21 Things to Do in Scarborough, Maine You’ll Love

You may initially overlook Scarborough in favor of popular Maine destinations like Portland or Old Orchard. But I invite you to take a second look at this seaside town. 

I’ll be sharing my favorite things to do in Scarborough, Maine including the best beaches, places to eat, and outdoor activities.

Is Scarborough, Maine Worth Visiting?

This is one of the best Maine towns in my opinion because it’s centrally located without being super touristy. You still get a great sense of this coastal Maine community, even during the summer. 

While there is no walkable downtown, there is plenty to do to keep you busy!

Scarborough, Maine is especially a great area to visit if you love the outdoors – I’ll share all my favorite adventures below.

I’ll also be sharing my favorite places to eat, the multiple beaches you should visit, and the best day trips, all within 30 minutes. 

Where to Stay: Scarborough vs. Old Orchard Beach vs. Portland, Maine

You may be wondering where you should stay in southern Maine. I’ll share the best city for your traveling preferences!

Scarborough is located between Maine’s capital city Portland (9 minutes away) and one of the touristy Maine towns, Old Orchard Beach(15 minutes away). 

If you are seeking a city vibe, opt for Portland over Scarborough which provides an adorable Old Port and nightlife. 

If you’re seeking a party beach atmosphere, opt for Old Orchard over Scarborough, which, like Portland, has a more walkable downtown and offers more nightlife options. 

Scarborough is best suited for couples or families who want more of a laid back beach vacation. 

You’ll also find prices are a bit more reasonable in Scarborough when compared to neighboring towns like Kennebunk and Portland. 

Favorite Restaurants in Scarborough, Maine

While there aren’t as many options as neighboring Portland, Scarborough has a selection of delightful locally owned restaurants. Most of the eateries are located along Route 1 and on Pine Point Road. 

Pine Point Grill

For a more elevated dining experience, try the Pine Point Grill. Visiting during a summer evening, you may be lucky enough to eat al fresco and breathe in the summer breeze. 

I’d recommend making reservations during the summer months as it’s a favorite among locals and visitors. 

In 2019, Paul and Kate Landry acquired Pine Point Grill in addition to their two other restaurants, Mac’s Grill and Fish and Bones in the Lewiston-Auburn region. Both fabulous options if you’re in the area!

O’Reilly’s Cure

O’Reilly’s Cure has delicious options! It’s a bit more elevated than El Rayo but more casual than Pine Point Grill. This is a great option for lunches or for a cocktail next to their fireplace. 

Their Harvest Salad is divine if you’re looking for a healthier option. And my husband loves their Haddock Sandwich. 

O’Reilly’s Cure

El Rayo

Ever since the pandemic, this local Mexican eatery has changed their layout to more of a fast-food approach, but the food is still delicious! Colorful and lively, you’ll really enjoy their atmosphere and dishes. 

Or order out after a long day at the beach!

There is also a location in Portland, ME. 

Clambake Seafood Restaurant

My mom and I first came here during a trip to Wild Duck RV Campground. 

As a seafood lover, my mom loved the famous Fisherman’s Platter featuring fried haddock, whole belly clams, scallops, clam strips, and shrimp. 

This is also a great place to try a lobster roll!

The Clambake restaurant is a very casual place for lunch or dinner in Scarborough. No need to get dressed up, you can come right from the beach! It’s a perfect place for families looking for an easy dining experience. 

The ordering and food pickup is similar to a fast food approach, but the quality of food is much better. 

Holy Donut

What started as a local business in 2010 has taken off to be the most famous donuts in southern Maine. What makes these donuts different is their dough. While traditional donuts are made with a flour dough, these donuts are made with potatoes! 

Holy Donut – YUM!!!

Good luck picking just one donut! All of their flavors are outstanding – the Maple Bacon is out of this world! 

Did you know the potato is northern Maine’s #1 agricultural product. Aroostook County, or “The County” even holds a Maine Potato Blossum Festival each year to celebrate the Maine staple. 

Ken’s Place Seafood

For outdoor seafood dining, check out Ken’s Place Seafood. Get here early as the lines get insanely long! But it’s worth it:)

They offer all of the Maine seafood classics you’ll love!.

They also have gluten and vegan options. 

Their prices are a bit high compared to other donut joints, but for a special treat, are well worth it. 

Beaches in Scarborough, Maine

I highly recommend visiting Scarborough’s beaches! 

Scarborough, Maine has 4 beaches: Higgins Beach, Ferry Beach State Park, Pine Point Beach, and Scarborough Beach State Park. 

Ferry Beach State Park

For updated rules and parking rates, visit the town’s website here

If you arrive at the beach from 5am-9am or 3pm-6pm you’ll get a discounted parking rate.

If you’re staying anywhere along Pine Point Road, then Pine Point Beach is only a few minutes away! 

Outdoor Activities in Scarborough, Maine

There are plenty of outdoor activities in Scarbrough, Maine in addition to the beaches. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below. 

Bike the Eastern Trail

The Eastern Trail is a part of a wider project connecting South Portland to Kennebunk. 

Eastern Trail in Scarborough, Maine

This is a multi-purpose trail, but is especially great for bikers. 

Scarborough’s section of the Eastern trail runs 8 miles and extends into the town of Saco, Maine. 

Beware sections of this trail can get windy, especially as you pass through the marsh. 

Kayak Scarborough’s Marsh

My earliest memory of visiting Scarborough was on as school field trip to the Scarborough Marsh. I remember learning about the different animals and plants that made up the marsh and the distinct salty smell. 

Scarborough’s Marsh

Today, it’s also a place I can launch my kayaks for a morning paddle! 

Whether you have littles wanting to learn about nature, or your ready to explore the marsh yourself, this is a great outdoor adventure!

Get On the Water with Sun and Fun Rentals

Is it really summer if you don’t get in the water? 

For kayaking, paddle boarding, small boat sailing or big-time sailing, check out Fun and Sun Rentals! They also offer bike rentals and beach chairs.

Concerts in the Park

Every Thursday in July join other couples and families at Memorial Park in Scarborough. 

Concerts are free and open to the public. 

Go Camping in Scarborough, Maine

If you love the outdoors, but also love the beach life, consider camping for the weekend or longer in Scarborough. This is one of my favorite areas to bring our RV!

Wild Duck Adult Campground and RV Park

If you’re like me, camping is all about getting away from it all. 

Welcome to Wild Duck Adult Campground and RV Park. There’s nothing fancy about this park, in fact there’s not much to it. 

Nightly rates cost $55 for a campsite and up to $85 for an RV site.

The bathroom and laundry facilities won’t blow you away and there isn’t much for activities. 

But, for those seeking a quiet and peaceful campground, this is a gem. 

Located on the edge of Scarborough’s marsh, you would never know you’re only minutes from the lively beaches and main street.

Read More: How to Spend a Weekend RVing in Scarborough, Maine

My mom and I visited for a weekend recently and felt so relaxed coming back after a long day at the beach. There was barely a peep from our neighbors, just the way we like it;)

As the name implies, all campers must be 21+.

Wild Duck Adult Campground & RV Park

Bayley’s Camping Resort

This campground has everything! 

For those with kiddos, look no further than Bayley’s Camping Resort. With daily activities, pools, kayak rentals, lobster bakes and more, you could spend your entire vacation without ever leaving the campground!

With cabin and RV rentals, and both RV and tent sites, there are lodging options for everyone’s preferred camping style. 

Keep in mind the nightly price is well above $100/night. But for those seeking a full resort camping experience, it will be well worth it!

Day Trips from Scarborough, Maine

Because Scarborough is centrally located in Southern Maine, there are tons of day trips to do while visiting. I’ve listed a few of my favorites, but check out this list for a few more ideas!

Mackworth Island State Park in Falmouth, Maine

Mackworth Island State Park is one of my favorite spots in Southern Maine. Beware, it can get busy at peak times. This tiny island offers an easy, wheelchair accessible, 1.4 mile loop walking trail along Casco Bay. 

Located in Falmouth, Maine only 15 minutes north of Scarborough this is a great way to stretch those legs after lounging on the beach. 

Bundle up as this tiny islam can get some big winds! Current fees for Maine state parks can be found here.

Read More: Best State Parks in Maine: A Local’s Opinion

Old Orchard Beach

For those seeking a taste of more exciting beachlife, venture to neighboring Old Orchard, just 15 minutes south of Scarborough. 

Featuring famous “Pier Fries”, walkable downtime, amusement for the kids, and nightlife, this is the scene most folks visit in the summer who are looking to partayyy. 

If you can picture a beachside resort town where visitors have a beach towel in one hand and a slice of pizza in the other, that is Old Orchard in a nutshell.

Old Port, Portland

If you’re in the mood for a bit of shopping and perusing, check out Portland’s Old Port. Featuring cobble side streets, darling shops, and local restaurants, this is the perfect day for those wanting a mini city adventure.

With less than 100k local residents, Portland may not be a city to you, but to Mainers it’s the biggest one we’ve got;)For more info on things to do in the Old Port, check out this website here.

Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine

You’ve probably seen this photo as you’ve searched for things to do in Maine. 

Welcome to Fort Williams Park, the home to Portland Head Light and Museum. 

Located 20 minutes north in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, this park is a wonderful attraction for those seeking the perfect Maine photo. 

Portland Head Lighthouse in Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth

Whale Watching in Kennebunk, Maine

If you’re hoping to do a whale watching tour while in Maine, look no further than New England Eco Adventures. 

I was so impressed with our recent tour and felt incredibly lucky to see multiple fin whales!

This tour company offers small tour groups which makes the adventure seem even that more intimate. And because they use smaller vessels, it feels like you are even that much closer to the whales if you are lucky enough to see them. 

While there is no guarantee to spot a whale, it’s a tour well worth your time and they allow you to come back for free if you don’t. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re visiting Scarborough for the day or just passing through, I hope you visit the beaches, stop for a bite to eat, and enjoy all that this charming town has to offer.