Vacationers take photos of Portland Head Light, reportedly the most photographed lighthouse in America, from the high wall of a gun battery at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Don’t let your summer go out with a whimper.

Instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix while lamenting that summer goes by way too fast, get out and do something about it. There are still precious sunlit days and warm nights left before the Maine winter sets in, around Oct. 1. But you have to be strategic about it. Pick a few key things you really can’t do, or don’t want to do, anytime but summer. Maybe it’s a day at the beach, catching an outdoor concert, eating a lobster roll by the water or playing a round of miniature golf.

Here are a few ideas for some of those things you should do before summer has breathed its last breath.


Drink in the rocky majesty of the southern Maine coast with a stroll along the Cliff Walk at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. The half-mile, crushed stone path winds along scenic cliffs and past remnants of historic Fort Williams. Plus, there are incredible views of Portland Head Light, arguably the most photographed lighthouse anywhere. Fort Williams Park also has a small beach and lots of other areas to explore, making it a great place to get your outdoor adventure fix without being all that adventurous. Parking fees at the park went into effect this year, $2 an hour with a 2-hour minimum, or $10 all day.

If you are a little more adventurous, head about an hour north of Portland for one more spectacular beach day at one of Maine’s best, Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg. There’s a seemingly endless sand beach, a fort and hilly Fox Island, which you can walk to at low tide. Plus, there’s lots of parking and restrooms. It’s $6 a person for Maine residents.

Red’s Eats in Wiscasset is a lobster roll landmark. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer


You can’t end the summer without a Maine lobster roll. Around Portland, one of the most scenic spots for a lobster roll is the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, where you can sit at a table overlooking the rocky shore and crashing surf. Other spots around southern Maine include Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster Co. in South Freeport, The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery and Portland, and Portland Lobster Company on Commercial Street in Portland. And if you have a day to kill, you should wait in line at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, the legendary mecca of lobster roll lovers. The humble takeout booth, overlooking the water, often provides sun umbrellas to make your long, long wait more tolerable.


How long has it been since you’ve ridden a roller coaster, a bumper car or a water slide? If you’re a grown up, probably way too long. Summer is for fun, and that means rides of all sorts. You’ve still got time to head to Saco and spend a day at Funtown Splashtown USA, where you can do both water rides and traditional amusements. Or you can head down the street to Aquaboggan in Saco for bumper boats, slides and other refreshing water attractions. Seacoast Adventure in Windham has mini golf, go-karts, a sky swing and an aerial adventure park with rope bridges and zip lines, among other things.

Riding the coasters at Funtown Splashtown USA in Saco. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer


Most of the year, if you want to see a big-screen movie, you’re stuck inside a theater. But there is still time left this year to see movies outdoors around Portland, in all kinds of interesting places. One spot is the free Rooftop Film Series at Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland. The eclectic selection for the rest of the season includes: Spike Lee’s “Blackkklansman” on Aug. 28; the horror flick “Us” on Sept. 4; “Dead River Rough Cut” on Sept. 18 and the romance “Chocolat” on Sept. 25. Food and drink are sold.

L.L. Bean’s Discovery Park, 18 Morse St., Freeport, will host free showings of the animated movie “Bolt” on Friday and “The Lego Movie 2” on Aug. 30. Go to for more information. Another fresh-air film spot is Congress Square Park, at the corner of Congress and High streets in Portland. The free series there wraps up for the summer Sunday at dusk with “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Outdoor movies are on the roof for the rest of the summer, at Bayside Bowl in Portland. Photo courtesy of Bayside Bowl


Is there a better way to enjoy live music than under a starry sky? You can find out at a variety of upcoming outdoor shows, including a free one by singer-songwriter Gavin Degraw at L.L. Bean in Freeport at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31. Or you can see ’80s pop rocker Rick Springfield on Aug. 30 at the picturesque Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery, 175 Barrett Hill Road, Union, for $75.

The Thompson’s Point concert venue on the Fore River in Portland has a big end-of-summer weekend coming up, beginning with Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, plus Trombone Short & Orleans Avenue, on Aug. 30. Then, local favorites The Ghost of Paul Revere headline their annual Ghostland show on Aug. 31, with Rayland Baxter, Sister Sparrow, The Suitcase Junket and Dominic Lavoie. Tickets and info at

Rick Springfield will play Savage Oakes Winery in Union on Aug. 30. Photo by Elizabeth Attenborough


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