York Beach, ME, Meetup & SkeeBall Tourney

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The Idea

On a winter night in Portland, ME, we started talking about a York Beach Meetup in high summer...with SkeeBall. Today, the dream becomes a reality. Discussions:[1],[2],[3]

The Place

York Beach is an old-fashioned beach resort in southern Maine. It offers more than two miles of wide, flat, sandy ocean beach. There are two main beaches in the town: Long Sands, which true to its name is the longest unbroken stretch of beach around, and Short Sands, a smaller beach adjacent to a public park, lots of parking, some eateries and drinkeries, and Fun-O-Rama - home to a bank of vintage SkeeBall machines.

Both York and York Beach are great places for a weekend getaway. Within walking distance of the honky-tonk one can find every type of accommodation, from camping to [perfectly nice] cheap motels and tourist cabins to a luxury hotel. It's only about 20 minutes from Portsmouth, NH and about half an hour from Portland, Maine. York Beach is easily accessed by road from I-95, by rail/bus connection from Boston or Portland, and by air with ground transportation arragments from Boston, Manchester NH, or Portland.

Date and Time

After some discussion and negotiation, we've settled on Saturday, August 16 as the date of the meetup itself.

The Plan of the Day will be something like: 10 AM or anytime afterward, meet on the beach for sunning and swimming. Lunch as desired (many eateries nearby, picnic/potluck also welcome). Late afternoon, optional SkeeBall tourney. Evening-time, dinner and drinks.

How to find the meetup: The first part of the meetup will take place on the beach at Long Sands between 10 AM and 4 PM. Arrive any time. Long Sands is a long stretch of beach with a beachfront road running alongside. At the approximate midpoint of the strand, on the ocean side of the road, is a smallish peachy-colored building which contains the public bathrooms. Use this as a landmark. From the peach-colored building, walk down to the beach, face the ocean, turn left, and start walking. We will be set up along that portion of beach somewhere (and can exchange cell numbers before the day of, in case of crowds and condusion). It will be a good idea to have some sort of eye-catching display, and as soon as we figure out what that can be, we'll post it.

At about 4 PM, SkeeBallers can walk or drive a short way to Short Sands for the arcade. The Tournament will take place there. By early evening, we'll be ready for some shade, drinks and food and probably even some live music at Inn on the Blues.[4]</a>.

For those staying overnight, additional activities may occur late on Saturday evening and on Sunday.

What to Know, What to Bring

Parking - Almost all parking in York is paid parking. Bring quarters for the meters, which are active 8 AM - 10 PM, or plan to pay about $10/day to park in a signed lot.

Food - Near Long Sands beach are a few hamburger and ice cream stands. We will have some picnic food to share and encourage you to bring some, too: chips, sodas, sandwiches, etc. There are trash and recycling containers at the beach. Alcohol is not permitted, but people have been known to handle it subtly.

At Short Sands, the dinner place, Inn on the Blues, serves burgers, chowder, salads, sandwiches and the like and is reasonably affordable. There is also a high-end restaurant, Blue Sky[5], and a great old-fashioned family restaurant/ ice-cream shop called The Goldenrod[6]. A few other eateries are nearby but are not highly recommended.

Gear - consider bringing some or all of the following:

  • swimsuit
  • towel
  • beach chair
  • beach blanket
  • sunscreen
  • hat/sunglasses
  • cover-up
  • warmer clothes for evening
  • Frisbee, petanque, other beach games
  • boogie board, surfboard, raft
  • Cash - easier for arcade and food stands, not many ATMs nearby so plan ahead
  • quarters for parking meters or cash for parking lot
  • beach reads
  • camera
  • your mean SkeeBall arm
  • a yen for some candlepin bowling
  • ID for the restaurant/bar - being a resort town they tend to card scrupulously