Wells is a historic town with a rich history that dates back to the early colonial period. Here's a brief overview of its history:
- Early Settlement: Wells was settled in 1643 by English pioneers who established the town as a part of the Province of Maine, which was then under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The settlement was initially called Webhannet, named after the Webhannet River that flows through the area.
- Colonial Era: In the late 1600s, Wells became embroiled in conflicts between the English settlers and local Native American tribes, particularly during the time of King Philip's War (1675-1676). The town was attacked and some of its residents were captured or killed.
- Incorporation and Name Change: Wells was officially incorporated as a town in 1653. The name was later changed to Wells in honor of the cathedral city of Wells in Somerset, England.
- Revolutionary War: Like many other colonial towns, Wells played a role in the American Revolutionary War. It provided soldiers to the Continental Army and supported the cause of independence from British rule.
- Economic Activities: Throughout its history, Wells relied on various economic activities such as farming, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. The town's coastal location allowed for a strong fishing industry and trade connections with nearby towns and cities.
- Tourism and Resorts: In the late 19th century, Wells started to develop as a tourist destination due to its attractive coastline and beaches. Visitors began to flock to the area, and resorts and hotels were established to accommodate them. This trend continued into the 20th century, and tourism remains an important aspect of Wells' economy.
- Modern Times: Today, Wells is a popular summer vacation spot known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque coastline, and historical sites. The town has worked to preserve its historic character and landmarks. Visitors can explore places like the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, and the Historic Meetinghouse.
Top Tourist Attractions
- Wells Beach: The town's main attraction, Wells Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline with soft sand and clear water. It's perfect for sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, and taking leisurely walks along the shore.
- Wells Reserve at Laudholm: This coastal research reserve offers walking trails through salt marshes, woodlands, and fields. It's an ideal place for birdwatching, photography, and enjoying the diverse natural habitats. The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is also part of this area.
- Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Named after the influential environmentalist Rachel Carson, this refuge spans several towns, including Wells. It provides a sanctuary for a variety of wildlife and offers trails for birdwatching and nature observation.
- Wells Harbor Park: This park by the water is a popular spot for picnics, enjoying harbor views, and watching boats go by. It's also the location of various events and festivals during the summer months.
- Historical Sites: Wells has several historical sites worth exploring, including: The Historical Society of Wells and Ogunquit: This organization preserves and presents the history of the region through exhibits, artifacts, and guided tours. The Meetinghouse Museum: Housed in the 1757 Meetinghouse, this museum showcases local history and artifacts. Wells Reserve Historic Laudholm: Discover the history of the area through exhibitions and displays in the Visitor Center.
- Antique Shops and Galleries: Wells has a number of antique shops, galleries, and craft stores, making it a great destination for those interested in shopping for unique items and local art.
- Outdoor Activities: In addition to its beaches, Wells offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding in its estuaries and waterways.
- Mini Golf and Amusement Parks: Families visiting Wells can enjoy activities like mini golf and amusement parks, including attractions like the Wells Beach Mini Golf and the Wonder Mountain Fun Park.
- Ogunquit Playhouse: While technically located in the neighboring town of Ogunquit, the Ogunquit Playhouse is nearby and offers high-quality theatrical performances in a historic setting.
- Restaurants and Seafood: Wells is known for its seafood offerings, and visitors can enjoy a variety of seafood restaurants and eateries in the area.
These attractions highlight the natural beauty, history, and recreational opportunities that Wells, Maine, has to offer. Whether you're interested in exploring nature, learning about local history, or simply relaxing by the beach, Wells has something for everyone.
The city experiences a humid continental climate, which is characterized by distinct seasons and a range of temperatures throughout the year. Here's an overview of the climate you can expect in Wells:
- Summers (June - August): Summers in Wells are warm and relatively humid. Average high temperatures during this season range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29°C), with occasional heatwaves pushing temperatures higher. Summers are the peak tourist season due to the pleasant weather and the appeal of the beaches.
- Fall (September - November): Fall in Wells is marked by cooler temperatures and the changing colors of the foliage. Average highs in September can still be in the 70s (Fahrenheit), but they gradually drop to the 50s and 60s (10-20°C) by November. This season is popular for its picturesque landscapes and fewer crowds.
- Winter (December - February): Winters in Wells are cold, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-20s to mid-30s Fahrenheit (-4 to 4°C). Snowfall is common during this season, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts. However, the amount of snowfall can vary significantly from year to year.
- Spring (March - May): Spring brings gradually warming temperatures to Wells. March can still be quite chilly, with average highs in the 40s (4-9°C), but by May, temperatures rise to the 50s and 60s (10-20°C). This is another beautiful time to visit as the landscape begins to bloom, and outdoor activities become more enjoyable.
It's important to note that weather patterns can vary, and extreme conditions like heatwaves or cold snaps can occur. If you're planning a visit to Wells, it's a good idea to check the local weather forecast closer to your travel dates to pack accordingly and make the most of your trip.
The city is located in the northeastern part of the United States and is known for its beautiful coastal geography. Here's an overview of Wells' geography:
- Coastal Location: Wells is situated along the southern coast of Maine, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Its coastline stretches for several miles, offering picturesque beaches and scenic ocean views.
- Beaches: The town is renowned for its sandy beaches, which are a major draw for tourists. Wells Beach, Moody Beach, and Drake's Island Beach are some of the popular beach destinations in the area. These beaches provide opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, and other recreational activities.
- Estuaries and Marshes: Wells is home to a network of estuaries, salt marshes, and tidal rivers. These ecologically rich habitats are not only visually appealing but also play a crucial role in supporting diverse marine life and bird species.
- Wells Harbor: The town's harbor area, located along the Webhannet River, serves as a picturesque waterfront with docking facilities for boats and opportunities for boating, kayaking, and other water-based activities.
- Rolling Hills and Woodlands: As you move away from the coastline, Wells' geography transitions into rolling hills and woodlands. This inland area offers opportunities for hiking, nature walks, and exploring the region's more rustic landscapes.
- Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: A portion of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is located in Wells. This refuge encompasses salt marshes, estuaries, and upland habitats, providing a sanctuary for wildlife and offering visitors a chance to observe diverse flora and fauna.
- Natural Reserves and Trails: Wells is home to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, which offers walking trails through various ecosystems including salt marshes, fields, and woodlands. It's a prime location for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers.
- Nearby Towns: Wells is located in close proximity to other popular coastal towns such as Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. These neighboring towns also offer scenic coastal beauty, historic sites, and tourist attractions.
In summary, Wells' geography is defined by its stunning coastline, beaches, estuaries, salt marshes, and picturesque landscapes. The town's location by the sea and its diverse natural environments make it a popular destination for both relaxation and outdoor activities.