This put up is written by Jen Tenzer, founding father of The Soloist!
Warning: This journey up the Maine coast might steal your coronary heart and make you need to up and transfer there.
Maine provides one thing for each traveler—dramatic cliff landscapes, extremely quaint cities, freshly caught seafood, wealthy historic heritage, and a nationwide park in addition!
Maine’s rustic and rugged attraction is engaging all yr spherical, however vacationers are likely to flock for summer season seashores and vibrant fall foliage. This itinerary is supposed to function a free information; my solely laborious suggestion is to drive up through Route 1 and keep away from the sooner Interstate 295 (which misses all of the coastal attraction)!
If in case you have further time, you possibly can enterprise to New Hampshire by both including Portsmouth on the southern finish of the itinerary or White Mountain Nationwide Forest additional north!
Right here’s the final word information to visiting the Maine Coast!
Maine Coast Street Journey Highlights
- Bar Harbor
Historically a shipbuilding and fishing village, Kennebunkport is one of Maine’s most popular seaside towns for its picturesque harbor, intact colonial-era architecture, galleries, and gift shops. Kennebunkport is also widely known as where the Bush family has its summer compound!
Top Things to See and Eat in Kennebunkport
- Stroll through the historic district and scope out original colonial homes from the 1700s
- Snag a picnic table with harbor views at the Clam Shack for a few of New England’s freshest lobster rolls, fried clams, and selfmade lemonade
- Sea Bags makes the COOLEST one-of-a-kind seaside totes, recycled out of classic ship sails; picked up one for me and one for my mama!
- Try Dock Square Emporium for quirky and nautical-themed items
Detour: Ogunquit Seashore
Once you consider summer season in Maine, you consider the seaside and Ogunquit’s large white sands make it one of many state’s greatest!
This cute city has all of the Maine vibes with upscale seaside eating places and rustic lobster shacks alike, however remains to be weekend pleasant; solely an hour and a half drive from Boston!
Pulling into the cobblestone streets of Portland, Maine feels like driving back in time to its colonial seaport roots.
This was ranked as the most important harbor in the US during WWII since it was closest to Europe. As a result, this city is filled with military artifacts like forts and bunkers; it’s a history buff’s dream coastal getaway!
These days, Portland is a serious foodie town and seafood lover’s paradise. Check out Where to Find the Best Food in Portland, Maine for some must-eat spots! A couple of my latest additions to that list include DuckFat and J’s Oyster!
High Issues to See and Eat in Portland
- Stroll alongside the Previous Port to get a really feel for fisherman life within the late-18th to early-19th centuries
- Go to traditionally well-known lighthouses of Portland Head Light and Bug Gentle
- Pattern varied microbrews on the town or take a brief drive to well-liked Allagash Brewery
- Picnic at Japanese Promenade waterfront park
Detour: Sebago Lake
Trying to break up the harbor surroundings a bit? About an hour drive inland is Sebago Lake, a beautiful escape for boating, fishing, and state park tenting. I’ll always remember waking up in a tent to the sound of waves crashing in opposition to the lakeshore; indescribably breathtaking!
Wiscasset is an ideal town to grab a bite and stretch your legs while road tripping up the Maine coast.
Top Things to See and Eat in Wiscasset
- If you’re willing to wait in line, Red’s Eats has constantly been voted Maine’s #1 readers’ selection lobster roll by Down East journal for the final decade
- Fort Popham in close by Phippsburg is a coastal fort used for protection through the Civil Warfare period
Camden is arguably probably the most charming and iconic coastal cities of Maine; it’s postcard-perfect! Beautiful Penobscot Bay harbor views, scrumptious eating places, a cute fundamental avenue for window purchasing, and many boating and kayaking actions.
Furthermore, whereas Camden is a well-liked trip spot for northeasterners from Boston and New York, it feels a bit much less crowded than the southern a part of the state.
High Issues to See and Eat in Camden
- Reserve a spot on Maine Schooners’ Crusing Vessel Owl for a sundown sail
- Hike up the brief however steep Mount Battie Path for gorgeous views of Camden Harbor
- Stroll down historic Excessive Avenue and take a look at Sugar Tools for distinctive items, books, and houseware
- Dinner at Long Grain Restaurant for genuine Thai avenue meals—this was a few of the BEST Thai meals I’ve had exterior of Thailand (sorry, NYC)
- Keep at 16 Bay View, a luxurious boutique lodge, and watch the ships are available whereas sipping on chili mango margaritas at their rooftop bar, The View
Detour: Take the Ferry to Vinalhaven
If in case you have some further time, I like to recommend day-tripping from close by Rockland to Vinalhaven Island. It’s about an hour and a half drive-on ferry and an attractive method to commute!
Whereas Vinalhaven is Maine’s largest offshore island (concerning the dimension of Manhattan), it’s extremely distant with a inhabitants of solely ~1,100. It’s the right place to enterprise once you need to be deliberately off-the-grid.
In the event you go to in the summertime, I like to recommend diving into the swimming gap at Lawson’s quarry! Vinalhaven was as soon as the main producer of granite within the US!
Persevering with up the coast, Bar Harbor is a city on Mount Desert Island that’s greatest referred to as the house of Acadia Nationwide Park. It’s to this point northeast that you could see Nova Scotia and in addition boasts the primary every day sunrises of the continental US!
Whereas a lot of your time can be spent exploring the attractive grounds of Acadia (attractive ANY season!), I’d suggest carving out further time to drive across the island and take in all of the tremendous distant vibes of northern Maine.
Acadia Nationwide Park – Bass Harbor Lighthouse
High Issues to See and Eat in Bar Harbor
- Cross the Bar Harbor Shore path throughout low tide and you’ll want to return earlier than excessive tide (the trail fully disappears throughout these hours)!
- Hike or drive up Acadia Nationwide Park’s Cadillac Mountain for 360-degree archipelago views
- Go to Jordan Pond and cease for lunch at Jordan Pond House for his or her well-known popovers
- Escape the crowds within the quiet city of Southwest Harbor and take a look at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse!
- Select your individual reside lobster for dinner at Beal’s Lobster Pier
Have you ever visited Maine earlier than? Share your highlights and favorites within the feedback under!