Yarmouth, Maine Vacation Guide
When you drive 11 miles northeast of Portland, you will arrive in Yarmouth. You will be greeted by clapboard homes, small businesses and a Norman Rockwell style Main Street that is known as the Village. With only 8000 residents, Yarmouth is a small town America type of community, and this is exemplified in the town’s motto: Our Latchstring Always Out. Freeport and Pownal border Yarmouth to the north, while the Atlantic Ocean creates a boundary on the southeast. The Royal River flows through the center of town. Yarmouth was first settled in 1636. However, the town was abandoned twice before being permanently settled in 1713. Today, Yarmouth is known by foodies, families and tourists as the setting for Maine’s annual clam festival.
Major Events and Attractions
Every year in late July, Yarmouth hosts a three-day celebration of the briny, salty, succulent New England clam. The Yarmouth Clam Festival was founded in the 1960s and has been packing people in since its creation. There is a carnival-style Midway filled with tilt-a-whirl rides, games, cotton candy, steamed and grilled vendor food and enough battered clams to last a lifetime. However, the good times do not end there. There is a parade, a firefighters’ muster and a clam shucking contest. There is an art exhibit on the library lawn, a pink elephant sale at the First Parish Church and live music and street dancing. While most of the events at the Yarmouth Clam Festival are free, the clams are sold to benefit local community organizations.
The annual clam festival has put Yarmouth on the map. However, whether you come to Yarmouth to gorge on bivalves or as part of a coastal day trip, there are a couple of places of interest you should visit. Lower Falls Landing was once a sardine cannery. Today, it houses an array of interesting shops. For those of you who enjoy the strange and usual, there is also DeLorme, a famous map store on Route 1. Located outside of Yarmouth, DeLorme claims to have the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe.
Public parks, tennis courts, ball fields, beaches and boat launches can all be found in Yarmouth. Three of the most popular public parks include Latchstring Park, Grist Mill Park (which has a scenic overlook of Royal River Falls) and Pratts Brook Park. With over 200 acres of woods and seven miles of walking and cross-country skiing trails, Pratts Book Park is the largest. Finally, the Royal River Park, in the center of Yarmouth, is a mile long walkway along the river. It is an ideal place to jog, picnic or unwind, the waterfalls and scenic vistas providing a perfect backdrop.
In coastal Maine, fresh seafood is as prevalent as pasta is in Italy. From nautical taverns to elegant waterfront dining, dishes like shrimp scampi and lobster ravioli can be found anywhere. Lobster rolls, clam rolls, chowder and haddock sandwiches are a fundamental part of New England dining culture. At the same time, the Yarmouth area has over 40 different restaurants, so you have plenty of options. Eat-in, take-out, visit a grill-house, bistro, fast-food chain or organic cafe, it all depends on your taste, style and mood.
When you are on U.S. Route 1, a place to stay for the night (or a week or two) is never far away. This popular and well-traveled roadway winds through Yarmouth and is the commercial center of coastal Maine. While some inns and B&Bs might be closed for part of the winter, most hotels and motels are open year round.
Yarmouth Area Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Yarmouth, Maine area.