I’m getting ready to make my annual trip to Maine to visit family and friends there. I look forward to spending time in Cape Elizabeth at my parents’ home there. Cape Elizabeth is close to Portland in Southern Maine:
My folks have a cozy cottage with a large yard next to Crescent Beach State Park, a great view of Kettle Cove and Richmond Island, and a comfy guest room. The weather is usually perfect there…warm-but-not-too-hot sunny days and sweater-weather cool nights. The sea breeze off of the cold Atlantic waters is natural air-conditioning. The scenery in Cape Elizabeth is spectacular:
My family settled in Cape Elizabeth in 1955, so I guess that makes “The Cape” our “hometown”. My parents, sister, two nieces and one great nephew all live there year-round. My earliest memories are of wading in the surf at Crescent Beach there as a toddler…
…my mother yelling at me to “Get out of the water…Your lips are turning blue !”, and of local celebrities actress Bette Davis and husband actor Garry Merrill hanging-out at the beach (usually drunk). Back in those days (the 50’s and early 60’s), the beach area and adjoining Kettle Cove were a working fishing village and harbor, with a huge metal lobster pound building at one end of the beach, lots of lobster fishermen and fishing boats, and a row of weather-beaten old buildings along the beach. Then, in the mid-60’s, the State bought-up the beach and all of the adjoining land, removed the buildings, “cleaned-up” the area, and created Crescent Beach State Park. It is certainly more “natural-looking” and pretty there now, but the quaint scenes, smells and sounds of the little fishing village that had been there for 250 years are sadly gone. Cape Elizabeth has a VERY long history dating back to the early 1600’s: Click HERE for a brief history of the town.
I was up there during a recent Christmas and New Year, and got to see some significant snow for the first time in 25 years. I even took a few good photos…one of which I made into a greeting card for my parents:
On New Years Day there, I got to witness one of the craziest things that I’ve ever seen…dozens of people stripping-off their clothes in below zero weather and running into the freezing surf at Crescent Beach.
Not much changes very often in Cape Elizabeth. The Inn By The Sea, located across the field from my parents’ house, recently underwent a complete redo and expansion. If you want to stay somewhere very nice at a scenic beach in Maine, The Inn By The Sea is a luxurious, though seriously expensive, choice. Click HERE for their website. Another place that’s always improving is The Good Table restaurant, just a short walk from my parents’ place. Their food is great and decor pleasant. Click HERE for their website. The most popular seasonal restaurant in town is The Lobster Shack located right on the pounding surf at Two Lights. The scenery there is great, but the seagulls will try to steal your rather expensive lunch if you choose to dine outdoors. Click HERE for their website.
One of the very exciting annual events in Cape Elizabeth is the “Beach to Beacon 10K Run” in August. The event was started by Joan Benoit, winner of the gold medal in the first women’s marathon of the Olympic Games. Joanie is a native of Cape Elizabeth. The race attracts thousands of runners, including a large field of Olympics-class competitors. The field of runners is usually dominated by the Kenyans, as you can see HERE. Another good event is the 4th of July concert and fireworks display at Fort Williams Park. Listening to the 1812 Overture, performed by the Portland Symphony Orcherstra, with fireworks filling the night sky over the ship channel, a losbter roll in one hand and a cold glass of Chardonnay in the other, is the perfect way to celebrate the 4th.
Fort Williams Park is a gem, located on the ship channel, and home to the Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world. The lighthouse was commissioned by President George Washington in 1791 to guide ships safely into the ship channel of Portland Harbor.
Even with the lighthouse and a powerful foghorn, many, many ships have wrecked on the rocks there. Click HERE for a brief video about those shipwrecks.
Here’s a list of some other links to information and videos about Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Someday, when I’m dead and buried, I’ll still be spending the summers (and winters too) in Cape Elizabeth. My parents bought three burial plots, two for them and one for me, at the Spurwink Meeting House church cemetary…”the gift that keeps on giving”…for eternity…
…Now THAT’s Heaven !