Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in Wells, ME

  • Published 2022/11/15

Wells is a heavenly coastal town located in southern Maine in the United States.

It is known as the friendliest town in the state and nicknamed the Antique Capital.

Wells is bestowed with abundant natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for your next vacation.

It has exotic beaches, diverse wildlife, historic theatres, numerous parks, dense forests, wetlands, remarkable antique stores, beautiful farms, enchanting waterfalls, verdant marshes, and so much more for you to explore.

The scenic views of this town make perfect backdrops for weddings.

You can enjoy many nature-based outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, camping, wildlife viewing, and snowshoeing.

It’s the perfect vacation destination whether you are looking for a thrilling adventure or a relaxing getaway.

Here’s an all-in-one list of the best things to do in Wells, Maine:

Beat the Heat at Ogunquit Beach

Ogunquit Beach

Esposito Photography /

This beach is one of Wells’ prime attractions.

It’s been voted one of the prettiest beaches in the country.

It is popular for many fun activities, such as swimming, kayaking, sunbathing, whale watching, hiking, gallery hopping, shopping, and building sandcastles.

There are numerous art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and hotels around the beach for you to explore.

Daytime view of the Ogunquit Beach

Richard Cavalleri /

Beat the heat by going on a refreshing swim, explore the waters by kayaking, sunbathe and relax, and feast your eyes on the gorgeous sunsets.

Don’t forget to try out the fresh and delicious seafood at the restaurants here.

The Ogunquit River meets the ocean waters at the southern end of this beach.

Hike along the scenic coast and enjoy the vistas featuring sparkling blue sea and white sands.

Welcome sign of Ogunquit Beach

Jay Yuan /

Shop Fresh at Wells Farmers Market

This famous market offers farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, and a lot more.

Their wide range of offerings includes milk, maple syrups, honey, cheese, yogurt, baked goods, jams, jellies, seafood, eggs, soaps, pickles, salsa, bread, plants, and flowers.

All the products are sourced from local farmers and producers.

They take pride in being a producer-only market, meaning no intermediaries are involved, and you buy directly from the farmers.

Shop at Wells Farmers Market and help support local farms!

Experience Local Culture at Wells Harbor Fest

Want to experience some good old-fashioned fun?

The Wells Harbor Fest is a vibrant annual festival that forms a significant part of Wells’ local culture.

It features games like the Lobster Trap Toss challenge, kayak races, a fishing contest, a treasure hunt, cook-offs, and a donut eating competition.

The festival is also known for its live performances and mouth-watering food.

Be a part of the festivities and spend a day filled with fun and excitement here.

Take an Evening Stroll at Drakes Island Beach

Drakes Island Beach

Gregory Szymbor /

This picturesque beach in Wells is famous for swimming and other water sports.

Hike along the shore and enjoy the magnificent vistas featuring endless blue ocean waters and white sand.

Cool off by swimming in the crystalline waters.

Woman admiring the sunset at Drakes Island Beach

Gregory Szymbor /

The tranquil atmosphere of this beach makes it a great place to sunbathe and relax.

It is also a perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing evening stroll while watching the stunning sunset.

Visit this beach and spend a carefree and relaxing day here.

Colorful sunset at Drakes Island Beach

Gregory Szymbor /

View Wildlife at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

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Encompassing over 9,100 acres, this renowned wildlife refuge features protected sprawling salt marshes and estuaries.

It extends 50 miles along the coastline between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth.

The site is a habitat for many endangered species and migratory birds.

Beautiful sunrise at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

John F Kenealy /

The diverse wildlife found here include piping plover, peregrine falcons, eagles, New England cottontails, sharp-tailed sparrows, common loons, ducks, goose, teals, sandpipers, greater yellowlegs, grey plovers, gulls, black-throated green warblers, flycatchers, deer, river otters, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bears, porcupines, chipmunks, frogs, salamanders, and fish.

In addition to marshes, the refuge also features multiple rivers, creeks, rocky coastline, dense forests, meadows, a barrier dune, and more.

It provides opportunities for a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, canoeing, kayaking, shellfishing, fishing, and hunting.

Visit this place to experience the region’s vast wilderness and appreciate nature’s heavenly beauty.

Salt marsh at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

Captain-tucker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Go Swimming at Footbridge Beach

Footbridge Beach

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The footbridge beach is a scenic beach that you can access by a long footbridge across the Ogunquit River.

It is generally less crowded than Ogunquit Beach, which is located adjacent to it.

Enjoy the views of the mesmerizing river and the enchanting Atlantic Ocean.

The beach features a concession stand with picnic tables and beautiful walking trails.

A beach bag, slippers, and blanket at Footbridge Beach sand

Elevated Comfort /

Hike along the coast and appreciate the captivating views.

It’s a great place to watch the spectacular sunsets.

The beach is also popular for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and surfing.

Spend a relaxing day away from the crowds and enjoy swimming in the crystalline waters.

Have a Picnic at Wells Harbor Park

This beautiful waterfront park offers spectacular views of salt marshes, ocean waters, and numerous boats.

You can relish a delicious picnic at one of the many picnic areas here while admiring the captivating natural beauty that surrounds the park.

The park provides excellent fishing opportunities, and you can access the waters using the deck.

Numerous entertaining events are organized here year-round, including musical concerts, Wells Harbor Fest, vintage car shows, and many more.

The park also features a playground for kids to have fun, pavilions, hiking trails, horseshoe pits, and more.

Owing to the stunning backdrops and tranquil atmosphere, this happens to be a popular venue for weddings, reunions, and other social gatherings.

The views of the sunset from here are mind-blowing.

Enjoy a Boat Tour in Perkins Cove

Perkins Cove

haveseen /

This small fishing village features a harbor, spectacular ocean views, a picturesque footbridge, numerous restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques.

It is popular for boat tours where you can enjoy amazing views and explore the beautiful blue waters of the ocean.

The boat tours include fishing trips as well as party cruises.

Boats on the dock of Perkins Cove

Gregory Szymbor /

Hike along the coast and admire the heavenly vistas, and bring along a lovely picnic to relish against the scenic backdrops.

Explore the various art galleries and boutiques.

Don’t miss out on the delicious and fresh seafood at the restaurants here.

The local candy shop is famous for its saltwater taffy.

People riding a boat at Perkins Cove

Theresa Lauria /

Explore Nature at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

Steven Bodnar /

This reserve encompasses three estuaries: the Webhannet River, the Little River, and the Ogunquit River.

It covers 2,250 acres and features grasslands, salt marshes, beaches, dense foliage, towering trees, wetlands, and more.

The site also includes some historic 19th-century farm buildings, which are currently used as an auditorium, a library, a visitor’s center with exhibits, and research labs.

A farm barn at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve

Greencan7, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The reserve is popular for an array of outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, kayaking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Hike on the nature trails that offer incredible views of majestic mountains, beaches, hills, salt marsh, sprawling greenery, ocean waters, rivers.

The trails also feature an abandoned apple orchard, tide pools, barrier dunes, diverse wildlife, and scenic overlooks.

Guided walking tours and kayak tours are also offered on the site. Tour the historic farm buildings and learn about the region’s fascinating history.

Many events are hosted throughout the year, including musical concerts, crafts festivals, and mushroom discovery walks.

This place also happens to be a popular venue for weddings, reunions, and other social gatherings.

Explore nature and enjoy the magnificent views at this fantastic site.

Watch a Show at Ogunquit Playhouse

Exterior of the Ogunquit Playhouse

B Lee Mannino, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1933, this historic theater is popular for its outstanding musicals.

It also features a cabaret that attracts myriads of visitors to this place.

Its stage has been graced by many big names in the entertainment industry, including Emmy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award winners.

Green landscapes in front of Ogunquit playhouse

Kalki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This award-winning theater presents shows to over 100,000 guests every year.

Get tickets and watch an awe-inspiring performance.

It is a great place for a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

Experience Go-Karting at Wonder Mountain Fun Park

This popular amusement park features go-karts, miniature golf courses, a maze, an arcade with numerous games, and more.

Enjoy the exhilarating experience of racing on go-karts and play an exciting game of treasure hunt in the maze.

You can also have fun at the mini-golf course featuring caves and waterfalls or try out the cool games at the arcade.

There’s not a shortage of activities for everyone to enjoy at Wonder Mountain Fun Park.

This is the perfect place to spend a fantastic day with your family and take a break from the mundane daily routine.

Go Sunbathing in Wells Beach

Wells Beach

Esposito Photography /

This beautiful beach is a great place to sunbathe and enjoy a refreshing swim in the calm, crystalline waters.

Splash in the waves, build a sandcastle, and soak in the sun at this scenic beach.

It is also an ideal spot for your morning yoga or workout.

A family of three walking towards Wells Beach

Alicia Gagne /

You can also enjoy activities here such as parasailing and even hiking along the coast.

To end the day, enjoy a lovely evening stroll while watching the setting sun paint a kaleidoscope of crimson, yellow, and pink in the skies.

Rocky shoreline of Wells Beach

Anthony Dolan /

Stop by Reed’s Antiques and Collectibles

Souvenir shopping, anyone?

Wells is very famous for its antique stores.

Reed’s Antiques and Collectibles offers a broad array of antique items, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, china, tools, home décor, books, pottery, and glass art.

They have a range of interesting furniture pieces as well.

Explore this fascinating store and have a great time browsing through its unique offerings.

Enjoy Your Favorite Movies in a Cozy Setting

A haven for folks who prefer watching films on the big screen, Flagship Premium Cinemas in Wells, Maine has been favored among moviegoers since it first opened its doors.

It’s a cozy community theater with stadium seating, offering treats like free popcorn to regular customers—a pleasant surprise that will have you coming back again and again.

Inside, it has a homey vibe, with adjustable seats personal comfort; they even have power controls, so you can enjoy leg or back massages!

No matter where you sit when watching a film here, everyone has a great view.

There’s also plenty of legroom, promising viewers the utmost comfort.

Take Part in Wells’s Exciting Art Scene

If you’re in Wells, Maine, and would like to see some local art, then you have to visit Wells’ brilliant art galleries, starting with Paul Noel Art & Design.

Getting to witness Paul Noel’s New England-themed masterpieces will surely be an unforgettable part of your trip.

Manko Antiques & Folk Art Gallery is another excellent place to visit.

It’s a barn gallery that houses a small but precious collection of American folk art from the late 19th century.

They showcase country furniture and accessories, as well as an excellent selection of 19th-century weathervanes.

You can purchase antique pieces here as well.

There’s also an enormous variety of art available at The Framer’s Workshop & Fine Art Gallery, from legendary artwork to promising student art.

There are pieces available at a wide price range, allowing every type of collector to find something for their walls.

Finally, Corey Daniels Gallery showcases a diverse collection of really interesting found art and objects, along with work by emerging and mid-career contemporary artists.

Go Trekking at Wells Reserve at Laudholm

View of Wells Reserve at Laudholm

quiggyt4 /

Apart from its stunning beaches, Wells is a haven for those who appreciate the outdoors.

Seven miles of hiking paths connect to saltwater marshes and bird sanctuaries in the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.

Trails at Wells Reserve are accessible all year, so you may go walking or hiking in the spring and summer or cross-country ski or snowshoe in the winter.

Front view of Wells Reserve at Laudholm

quiggyt4 /

Wells Reserve is a great place to go kayaking, and guided treks are also available.

Visitors to the nature paths may use the signs to navigate their route and learn more about the local flora and fauna.

The renovated carriage house and barn at Wells Reserve serve as an architectural focal point for the Laudholm Farm grounds, making it an ideal location for weddings and summer events.

The picturesque pastoral grounds of Wells Reserve play host to a variety of seasonal events, craft fairs, and musical performances.

Water tank at Wells Reserve at Laudholm

quiggyt4 /

See Tidepools at Coast Encounters

Coast Encounters is a fantastic opportunity for anybody, whether a lifelong Mainer or just passing through, to see the state’s famous rocky coastline.

Visitors over seven are encouraged to get their hands dirty and discover the rich ecology that lies below the surface of this Maine attraction.

Even better, you can enjoy all of this without ever leaving shore.

Children may learn much about marine life while having a wonderful time with this engaging and instructive activity.

Coastal Carol, the resident guide, can also bring her live intertidal critters to events and classes when time permits.

Go Berry-Picking at Spiller Farm

View of Spiller Farm

Magicpiano, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are several farms in the Wells area.

One of which is Spiller Farm.

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, vegetables, apples, and pumpkins are all available for U-pick at Spiller Farm.

This activity begins in early June and continues nearly daily until mid-to late-October.

Since 1894, the Spiller family has operated the farm.

The farm spans 110 acres, consisting of farmland, hay fields, pasture, and woods on either side of Route 9A (Branch Road).

Grab Artworks and Crafts at Summer Solstice Craft Shows

Twice each year, Wells holds the Summer Solstice Craft Show, a popular event that draws both crafters and shoppers.

There is no admission fee, and parking is also free.

The artisan fairs will go on no matter the weather, so bring an adventurous spirit.

Come check out the exhibits that attract 70 or more merchants selling an abundance of handmade products.

Soaps, candles, ceramics, photographs, and conventional artwork are all available for purchase by guests.

Bring Home a Good Read from Harding’s Books

If you’re a bookworm, check out one of Maine’s most famous antique businesses: Harding’s Books, also known as Douglas Harding Rare Books.

You may find it along Route 1.

The same family has operated this bookstore since 1960.

It features over 100,000 secondhand, out-of-print, and rare books in all categories.

However, it’s a specialist in these niche areas, especially Americana, New England town history, maritime, genealogy, and art.

An extensive collection of prints and maps spanning the early modern period to the late Victorian era are also available.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening Stroll at Parsons Beach

Parsons Beach

Dustin Ewy /

This pristine beach is known for its tranquil atmosphere and gorgeous sunsets.

It is a privately owned beach that offers stunning views of the ocean waters.

Scenic view of the Parsons Beach sunset

andy433 /

Due to limited parking and lack of facilities, the beach is very quiet and peaceful.

It is an ideal place to take a refreshing stroll while admiring the scenic vistas.

Take a Trip to Kennebunk Plains Preserve

Kennebunk Plains Preserve

Corey T Burns /

This preserve features sprawling grasslands home to a broad array of birds, including various endangered species.

The unique feature of this preserve is that majority of its flora consists of fire-tolerant plants.

The grasslands are maintained by using carefully controlled fires.

The plants respond positively to such fires and release a nutrient that helps in increasing the availability of food for various birds and other animals.

A rainbow over Kennebunk Plains Preserve

Corey T Burns /

The best time to visit this site is during August and September when you can see the grasslands blanketed with outrageously colored purple northern blazing star flowers.

You can spot sandpipers, sparrows, snakes, horned larks, and many more.

Hike on the trails, enjoy the magnificent views, and experience nature.

The site is located 9 miles from Wells.

Explore Hiking Trails at Orris Falls Conservation Area

This site is a popular tourist attraction that features dense forests, a charming waterfall, scenic overlooks, a balancing rock, wetlands, diverse wildlife, a cemetery, and the foundations of an old farmhouse.

Verdant hiking trails meander through the picturesque landscapes of the region.

Enjoy an invigorating hike to the overlooks and feast your eyes on the panoramic, magnificent views of wetlands and majestic mountains.

Explore the forests, enjoy the sounds of nature, and discover the Orris Falls.

You can spot a broad array of wildlife, including turtles, herons, woodpeckers, common yellowthroat, sparrows, and more.

In the winter, the site is known for snowshoeing and ice skating.

Visit this place and escape into nature.

It is located 10 miles from Wells.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a vacation with a decidedly non-urban focus, then Wells might be just the place for you.

Tourists are sure to fall in love with this charming coastal town and all it has to offer, from its breathtaking nature views to its citizens’ warm hospitality.

If you’re planning a trip to Wells, make sure to reference this list for a getaway full of exciting activities and new experiences!

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