Go to your happy place (which is reportedly one of these southern Maine communities)

About a year ago, I wrote about how Kennebunkport was in the running to be named Coastal Living magazine’s “Happiest Seaside Town,” coming in 7th place in what was a nationwide online voting contest.

It may have finished higher had Coastal Living told readers about Kennebunkport’s happy hat parades, its happy visits from the family of former presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush, and its happy status as a Taylor Swift video shoot location.

Scarborough Marsh (BDN file photo by Robert F. Bukaty)

Scarborough Marsh (BDN file photo by Robert F. Bukaty)

Alas. Opportunity lost. Well, now another southern Maine community is in the running for the same upbeat honor. Here’s what Coastal Living writes about Scarborough, one of 10 finalists in the 2014 competition:

An ultimate New England base for adventurers and beach lovers, Scarborough is set among verdant and graceful marshlands and sweeping white sand beaches beloved by surfers, surf fishermen and swimmers.

Well, let’s add to that description the happy Scarborough Downs, the town’s historic horse-racing track — which has more recently added big-name music concerts to its repertoire — and the relatively new addition of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to the summer community.

Competing with Scarborough for the distinction this time around are well-known tourist spots like Provincetown, Mass., St. Augustine, Fla., Haleiwa, Hawaii, and wild pony hotspot Chincoteague, Va. People can cast votes on the Coastal Living website every day until March 31.

Let’s throw into this “Happy Place” post a mention that nearby Portland was named by Arizona-based Green Living magazine one of America’s 7 Happy Cities earlier this month — the only spot on that publication’s list found on the East Coast.

Here’s what City Hall had to say about the Green Living distinction in a news release:

Portland is in great company, listed with San Diego, Calif., Honolulu, Hawaii, Boulder, Colo. as well as Bend, Ore., Lincoln, Neb., and Minneapolis, Minn.

Green Living listed Portland’s obvious benefits as “impressive air and water quality,” waterways for boating and the scenic White Mountains for hiking and other outdoor adventures. Also touted are lower than average obesity rate and twice as many physicians per capita versus average.

Portland’s organic foodie atmosphere was emphasized, as well as having the best lobster in the county.

Mayor Michael Brennan states that “This designation by Green Living Magazine confirms what Portland residents already know — that life is good here.”

For links to posts about other occasions when Portland was named to a national publication’s “best of” list of one kind or another, click here.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.