The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

The Goldenrod and Salt Water Taffy – Day 10 of 45 Days at York Beach, Maine

Picture of the Goldenrod in York Beach, Maine

The Goldenrod in York Beach, Maine (photo by Eric)

Summer in York Beach, Maine seems to truly arrive when The Goldenrod reopens for the season, making and selling all that wonderful salt water taffy.

Granted that reopening returns in May  but our innate New England senses tell us otherwise that summer and The Goldenrod go together hand-in-hand.

This beloved landmark restaurant, candy and gift store, and ice cream shop dates back to 1896 but still possesses a timeless, beloved quality. The Goldenrod is most famous for its “Goldenrod Kisses” salt water taffy which is made on the premises. The wonderfully sweet aroma of boiling sugar and molasses saturates the storefront, inside and out, and a bit beyond the premises, also. What a classic summer scene with so many vacationers gathering outside to watch the taffy-making process through the window!

Taffy-making at The Goldenrod, York Beach, Maine

Watching the salt water taffy-making process from the window (photo by Eric)

It’s an equally classic summer scene seeing so many people walking around York Beach with boxes of Goldenrod Kisses. We know very few people who leave York Beach without purchasing some taffy from The Goldenrod.

Box of salt water taffy from The Goldenrod in York Beach, Maine.

Box of salt water taffy.

One step inside The Goldenrod feels like entering a nostalgic-themed storybook with that aforementioned sweet aroma of molasses and boiling sugar and the heartwarming sight of the authentic soda fountain counter and rustic dining room (breakfast, lunch and dinner served here). The overall scene never fails to welcome repeat and new visitors to this truly wonderful summer tradition at York Beach. From banana splits and homemade fudge to delicious New England clam chowder and lobster rolls, it looks like a smiley face convention amongst customers of all ages no matter where you look at the Goldenrod!

To make the whole experience that much better, The Goldenrod has a central downtown York Beach location across the street from Short Sands Beach, and near many stores, as well as York Wild Kingdom Zoo and Fun Park — a terrific zoo and amusement park.

The Goldenrod not only serves as a nice York Beach tradition, but also a great cheap travel destination. As an example, buying a box of  taffy and enjoying a reasonably priced comfort food-style meal and ice cream will certainly not break the bank here. Hope you get to visit The Goldenrod, it’s a true rite of passage into a York Beach summer!

The Goldenrod is located at 2 Railroad Ave. in York Beach, Maine. Tel. (207) 363-2621

Editor’s note: As a reminder, this is day 10 in our series 45 Days at York Beach, Maine Leading to Memorial Day Weekend. Be sure to check out other York Beach stories and photos at the Thrifty New England Traveler.

Get ready for another York Beach story tomorrow!

For the full story on York Beach, click here.

More Southern Maine stuff
Meet Lenny the Chocolate Moose – a seven-foot tall, nine-foot wide, 1,700-pound chocolate moose — at this classic candy house

Please share The Goldenrod graphic below on Pinterest. Thanks!

Share your love of New England on

York, Maine Gift Corner

Nubble Lighthouse 8X10 unframed photo print

Long Sands Beach throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse white sweatshirt

Long Sands Beach 8X10 unframed photo print

Nubble Lighthouse two-sided throw pillow

York Harbor throw pillow

Nubble Lighthouse wall clock

Twilight at Sohier Park unframed photo print

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