15 Best Things to Do in York, Maine

York, Maine

If you are tired of your mundane corporate life, this is the place you have to be.

Located in the York county of Maine, this is the hot spot for tourists who are on the lookout for a laid-back summer near the beach.

With a population of 12529, York is one of the most famous spots which attracts massive amounts of domestic and international tourists every year.

Its location, beside the Gulf of Maine, makes it a spot best suited for a summer retreat with family, friends or the spouse.

Apart from the wonderful climatic conditions, York is also historically significant and has a rich heritage.

You can never run out of things to do in York. Here is a list to get you started -

Go hiking at Mount Agamenticus

Mount Agamenticus
khallyimages / Shutterstock.com

This 692ft high monadnock is also called “Big A”. One of the activities that you cannot miss is taking a hike to the summit.

The hike is a beautiful experience and suitable for all sorts of hikers.

The 360-degree view from the top will be one of the best things you will lay your eyes on.

To make it easier for the climbers, the authorities have placed ample directions and information about the sights.

Apart from hiking, they also allow biking activities.

Groups and individuals are welcome to experience the beauty of nature at the sight. They also have free parking.

However, they close by sundown and there is no provision for overnight camping or alcohol.

So, we recommend you to reach by early morning.

Sunbathing at the Long Sands beach

Tourist playing in Long Sands beach
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

This white sand beach is a major center of attraction for tourists.

A headcount of five thousand tourists is recorded during the busy season in June and July.

The Long Sands beach is located in between two villages, York Harbor and York Beach.

It is the perfect destination to spend a relaxed day at the beach with your family.

You can go for a swim, go surfing or just stay on the beach for a long sunbathing session.

Metered parking is available along Long Beach Avenue, and you need a permit for that.

A public restroom is also present on the beach.

Take your kids to build sandcastles or start a volleyball game with your group of friends!

Visit the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse

Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse
Andrea LG Ferguson / Shutterstock.com

Lighthouses are some of the most admirable places to visit while on a tour.

Built in 1879, this one has a rich historical background.

It was recently during the end of the century that it was made open to the public.

Although the island is not accessible to the public, you can enjoy a wonderful day by the sea with other fun activities.

They have a large parking space which allows you to visit with groups.

You can arrange for picnics or go scuba diving. They also arrange weddings and memorials.

It is also a pet-friendly place, but dogs are to be put on a leash at all times.

On your way back, get a souvenir from their gift shop which remains open till 7 in the evening.

Explore the John Hancock Warehouse

John Hancock Warehouse
Firefly_NewEngland / Shutterstock.com

Located towards the South of Lindsay Road, the John Hancock Warehouse is of historical and political importance.

It has been transformed into a fascinating museum with crates and containers of goods which were kept in the warehouse.

The outlook and design of the structure and interior take you back to the 1700s when it was an active base for the traders of the area.

The John Hancock Warehouse will provide you with the most authentic experience of local history.

There are no entry fees and the warehouse is open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm. Remember, they remain closed on Sundays.

Spend a day at York’s Wild Kingdom Amusement Park

Wild Kingdom Amusement Park
Jay Yuan / Shutterstock.com

This is possibly the best place to take your kids to.

Plan a day filled with fun for your family at the zoo.

Located near the York beach, this is a privately owned zoo that opens seasonally to the public.

Apart from wonderful animal exhibits which will interest your little ones, they also have rides for all ages.

Several food stalls and ice cream trucks are also present on the premises to cater to the needs and cravings of the guests.

The zoo remains open from 10 in the morning till 5 in the evening however admission is closed at 4 PM.

York’s Wild Kingdom Amusement Park has a wide family of animals such as African Lion, Red Kangaroo, Green Wing Macaw and Fallow Deer to name a few.

Originally established in 1860 as a store for merchandise, this is one of the unique things that belong to York.

The gallery has a range of items that have been curated over the years.

They are exhibited for the visitors to enjoy.

Entry is free for children below the age of 12 and there are student discounts available as well.

Paintings, Sculptures and other forms of artwork are regularly exhibited in the gallery, some of which are also open to sale.

It is a wonderful space to get to know local artists and their art.

The best thing about the gallery is that they have maintained their historical significance while giving new and upcoming artists a space for their artworks.

Take the Steedman Woods and Wiggly Bridge trail

This is one of the most famous trails that you can opt for once you are in York, Maine.

The trail is 2.3 kilometers long and extremely easy.

So, in case you are a beginner, there is no need to worry.

You can also take your furry friend along with you but must keep them on a leash.

The main attraction of the trail is the river and the scenic beauty.

The best time to visit is from April to September.

The Wiggly Bridge leads one to the woods.

As the name suggests, the bridge is rather an adventure, especially for the kids.

Visit the Old York Historical Society

If you are someone who is fascinated by history and that is what attracts you during your travels, this is the place you have to visit.

The area and establishment date back to 1834.

The Old York Historical Society has preserved several buildings and places of importance around York.

Apart from conservation, it also aims at educating the population about the rich historical past of the area.

They also hold many events all year round which are both informative and engaging for the guests.

Check out the Old York Gaol

Old Gaol York
Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What comes to your mind when you think of a prison?

Especially one that was operative in the 1700s? We know, it's exciting and thrilling!

Located on Lindsay Road, the Old York Gaol is a colonial prison that is sure to attract your attention.

Not only is it one of the oldest structures in Maine but it is one of the oldest prisons in the country.

In 1968 it was made a National Historic Landmark.

It is considered to be a royal prison whose oldest building was built in 1720.

As a part of the conservation procedure, it has been turned into a museum.

The walls of the prison have information about the prisoners that it held and will surely takedown for a trip in a time machine.

Go Kayaking

What is a vacation without some good old kayaking?

Maine offers a wide range of options for taking a quick or an extended kayaking trip.

You can take your kids along or you can enjoy some quiet time by yourself.

However, the best way to experience it is to take your partner out on a kayaking date.

It guarantees seclusion from the crowd, it's romantic and it also helps you to be in the company of the two most beautiful things in the world, nature and the one you love.

There are several companies and tour agents who can arrange for your kayaking needs.

You can either book it online or overcall, or plan for it on spot.

Satisfy the beer lover in you

York is a wonderful place and has something for everyone.

If you are a fan of beer, Granite State Growler Tour is the one trip that you cannot miss at any cost.

On this bus tour, “Gretta the Growler Getta” will take you around the seacoast to taste beer from different local breweries.

The buses have a total of 14 guests in them which means that if you are traveling solo, you get to bond with new people, and that takes over some of the best beer available around.

You can also book personal tours with them.

In fact, if you like a particular beer from a particular brewery, you can make a purchase and they will keep it preserved and cooled down for you.

Eat at the Central Restaurant and Bar

York has some amazing restaurants and eateries that you must try out to know more about the local cuisine.

One of the best that York has to offer is the Central Restaurant and Bar.

You can choose to dine in with your family after a day of tedious hiking and touring in and around the place.

The restaurant serves some classic American dishes as well as food that you’d expect in a coastal location.

Their menu is diverse and you will have a wide range to choose from starting from continental to seafood and East Asian cuisine.

However, the must-try dishes from them are Pork Dumplings and Korean BBQ Sirloin Steak Strips.

They also serve alcohol and don’t forget to try their special cocktails.

Go shopping

Shopping is an essential part of a trip.

It is important not only for the souvenirs that you are going to bring home for your close friends and family but also to know more about the place.

Some of the best places for you to shop will be - The Little Bull for jewelry, cottage home for furniture and other home decor items and Vintage Maine Impressions for really unique souvenirs.

You should also visit the beach stores to find something handcrafted locally that you can carry on with you as a personal item to remember York by.

Take a ride on the retro Trolley Bus

If you are a sucker for experiences that take you back in time, this one’s for you.

The York Trolley company which first started in 2003 is one of the adventures that you shouldn’t miss out on.

They offer trolley tours and private trolley rentals.

If you book a tour, you just have to hop onto this classy trolley bus, which will make you feel like you’re back in the 80s and they will take you around the area on a guided tour.

One of the many perks is that the tour includes some of the hidden gems and exclusive entries as well.

If you want to get married in York, you can rent one of these vintage-looking trolleys for your wedding company as well.

Yoga retreat at Yoga on York

Yoga is one of the best things to relax your body and mind while on a vacation.

It relaxes you, relieves your stress, helps you with anxiety and leads to a better state of mind.

‘Yoga on York’ is a 19-year-old establishment which is very famous, not only in York but all over the country.

They offer several workshops and organize a number of events throughout the year.

Their summer outdoor yoga sessions are the favorite among visitors.

They also have kids yoga and personal or private group sessions that can be arranged on prior notice.

Added advantage to the veterans, teens, yoga teachers and college students because they offer a discount of up to 30% for them.

Now that you know all that you can do in York, Maine, you should stop contemplating and start booking your travel and accommodation.

York is a beautiful place for all sorts of travelers.