Contrast in Coastal Communities and Beaches Really Matter!   

Maine Beach

My wife grew up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and we try to stay in touch with old friends.  We came back from a visit a few days ago and the contrast was educational.    I feel lucky to see a different landscape and

Amelia Island 13 Miles of Beach

historic town older than Fernandina, along with the changes you see with development.    Some pieces look very familiar and some solutions are “interesting”.    Traffic circles are much more common in New Hampshire.   Everyone doesn’t know how to use them and I appreciated, for once, the traffic circles here on the island.    Signs were interesting and much more diverse in the historic downtown.  The area appeared unusually vibrant and some of the solutions might make their way to Amelia.   Parking meters were installed, but only one common meter in each lot or block.  Each sold a block of time with payment by credit card and a ticket is printed to leave on your dash.  I don’t know when or if we’ll install meters, but this was a less intrusive and visually neutral solution.   There were also several large parking structures.  they were conveniently located and seemed to be very easy to use.    Again, tickets and a credit card on the way out worked very smoothly.   I’m not sure we have the population to make this work and the size of the parking structure was….well, it was huge!

May or June #AmeliaIsland and the water is around 80 degrees.

Maine….clear water, but still cold, by Florida standards, in July!

The biggest contrast, by far, was in beach access and quality.  A typical beach here is far, far more accessible.   Some areas were rocky, some were either private or nearly inaccessible without a long hike.   With 13 miles of beach and numerous access points, someone from the New England area would be as impressed by our beach as I was with the view in York.   The water appeared to be in the 60’s in July, as much as 20 degrees below our summertime temperature.     Our normal temperature is in the 80’s, with low 60’s or high 50’s only in the middle of winter.

Clam Strips and Haddock at Bob’s

Lobster Rolls at McDonalds!

I’ll admit something.  The seafood was better in New England….a lot better!   Fresh caught generally meant really fresh.   I love lobster rolls.  Believe it or not, even McDonalds sold lobster.    Our beaches were better…much better.  As much as I love scenery, clear water and cliffs, the beaches were very different.  Our easy public access, great water temperature and lack of crowds is something you just don’t see in many places.


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