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York Harbor, Maine Travel Guide

York Harbor Summary


  • Beautiful, relaxed beaches
  • Nubble Lighthouse, one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world
  • Tons of outdoor activities, including kayaking, golfing, and fishing
  • Historic, shingle-style buildings
  • 18th-century jailhouse, Old Gaol, offering tours
  • A number of historic buildings open to public, including Jefferds Tavern (built in 1750) and the Old Schoolhouse
  • Whale-watching


  • Not much to do in winter months
  • Fewer shopping and dining options than other Maine resort towns

What It's Like

This quaint town along Maine's coast is notable for its history, beaches, and outdoor activities. Many colonial-era, shingle-style buildings and homes have been preserved -- a number are open to the public for tours -- and are a major part of the city's appeal. The 18th-century former jailhouse remains, as do historic homes and the Nubble Lighthouse -- one of the most photographed lighthouses in the country.

York Harbor experiences a surge of visitors during the summertime. Tourists flock to the coast, lined by sandy and rocky beaches, and enjoy activities such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, and even whale-watching. There are also nature preserves in the area for hiking, as well as nearby golf courses. The closest major airport is in Boston, though Portland, Maine also has one. 

Where To Stay

Most hotels in York Harbor are small bed and breakfasts or historic inns. Many are located on the water and have reasonably-priced rooms (although do not offer the amenities of larger hotels).