Nestled on the southern coast of Maine, Wells offers retirees a picturesque seaside community full of natural beauty and charm. The town is known for its stunning beaches, including the renowned Wells Beach. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the miles of scenic hiking trails that wind through the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, a protected natural area with marshes, meadows, and forests teeming with wildlife. Wells is also a foodie's paradise, with an abundance of seafood restaurants featuring locally caught lobster, clams, and scallops. The community's rich history is reflected in its well-preserved 18th- and 19th-century architecture, including numerous historic homes and the historic Wells Harbor, a busy port for shipbuilding and fishing. Whether strolling along the beach, exploring the town's quaint shops and boutiques, or taking in a show at the nearby Ogunquit Playhouse, Wells offers retirees a vibrant and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.
For more information about visiting or relocating to Wells, ME, be sure to check out the following local websites:
Affordability and Cost of Living
Southern Maine may have many draws for retirees, but active adults who want to live in Wells, ME also need to ask themselves whether the area aligns with their budget and financial goals for retirement. There are many financial factors to consider, and property taxes in Wells often represent one of the most significant expenses for residents. The property taxes rank among the highest in the country with a rate of approximately 1.05 percent.
For its property taxes and median home costs, housing contributes largely to the overall cost of living in Wells, which averages about 8 percent higher than the national average. Residents of Wells pay more than other Americans when it comes to housing and groceries, but tend to spend less for expenses such as healthcare, utilities, and transportation. Maine does not have any local sales taxes additives, which means that all residents contribute a flat 5.5 percent sales tax throughout the state. This sales tax excludes groceries and medications, which alleviates the tax burden for many retirees.
Social Security benefits are exempt from Maine’s income taxes, while other forms of retirement income such as pensions have an exemption up to $30,000. On all other types of income, the rate is 5.8 percent for individual income less than $23,000 and for joint filers less than $46,000, and 7.15 percent for income above $54,450 for individual filers and above $108,900 for joint filers. There is also a state estate tax for estates worth more than $6.41 million.
Climate and Geography
Wells, ME has a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The town experiences an average of 200 sunny days per year and an average annual rainfall of 51 inches, according to Best Places. During the summer months of June through August, the average high temperature ranges from 75 to 80 degrees, while in the winter months of December through February the average low temperature ranges from 13 to 20 degrees. The fall months of September through November offer beautiful foliage and pleasant temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s. Springtime in Wells brings warmer temperatures, with highs ranging from the mid-50s to the low 70s.
Wells, ME is situated along the southern coast of Maine and features stunning natural beauty and diverse geography. The town is known for its scenic beaches, including Wells Beach, Moody Beach, and Drakes Island Beach. In addition to the coast, Wells has marshes, meadows, and forests. The town is also located near the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, a 5,300-acre preserve that offers hiking trails, bird watching, and scenic views of the coastline. The Wells Reserve at Laudholm is another natural area that offers miles of scenic hiking trails, as well as educational programs and events. With its combination of stunning coastal views and natural wilderness, Wells offers retirees a unique and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.
Recreation, Shopping, and Entertainment
Wells, Maine offers a wealth of recreational activities, cultural events, and shopping opportunities for retirees seeking an active and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.
Golf and Racquet Sports
- Old Marsh Country Club
- Merriland Farm Golf Course
- Webhannet Golf Club
- Edgcomb Tennis Club
Hiking, Biking, and Boating
- Wells Reserve at Laudholm
- Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
- The Eastern Trail
- Mousam River
Museums and Historical Sites
- Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit
- Brick Store Museum
- Lobster Point Lighthouse
- Ogunquit Playhouse
- Hackmatack Playhouse
- Phillip W. Hussey Theater
- The Shops at Morning Walk
- One Casino Square Shopping Center
- Wells Plaza
Parks and Beaches
- Wells Harbor Park
- Drakes Island Beach
- Moody Beach
- Wells Beach
Festivals and Fairs
- Wells Harbor Festival
- Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival
- Brew Fest
- Taste of Wells
Health and Wellness
Wells, ME is home to several medical centers that offer a wide range of health care services for active adults in the area. The closest hospital to Wells is Southern Maine Health Care, which is located in nearby Biddeford. This full-service medical center offers specialized care in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, and more. The hospital is affiliated with MaineHealth, a network of leading health care providers in Maine, which provides retirees with access to top-tier medical care and resources.
In addition to Southern Maine Health Care, Wells also offers several options for self-care and staying fit and mentally well. York Hospital offers a range of wellness programs, including nutrition counseling, fitness classes, and mindfulness workshops. For retirees looking to stay active, the Wells-Ogunquit Senior Center offers a variety of fitness classes and wellness programs, such as yoga, tai chi, and walking groups. Additionally, the town of Wells features several beautiful outdoor spaces, including the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Wells Harbor Park, which provide active adults with opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.
Recommended Itinerary for Visiting Area 55+ Communities
- Start the day with breakfast at Merriland Farm Cafe, a popular local spot serving pancakes, baked goods, benedicts, waffles, and crepes.
- Visit the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve to learn about the local wildlife and the importance of preserving the environment.
- Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at The Maine Diner, which is known for its lobster rolls and clam chowder.
- Take a leisurely post-lunch stroll along Drakes Island Beach to enjoy the sea air and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Dine at Féile Irish Pub & Restaurant, which serves up Irish classics like shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and bangers and mash.
- Explore the charming nearby town of Kennebunkport, which is known for its historic architecture and picturesque coastal scenery.
- Start the day with a hearty breakfast at Congdon's Doughnuts, which is famous for its delicious homemade doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches.
- Take a scenic drive along Ocean Avenue to enjoy the beautiful views of the Atlantic coastline.
- Head over to Home Town Pizza for lunch, which also serves grinders, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
- Meet with a local 55places real estate expert to discuss available 55+ communities in the area.
- Dine at The White Barn Inn Restaurant, which is located in a beautifully restored barn and serves upscale New England cuisine.
- Wrap up your two-day stay in Wells with a trip to Skin’s Scoop Ice Cream Shop.
Getting to Wells, ME
Several major area highways allow easy access to Wells. Visitors coming from the south can take Interstate 95 and then head north on Route 1. Visitors coming from the north can also take Interstate 95 and then head south on Route 109 to Route 1. The Amtrak Downeaster train stops in Wells, making it a convenient option for those traveling from Boston or Portland.
For those arriving by air, the nearest major airport is Portland International Jetport, located about 30 miles northeast of Wells. Portland International is serviced by major airlines including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United, with connections to major hubs throughout the United States and beyond. Alternatively, Boston Logan International Airport is located about 80 miles south of Wells and is also serviced by major airlines with connections to a large number of domestic and international destinations.