautiful cascading waterfall.

The people of Saco have used the trail since the 19th century.

Since then, it has become a popular tourist destination that you can find in the city.

One of the trails you can find here is the Trout Pond Loop.

This trail is well-maintained and is not too difficult, so it’s accessible to anyone.

When you come here, you can participate in many different activities.

You can go fishing or simply have a picnic with your companions.

You will be surrounded by beautiful nature when you’re in this area.

It’s a great place to come and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

Try Delicious Dishes at Huot’s Seafood Restaurant

Are you looking for an iconic place to dine while in Saco?

If you are, then stop by Huot’s Seafood Restaurant.

Thanks to its location by the coastline, Saco is known to be a place where you can get excellent seafood.

The historic Huot’s Seafood Restaurant is a place that both locals and tourists would recommend for people who want to try out the city’s specialty.

The eatery has been serving patrons since 1935.

Today, it’s still being run by the descendants of the family who founded this fantastic restaurant.

They offer dishes cooked using the original recipes used when it first opened.

Their specialties include clam chowder, clam cakes, lobster dishes, and more.

Dishes without seafood are also served here, so there’s something for everyone.

When you’re in Saco, don’t hesitate to try out the food at Huot’s Seafood Restaurant.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Discover What Old Orchard Beach Has to Offer

View of Old Orchard Beach
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Another popular beach destination in Maine is Old Orchard Beach.

If you’re coming from Saco, then you’ll be glad to know that this place is only 5 minutes away.

The beach stretches for about seven miles.

View of Old Orchard Beach
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Here, you can find an old pier and a boardwalk that you can visit.

There are also numerous amazing restaurants and shops in the beach’s vicinity.

This place is an amazing attraction that locals and tourists love to visit.

When you’re in the area, don’t forget to spend some time at Old Orchard Beach.

Appreciate Unique Architecture at St. Ann’s Church

Unique Architecture at St. Ann’s Church
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You can find a stunning historic church in Saco’s neighboring city, Kennebunkport.

St. Ann’s Church currently stands on land donated by the Kennebunkport Seashore Company.

The Bishop of Maine consecrated this gorgeous-looking church back in 1892.

Unique Architecture at St. Ann’s Church
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Interestingly, this place is that both the building’s interior and exterior are made up of local seashore stone.

Because of this, the church has a unique and beautiful exterior, and you’ll have a hard time taking your eyes off of it.

If you want to witness the beauty and history of St. Ann’s Church, you’ll be glad to know that it’s only 26 minutes away from Saco, Maine.

Go on Rides at Palace Playland

View of Palace Playland
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Maine is home to the only beachfront amusement park in the New England Region.

Pay a visit and spend an afternoon at Palace Playland.

The place is located in Old Orchard Beach, just 5 minutes away from Saco.

It features a lot of different rides that both young visitors and adults can go on.

Of course, Palace Playland has some amusement park staples like the Ferris wheel and carousel.

View of Palace Playland
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It also has two roller coasters and several other exciting rides.

Apart from these, the park also has an eatery that offers a lot of tasty dishes.

It also has an arcade and a gift shop.

The place also has a fireworks display to watch if you come here on a Thursday night.

Have Fun at Pine Point Beach

View of Pine Point Beach
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You can find gorgeous beaches in the state of Maine.

One of the most popular beach destinations here is Pine Point Beach.

It is a 4-mile beach stretch running from Scarborough to Old Orchard Beach.

When you come here, you’ll find that the beach is equipped with facilities that you may need for your convenience, including showers and concession stands.

View of Pine Point Beach
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As for activities, here, you can try riding beach cruiser bikes or paddling on kayaks.

If you want to experience a more chill afternoon at the beach, you can take a stroll, sunbathe, or take a dip in the waters.

If you want some food, a place serving clam bakes is also near the beach.

This gorgeous beach is located in Scarborough, Maine, 16 minutes away from Saco.

View of Pine Point Beach
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Spend Time Relaxing at Scarborough Beach State Park

View of Scarborough Beach State Park
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There are numerous beach destinations in Maine that you can visit.

One of them is Scarborough Beach State Park, which is 25 minutes away from Saco.

Here, you can take your family for a splash and some fun under the sun.

Apart from swimming, you can also participate in water-based sports, such as bodyboarding.

View of Scarborough Beach State Park
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If thrilling activities aren’t your cup of tea, then you can simply stroll along the stunning beach.

For your convenience, concession stands where you can find many snacks are available.

The park also has shower rooms and changing rooms that you can use.

Check this place out if you’re in the area.

Final Thoughts

Having fun with the entire family is one of the best things a lot of tourists want to experience during a vacation.

With the many family-friendly attractions in Saco, Maine, heading here will ensure that you can make memories with every member of your family.

Make the charming city of Saco your next holiday destination.