Culture & the Arts

In many other areas of the country, open spaces and country living often mean compromising accessibility to the arts, cultural attractions and events. Not so in the Sanford Region! Our convenient location, between Maine’s flourishing cultural center in nearby Portland, and Boston’s world class cultural attractions and entertainment nexus, provides our residents with a rich variety and high quality of cultural options. Just within York County you will find a surprising range of choices for the whole family.

With the onset of spring the performing arts scene takes on a new level of excitement. From the world-famous summer theater in Oqunquit to the prestigious performing arts venues in Portland and the growing reputation of Sanford's own Little Theatre, there is much to absorb and enjoy-- all a few minutes away.  The visual arts are no less represented, with literally dozens of art galleries, craft exhibits and themed museums.  Not to be overlooked are the many local and regional festivals and special events, each with their own distinctive character and allure.

Above and beyond the Sanford Region's natural beauty, its pristine coastline, idyllic valley towns, sparkling lakes and recreational gems, there is a rich fabric of art and culture waiting to be discovered.

Listed below are but a few of the cultural attractions that many visitors may miss; yet all are conveniently available for all residents to enjoy virtually anytime.


Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit: America's Foremost Summer Playhouse simply cannot be missed. Popular plays and musicals with an A-list cast set in a historic facility.

Children's Museum of Maine

Portland: Offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits and programs for children of all ages.

Hackmatack Playhouse

Berwick: Hackmatack is a traditional Maine barn theater performing family entertainment.

Bowdoin International MusicFestival

Brunswick: The Bowdoin International Music Festival is an internationally renowned summer music school.

Camden Opera House 
Camden: The elegant and historic 500-seat Camden Opera House has been a source of entertainment in mid-coast Maine for 150 years.

Freeport Shakespeare Festival

Freeport: Professional, non-profit theatre company presenting a week-long summer festival featuring plays of William Shakespeare.

Haley Art Gallery

Kittery: Haley Art Gallery offers original paintings, sculptures, and pottery by artists of the seacoast and beyond.

PCA Great Performances

Portland: Presents the world's finest performing artists in Portland's beautiful Merrill Auditorium.

Portland Opera Repertory Theatre

Portland: PORT opera performs at Merrill Auditorium in Portland's City Hall.

Portland Symphony Orchestra

Serving the city of Portland, the state of Maine, and northern New England, the PSO is the largest performing arts organization in Maine. With critically acclaimed performances and broad community engagement, the PSO is widely regarded as one of the top symphony orchestras of its size in the country.

The Portland Players

South Portland: The Portland Players is the oldest community theatre in Maine and the second oldest known in New England.


The Seashore Trolley Museum

Kennebunkport: The Seashore trolley Museum is the oldest and largest electric railway museum in the world! 

Offering visitors 3-mile rides on restored streetcars, and a world-class collection of streetcars from most major American cities with streetcar systems, and from other countries.  Buses, light rail vehicles, and rapid transit cars are also represented in the collection.  Visitor Center exhibits explain how trolleys changed the lives of people in Maine and what past forms of transportation can teach us about contemporary issues.  

The Museum Store carries a large assortment of transit and rail-related books, gifts, toys and clothing that relate to teh STM mission.  Special recurring events like the Pumpkin Patch Trolley and Ice Cream & Sunset Trolley Rides punctuate a season during which, from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Seashore Trolley Museum is open daily.  A variety of curriculum materials are available to educators.  STM’s members and volunteers include many subject matter experts on a variety of public transit issues & technical subjects.  


Photo: Seashore Trolley Museam, Kennebunkport Maine