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The secret's out at family friendly Bayview Beach in Saco

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Saco's Bayview Beach presents a fresh face this summer, awaiting the crowds at the intersection of Route 9 (Bayview Rd) and Seaside Avenue. The overflow parking lot (family friendly FREE parking) has been re-laid out for better access plus additional spaces, and the new tastefully designed public restroom located along the public entrance to the beach are just two of the reasons Bayview has suddenly become a secret not just to the locals. With lifeguards adding that extra pair of eyes for your family's safety, this beach is a great spot to plunk down the beach chairs and let yourself unwind for an afternoon of relaxation at the water's edge. Bayview's size makes it just right for families with kids because the amount of beach space between the dunes and the water is not so great that people get lost in the volume of bodies staking out spots in the sand. When you arrive, you may need to head left or right as you enter the beach, but don't worry- there's plenty of Bayview to enjoy as you soak in the views of - well - the bay view. Take a look at the attached slide show to see more secrets of this great beach.

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Many changes have happened here over the past few years. The old Bayview Convent, which was built in the 1870's and operated as The Bayview Hotel before being purchased by the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (also known as the Good Shepherd Sisters) in 1948 to be used for vacations and retreats by members of the clergy and nuns. In 2008, with dwindling numbers of nuns in the order and dwindling funds in the coffers, the sisters put the 6.5+ acre beachfront property up for sale. The following years found a developer who bought the entire property, including buildings. Residents watched with sadness in their hearts as the old convent was torn down, fearing the centuries old fixture on the waterfront would be replaced with homes built for wealthy and unwelcoming new owners. Immediate property abutters to the new Estates at Bayview brought suit against the city for what they felt were illegally approved zoning changes, having negative affects for their property. In 2012, after rulings by the Maine Superior Court and the Law Court were found in favor of the city, demolition was able to continue, and the 9.42 (total acre) property was prepared for new homes to be built.

Aside from sunbathers, waders, and swimmers, this spot is known by the locals for the great access to beach walking, jogging, fishing, and dog walking. And this week, weather permitting, you can set your beach chairs down facing north toward Old Orchard Beach and enjoy the fireworks held not only on Thursday evening, but o Friday the 4th as well!

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