Maine, Travel, Uncategorized

Coastal Maine Road Trip

When I received an invitation to a friend’s wedding and the location read Maine, only one thought came to mind…ROAD TRIP!!  Coincidentally, every summer, my friend Kate visits her parent’s home in Maine.  With our epic planning skills combined, we created the perfect Maine road trip.

We flew into Portland, Maine and were instantly greeted by salty seaside smells, or what Kate referred to as, “the smell of home.”  The drive into the city from the airport is around 15 minutes.  Our first stop was to The Holy Donut. Who needs real breakfast when you have locally sourced Maine potato donuts? We tried the Maine blueberry, blueberry lemon, maple bacon, triple berry, and dark chocolate sea salt. It would be a crime to choose a favorite, they were all delicious!

Portland has a thriving craft beer scene, so our next stop (or 5) were to check out some local brews. If you’re looking for a brew with a view, don’t miss Liquid Riot Bottling Co.. The back patio is nestled into a harbor-facing water way, making the experience even more enjoyable. Other great breweries we visited were:

If you find yourself at Allagash Brewing Company, don’t miss the lobster roll from Bite Into Maine. We ordered the Picnic style, which included a layer of coleslaw, hot butter, and a sprinkle of celery salt.

Another can’t miss foodie fave is Highroller Lobster Co.. They had me at “lobster cheese crisp taco.”

Multiple lighthouses are within a 15 minute drive from Portland. It was a cloudy afternoon, but that didn’t take away from the seaside magic of Portland Head Lighthouse. Side note, Bite Into Maine also has a location at Portland Head Light. Another reason to not miss their lobster roll!

A bit smaller but just as magical, Spring Point Ledge Light is a short, 10 minute drive from Portland Head Lighthouse.

Portland is a must visit for the food and the brews, but to experience classic Maine views, I highly recommend venturing outside of the city.

The next few days were filled with wedding fun. I was able to stay with a friends, family member on her farm in Bowdoinham, Maine. It was interesting to see the transition from coastal to farm, both which were beautiful.

While staying in Bowdoinham, I took a 30 minute drive down to Land’s End Gift Shop in Bailey Island, Maine. I was greeted with harbor views, lupine fields, and a relaxing cove nestled at the end of the island.

Next, I headed to the Giant Stairs Trail. The trail is short, family friendly, and follows the rocky coastline of Bailey Island. Stunning views and adorable homes made this one of my favorite stops on the Maine road trip.

On my way out of Bailey Island, I stopped at Morse’s Cribstone Grill for some fried oyster tacos, and a refreshing cocktail. As with every other Maine establishment, my meal was delicious and came with a view!

Next stop, Boothbay! I spent most of my time at Kate’s parents beautiful home, tucked away inside of a cove in East Boothbay.

If you find yourself in Boothbay, do not miss the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. It’s $18 to enter, but you can easily spend half the day walking the trails, and strolling through their various gardens.

Now you’ve worked up an appetite from all of that walking. Time for a Boothbay classic, Bet’s Fish Fry. Hours of operation are limited. Once they sell out of fish, they close for the day, so plan ahead! There will most likely be a line, but it’s well worth the wait.

Time for a cold one! On the way into the Boothbay harbor, stop at Boothbay Craft Brewery for a flight on their outdoor patio.

Next stop, Boothbay Harbor! The Harbor is lined with cute little shops, some touristy, some local. Sweet Bay is an adorable store filled with locally handcrafted goods. Don’t forget to grab a whoopie pie from Wicked Whoopies. My favorite flavor was the oatmeal raspberry cream!

When walking around the harbor, walk the Boothbay Harbor Footbridge and take a photo under the buoy mistletoe!

Boothbay, as with most of Maine, was extremely picturesque. This harbor provides multiple options for adventures. You can take a ferry to Monhegan Island, a tour boat to surrounding lighthouses with whale watching, rent kayaks to paddle the harbor, and cruise on a schooner. If you’re planning a trip to Maine, make sure to add a least a night stay in Boothbay!

Our final point of destination was Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park. Although a bit longer of a journey, you can take US-1 up to Acadia. US-1 is a coastal route that takes you through numerous adorable towns. My favorite town that we stopped at was Camden, Maine. For lunch, we ate on the balcony of Camden Deli with breathtaking views of the harbor.

Next up, Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park! Acadia was like no other National Park that I’ve been to in that there is the bustling city of Bar Harbor just outside of it.

There are countless restaurants and shops to walk around and explore in. My favorite moment in Bar Harbor was watching the sunset atop the the hill at Agamont Park, as a local man sang and played Jimmy Buffet on his guitar.

From Portland to Bar Harbor, and everything in between, Maine was just darling. It is perfect for families, couples, or a few friends looking for a fun road trip. Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, kayak, climb, or maybe you just want to lounge on an adirondack chair with incredible views, I guarantee there is an experience waiting for you in Maine!