A three-month fling with a beach towel isn’t a horrible way to spend the summer. Neither is forming short-term friendships with a pastel patio chair and a Long Island iced tea. It’s the under-the-sun lounging that makes a summer go ’round.

But let’s face it, when the season begins its inevitable decline, you don’t want “extreme sunburn” to be your only summer accomplishment. Besides, sunburns are impossible to scrapbook without getting gross.

Hopefully, you’re looking for something a bit more memorable. And while Maine has no shortage of entertaining ways to spend your day, here are a few warm-weather options beyond the beach:


Lawn mower races are held at the Pathfinders Snowmobile Club in Saco throughout the summer. It’s a novel way for the club to raise funds during the off season — and give a few lawn mowers a taste of grass-free heaven.

WHERE: Saco Pathfinders, 42 Heath Road, Saco

WHEN: 7 p.m. on alternating Fridays


INFO: sacopathfinders.net


It’s as close to walking on water as most of us are going to get. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has gained popularity in Maine, and most surf shops offer lessons and demos.

First-timers can easily take to the waters, paddling until their heart’s content and impressing bystanders.

WHERE: SOPOSUP, 382 Cottage Road, South Portland

WHEN: Friday-morning demos or private lessons

HOW MUCH: Demos are free; lessons cost $50 per hour for one person.

INFO: soposup.com


Watching cars chase each other on an oval track is swell and all, but doesn’t a solid crash here and there make the average automobile race a bit more innerestin’? A little controlled smashing — in an approved environment — can be cathartic.

WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, 70 Holmes Road, Scarborough

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursdays beginning June 16


INFO: beechridge.com


If you’ve always wanted to try your trigger finger at target shooting (that’s non-living target shooting), L.L. Bean offers just such an opportunity — to the chagrin of clay pigeons across southern Maine. L.L. Bean’s Walk-On Adventures are an ideal way to test your skills at an array of outdoorsy activities. A $20 fee includes all equipment, instruction and an hour or two of doing your thing.

WHERE: L.L. Bean, Freeport

WHEN: 9 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday


INFO: llbean.com


You’d look good on a scooter. Seriously. A scooter brings out your eyes. Harbor Village rents scooters out of a storefront in Kennebunk. The brief scooter training includes tips on speed and turning as well as pointers like “here are the brakes” and “here’s a handy storage space under the seat.” And the view from a scooter seat is mighty fine.

WHERE: Harbor Village Scooters, junction of routes 9 and 35, Coopers Corner, Lower Village, Kennebunk

WHEN: Renting daily; reservations encouraged

HOW MUCH: $24 per hour with a two-hour minimum, plus deposit

INFO: harborvillagescooters.com


While summer is a time to throw the regimented schedule out the window, it’s OK to pencil in the annual sand sculpture-building competition on the beach in Ocean Park on July 3. Preparatory training for the U.S. National Cheese Roll Championship could help you win the wheel during the Maine Celtic Celebration in Belfast July 15-17.

And here’s hoping the town of Mexico hosts the outhouse races again this July — it’s a rare opportunity to ride a commode on the road. And a surefire way to ensure your summer doesn’t go down the toilet. 

Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at:

[email protected]