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All About York, Moody Beach, Ogunquit, and Wells, Maine, and Their History

HomeMaine Travel InformationAll About York, Moody Beach, Ogunquit, and Wells, Maine, and Their History

York, Moody Beach, Ogunquit, and Wells are charming coastal towns in southern Maine, each with a rich history that has shaped their unique characters. Let’s learn about the exciting origins of these scenic destinations in Maine:


The town of York was first settled by a man named Edward Godfrey in the year 1630. In the span of 20 years, the town grew in size with a population of 200 by 1650. Today, you can take a glimpse into the past thanks to the historic buildings and sites that are tangible remnants of York’s humble beginnings. Over the years, York has grown from a small fishing and farming community into a top vacation destination along Maine’s coast.


The town was founded in 1653 and was named after Wells in Somerset, England. It established industries centered on farming, fishing, and shipbuilding throughout decades. The arrival of railroads in the nineteenth century brought tourists, transforming Wells into a popular summer resort town. Today, Wells is affectionately named the “Friendliest Town in Maine,” and the “Antique Capital” with places to shop, much to see and friendly faces along the way.

Moody Beach

Since it’s located in Wells, Moody Beach’s history is intertwined with that of its parent town. Many visitors love to frequent Moody Beach because of its beautiful sandy beach and the relaxing vacation experience it offers. There are also long-term residents who have built their homes here to enjoy the stunning locale year-round.


Meaning “a beautiful place by the sea” in the Indigenous Algonquin language, Ogunquit was initially part of Wells. It was a simple fishing village until the late 19th century when it was later discovered by artists. Its stunning natural beauty turned it into an artists’ colony, which ultimately led to the establishment of the Ogunquit Museum of American Art and the famed Ogunquit Playhouse.

These four towns each offer something special and unique to the coastal charm of Maine. Explore the rich histories showcased in their landscapes, architecture, and community culture for yourself. When you decide to visit Maine, be sure to choose a vacation home that will keep you close to the fun and excitement of these amazing cities. GetAway Vacations would be happy to host you in our selection of awesome vacation rentals. Check out our website and reach out to us for more information!