Why Visit Maine in the Winter?

Lighthouse, snowy winter day in Maine

Typically, when people think of Maine, they picture waves crashing on a beautiful lighthouse, the sun shining, people eating the best lobster they’ve ever had, and colorful umbrellas spread across miles of beach, a northeast summer getaway. But the great state of Maine is not limited to the summer months! There are plenty of activities, sports, and events to try in every season.  

Here are a few reasons to consider visiting Maine during the winter months!


Skiing is a popular winter activity, but have you ever tried skijoring? Skijoring is a cross between cross-country skiing and dog sledding and is perfect for the snowy months in Maine. All you do is put a harness on your dog, clip into your skis and glide across the snow as your dog runs up ahead. Skijoring is better suited for medium to large athletic dogs and is a great way to include your furry friends in your winter adventures!

Ice Fishing

Many people enjoy the leisurely act of fishing on warm summer mornings, but others prefer to bundle up, gather their friends and family, and spend a winter’s day fishing on the ice! 

Ice fishing in Maine begins on Jan. 1 and lasts until Mar. 31. You will need a license, but those are easy to get all over the state. If you have never tried ice fishing before, you will need to invest in some equipment, and there will be a learning curve, but if you love fishing and can handle a challenge, this is a great sport for you to try out this winter. 

Winter Festivals

Maine has several winter festivals and carnivals throughout the state if you’re looking for fun winter activities for the whole family. From ice carving, live entertainment, food and drinks, holiday lighting ceremonies, and so much more, you won’t regret visiting Maine during the winter season! 

When planning a winter trip to Maine and considering staying in York Beach, Sands by the Sea is your best option! Our luxurious motel and vacation suite is just walking distance from exciting attractions and offers spacious rooms, comfortable amenities, exceptional service, and incredible oceanfront views.

To book your wintertime stay, call (207)363-2211 or make your reservation online!

The Benefits of Solo Travel

happy smiling woman standing on viewpoint with mountains on background, exploring city street alone.

It can be challenging to plan a trip with friends and family. From conflicting schedules to different preferences on location and activities, sometimes it’s easier to take a solo trip!

Traveling solo allows you to plan everything to your liking and gives you the opportunity to learn how to be comfortable making memories on your own.

Here are a few benefits of embarking on a solo adventure!

Cost Effective

If you usually travel with your kids or other family members, it can be much more expensive than traveling alone, especially when buying things like meals. You can plan your budget ahead of time, and it will be easier to stick to it with just yourself. You have the power to decide what your days look like and how you spend your money. It’s also normally cheaper to find living accommodations for one person.

Gets You Out of Your Comfort Zone

When was the last time you took yourself out to dinner, went to the movies, or explored a new town on your own? People grow accustomed to doing everything with others, especially in romantic relationships. However, spending time alone and learning how to have fun and not rely on others to have a good time is necessary for your mental health.

Putting yourself in situations where you must take charge and solve problems on your own, like finding transportation in a new city or figuring out how to order a meal in a different language, are opportunities for personal growth. The more you take yourself out of your comfort zone, the more confident you become.

Allows You to Be Selfish

When you travel solo, you are in charge of the itinerary. If you are someone who loves going to the beach but your partner hates it, you have the freedom to plan as many beach days as you want! You don’t have to organize your trip around the needs and wants of others. You get to be selfish and do exactly what you want or what you’ve always dreamed of doing with no one holding you back.

If you are looking to plan a solo trip, the great state of Maine is the perfect place to explore on your own! From gorgeous state parks to long stretches of sandy beaches, there is something for everyone in this scenic state.

Sands by the Sea is a great place to stay while traveling solo in Maine. With beachfront views, restaurants, and shops within walking distance, you can escape reality and have some much-needed time to yourself. There are plenty of activities to do every season, so there is never a bad time of year to book a stay!

Make your reservation online or call us at (207)363-2211 to request more information.

Outdoor Activities for Your Fall Bucket List

family in pumpkin patch

It’s officially autumn, and although hot summer days basking in the sun are behind us, there are still plenty of fun outdoor activities the fall season has to offer! Whether you are an outdoor adventurer, a food lover, a photographer, or simply looking for things to keep your children entertained, there’s a festive fall activity for everyone.

Here are a few outdoor activities to add to your fall bucket list this season!

Fall Foliage Drive

Pack up your whole family and spend a few hours driving through the fall foliage on long country roads or through the mountains. It’s a perfect opportunity to get some amazing photos and enjoy the vibrant colors of the changing leaves that only happens in autumn.

Apple Picking

Take a day trip to pick your very own apples. There are pick-your-own farms all across the US, and many offer other fun fall activities and tasty treats while you’re there. You’ll get a basket to store all your precious fruit, and you can usually explore the orchard by yourself, climbing into the trees on ladders to choose which apples you want to bring home with you.

You can create many recipes with freshly picked apples, from pies and strudels to sauces and spreads. Spend the day with your friends or family experimenting with festive recipes.

Corn Maze

Corn mazes are for all ages! Classic corn mazes are great for kids and families, but you can also find much more difficult corn mazes that are appropriate for teens and adults. Head to a fall corn maze with friends and celebrate its completion with a trip to a local brewery afterward for some festive spirits!

Pumpkin Patch

There’s nothing like picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween. Take a day trip with your loved ones to a rural pumpkin patch within your area. You might even get lucky and get a chance to enjoy a hayride or feed some farm animals while you’re there.

If you want to kick the fall festivities up a notch, Maine is a beautiful place to visit during autumn! Maine is known for its gorgeous fall foliage, with plenty of activities and festivals happening during this magical time of year.

If you’re planning your trip, don’t forget to stay at Sands by the Sea. Our locally owned motel is conveniently located a short distance away from some of Maine’s most popular attractions.

Contact us at (207)363-2211 to learn about our rates and accommodations.  

The Best Exercises for a Beach Workout

Athletic couple doing push ups on the beach, workout training

Whether you live by the ocean or are getting ready for your trip to the sea, the beach is a great place to complete a workout! Sometimes we don’t have the motivation or time to get into the gym, but outdoor workouts can be just as effective!

Research shows that training on an unstable surface like sand improves gait endurance since it recruits various muscle groups and increases joint mobility.

Here are a few exercises that are perfect for a beach workout.


Sprints primarily work your lower body muscles, including the calves, glutes and hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Sprints also engage your abdominals, chest, back, and triceps, making them a perfect whole-body cardiovascular activity.

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are a classic plyometric exercise that works your glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps. Your abs, calves, and hamstrings will also be working hard here, especially on the unstable surface of the sand. 

This move is normally tough on your knees if you’re not landing properly, so the sand can help cushion that impact. Start with your feet hip-width apart and in a squat position. Jump up and then land back down, ensuring you’re landing in a squat position. Do 12-15 reps and three sets.

Sand Bucket Deadlift

Sand buckets aren’t just for the kids! Bring your sand bucket and fill it with sand to use as a weight. To do the deadlifts, hold the bucket with both hands. Bend at the waist and use your legs to help you lean forward, engaging the core and glutes. Touch the bucket to the ground and engage your glutes to return to standing. Do three rounds of 10-12 reps.

Burpee to Push-Up

This move works your entire body. Start by standing, jump into a high plank, lower into a push-up, and back up to a high plank. Accelerate upwards and jump up. The move should be done in one fluid motion. If the push-up is too much for you, you can either lower your body completely to the ground and back up or stay in a high plank. Do three sets of 10 reps.

If you’re looking for the perfect beachfront oasis for your next vacation, look no further than Sands by the Sea. If you are someone who prioritizes your health and wellness, the opportunity for the perfect beach workout is only seconds from our waterfront motel!

Enjoy gorgeous views, exciting activities, and relaxing shores of one of Maine’s most picturesque oceanside communities. Whether it’s a short weekend getaway or a long overdue vacation from work, we have the accommodations you need to be relaxed and comfortable. 

Contact us today at (207) 363-2211 to learn about our rates and accommodations

A Guide to Surfing in Maine

Surfer in silhouette doing aerial on wave during practice for world championship

Surfing in Maine is more popular than you would think! Go up north, and loads of empty beaches and hidden rock reefs have yet to be added to any surf map. Further south, there’s a developing surf scene, mainly oriented around the famous river mouth in Ogunquit and the winter swell-magnet bay of Gooch’s Beach. That area also comes interspersed with some fantastic beginner beaches, like York, which offer endless peaks and lots of mush to practice on.

Fall and winter take the win as the best times to surf on the east coast because of the continuous northerly winds and lots of S-SE swells, thanks to the Caribbean hurricane belt.

Here are a few beaches in Maine that would make great spots to try out some east coast surfing this year! 

Gooch’s Beach

Gooch’s Beach is the main beach in Kennebunk (in fact, it’s sometimes referred to as Kennebunk Beach). Come the New England winter and the arrival of the NW winds courtesy of the regular blizzard cyclones, the spot manages to suck up nice S swells from the mid-Atlantic and combine them with consistent offshores. It will be freezing, but you’ll be gifted with fast, challenging drop-ins to often-hollow tubes.

Ogunquit Beach

Ogunquit Beach runs north of the Ogunquit Rivermouth. It’s a long, sandy stretch with banks that move during the storm season, meaning you never really know if it will all be mush or if there will be shape and A-frame beachies to contend with. It works well with medium-sized fall swells, which turn the whole spot into a fun party.

Long Sands/York Beach

Long Sands is the last stretch of uninterrupted beach before the Maine-NH state line. Facing almost east, with a slight hint of the south, it can catch, but hits on storm swells in the midwinter. It’s the epitome of a New England beach break, with many mediocre peaks. A longer board here is needed to manage the cruisy, fatter swells.

If you are ready to catch some gnarly surf on the beautiful coastline of Maine, Sands by the Sea is your place to stay! We are within driving distance of many popular surfing spots in the area, and we have accommodations for you and the whole family! There are so many activities to do in York Beach, and you are guaranteed an eventful and memorable stay even during the off-season.

Contact us at (207)363-2211 and plan your fall surfing trip to Maine today!

Surprising Health Benefits of Going to the Beach

Happy Romantic Middle Aged Couple Enjoying Beautiful Sunset Walk on the Beach

Most people can agree that beaches are some of Earth’s greatest natural features. Homeowners pay a lot of money to live near a beach, people flock to sunny beachside locations on vacations, and when retirement age hits, people go off to warm coastal areas.

While we may not consciously be able to pinpoint the exact reasons why we feel so happy and relaxed after a day at the beach, it truly does have many positive effects on a person.

Here are a few surprising health benefits of going to the beach!

Sand Makes a Great Workout

A beach is a great place for a workout! Research shows that walking on the beach is a better workout than walking on concrete since you must work harder to move through the sand, even if you’re moving at the same speed. Walking on the sand also requires more energy than walking on a hard surface, even at the same speed. Take a long beach walk for a feel-good workout!

Reduce Arthritis Symptoms

Spending some time in the ocean water may help reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Saltwater dehydrates inflamed cells in the body, reducing inflammation. Salt can be absorbed into the skin as you soak in the water, reducing swelling and pain.

Get Your Daily Vitamin D

One of the essential vitamins in our diets is vitamin D; however, very little of it gets absorbed through the consumption of foods. Fortunately, spending just ten minutes outside in the sun can allow a person to absorb their daily dose of vitamin D directly through their skin!

Enjoy Better Sleep

For people with insomnia looking for a natural remedy, the beach is a great place to try! The beach helps relieve three key factors that inhibit sleep: high stress and anxiety levels, lack of physical fatigue, and hormonal imbalances.

Not only do you feel immediately relaxed upon setting foot on the beach, but you get great exercise even from just walking on the beach! Additionally, the sun and lowered stress levels immediately help regulate a person’s hormones, making it far easier later that night to get a peaceful and deep sleep.

Enjoy all the health benefits a beach offers by booking a stay in York Beach, Maine! Sands by the Sea has the perfect accommodations for you and your family to enjoy a stress-free vacation on the beautiful beaches of southern Maine. 

Contact us at (207)363-2211 or browse our website to view rates and check availability!  

Top Tips for Swimming Safely in the Ocean

man and woman swimming together in open water

If you’re planning a trip to the beach this summer, you might find yourself longing to jump right into the big blue sea. Ocean swimming is different from swimming in a pool. You must watch out for currents, waves and other natural dangers. Do not go in if you cannot swim at all. If you’re experienced in swimming, you can take the initiative to enjoy the ocean, but there are still some things you need to understand about this unforgiving water before taking your first dive in.

Here are some top tips for swimming safely in the ocean!

Don’t Go Out Too Far

There will likely not always be buoys or visible ropes to remind people not to go past them. You need to use your common sense to not get too far and deep into the ocean. Try to stay wherever your waist meets the water. Waves can get high, and if you are not prepared to swim under when a strong and large one comes, don’t try to go farther.

Swim Where Lifeguards Are Visible

If you are not an extremely confident swimmer, always swim in a designated ocean swimming area supervised by lifeguards. Stay close to shore so you can be seen and rescued quickly if needed. Not all beaches have lifeguards on duty, so people swim at their own risk.

Know Swimming Conditions before Going In

Research and pay attention to the news or any signs that warn you about the conditions of a beach. There may be warnings of:

  • Rip currents are narrow channels of fast-moving water. Instead of fighting them, swim parallel to the shore with the current and angle yourself slowly back to land.
  • Large waves are more powerful than you might think. Dive under one before it breaks. And remember: Never turn your back to the ocean when you’re in the water. Rogue waves or undertow can happen at a moment’s notice.
  • Shore breaks happen when a wave breaks on land, knocking swimmers down. Avoid beaches with rocky outcroppings or a steep slope into the water to avoid serious injury.
  • Inshore holes are long trenches that run parallel to the beach. They can surprise waders who are expecting shallow water. Make sure your children can swim, and stay with them in any water.

Pro tip: Never swim alone, even if you are an experienced swimmer. A swimming buddy can signal for help if needed.

If you are looking for a great place to plan your next beach vacation, look no further than Sands by the Sea! Our beachfront motel in York Beach, Maine, is nestled on one of southern Maine’s most beautiful coastlines.

Contact us at (207)363-2211 to inquire about availability and plan the perfect beach getaway to York Beach, Maine!

The Best State Parks to Visit in Maine

iew of Camden Harbor from Mt. Battie, in Camden Hills State Park, Maine

With summer in full swing, it’s time to break out the hiking boots and immerse yourself in gorgeous natural beauty. The great state of Maine is home to various scenic state parks that offer a wide array of unique adventures and activities.

Here are a few of the best state parks to visit in Maine!

Two Lights State Park

Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth is named for the presence of twin lighthouses, one of which is still functioning today. On-site, there is a gift shop and full-service restaurant where visitors can eat fresh seafood at outdoor picnic tables and take a walk on the rocky coastline where they can watch fishermen catching Stripers or lobstermen hauling in their traps offshore.

Camden Hills State Park

Camden Hills State Park is located a few minutes north of Camden, a quintessential New England town featuring shops within walking distance to the working harbor. The park is particularly popular amongst birdwatchers and bird-lovers because it is a retreat for migrating hawks and other bird species. It’s not uncommon to spot great blue herons, ospreys, or even a bald eagle! A drive or hike up Mount Battie, 800 feet above sea level, offers visitors spectacular views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay.

Bradbury Mountain State Park

Bradbury Mountain State Park is one of Maine’s original five state parks and a great place to relax and enjoy the 800 acres of forest it has to offer. Spend a day or afternoon exploring trails, taking in the magnificent view from the summit, or enjoying a picnic under a canopy of trees. Bradbury Mountain is the only state park in southern Maine to offer shared-use trails for horseback riders, mountain bikers, and snowmobilers.

While visiting the great state of Maine, enjoy one of the many beaches it has to offer. Sands by the Sea Motel is nestled on one of southern Maine’s most beautiful stretches of coastline. Enjoy the gorgeous views, exciting activities, and relaxing shores of one of Maine’s most picturesque oceanside communities!

Contact us today at (207)363-2211 to learn more about our rates and accommodations

5 Beach Activities to Try This Summer

Friends playing with frisbee at beach on sunny day

With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start planning your trips to the beach! If you think that spending time at the beach is limited to just swimming, there’s a lot more you’re missing out on.

Here are five activities to try at the beach this summer with your family and friends!

1) Have a Picnic

There are always a lot of food vendors near popular beaches, but sometimes it’s nice to pack yourself a picnic and indulge on the beach. If you’re going with a big group, make it a fun and creative potluck where everyone can contribute an easy dish—a variety of foods makes for a great beach picnic.

2) Look for Dolphins

Many beaches offer the chance to see dolphins right from the shore if you know what you’re looking for and when to look. Do a little research to see if your beaches apply and if so, check the best times to visit. Don’t forget your camera!

3) Play Frisbee

Frisbee is a classic beach game that people never get tired of enjoying together. There’s only one prop needed, and it’s very easy and cheap to get. You can even play with your dog if you’re on a pet-friendly beach. There are also more advanced versions like Frisbee golf, Ultimate Frisbee, and kan Jam, but the basic version will do just fine.

4) Go Window Shopping

Most beaches are in quaint beach towns. These towns are fun to explore and stroll through, as they typically have several stores along the beach. Spend time browsing when you’re ready to get out of the sun and grab some ice cream or saltwater taffy!

5) Rent a Waterfront Motel

Sometimes a day trip to the beach is not enough. Make it a mini-vacation and stay a few days at a waterfront motel! At Sands by the Sea, we have a gorgeous view of the York Beach waterfront in Maine. Whether you are planning a family vacation to the shores of the Atlantic, a relaxing and romantic getaway with your sweetheart, or a fun-filled trip with friends, we have the accommodations to keep you comfortable and blown away by fun activities and incredible views.

Contact us today at (207)363-2211 to start planning your beach vacation to York Beach, Maine!  

Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Happy fathers day card illustration design

Skip the usual card and box of suit ties this Father’s Day and get your dad something he will truly love and appreciate! The special man in your life deserves a meaningful and thoughtful gift. Although it’s easy to succumb to generic gifts lining the stores, it is important to make your father feel special and seen on this sentimental occasion.

Here are a few unique gift ideas that will wow your dad this Father’s Day!

Make a Donation in His Name

If your father is not big on receiving physical gifts, consider donating to a charity or cause he loves in his name. This is a thoughtful way to honor your dad with a special present while helping those in need.

Choose Something Sentimental

A sentimental gift from the heart never goes out of style. Perhaps a photo album filled with your favorite moments together, a copy of his favorite book, or even a box of his favorite chocolates. Your gift does not have to be an extravagant affair, but it should be meaningful and specific to your father figure. 

Write a Heartfelt Letter

Any father would love a heartfelt letter. Take the time to consider what you appreciate about your dad and how you’re thankful for him. Present a sweet hand-written sentiment that tells him why you love him and what his presence in your life has meant to you over the years. He will love and appreciate your heartfelt words and be able to reread your letter for years to come.

Plan a Short Getaway

The most precious gift you can give this Father’s Day is time. Time is something we can never get back, and planning a getaway trip with your dad will allow you to make lasting memories.

At Sands by the Sea, we recognize how important it is to relax and spend time with the ones you love. A trip to one of Maine’s most picturesque oceanside communities is just what you and your father need to bond and make new memories together. Our spacious rooms, sensational beaches, and outdoor heated pool are just a few of the amazing amenities we offer! 

Enjoy our sand dollar special the week of Father’s Day, June 20th-23rd. Simply mention the “sand dollar special” at the time of your booking and get $20 off per night with all the same comfortable amenities, fabulous views, and exceptional service we always offer our customers.

Call us today at (207)363-211 to give your dad the gift of an unforgettable getaway this Father’s Day!