Family Time in Wells - The Friendliest Town in Maine
The town of Wells in Maine's Seacoast Region was the third town to be officially established in the state. Nestled between Ogunquit and Kennebunkport, Wells is less than one hour's drive from Portland. The town has been referred to as the friendliest in Maine, as well as the state's antique center, and there is no shortage of charm to be found in this beloved New England community. Visitors to Wells can enjoy the sandy beaches, boutique shopping, coastal dining, watersports, and natural adventures, making it an ideal destination for your next southern Maine getaway!
Offering seven miles of coastline and expansive outdoor recreation spaces, Wells, Maine is a great spot for family fun the way Mother Nature intended. Miles of paths are available for hiking, biking, and sightseeing. Visitors are welcome to enjoy activities like kayaking, fishing, and surfing on the water, or stick to dry land to partake in golfing, shopping, dining, and more! Community events and craft fairs take place throughout the year, ensuring a healthy dose of culture for your family vacation, too!
Cap it all off with a luxury vacation rental with convenient access to it all, and you have all the makings of a perfect New England escape.
The Wells Beach area includes Wells Beach, Moody Beach, Crescent Beach, and Drake’s Island Beach. The oceanfront encompasses miles of sand dunes, sea grass, tidal inlets, and salt marshes. At the border of Wells and Ogunquit, you'll find Footbridge Beach, connecting the neighboring communities. At Ogunquit Beach, you can access the Marginal Way path to the seaside village of Perkins Cove.
To take advantage of watersports action, spend some time at. Drake's Island, where the great surf makes it a prime spot for advanced recreation. Crescent Beach's rocky shores are best to visit during low-tide, before or after checking out local shops and eateries. Moody Beach is a private beach.
The main span of Wells Beach is the broadest and most popular, with more than a mile and a half of powder-soft sand from Crescent Beach to the jetty. Free parking for Wells Beach is available at the end of Mile Road, where guests will also find concessions, restroom facilities, gift shops, and the Boardwalk Arcade. Paid parking is available at the end of Atlantic Avenue, as well as a restroom, jetty access, and a boat launch into Wells Harbor.
The Town of Wells operates a harbor area containing a private marina, restaurant, and the Wells Harbor Community Park. Wells Harbor is a hub of boating activity for fun and for industry, offering access to the Webhannet River. You can book private charters for fishing and sightseeing excursions for memorable family adventures with companies like Three Ladies Fishing Charters, Apex Charters, and Captain Satch & Sons.
Wells Harbor Community Park is the site of community festivals and annual events like Harbor Fest, Wells Brew Fest, and the free Summer Concert Series. Park features include sports courts, fishing, picnic tables, a playground, public restrooms, and hiking trails. Parking is free at Wells Harbor. The Harbor is also serviced by the Ogunquit Trolley.
Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms
Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farms is a National Estuarine Research Reserve and conservation center promoting education and discovery of southern coastal Maine's unique ecosystems and wildlife. Guests are invited to experience kayak tours on the Little River estuary, or guided nature walks and self-led expeditions over miles of easy to moderate walking trails that serve as home to migratory birds, scenic views, and historic farm buildings scattered among salt marshes and breathtaking landscapes.
In the wintertime, (ungroomed) trails are open for hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Trails are open daily, year-round from 7:00 AM to sunset, while exhibits, workshops, and the Visitor Center operate seasonally with fluctuating hours. Minimal admission fees ($5 for adults, $1 for children 6-16) apply from Memorial Day weekend through Indigenous Peoples Day. Admission allows visitors access to free on-site parking, the Visitor Center, restrooms, trails, and Laudholm Beach.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Photo Credit: billandkent via Flickr CC2.0
Located at the border of Kennebunk and Wells, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is a 9,125-acre natural sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of the Seacoast Region's salt marshes and estuaries for the benefit of ecology and migratory wildlife. Established in 1966 in cooperation with the State of Maine, the refuge consists of eleven divisions between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth, serving as habitats for more than 250 species of birds.
Shorebirds and birds of prey are abundant during spring and fall migration periods, while waterfowl are common year-round. Look for white-tailed deer, river otter, beaver, fox, coyote, moose, and harbor seals on or near the refuge as well!
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is one of over 500 such facilities in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, with limited weekend hours in the summer months. The one-mile Carson Trail Loop is open every day from dawn to dusk and is universally accessible.
Golf For All Ages And Skills
Just minutes from Wells in neighboring Moody, families will love the thrills awaiting at Wonder Mountain Fun Park after a day of natural fun at Wells Beach. Open during the summer season, Wonder Mountain features indoor and outdoor family-friendly attractions, including two mini-golf courses, go-karts, a giant maze, arcade, and an ice cream shop.
If mini-golf is not quite the challenge you seek, southern Maine offers world-class golf courses to tee off on as well, including two right in Wells itself. Merriland Farm is a 9-hole golf course, established in 1993. Part of a 200 year-old working farm, the course is nestled among thriving berryfields. Old Marsh Country Club offers a semi-private, 18-hole championship course built in 2008, ranked among the "Top 10 Best in America" in its first year.
Fun On The Farms
Our region is known for bountiful harvests - and we don't just mean lobster! Stop by the Wells Farmers Market every Wednesday from May - October at Wonder Mountain Fun Park for fresh produce, one-of-kind products, chef demonstrations, gardening tips, and more - all while supporting local farmers and artisans. Some area farms are open to the public for pick-your-own shopping and down home fun as well.
Visit Spiller Farm for raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries in the summer, and apples in the fall, as well as veggies, like eggplant, peppers, and summer squash. The Spiller family has been operating the 110-acre farm in Wells, Maine since 1894. Chase Farms offers seasonal fresh veggies and fruits along with homemade jellies, pies, and other local treats. They also raise their own beef and pork stock for sale in the farm store. Ask about seasonal hay or sleigh rides!
Shopping In Wells
With more than 50 antique shops on the Route 1 corridor alone, it's no wonder that Wells is considered to be antique-central! Find everything from jewelry and artwork to rare books and period furniture. Nearby outlet shops at Kittery and the boutiques of Ogunquit provide a plethora of bargains on an array of products for everyone in your family.
Most towns along the southern Maine coastline offer their own original mementos and treasures in local and regional art galleries as well. And no visit to Maine is complete without a stop at Reny's department store - a New England tradition since 1949, specializing in affordable clothing, gifts, toys, gourmet food, and household items.
Dining In Wells
- Billy's Chowder House - 216 Mile Road, Wells, ME 04090
One of the oldest waterfront restaurants in Wells, with classic seafood fare and views of the Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve.
- Big Daddy's Ice Cream - 2165 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Classic ice cream parlor and snack shack serving 40+ flavors in cones, sundaes, and floats.
- Bitter End - 2118 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Lunch and dinner with a funky vibe. Live music on the patio Friday and Saturday nights.
- Bull N' Claw - 2270 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Longstanding surf 'n' turf eatery and watering hole, featuring a soup and salad bar as well as fresh Maine lobster.
- Congdon's Doughnuts - 1090 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Family-owned diner serving up world-famous doughnuts and breakfast classics since 1955.
- East Restaurant - 636 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Award-winning restaurant and sushi bar offering traditional Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine.
- Féile Restaurant and Pub - 1619 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Classic Irish pub and restaurant featuring nightly specials and live music.
- Fisherman's Catch Restaurant - 134 Harbor Road, Wells, ME 04090
Rustic, seasonal seafood shack offering lobster rolls, crab cakes, and chowder with scenic patio dining.
- Forbes Seafood Restaurant & Take-Out - 427 Mile Road, Wells, ME 04090
A low-key staple for Wells beach-goers since 1921, Forbes serves up fried seafood favorites along with ice cream treats.
- Hobbs Harborside - 352 Harbor Road, Wells, ME 04090
Casual surf 'n' turf eatery with amazing views of Wells Harbor as you dine on lobster, mussels, steak, chicken, and more.
- Joshua's Restaurant and Bar - 1637 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Farm-to-table fine dining and Americana in a cozy, historic, Revolutionary War-period home.
- Litchfield's Bar and Grill - 2135 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Family-owned bar and grill with patio seating, live music, casual cuisine, and drink specials.
- Maine Diner - 2265 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Traditional New England comfort foods served in a friendly, casual homestyle space for more than 30 years.
- Merriland Farm Cafe - 545 Coles Hill Road, Wells, ME 04090
18th-century farmhouse eatery serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a patio overlooking scenic landscapes.
- Mike's Clam Shack - 1150 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Casual eatery and fish market for New England-style seafood, steak, chicken, and more.
- The Steakhouse - 1205 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Ranked as one of the best steakhouses in New England, serving traditional Western steakhouse favorites.
- Varano's Italian - 60 Mile Road, Wells, ME 04090
Upscale, traditional Italian cuisine and wine in an intimately inviting setting, situated around a large stone fireplace.
Extending Your Exploration
The Wells Transportation Center on Rt. 109 is home to the Downeaster Passenger Train operated by Amtrak. The Downeaster covers a 145-mile route, offering five daily northbound trips to Portland with stops in Old Orchard Beach and Saco, and five daily southbound trips with stops in Dover, Durham-UNH, and Exeter, New Hampshire, and Haverhill and Woburn, Massachusetts en route to Boston's North Station.
The Wells Transportation Center is serviced by taxis and trolleys. Parking is free. Reservations and identification are required to board the Downeaster train.