Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center

beachcombers' rest nature center logo

In 2003, the PWA formed a partnership with the Town of Bristol Parks & Recreation Commission to open Beachcombers’ Rest, a nature center located in the pavilion at Pemaquid Beach Park.

In addition to its displays and interactive exhibits, the Center serves as base of operations for a variety of multidisciplinary programs that draw upon beach resources. The overall intent is to foster awareness and appreciation for the local environment, thereby helping to ensure that this rare and remarkable beach will be enjoyed by future generations of beachgoers.

Nature Center Hours

The Center opens in July and runs through the end of August, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 to 3:30 (weather permitting). Closed Sunday and Monday.

Summer Programs at the Nature Center

During the summer months, the nature center is host to a number of educational programs for all ages. See our calendar for upcoming events, or download a .pdf  2018 Beachcombers’ Programs

walking on pemaquid beach

With only a small percentage of the Maine coast comprised of sandy beach, and most of that located south of Reid State Park in Georgetown, Pemaquid Beach Park in the heart of mid-coast Maine is a unique natural asset.


From Damariscotta, take the Bristol Road (State Route 130) about 12 miles. Take the first right about 50 yards after the Fire Department (and just before Hanna’s Store) onto Snowball Hill Road. Travel 9/10ths of a mile. At the bottom of the hill, on the left, there is a sign for the entrance to Pemaquid Beach Park (there’s also a smaller Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center sign). The nature center is in the pavilion.  The Butterfly Garden is just inside the gate to the left.

nature center programs - a diver holding a sea creature

diving show-n-tell

Volunteer Opportunity

Interested in volunteering at the Nature Center? Email Carolyn Shubert, PWA’s Program Coordinator.

Pemaquid Beach Interpretive Guide

Ecology of the beach is complex and fascinating! Take a look at PWA’s Pemaquid Beach Interpretive Guide (also available at the Nature Center).

back to top

Nature Center Programs

Workshops & Programs

Every Friday in July and August from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Beachcombers’ Rest Nature Center offers special programs such as educational workshops, diving show-and-tells, treasure hunts, celebrations, and sand sculpture contests. All events are open to the public.

Please note:  Space is limited. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the workshop and gather in the community room on the right side of the pavilion. Programs are free unless otherwise indicated, but donations are gladly accepted. Nature Center visitors and program participants must pay the Town of Bristol admission fee to Pemaquid Beach Park. Programs are held rain or shine.

See the 2018 Beachcombers’ Programs

nature center workshop

geology workshop on Pemaquid Beach

Touch Tank Tuesdays

Enjoy a touch tank on Tuesdays in July and August from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., courtesy of the Gulf of Maine Foundation and Darling Marine Center.  The touch tank allows you to experience first-hand many of the animals and plants that inhabit our coastal waters.  Participants are encouraged to enjoy gentle handling of the creatures, observation, drawing, and discussion. There is a period from 11:30 to noon of “quiet no-touch time” to give the critters a rest. Sponsored by The Edward A. Myers Marine Conservation Fund.

nature center touch tank touch tank photo collage



back to top

Nature Center News

    No news at the moment. Check back soon!
Joan and Diane at Beachcombers' Rest

Beachcombers’ Rest founders, the late Joan Lyford and former Bristol resident Diane Perry.

584 Main Street • PO Box 552 • Damariscotta, Maine 04543
207-563-2196 •
Find us on Facebook and become a fan!
© 2019 Pemaquid Watershed Association. All Rights Reserved.
log in