One of Maine's fastest growing communities seems to have it all
With eight miles of coastline, two tidal rivers, and Maine’s largest salt marsh, nearly one-third of the 70-plus square miles that make up Scarborough is water. Seven miles south of the city of Portland, Scarborough’s wide, white sand beaches are some of the most popular in the metropolitan area; diehard surfers even catch waves at Higgins Beach in the winter. For the past several years, Scarborough has been one of Maine’s fastest growing towns, which is attributed to its proximity to Portland, natural beauty, good schools, and local amenities.
“It’s a special place because there’s a little bit of everything,” says Sunny Townsend, who has lived in Scarborough with her husband, Scott, since 1997. Partners in the Scott and Sunny Townsend Team of Keller Williams Realty, the Townsends are passionate about the community of Higgins Beach at the northern edge of Scarborough’s coastline, where they also manage 100 vacation rental properties. “The long, expansive tidal span offers hard-packed sand—awesome for ball throwing with our dogs,” says Sunny. She and Scott are both avid paddle boarders; he likes to surf the ocean waves on his board while Sunny prefers paddling calmer waters.
Farther south along the Scarborough coastline, Ferry Beach is popular with families. “It’s great for kids since it’s calm, protected water, and it’s also my favorite place to watch the sunset,” says Sunny. “We’ll pick up happy hour nibbles from the Cheese Iron or, in season, a killer lobster roll from the Higgins Beach Market.” Nearby, the Black Point Inn is a special spot for the couple to enjoy a summer evening cocktail or dinner on the deck, looking out to Pine Point and the marsh. The grand old hotel is situated at the entrance to the summer colony of Prouts Neck, where stately shingled cottages are visible behind hedges of beach roses. Pine Point is a charming community of summer cottages and year-round homes, with a broad beach and the Townsends’s go-to seafood shack, Ken’s Place.
In all seasons, the Townsends take advantage of the Eastern Trail, which offers miles of flat, scenic walking or pedaling. “It’s great for easy biking, and there is a gap section about to be closed that will connect Scarborough to South Portland,” says Sunny. “All this and just 15 minutes to the Old Port—life is sweet in Scarborough.”
Did you know
Scarborough is home to a NASCAR-sanctioned auto-racing track: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, which celebrated its 70th season in 2018.
Held every February, Scarborough’s Winterfest celebrates snow and ice season with a pond hockey tournament, snow sculpture contest, bonfires, and fireworks.
The celebrated American painter Winslow Homer painted many of his masterpieces in a studio on Prouts Neck. Now owned by the Portland Museum of Art, the studio is open for tours (which must be arranged through the museum) from the end of May through mid-October.