Way out on the easternmost fringes of Biddeford, Maine lies a small seaside community where time seems to stand still. The quiet village houses a post office, a realtor, and a general store complete with in-house lobster pound, household staples, beer, and wine—it’s simple but leaves nothing to be desired. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, scoping out your future escape-from-it-all home, or simply love to poke around in seaside villages (like me), Biddeford Pool might be the place for you!
I recently stopped into Biddeford Pool for an afternoon of sightseeing and relaxation. Like many people spending time in the neighborhood, my first stopover was Pool Lobster at F.O. Goldthwaite’s general store. Goldthwaite’s is one of those places where, once you know about it, it’s hard to resist coming back week after week. The food is amazing, the service is always friendly, and the location cannot be beat. The hardest part of visiting is choosing between the famous lobster roll that the shop offers and my personal favorite dish, the Lobster Tacos. I got my tacos to go and carried them across the street to be enjoyed in the peace and quiet of the waterfront park on Yates Street.
Eager to soak up the sunshine and beautiful sights, I elected to walk off my lunch on the East Point of the community. On the farthest tip of Biddeford Pool lies the East Point Sanctuary, a property maintained by Maine Audubon, which is home to some of the most pristine views and birdwatching in Southern Maine. The Sanctuary juts out into the Atlantic with distinctly Maine rock ledges protecting the walking trails and grassy meadows from the waves crashing nearby. One of my personal highlights of walking around East Point is seeing the distant Wood Island Lighthouse, which has faithfully protected boaters from the hazards of Fletcher’s Neck for over 200 years.
A short walk down the scenic Ocean Avenue brought me to the entrance of nearby Biddeford Pool Beach, a long stretch of sand that is kept hidden by the tall, grassy dunes lying behind it. I’m not sure which is more impressive, the gorgeous beach or the magnificent waterfront homes, but Ocean Ave. certainly kept my head on a swivel. Just beyond the seagrasses lies the towering Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in a grand building that once housed the Ocean View Hotel, bringing an air of sophistication and history to the calming sandy beach.
Although I only spent the afternoon, Biddeford Pool is the type of community that I could spend a lifetime meandering through. The small single lane streets are lined with quaint cottages dotted by flags and flowers and, of course, the ocean is rarely out of sight from any location on the tiny spit of land. Rich with history as the first recorded settlement in Maine and a heritage of families whose legacies go back decades, Biddeford Pool is—in many ways—a community where time has failed to keep up, but I am convinced it is for the better.
One of our favorite parts of this particular vacation was the day on the water we spent with Captain Rich and his crew aboard the Schooner Eleanor. Our boys had sailed before, but never in Maine. They were up bright and early that morning eager to see what the ride would be like.