By Andrea Timpano, Taking the Kids correspondent
OGUNQUIT AND YORK, Maine (Day 3 of 3) — The Beachmere Inn offers free continental breakfast each morning but we decide to check out Café Amore, a restaurant we spot while walking home from Perkin’s Cove the previous day. After a delicious meal at this retro diner, we return to the inn to check out of our rooms and head to the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.
Admission to the museum is just $10 for adults, and free for kids under 12. In addition to its collection of paintings, etchings, and drawings from artists like John Laurent and Henry Strater, the museum offers a variety of special activities for its younger visitors. Kids will love the artwork scavenger hunts and Stories by the Sea, a new drop-in program where kids create a take-home art project to accompany the story. There’s also an outdoor sculpture garden on the museum’s beautiful grounds which overlook Narrow Cove.
The next and final stop of our trip is York’s Wild Kingdom, a zoo and amusement park just 15 minutes from Ogunquit. Because York’s Wild Kingdom is within driving distance of several area beaches, it’s a perfect day trip destination for families looking for a break from the waves and sand. The amusement park isn’t open during our visit, but there’s plenty for us to see in the zoo. York’s Wild Kingdom is home to more than 70 species, including American alligators, Bengal tigers, and Spider monkeys. Many of the animals have recently given birth, and we see lots of adorable baby animals—like a young Gibbon monkey—during our visit. One of my favorite exhibits is the petting zoo, where I feed African pygmy goats.
Leaving the zoo, we decide to grab some ice cream before beginning our trip home. We drive to The Goldenrod, a fun-looking spot we noticed on our way to the zoo. The Goldenrod is a combination ice cream store, candy shop, and restaurant that first opened its doors in 1896. We sit on stools around the antique soda fountain and fill our rumbling bellies with dishes of homemade ice cream and root beer floats—the cherry on top of a great couple of days in Southern Maine.