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Out and About: Fort Foster

Here's a secret about me - I hate crowds and will do whatever I can to avoid them. It's kind of odd, considering I grew up in a very large city and have learned to cram into packed trains, sleep through urban noise and eat in loud and busy restaurants. But as I've grown older, I've grown crankier, and many things are no longer worth facing throngs of people. I'd rather stay home. So I was really excited when a friend told me about a beautiful beach in Maine that doesn't attract the usual mobs out-of-towners and tourists. More of a locals type place. Another secret about me is that I love the beach, so I was sold. I debated whether or not I should share this gem of a place with you, but I know you can keep a secret, so it only seemed right to spread the wealth.

Fort Foster is about an hour away from Concord in Kittery, Maine. The drive is pretty easy and parking is about $20 a car for non-Maine residents. (The guy definitely gave me a little joking tude when I said I was from New Hampshire.) We went during the week but I can't imagine it's much busier on a weekend, as most people tend to head to more popular nearby places such as Wells, York or Ogunquit. If you're looking for lots of shops, restaurants and hubbub, Fort Foster isn't for you. However if you want to put your feet in the water, look out onto the horizon and exhale, here's your beach.

The water was so clean and clear that we could see right through it.

A few note-worthy points of information. There isn't a ton of sand - enough so that kids can play and you can feel it on your feet - but not like the other nearby beaches. However that can be a plus for some! I saw lots of families set-up on the grass and then watch their kids from there. We parked our picnic at one of the tables and looked out at the ocean while keeping an eye on the kiddos. There's a really fun nature-type playground, a pier to walk out onto, jetties to climb and shells to collect. If you're into history, you can also explore some of the old fort structures. The water is pretty shallow for a long time (think some of the beaches on Cape Cod), so the water is relatively warm for the Atlantic and the waves are mellow. Also, want to share that there are clean bathrooms, which is always a plus when exploring.

I know the sign says "no dogs" but that's not true! Leashed dogs are welcome at most of the park except for one area. Definitely bringing ours next time!

We stayed for a few hours and then left to head into Kittery. On the way back, we stopped at a local joint for lemonade, french fries and a really relaxed but cool vibe. I also wanted to pop into this shop but ran out of time. Will be sure to go there when we return, and we will definitely be back!

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