Winter ushers in cold, snowy days, perfect for snuggling up near a cozy fire with a mug of locally prepared chowder. While the Maine Beaches is best known for its unforgettable summer experiences, both before and after the holidays, the Maine Beaches is the perfect place to celebrate the winter months as well!

Whether you plan to gather up the family to attend one of our spectacular seasonal events, whisk your person away for a romantic winter weekend, or grab your girls for a shopping getaway, you'll find all that and more here at the Maine Beaches!

Buoy tree in Wells Harbor--Photo by Capshore Photography



November 26th will usher in the holiday season with the annual Lighting of the Nubble. This joyous event includes caroling on the beach, hot cocoa, and a visit from Mr. Claus himself. Don't worry if you can't make the actual event as our iconic lighthouse will be sporting its twinkling lights all season long.


Voted the #2 Christmas event in America by HGTV, December 1 will kick off the 42nd Annual Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport. This ten-day event is chock full of everything we love about the holiday season including tree-lightings, caroling, parades, guided walks, delectable dining, and of course, shopping the unique stores and galleries in and around Dock Square and the lower village.


December 9-11, Ogunquit will host its 36th Annual Christmas by the Sea event. Celebrate the holiday season with fun, food, and festivities including a bonfire and fireworks on Saturday night. Speaking of Christmas by the Sea, did you see that Ogunquit ranked #2 on Travel & Leisure's list of the 25 Best Christmas Towns in the U.S.? Click here to read the full article!


Old Orchard Beach Pier-Photo by Capshore Photography

There is something simply magical about winter at the Maine Beaches. After the Christmas trees come down and the New Year arrives, this region continues to shimmer by the light of new fallen snow. For those who love taking in the wonderland outside, the winter provides an opportunity for you to explore some of the best we have to offer just a little bit away from the beaches.

For instance, Sanford, just 15 minutes inland from Wells, is home to the Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail. While this six-mile trail is open year-round, during the winter, it’s an ideal location to strap on your snowshoes or hop on your snowmobile and take in the countryside.  

Maybe your winter favorite is lacing up a pair of ice skates and gliding around a beautifully maintained outdoor ice rink. If that’s the case, you’ll want to visit Mackey Skate Park in York. Located on Bog Road, this community owned and maintained park is free and open to the public, with lights turned on from dusk to dawn. The Waterhouse Center in Kennebunk is another great option under a beautifully maintained 100' x 120' pavilion.

If strolling hand in hand on stunning trails is your liking, the Maine Beaches has many to explore. Wells Reserve at Laudholm, the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, and Vaughn Woods State Park are just a few options for your consideration. If you'd prefer to stay on the beaten path, consider exploring the village centers of Ogunquit or Kennebunkport where you can duck out of the cold to peruse quaint shops or warm up with a steaming beverage.

Enjoy sledding or short downhill skiing? Then you’ll want to be sure to check out our own Powderhouse Hill in South Berwick. Located 9 miles north from Kittery, this local gem offers both on three trails and 175 feet of vertical elevation. There is a small lodge at the bottom with a wood stove and snacks. While you're visiting this lovely little village, be sure to check out the scores of unique restaurants or walk 15 minutes and explore the Counting House Museum just down the road.

After you’ve spent the day enjoying the brisk outdoors, you’ll no doubt want to enjoy a crock of steaming chowder, or some other wonderfully prepared, traditional Maine Beaches meal at one of our many excellent restaurants. And should you decide to spend a night (or three), you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that many of our lodging establishments are open year-round. Ending your day sharing a bottle of champagne, perhaps in a warm jacuzzi, with the cold winter surf just outside your window, sounds pretty perfect, does it not?

Make no mistake about it. The Maine Beaches is an exceptional summer destination. But everything that makes a visit here special during the summer extends to every season. Because the Maine Beaches isn’t just a summer fling!


The Maine Beaches launched a completely redesigned website this year! Among the many new features, we are rolling out a series of interactive deep dives on topics that are quintessentially Maine Beaches! One of our first stories, Lighthouse Tales, brings our lighthouses to life with video, images, and lesser known stories that make up the history of these iconic structures. We invite you to explore these stories, let us know what you think on social, and share ideas for future feature articles!


The 2023 Maine Beaches Visitor Guide will be available for download on January 1, 2023. Chock full of everything you'll need to plan your Maine Beaches vacation, you'll want to make sure you add it to your trip planning toolbox!

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