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Classic Maine Cottage- Short Walk To Beach, Parks, Nature Paths & Fine Dining

16 Reviews
Bedrooms 8
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


Minimum Stay
3 - 7 nights


York Harbor House Rental Photos and Description

8 Bedroom/7 Bath Newly Renovated Home In Heart Of York Harbor With Water Views

The Briars is a 19th century shingle style “cottage” located in the heart of York Harbor, Maine and a short five minute walk to the beach. Listen to the fishing boats as they depart the Harbor each morning, smell the salty air and feel the gentle ocean breeze. The home has been entertaining guests for over a century, most recently as a bed-and-breakfast for the past 30 years. You’ll have plenty of room for gathering with family and friends including lots of space for lounging on one of the many porches/decks. Some of the rooms offer views of the harbor where time will slowly pass as you watch the boats come and go. 8 bedrooms with 7 bathrooms means plenty of room for the whole family without long wait times to take a shower! The charming home was renovated this winter (2015-16) to include 4 new bathrooms (the other three of seven are already modern) and new furnishings to ensure you have a very comfortable stay. We offer one of the best per room/per night fees of any large rental in York Harbor.

Our home is in an ideal spot to enjoy the sought after environs of York Harbor. Guests can easily walk to the Harbor Beach known for its family friendly atmosphere. The Cliff Walk starts at the Harbor Beach and offers spectacular views of the rocky Maine coast and stunning Victorian mansions. The Hartley Mason estate is a beautiful public park overlooking the Harbor Beach with flower gardens and plenty of shade from the summer sun. Moulton Park is two doors down the street from us with a fantastic space for any outdoor activity with lots of sun and shade. The Fisherman’s Walk is steps away where you stroll along the river and enjoy views of the boats coming in and out of the harbor – including lobsterman with their fresh catch of the day. Fisherman’s walk brings you to the Wiggly Bridge-Steadman Woods where you can take a loop through the forest or continue walking to the historic York Village. York Village (less than five minutes away by car in case you lost track of how long you’ve been walking) was settled in 1624 (3 years after Plymouth Plantation!) and offers a rich array of historical buildings (e.g Old Gaol – one of the oldest jails in America; a one room school house; Jefferds Tavern; The Old Burying Ground featuring 18th-19th century carved tombstones; and the John Hancock Warehouse etc.).

The Harbor is rich in culture and fine dining. The York Art Association is located a few houses down the street from us. George Marshall store gallery is located through the Steadman Woods and has a series of art exhibits during the year (the curator lives down the street from our house). There are other small galleries and shops in the Village. York Harbor Inn, Stage Neck Inn, and Chapman Cottage each offer award winning dining and are all a five minute walk from our home. The Dockside Restaurant is located across the harbor (five minute drive away) and is a great spot to view the marina and have a great meal. The marina offers boat and kayak rentals for those wishing to experience some “ocean” culture.

The York area and surrounding towns offer a never ending list of things to do. Visit lighthouses. Go whale watching. Explore forts and historical sights. Enjoy the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Hike Mt. Agamenticus for breathtaking views of the ocean to the east and forest/mountains to the west (you can also drive to the top if you are feeling lazy and visit the nature exhibit in the old ski lodge). Shop at the Kittery Outlets (save this for those rainy days). Visit the York Beach boardwalk with an amusement park, bowling, arcade, shops, live entertainment, salt water taffy and more. Hiking-Biking-Boating-Sunbathing…or just reading a book in the many nooks of our beautiful home. You will love the relaxed pace of Maine. There is a reason our state motto is "Maine, the way life should be".

Looking to accommodate an even bigger group? Ask us about our new six bedroom property, Grassmere, located just a few doors away. Very large lawn with views of York Harbor - perfect for a wedding party or large family reunion.

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, german
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 29, 2016
Call Owner

About Lance

I was born in York and raised just down the street from this beautiful home. One of my best friends lived next door to this home and I spent countless hours/days playing in the neighborhood -- exploring fun spots such as the Harbor Beach, Cliff Walk, Fisherman's Walk, Wiggly Bridge-Steedman Woods, Moulton Park just to name a few! As a boy I delivered newspapers and mowed lawns in the neighborhood. In my late teens/early college years, I worked in Stage Neck Inn which is a five minute walk away. I was married at the Dockside Guest Quarters located at the mouth of the harbor where the river meets the ocean. Two of my three kids were born in York Hospital. Needless to say, my heart, soul and spirit are woven into this area.

I understand the needs of families/groups who are looking to rent a home. I've been renting homes to tourists in York and other towns for nearly twenty years. I've lived abroad three times and travelled to over 60 countries on six continents. I have three young kids and we've stayed in rental properties all over the world and we know how to make a home a great experience for visitors!

I'm happy to help as you plan your trip. I've got 40+ years of experience in the area -- I know all the popular stuff as well as plenty of "off the beaten" path and local spots.

Lance purchased this house in 2015

Why Lance chose Southern Coast of Maine

This home has been catering to summer guests since 1899. The previous owner, Sue, bought the house in the mid-70's and I got to know her and her kids over the years. They operated the home as a popular bed and breakfast (the Inn at Harmon Park) for thirty years. I jumped at the chance to purchase the home after she sent a discreet e-mail to family and friends saying she was looking to sell. During the Fall/Winter of 2015-16 the home was updated with 4 new modern bathrooms (3 of the 7 were already very nice), fresh paint in all the rooms and new furnishings.


based on 16 traveler reviews

Classic Maine Cottage- Short Walk To Beach, Parks, Nature Paths & Fine Dining
average rating of 5.0 based on 16 reviews

Spacious, comfortable, and beautifully decorated

  • 5 of 5

After looking at several homes in York, I knew this was the one for our family vacation. With 8 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms spread across 3 floors, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents could all enjoy each other's company and still escape for some alone time. The large kitchen and dining room were able to accommodate all 10 adults and 7 children (age 9 yrs. to 9 mos.) so we could share our meals together. The kids enjoyed having their own toy room; it was a life saver for the adults.

My favorite feature was the wrap around porch, where you could sit and chat over morning coffee or quietly enjoy a good book in the swing around the corner. We liked grilling outdoors with ample seating around the fire pit. The little ones had a great time in the sandbox, while the older children amused themselves in the front yard. The beach toys, especially the boogie boards were a big hit with the kids.

The location was perfect, a quiet neighborhood, yet close enough for even the little ones to walk to Harbor Beach, the Wiggly Bridge, and the Village Scoop for some of the best ice cream anywhere (a bonus for very discriminating ice cream lovers). When we were looking for more activity, Long Sands Beach, the Nubble Lighthouse, and the Arcades were a 5 minute ride away. Except for a brief trip to the outlets in Kittery, we stayed in York. It was just so peaceful and relaxing.

This was something of an experiment for us. It was the first time we engaged in a single vacation venue that would accommodate all our growing families. I wasn't sure how well it would work. But there were so many features about The Briars that made it easy to have 17 people under one roof. My adult children loved the house and the cousins loved spending time with one another. It was a vacation to remember and I would definitely return to The Briars.

  • Submitted: Sep 5, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for such a nice review of The Briars! It was great to meet you, your kids and the grandkids. Nice seeing you on the Harbor Beach and I hope the grandkids enjoyed seeing the lobster my son caught in the tidal pool. I'm glad that your "experiment" was a success -- I hope that you'll come stay at the Briars again and again! Thanks for treating our home with such care!
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Perfect Wedding Guest House

  • 5 of 5

What an amazing house...perfect for 14 of our international wedding guests in York, Maine...most of whom were visiting the States for the 1st time! Was the perfect layout for people to have their own privacy but also to socialize, whether while cooking in the kitchen, having cocktails on the beautiful porch or roasting marshmallows in the fire pit out back. Even my husband and I saved a room for ourselves for our wedding night and loved waking up to a view of the York River from the top floor! The kitchen had every supply our guests needed and more. There were plenty of beach towels and chairs for guests to use to walk to the Harbor Beach. Absolutely beautiful house and wish I could get married again just so we could stay here again with all our friends! Thanks for everything!

  • Submitted: Aug 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: So happy that you and all your friends had a great time for your week of wedding festivities! It was nice to spend a little time with you and meet your international crew! I can't imagine there being another wedding in York Harbor with so many countries represented!! Hope we can have you all back for a reunion party in the years to come! Safe travels back to Germany!
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Amazing home and location!

  • 5 of 5

We have been coming to York for over 10 years and this is by far the best

house we have stayed in! It was large enough and very comfortable for four families all with children. It was clean and very well maintained. It was very helpful to have the kitchen well stocked as we cooked almost every night. There was plenty of space for adults and kids to eat in the dining room and kitchen. The kids enjoyed the "kids room" as they called it. It had two bunk beds with trundles. There was plenty to keep them busy with the game room and when it was needed the house had enough nooks to be able to escape for some down time and a good book. I personally loved the front porch to relax on the adirondack chairs and the porch swing.

Location is amazing! It's a short walk to Harbor Beach (it is our favorite beach in York) and Fisherman's walk, which is perfect for going on a morning run or watching the sunset. It is a close walk to the Wiggly Bridge, Steadman Woods and York Village. We would walk to The Bagel Basket for breakfast some mornings or to get a cup of coffee.

Even though we have been coming for years, Lance was able to provide us with some "off the beaten path" spots to explore and enjoy. We are thankful for the wonderful family memories we made and we will definitely be coming back next year and years to come!

  • Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I love to hear how much you enjoyed our home!! Thanks for the great feedback -- we are really fortunate to have an ideal location. Glad your big group felt comfortable in the house. It was great to meet you and your family. I hope you'll visit us again next summer!
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Spectacular home in York ME!

  • 5 of 5

This was our second family vacation in this amazing rental. The house is spacious enough for a large family reunion, but has all the amenities and warmth that makes it feel cozy and comfortable. The kitchen is fully stocked with everything you need, there is a large dining room, and a lovely sun room with toys for the kids! The master bedroom has a fireplace and luxury bathroom with a soaking tub. It is a short walk to York Harbor beach, which is great for families. We have small children and they loved the gentle waves and tide pools! You can walk to Fosters for delicious lobster, several other restaurants and historical downtown. Lance (or Joe as everyone in town calls him) was always available to answer any questions and provided many local tips about the area. We will definitely be back for our next Maine vacation!

  • Submitted: Aug 11, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am glad that you had another great stay at the Briars and that you enjoyed the updated master bedroom and luxury bathroom! We look forward to having you stay with us again!!
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Perfect for large families!!

  • 5 of 5

This place was PERFECT for our BIG family - 9 kids and 9 adults, and we weren't tripping all over each other or invading each others' space constantly! Bedrooms all had plenty of room and were nicely done (bedroom on top floor PERFECT for kids - two bunkbeds with the lower bed on each having a full-size mattress), with plenty of well-appointed bathrooms. Main floor had a large kitchen (with everything we needed) with an eating nook with bench (perfect for the kids especially), and dining and living room were spacious and comfortable. There was even a nice sunroom with a daybed in it, where adults could relax and/or kids could play quietly. AND a nice front porch with roomy Adirondack chairs as well as a stone fire pit out back, PLUS plenty of off-street parking for 5 cars! It was a short and easy walk through quiet back streets and next to the water to get to the beach, which was beautiful as well and had nice walking paths adjacent to it. Plenty of good restaurants and activities (York Wild Kingdom with its amusement park was a GREAT place to spend a few hours with the kids), as well as outlet shopping. Honestly don't think we could've found a better place to stay, here or anywhere!

  • Submitted: Aug 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks very much for the positive feedback. I'm really glad that your whole family enjoyed the time at The Briars! We look forward to having you back again next year.
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Can't Say Enough Great Things About this Experienc

  • 5 of 5

Recently had the pleasure of staying at the Briars with my extended (three generations family). We had a diverse group in age and interests and varying degrees of "maintenance" we shall say. Everyone was very pleased with the space and the location.

If you are unfamiliar with the area, you should consider that York Harbor will give you an authentic Maine experience while still allowing you easy access to the more touristy/beachy areas but without being of congestion.

The recent upgrades to the home are great and the rental, including the furnishing quality, make it truly feel like a home while you are there. The house is solid and allowed for manageable sleep for both elderly and small children which is no small feat. It offers some add ons for small children which we greatly appreciated (gates, two high chairs, two pack n plays, toys, towels, wagons, even a stroller).

There were 16 people in our group, including children, staying at this home, but it could have easily accommodated more people. The communal and social areas accommodated all guests and mopre family who were staying elsewhere. If we weren't asleep, and not out and about, we were on the huge porch! All the closing and sliding doors make it very safe for small kids, too. The shower off the kitchen/near the back porch was a great place to rinse off sand coming in from the beach.

We stayed in the master room and were pleased to discover that the large walk in closet could double as a tiny bedroom for our baby, allowing for good sleep all around! You'll still have a big enough closet for your clothes if needed! Most of the other rooms on the second and third floors would accommodate a pack n play. We even used the first floor room, which is smaller, as a nap room that fit a pack n play for kids.

We didn't get a chance to use the firepit since the week we were there was hotter than usual for Maine standards, but we did use the grill and appreciated the fenced in areas for kids to play. We had no concerns of our children's safety while they played despite the home being of 1A.

The house and this location has a little bit of everything, for everyone!

Lance, the owner, was incredibly helpful and his pride for the home and the area showed. Really hope to make it back here someday!

  • Submitted: Aug 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I enjoyed meeting your family and I was impressed with your planning skills in coordinating three generations visiting from half way across the country! I'm glad that you all enjoyed our home and York Harbor. I love my hometown and enjoy sharing tips and ideas of great things for our guests to experience. I hope you can all make it back again!
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Nubble Lighthouse
"One of the most photographed lighthouses in the world!"
Ogunquit Playhouse
"Great summer theater!"
Yorks Wild Kingdom
"Entertaining for young kids. A small zoo with some older amusement park rides"
Perkins Cove
"Popular area with restaurants, galleries, shops etc. Starting point for the "Marginal Way"..."
York Harbor Beach
"Just a few minutes walk from our favorite beach in town. Make sure to check the ..."
Museums of Old York
"Learn about the great history of room school house, old gaol (Jail), tavern etc."
Mount Agamenticus
"Stunning 360 views of the ocean, mountains etc. Great hiking, biking and place for a picnic..."
Short Sands
"Old fashioned boardwalk that includes an arcade, bowling alley, playground, basketball court..."
1637 at York Harbor Inn
"Great local bar only a five minute walk from our home."
Dockside Restaurant on York Harbor
"Beautiful location where we got married. Great views of the harbor and ocean. Good food. ..."
York Gateway Farmers' market
"Great place to get local produce - available two days a week. Usually Tuesday and Saturday ..."
Chapman Cottage Restaurant
"Nice place for an intimate dinner -- only a few minutes walk from our home."
Stones Throw
"Nice place to eat on Long Sands Beach with great views of the ocean."
York House of Pizza
"Good sandwiches and pizza. Located just a few minutes drive from the house. Look on the wa..."
Barnacle Billy's
"Famous restaurant located in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. Good seafood with a great view of th..."
Goldenrod Restaurant
"Classic restaurant known for it's saltwater taffy, ice cream counter and candy store. Food ..."
Frankie & Johnny's Natural
"If I could do 10 stars I would -- this place has amazing food. The atmosphere is very rusti..."
MC Perkins Cove
"Another great restaurant in Perkin's Cove. Great views of the ocean."
York's Wild Kingdom
"Young kids will probably enjoy this old amusement park, arcade and small zoo."
Long Sands Beach
"Largest beach in York -- a short drive from the house, view of the lighthouse. I prefer the..."
Stage Neck Inn
"One of my first jobs was working here as a bellboy! Semi-formal restaurant with a large bar..."
"Only Chinese restaurant in town -- good, not great food. There is also "Thai for You" a ver..."
Dunne's Ice Cream
"A must..must..must do. Always a long line in the evening for Dunne's Ice Cream. Enjoy grea..."
Fisherman's Dock
"Very good food and some of the best fish chowder you'll ever have. Located on route 1 so no..."
Stonewall Kitchen Cafe
"Here is where the famous Stonewall Kitchen started. A wide range of popular food items for ..."
Fort Foster State Park
"Great "off the beaten path" spot to spend the day. Playground, picnic tables, beaches, pier..."
"Amazing small city -- great shopping, galleries, restaurants etc. Spend an afternoon walkin..."
Prescott Park Arts Festival
"Awesome spot to watch an outdoor musical or concert. Located right on the river. Beautiful..."
Foster's Down East Clambake
"Great place for a traditional Maine clambake. Less than a five minute walk from the house."
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
Cape Neddick Lobster Pound
"Great spot for lunch/dinner with nice views of the Cape Neddick river. Walk over to the Cap..."
Fat Tomato Grill
"Good quality food for lunch."
Kittery Premium Outlets
"Great discount shopping on a rainy day!"
Kittery Trading Post
"Fun spot to browse on a rainy day."
Off the Boat Lobsters
"Best spot to buy lobsters right off the boat at a great price. They will cook them right th..."
George Marshall Store Gallery
"Nice art gallery at the end of a beautiful walk from the house. Take the Fisherman's walk t..."
The Village Scoop
"Nice spot to grab some ice cream close to the house."
The Ledges Golf Club
"Great public golf course"
Cape Neddick Country Club
"semi-private/public golf course. Donald Ross designed. I grew up working at this golf course."
Water Country Water Park
"Fun alternative to the beach with a large variety of water activities for all ages"
Cliff House
Flo's Steamed Hot Dogs
"A local treasure...don't be deceived by it's looks. Only open from 11-3 to three each day...."
The Central Restaurant & Bar
"Good food in a casual atmosphere. located in a strip mall so not much for views."
Nearest Airport
43 Miles
Portland Jetport
Nearest Barpub
0.2 Miles
York Harbor Inn
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Ledges Golf Club
Nearest Train
15 Miles
Wells, Maine
Nearest Motorway
2.2 Miles
Interstate 95
Nearest Restaurant
0.2 Miles
Stage Neck Inn
Nearest Beach
0.25 Miles
York Harbor


Rates & Availability

York Harbor House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Sep 4 2016 - Nov 19 2016
3 night minimum stay
Nov 20 2016 - Jan 14 2017
3 night minimum stay
Apr 1 2017 - May 21 2017
3 night minimum stay
Early Summer
May 22 2017 - Jun 24 2017
3 night minimum stay
Jun 25 2017 - Sep 3 2017
Changeover Day: Sunday
7 night minimum stay
Fall 2017
Sep 4 2017 - Nov 18 2017
3 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning fee $450
Refundable damage deposit $1,000
Tax Rate 9.0%

Cleaning fee of $450 regardless of duration of stay. Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. Premium rate applied to some holiday weeks.

50% deposit required at time of booking. Final payment due 4 weeks before arrival.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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York Harbor House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 5000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Water View ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 7 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower , Located on 1st floor off the kitchen
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , small shower located in first floor bedroom
    Bathroom 5 - toilet , shower , 2nd floor - small private bath
    Bathroom 7 - toilet , shower , newly renovated - shared by two bedrooms on third floor
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , tub , shower , newly renovated 2nd floor master bedroom with large tub
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , newly renovated - 2nd floor private bath
    Bathroom 6 - toilet , shower , Newly renovated - shared by a 2nd and 3rd floor bedroom
  • 1st Floor - two bathrooms with showers -- one private in bedroom; one off kitchen 2nd floor - four bathrooms - all with showers; one with large tub. 3rd floor - one bathroom with shower
  • 8 Bedrooms, Sleeps 20
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 king
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double
    Bedroom 8 - 1 king
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 king
    Bedroom 7 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 6 - 2 double , 2 twin/ single , Two sets of bunk beds with trundles (can sleep 6 kids)
    Bedroom 1 - 1 double
  • 1st Floor: 1st bedroom Double Bed with small shower/toilet. 2nd Floor: 1st bedroom - King Bed; Private bath - large tub-shower 2nd bedroom - King Bed; Private bath - shower 3rd bedroom - Double Bed; Small private bath - shower 4th bedroom - Queen Bed; Bath down the hall - shower 3rd Floor 1st Bedroom - King Bed - Shared Bath - shower 2nd Bedroom - Queen Bed - Shared Bath - shower 3rd Bedroom - Two sets of bunk beds with trundle - shared bathroom-shower
  • Books
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Balcony
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Tennis
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • bay/sound
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • theme parks
  • water parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing

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