Standish is a small city of around 10,000 people found in the Cumberland County of Maine. It includes plenty of smaller villages and localities and is also a part of the larger area of Portland-South Portland-Biddeford.
Officially incorporated in 1785, it was inhabited long before that by the Abenaki tribe. In 1750, the land here was given to two captains together with their companies, as a reward for serving in the French and Indian wars.
After some initial troubles with the Indians, the soldiers eventually managed to settle down and develop this place. It is named as a tribute to Captain Myles Standish.
When in Standish, take some time to check out the local historical sites and get to know the town a little by visiting the following places.
1. Visit Marrett House
Dating back to 1789, this is one of the oldest houses in the city. The design is simple and it has the configuration of farmhouses of that time.
In 1796, the house was bought by Daniel Marrett, who came here to be the parson. The house remained in the family for many generations to come; it’s now a historic museum.
When taking a tour of this house, you will see plenty of antiques that belong to the Marrett family, as well as a beautiful perennial garden across the road.
2. Relax at the Kosmetikos Spa & Wellness Center
If you are on vacation, your goal should be to totally relax and enjoy yourself. Let the professionals at the Kosmetikos Center help take a load off.
They have a holistic approach to everything and offer various massages, skin care, and body treatments.
Previous clients have been more than satisfied with the services received.
3. Shop at the Sebago Lake Trading Company
If you’re looking for a nice gift or souvenir to remind you of Standish, this is the place to visit. They have a wide and constantly changing assortment of vintage items, home décor, and gifts.
Located in a big red barn, they also can provide custom items on demand. If you’re after something specific, contact them and maybe they’ll find that antique item you’ve always wanted.
4. Go to Kiwanis Beach
While the city of Standish doesn’t have an ocean shore, it is connected to the Sebago Lake and includes the Watchic Lake. This means that there are plenty of nice beaches and swimming spots around.
One of them is the Kiwanis Beach – a great place to lay in the sun, have a picnic or go for a swim. There are enough parking spots available but not so many amenities.
Be aware that alcohol and dogs are not allowed on this beach.
5. Spend the night at Sebago Lake Lodge & Cottages
Sebago Lake offers plenty of beautiful scenery, as well as some nice lodges and cottages to spend the night at. The place is quiet, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the staff are friendly.
This family-owned spot is charming, and everyone is very helpful. There are plenty of fun activities to do around here, including hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and bonfires.
Spend a few days here to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.
6. Go fishing
Whether you are passionate about fishing or just want to experience something new, feel free to try your hand at fishing on Lake Sebago or Watchic.
There are plenty of ideal fishing spots around here, with a wide variety of fish for the taking.
To get the rod, line, bait, tackle, and any other necessary equipment, make sure to stop by MCW Bait & Tackle; they are friendly and professional and will assist you in finding everything that you need.
7. Work out at the Better Fit Fitness Center
If you want to stay in shape while on vacation, make sure to stop by the Better Fit gym. The place is owned by Lary, a certified personal trainer and fitness enthusiast.
Lary’s uncle won the title of Mr. Maine back in 1977; this inspired him to pursue a career in fitness and open his own gym. The facility is new and well equipped with all the equipment you might need.
Free weights, resistance machines, cardio devices, a personal trainer, a cross fit area and a stretching area are all available.
8. Have lunch at Two Black Dogs Country Pub
After a workout, you’ll probably be ravenous. Whether you are looking for a light and healthy recipe or a big, delicious meal, you will find it all Two Black Dogs Country Pub.
The place is an old English style pub, with meals like fish and chips, steaks, stout pies, and more. Besides plenty of great food, they also serve imported, microbrew, and domestic beer.
If you’re lucky, you might get to see the two gorgeous black dogs belonging to the owner that inspired the pub’s name.
9. Go horse-riding at Inish Beg Farm
This horse boarding facility is family owned and includes both indoor and outdoor riding arenas. It has 20 stalls and the horses are well cared for.
Regardless of the weather conditions, you can enjoy horse riding at this farm. Even if you’ve never tried it before, the talented instructors will teach you all there is to know.
10. View Babbs Covered Bridge
This old covered bridge is an interesting attraction, but so are all the other activities that you can do in the area.
You can launch yourself from a swing into the water, enjoy a refreshing dip, try kayaking, go fishing, or head off on a hike. When it comes to summer activities, this place has it all.
Bring your camera along to capture some spectacular photos of the quaint bridge and the gorgeous natural surroundings. You may also spot some of the unique animals that call the area home.
11. Visit the Art Gallery of the University of Southern Maine
Located in the Gorham campus, the art gallery lies in an old building that used to be a church and also served as the town hall of Gorham for some time.
It now displays various galleries, displaying art created by the up and coming artists studying here. The exhibits change on a regular basis, so you will always find something new.
There are often various programs and meetings held here for students, alumni and the communities of Gorham and Standish.
12. Grab a good book from the Baxter Memorial Library
Also located in Gorham, this place is filled with books, magazines, newspapers, and videos on a wide variety of topics.
You can also use their computers and database to find out more about your family tree; the staff are very helpful and friendly.
They often organize various classes, including painting or sewing. There are also children’s programs on offer.
Along the corridors of the building, you will find some interesting art pieces and many comfortable reading areas.
13. Wander around Orchard Ridge Farm
This is definitely a charming place to spend a relaxing afternoon. It features small apple trees (the orchard was only established in 2015) which still produce good fruit. There are multiple varieties to choose from and you can also pick blueberries.
There is a stand with pastries, pizza, snacks, cider, and farm-based cheese and meats. You can wander around the farm and say hi to the resident animals.
14. Visit the Baxter House Museum
Yet another awesome place for history buffs, this often overlooked museum is well worth a visit. The guide is very knowledgeable and will tell you the entire history of this building, as well as that of Gorham.
Built in 1797, it is part of the National Register of Historic Places. It is named after James Phinney Baxter, who was born and raised here and served as the mayor of Portland six times.
It was also the home of Percival Baxter, who was the Governor of Maine for two terms. Admission is free, but donations are more than welcome.
15. Hike along the Mountain Division Trail
This wonderful trail starts at the Maine Visitor’s Center and goes all the way to the Fryeburg Airport. It is paved and well maintained; perfect for walking, running, riding a bike or exercising your dog.
The area is nice and clean, and usually busy with people so you will feel safe. The trail follows an old railroad track and there are plenty of interesting views to admire along the way.
There are plenty of parking spots at the starting point; if you have time, feel free to walk along the entire trail. The pavement is smooth and suited for those in wheelchairs.