For many reasons, Maine is a prime vacation destination, and Scarborough is one of its best-kept secrets.
This charming seaside town located a few miles south of Portland boasts a unique small-town charm that you can't find in the noisier metropolitan area.
Scarborough is most famous for its beaches, but that's just one aspect of this beautiful little town.
From exploring the area's rich history and sunbathing at the local beaches to indulging in the best seafood, there are many things.
Here are 22 of the best things to do in Scarborough, ME:
Watch the Waves at Pine Point Beach
Scarborough is famous for its beaches; Pine Point Beach is its most famous.
Pine Point Beach extends seven miles from the jetty at Pine Point to Old Orchard Beach.
It's one of the best places in Scarborough for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and windsurfing.
Pine Point Beach is also a great place to relax and watch the gigantic waves crash against the shore.
Despite the big waves, Pine Point Beach is a peaceful place where you can listen to the sound of seagulls and the waves while getting lost in a good book.
You can bring your family and friends or even have some quality alone time while enjoying the sea and the sand at Pine Point Beach.
Visit the Scarborough Historical Society & Museum
Scarborough has a rich history that continues to shape the town.
If you want to learn more about the area, stop by the Scarborough Historical Society & Museum.
The Scarborough Historical Society & Museum is the perfect place to learn about the rich history of this small town.
The museum is inside an 18th-century house once owned by one of the town's founding families.
Inside, you'll find exhibits on the area's maritime history, Native American artifacts, and more.
You can join a guided tour with other visitors or explore each display independently.
There's also a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.
Go Skating at the Scarborough Memorial Park
Whether you're into roller blades, skateboarding, wakeboarding, or longboarding, the Scarborough Memorial Park is perfect for enjoying your favorite skating activities.
This vast park is home to several skating trails, rails, and ramps, making it a haven for skaters.
The Memorial park has picnic tables, grills, and a playground if you want to spend a day out with family.
You can do other recreational things at the Memorial Park, including jogging, playing sports, exercising, or simply enjoying the scenic pond and fountains from the pavilion.
Watch the Sunset at Higgins Beach
Arguably the most charming neighborhood in Scarborough, Higgins beach is a community that features a beautiful shoreline and breathtaking landscapes.
The best time to visit is during the summer, with perfect weather for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying all the beach.
Higgins Beach is also a great place to stroll and enjoy the gentle breeze as the sun goes down.
The waters are mostly gentle and excellent for kayaking, sailing, fishing, and canoeing.
However, there are also times of the year when the waves pick up, making Higgins Beach a go-to destination for surfing and windsurfing.
Celebrate Nature's Gifts at Prouts Neck Cliff Walk
The Prouts Neck Cliff Walk is a must-see for all nature lovers.
The trail will take you on a picturesque journey along the rocky coastline of Prouts Neck, where you can admire the views of the Atlantic ocean.
There are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife such as birds, seals, and even whales if you're lucky.
Prouts Neck Cliff Walk connects to the main roads, giving you the option to walk as little or as much as you want without getting lost.
Bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the ocean, cliffs, and beaches.
The best time to visit the cliff walk is during the spring or fall when the weather is more moderate.
However, if you don't mind braving the cold, the winter months offer a unique experience and the chance to see snowy landscapes and ice formations.
Bring the Kids to the Scarborough Beach State Park
The Scarborough Beach State Park stands apart from the town's beaches for its many family-friendly amenities.
The water is a bit warmer, which is great for kids as they splash around and have some fun.
There's also a shallower section for kids learning to swim and kids who want to play without going too deep.
The Scarborough Beach Park also has lifeguards stationed at critical points along the beach to ensure everyone is safe.
And if you get hungry, there are picnic tables and a snack bar to enjoy a meal with an ocean view.
Visit the Ferry Beach
The Ferry Beach is another excellent spot for family-time picnics and fun activities.
This locally run beach is at the end of the channel and features a jetty that protects the shore from large ocean waves.
The Ferry Beach features warm and gentle water, perfect for kids and novice swimmers' families.
There's a snack bar and a few picnic tables, but you can also bring your food to the beach.
There's also a public restroom to change into your swimsuit or wash up before heading home.
Bring your furry friends for walks along the beautiful boardwalk (leashed or unleashed) from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
You can also take your pets for a swim at certain times of the year.
Pets are allowed on the water from April 1 to May 1.
Marvel at the Beautiful Architecture of the Winslow Homer Studio
The Winslow Homer Studio is a historic studio, home to the famous artist of the same name.
One of America's beloved painters, Winslow Homer, used this studio to paint some of his most iconic works.
John Calvin Stevens designed the studio, built in 1884, as a summer home and artist workspace.
The studio is now under the Portland Museum of Art and is open to the public for tours.
Watch Winter Games at the Scarborough Winter Festival
You might think people only visit Scarborough during the summer—but that's farther from the truth.
Many people also visit Scarborough during the winter for its annual Winter Festival.
The Scarborough locals are a fun-loving community that always finds a way to enjoy whatever the season.
The Scarborough Winter Festival features an open ice rink for public skating, live music, various winter sports games, etc.
There's also a snow sculpture contest and wagon rides for the kids.
Whether you're a local or just visiting for the festival, the Scarborough Winter Festival is a great way to enjoy the winter season.
Play Candlepin Bowling at the Big 20 Bowling Center
Have you ever played candlepin bowling?
It's a fun variety of traditional bowling popular in Scarborough.
Candlepin bowling uses larger balls and candle-shaped pins, hence the name.
The game has its roots in Canada and is a popular bowling variation in New England.
In Scarborough, you can play candlepin bowling at the Big 20 Bowling Center.
This historic bowling alley and town fixture has operated since the 1950s.
Besides candlepin bowling, the Big 20 Bowling Center also has traditional 10-pin bowling, a full-service bar, and a restaurant.
They also frequently host events and leagues, so there's always something going on.
Visit the Historic Richard Hunnewell House
The Richard Hunnewell House is famous for being the oldest surviving structure in Scarborough.
One of the area's original settlers, Richard Hunnewell, built the house in 1675.
The structure has been used as a home and a school.
Today, the Richard Hunnewell House is a National Historic Landmark, serving as a great example of early New England architecture.
The house has a red cape-style design with white trimmings along the pointed shingled roof.
While visitors cannot enter the Richard Hunnewell House, the exterior is worth looking at.
The local Scarborough Garden Club maintains the grounds, offering tours around the historic house.
Learn Rock Climbing at Salt Pump Climbing Co.
Who says indoor activities aren't as fun and exciting as outdoor activities?
At Salt Pump Climbing Co., you can enjoy all the fun of rock climbing without worrying about the weather.
This climbing gym offers a variety of climbing facilities and routes for climbers of all skill levels.
They also offer classes and workshops if you're interested in learning more about the sport.
After a long day of rock climbing, you can unwind by grabbing a beer at the on-site bar.
Shop Local at the Scarborough Farmers Market
Finally, you can't end your Scarborough trip without buying some fresh goods and unique items.
If you're looking for some souvenirs for your family, stop by the Scarborough Farmers Market during the summer.
This market showcases all the local goods and produce that the Scarborough area offers, including fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods, etc.
There are also some non-perishable products like maple syrup, homemade salsa, jam, and granola.
You can also shop for t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, and other items that feature the Scarborough Farmers Market logo.
Go Birdwatching at the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
The Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center is famous for the variety of birds found there.
There are over 200 species of birds in the area, including herons, egrets, ospreys, and kingfishers.
So, if you're a bird lover, stop by and see a spectacle of flocking fowl in their natural habitat at the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center.
The best time to see the birds is during the migration seasons in the spring and fall.
The Audubon Center also offers kayak and canoe rentals to explore the surrounding area at your own pace.
Host Beautiful Events at the Flaherty's Family Farm
If you're planning to host an event in Scarborough, Maine, make sure you do it at Flaherty's Family Farm.
This locally owned and operated business is open to the public for various events, including weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, and more.
Flaherty's Family Farm is a stunning venue that offers plenty of photo opportunities against its picturesque backdrop and rustic charm.
The staff will also help you with your event, ensuring it goes off without a hitch.
Flaherty's Family Farm sells beautiful flowers and locally produced goods, apart from hosting events.
Take Your Pets to the Fuller Farm Preserve
The Fuller Farm Preserve is a nature preserve that hosts Scarborough's most extensive trail network.
The preserve is perfect for a leisurely walk or hikes with your family or four-legged friend.
There are roughly 2.9 miles worth of trails winding through various wooded, nature-filled areas.
The staff allows dogs and other animals to roam off-leash as long as they are well-trained and under voice control.
You can visit the Fuller Farm Preserve any time of the year; it's always a beautiful place to go for a walk or hike.
But if you want to capture the most Instagram-worthy pictures, visit Fuller Farm preserve during the fall, when the trees are more vibrant and the air is crisp.
Take a Hike Down the Fuller Farm Trails
The Fuller Farm Trails is a network of hiking trails that run through the woods of Scarborough.
There are three different trails to choose from, each with its difficulty level.
You'll be rewarded with scenic views of the forest, wetlands, and fields no matter which trail you choose.
The Fuller Farm Trails is a great place to hike, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing color.
The trails are also open to dogs, so feel free to bring your furry friend along for the hike.
Indulge in Sweet Confections by Len Libby Chocolates
For sweet chocolate creations, try the classic sweets by Len Libby Chocolates.
Drop by on US Route 1 from Monday to Saturday, and meet Lenny, the World's Only Life-Size Chocolate Moose made of a thousand pounds of milk and chocolate.
The store has been around since 1926 when Len Libby started making homemade candies and put up Len Libby's Candies, Scarborough’s third oldest local business.
Even after selling the store to Dr. Fernand Hemond in 1949, he kept teaching candy-making with the doctor’s son, Fern, who eventually bought back the store from his father in 1956; Fern retained the name, Len Libby, to pay tribute to the man who became famous as the Dean of Maine Candymakers.
Today, they still produce the same delicious chocolate treats that Libby used to make.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with boxes of assorted chocolates, or try their signature chocolates like Non-Pareils, Moose-stakes, Needhams, Almond Buttercrunch, and others.
Take your pick of molded chocolate selections like Break Up Bars, Chocolate Lobstah, and some cute Lenny Jr. and Camp Crashers.
Likewise, you can nibble some Chocolate Barks, Clusters, bite-size Mine Beach Pebbles and Seashells, Maine Chocolate Blueberries, Malt Balls, and more.
They also have sugar-free varieties and assorted confections like Brittles Caramel Corn, Copper Kettle Fudge, Salt Water Taffy, and Old Fashion Kisses.
Len Libby Chocolates also sells maple syrups, drops, and sugar selections.
Get Fresh Flowers at Broadturn Farm
Whether you’re looking for fresh blooms or you just want to see them in a colorful array, take a visit to Broadturn Farm on Broadturn Road.
Pick up fresh flowers or see what they have at the farm store; you can also book an appointment if you’re visiting for longer hours or taking a stroll in the woods.
Meander around the area through Sandi's Silverbrook Trail located near the back of the farmstead.
You can also schedule some photo sessions on the fields in exchange for donations to the Scarborough Land Trust.
If you’d like to celebrate special occasions or important life events like birthdays and weddings, you can book the farm for your venue.
Buy flower seeds and lovely flowers in season, or get exclusive merchandise like sweatshirts and shirts.
Broadturn Farm also offers flowers on wholesale and bulk orders.
Enjoy Leisure Golf at Nonesuch River Golf Club
Book your tee time and enjoy hours of golf games at Nonesuch River Golf Club.
This 203-acre golf facility is located on Gorham Road and is owned by Scott E. Mann, PGA, who is also the Director of Instruction of Scott Mann Golf Academy.
The premier public championship course features an 18-hole bentgrass fairway, a huge modern clubhouse, putting greens, and a full-size practice range.
The par 70, 6,300-yard course was designed by Tom Walker from Golf Design Studios, so any level of golf skill will match an appropriate challenge.
Because the Nonesuch River runs through the property, they also maintain and value the surrounding wildlife habitats to protect plant and animal species.
After your golf games, you can have snacks and sodas at the Clubhouse, or take a sip of house wines, beers on tap, or liquor selections at the full-service bar.
Better yet, enjoy the deck view overlooking the greens of the Nonesuch River Golf Club.
Have a Delightful Meal at Pine Point Grill
For a casual and relaxed dinner, you can try Pine Point Grill right on Pine Point Road.
The restaurant serves delectable fares from Wednesday to Saturday, starting early afternoon until the evening.
Owners Paul and Kate Landry provide guests with authentic and comforting food servings with only the freshest local ingredients.
You’ll enjoy dining outdoors on the patio with a view of the beautiful coastal area.
Start with small plate items on the menu like Maple Mustard Scallops, Mussels Provençale, or Crispy Buratta.
Then, follow through with a bowl of French Onion Soup, or salad selections like House, Pine Point, and Angus Steak Salads; you can also add proteins like shrimp skewers, plant-based meat, grilled chicken, or bistro sirloin.
Try any of their delectable house specialties like Baked Seafood Casserole, Pork Sugo Rigatoni, or Linguine & Meatballs.
Pine Point Grill also serves assorted pizzas like Margherita, Butternut Squash, Arugula & Goat Cheese, and Shrimp, Garlic & Pesto varieties, along with a Build-Your-Own-Pizza option.
Look for Fine Antique Pieces at Gurley Antiques Gallery
Whether you’re an avid collector or you just love antique pieces, a visit to Gurley Antiques Gallery will be worth the trip.
You’ll find this Multi-Dealer Shop right on the corner of Payne Road and US Route 1.
Rachel Gurley, whose parents are also professional antique collectors and dealers, opened the shop in 2008.
Since then, it has expanded its selection of quality antiques and rare items from furniture and decor, to textiles and jewelry.
You can find assorted items from classic pieces to unique funky objects for your collection.
Gurley Antiques Gallery also offers auctioneering services, appraisals, auction consignments, and antique purchases.
Scarborough is much more than just beaches and shorelines—it's a fun-filled little town with tons to offer visitors.
Thanks to its unique shops, beachfront, historical attractions, and outdoor activities, the town is a gem, contributing to Maine's 'Vacationland' reputation.
Whether you're visiting for the day or a week, check out the spots on this list.