Willard Beach – South Portland, ME
On our last trip to Maine, back in 2016, I made it a point to visit a few spots along the ocean. (Giant’s Stairs, Pemaquid Point & Acadia NP) I loooove Lake Erie but the ocean just makes me feel whole. It sounds so dramatic, especially from someone who grew up nowhere near a body of water that large but I just feel so at peace anytime we visit.
Other than really old cemeteries, one of the biggest things I was excited about while on my New England road trip last month was visiting the ocean again. I didn’t have any spots planned and figured we could just wing it when it was time to finally choose a beach.
While we were eating at Becky’s Diner in Portland (so good!) we happened to ask our waitress if she had any recommendations for beaches that weren’t major tourist spots. She seemed more than happy to share and ended up writing down a handful of spots for us, even giving us suggestions based on how easy they’d be to park!
After looking up her suggestions we decided to head to Willard Beach. It was love at first sight. The beach was fairly unpopulated which was exactly what we were looking for. I immediately headed straight into the water. I looked down, spotted something moving, reached down to pick it up, and darted over to Jeff to show him my find. A hermit crab! I was so pleased. The very first one I’d ever seen outside of a pet store. We snapped a few pictures then I headed to the water to put it back.
A few minutes later, I spotted something else moving. Another hermit crab! I peered into the water and realized there were hermit crabs galore. More of them then I could ever imagine! I immediately became very cautious of my every move, not wanting to accidentally squish one. It was one of the most exciting things possible. They’re literally just hermit crabs. I have no sentimental attachments to the weird little creatures but stumbling upon them – and so many of them, at that – was the best.
After getting my fill of hermit crabs (just kidding, not possible!), we left in route for our hotel. On the way there I realized just how close we were to Higgins Beach. This was another spot the waitress had recommended and one that was already on my radar before we even left Cleveland thanks to Julie. It was one of those times where you’re really tired but also very aware that this is a special occasion because how often are you actually this close to the ocean, you might as well go. So, we turned around and headed to Higgins Beach.
Another love at first sight spot! We arrived at low tide and got to explore a rocky area that was completely empty except for us. We spotted lots of neat-o little fish, and a whole bunch more hermit crabs as the sun set. It was pure magic!
Aside from the hermit crabs, another highlight was the tide coming in a little quicker than expected. I always love getting my feet wet when we’re at the beach but Jeff is one of those weirdos who doesn’t like to. He was out on a rock shooting photos and didn’t realize how fast the water had came in around him. Instead of getting his shoes wet or even taking them off, he accepted my half joking offer of a piggy back ride back to dry land. I’m honestly shocked I didn’t drop him since we were both laughing so much. Just one of those memories I never want to forget…
Higgins Beach – Scarborough, Maine
Our time exploring Maine’s beaches was not enough. These two spots combined equal my favorite ocean visit thus far. I can’t wait to visit again!