We were surprised to find the Maine coastline reminiscent of the great state of Michigan. That said, northern Maine yields some of the more spectacular vistas and hikes in the United States. From Kittery to Bar Harbor, and beyond, Maine was perhaps my favorite part of our east coast adventure. I truly wish we had more time to explore, but we had 8 states and 3,200 miles to cover on this trip so 2.5 days had to do! Our first Maine stop was in the city of Portland, which did not disappoint.
WHAT TO DO :
1. Downtown Portland (Portland, ME)
Enjoy a stroll through downtown Portland. Here, you will find cobblestone streets, fresh seafood, and live music. We were charmed by the European vibes of this town. Make sure you do not leave without getting your hands on some Maine Lobster (our favorite lobster joint at the end of this post).
2. Portland Head Lighthouse (Portland, ME)
Naturally, with its rocky and jutted coastline, Maine requires many lighthouses. This beauty, just a 15 minute drive south of Portland, Maine, is a must see. There is a paved and sand trail that runs along the Cape for walking, surrounded by beautiful ocean views.
3. Two Lights State Park (Cape Elizabeth, ME)
Tucked slightly off the beaten path is another mesmerizing lighthouse, with accompanying views. We caught this one just after sunset, just a pinch late, as we were sauntering near the Portland Head Lighthouse, mentioned above :)
4. Rockland, ME
If you are making the long drive from Portland to Bar Harbor, don’t miss out on the little coastal towns that are sprinkled along the Maine coastline. Rockland is one worth a short visit. Here, we stopped for lunch (at Hannah’s now “favorite restaurant in the world”...info in the bottom of this post) and enjoyed a short walk through the Main Street. Rockland is an artsy town, filled with wall murals and art shops galore.
5. Camden, ME
Another gem on the way up to Acadia. Camden is a quaint, seaside town that is wonderfully manicured and has a wide variety of shops and eateries. To boot, it also had one of Hannah and my favorite things: the buzz and energy of people moving. It’s so rare in today’s America to see hustle and bustle, but it’s refreshing. In small town Camden, this was alive and well. You go, Camden!
5. Acadia (Bar Harbor, ME)
Acadia post coming next week! You won’t want to miss this one - one of the most beautiful parks Hannah and I have ever encountered.
WHERE TO EAT :
1. Portland Lobster Co. (Portland, ME)
A truly authentic lobster and seafood experience, Portland Lobster Co. is directly on the water in Maine and had offerings of fresh caught fish, shrimp, crab and lobster. Have you ever eaten an entire lobster before? This was my first time with the WHOLE lobster. Safe to say, when I cracked the thorax off from the body I was in for a pleasant surprise. If you haven’t eaten a whole lobster, you should. It’s a right of passage, especially in the great state of Maine.
2. Bird Dog Roadhouse (Cape Elizabeth, ME)
With a variety of offerings, they have something to satisfy any and all tastes. After enjoying a beautiful sunset overlooking the Two Lights Lighthouse, Hannah and I both agreed that after our long day of travel, we needed a late night snack. A few miles from the lighthouse, we stumbled upon this joint. I had the pizza and Hannah ate a salad, both of which were wonderful. The atmosphere, live local guitar and banjo folk music, and kind locals made the Bird Dog Roadhouse a must when in Maine.
3. Cafe Miranda (Rockland, ME)
On the way up the coast a bit from Portland is a well-known restaurant with savory and delightful fresh food options. The lobster roll was among the best things I have ever consumed. Succulent, fresh butter oozed from the large lobster portion, and everything was right with the world.
Hope you enjoyed our first Maine Travel Guide! Stop by next week for parts two and three, our thoughts and pictures from one of America’s most beautiful places, Acadia National Park, and a day trip to Portsmouth and Freeport.