Home Suburbs The Southern Maine Renaissance: Biddeford & Saco
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The Southern Maine Renaissance: Biddeford & Saco

The Southern Maine Renaissance: Biddeford & Saco
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And Then There is Saco

Speaking of Saco, there are mills there, too.  Saco Island Mill, which was once a foundry, is now home to Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery.  Try the Alewife Ale and a Mill Wrap Sandwich.

Saco Island also hosts the Saco River Farmers’ Market.  The Farmers’ Market is open year-round on Saturday mornings, from 9:00 AM -12:30 PM, and has a wide selection of handcrafts as well as local produce.

Saco Island Building #4 is currently being developed into apartments and commercial space. It is conveniently located right next to the train station.  Into the big city, anyone?

saco island maine photo
Photo by Josh and Melanie Rosenthal

Saco also sports an adorable Main Street, which hosts events like the Sidewalk Art Festival, Music in the Park(ing lot), Classic Car Shows,  River Jam (Two Cities, One River, remember), the Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Festival and Light Parade.  Wow, that’s enough to keep us busy.

If you’re hungry, try Traditions for Italian or the Golden Rooster for breakfast or lunch. Or you could walk over to historic Pepperell Square for a meal at the New Moon restaurant or take the kids to Rapid Ray’s for a hotdog and fries.  Pepperell Square was once the Saco Haymarket.

saco island maine photo
Photo by tvanhoosear

You also don’t want to miss the Saco Museum.  Originally known as the York Institute, the museum has developed a rich and diverse collection, which defines early American Life.  The museum also hosts a wide variety of adult and children’s classes and activities.


They Don’t Call it Vacationland For Nothing.

saco island maine photo
Photo by Josh and Melanie Rosenthal

OK, so we’ve talked about the mills and the downtowns, but we can’t leave out the beaches!  Both twins are known for their great waterfronts.

Biddeford Pool, formerly known as Winter Harbor, has been a summer destination for decades.  It attracts the rich and famous, but also fishermen and lobstermen.  It’s historic, too.

biddeford pool photo
Photo by Dougtone

Some of the more notable places to visit are the John Tarr House, the First Parish Meetinghouse, the Fletcher’s Neck Life Saving Station, and the James Montgomery Flagg House.  By the way, the peninsula of land between the Pool and Biddeford City is known as Fletcher’s Neck.

Fortune’s Rocks is a small beach community located in Biddeford.  When I was a kid, everyone wanted to go surfing at Fortune’s Rocks.  The community dates to the early 1900’s.  Surf’s up.

biddeford pool photo
Photo by technodad

Granite Point is the location of the University of New England and University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. It’s also the location of Buffleheads Restaurant, so if you’d like some fresh fish, stop by.

Where are the seals?  Granite Point is the place where seals that have been rehabilitated at either UNE or the New England Aquarium in Boston are released back into the Atlantic.


On to The Saco Side

Granite Point maine photo
Photo by Josh and Melanie Rosenthal

Moving across the mouth of the Saco River, we come to Camp Ellis, which is part of Saco.  Camp Ellis is the quintessential fishing village, with a town dock and Huot’s Seafood Restaurant.

ocean park maine photo
Photo by jpitha

In recent years, Camp Ellis has experienced a bit of upscale building.  The view of Saco Bay is second to none from here, so it’s no wonder that people want their houses here.

Next, we arrive at Ferry Beach, also in Saco.  Ferry Beach is home to many cottages, but it also contains the fabulous Ferry Beach State Park.  The State Park includes a freshwater pond, a rare tupelo swamp, hiking trails and access to the beach.

ocean park maine photo
Photo by LenEdgerly

Finally, Bay View takes us to the Saco/Old Orchard Beach border.  Bay View is loaded with shingled New England style cottages if you are searching for a traditional look.  But another thing about Bay View is that it’s peppered with “millennial moderne” style homes, too.  You know lots of natural light, simple decor, snippets of that industrial feel.  Yup, that’s in Bay View, too.

Both twins have been working hard toward revitalization and a renewed sense of self.  They have come to celebrate their shared history and shared cultures, united and separated by the same body of water.  If I were you, I would keep my eye on these two – affordable living, with tons of natural resources, they are twin survivors.  By the way, I’m heading out to La Kermesse.  Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Featured Image By tvanhoosear

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