It’s official, I love Maine. The wife, “kids”, and I took our first real vacation in a year and a half. All our other time off and trips have gone to visiting sick family, funerals, or ended in a devastating wildfire. So we took a week and decided to visit Maine. We stayed at an AirBNB in Bath, about 45 minutes north of Portland. We spent the 4th in Salem, MA on our way up north.
We stopped in Kennebunkport before making it to Bath. It’s an adorable little town which is besieged by tourists. Very little parking, no room to walk on the sidewalks, and long waits at restaurants. I imagine it’s fantastic during the off-season, but I don’t need to go back.
We devoted a day to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. I can’t recommend that trip enough. Bar Harbor is beautiful and Acadia is even more beautiful. We only had time to do a bit of a hike around Jordan Pond before heading to Cadillac summit. The views from the summit are stunning. You need a timed parking pass, so plan ahead … but it’s SOOOO worth it. The summit is the first spot in the United States that sees the morning sunrise. And you can make a sunrise reservation, but we didn’t want to get up that early on vacation.
We were going to do a beach day, but the rules for dogs are a little strict and we didn’t want to have to drive too far for a good dog beach. So instead we spent the next day lighthouse hunting. We saw six in and around Portland. The Port Head Light and Bug Light were my favorites. A couple of them we only saw from across the water because they were out on an island in the bay. We had lunch at a food truck that Phil Rosenthal stopped at on his show “Somebody Feed Phil.” On our way back to Bath, we stopped at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport. Huge! There were like four or five buildings worth of stuff for sale. Clothing, home goods, hunting, fishing, sports, etc. They also have a huge stage set up in the center of the “campus” for free concerts and movies. When we returned to Bath, we walked downtown and did a little shopping before calling it quits for the day.
We spent Friday wandering around Portland. What a great little city! It’s very clean, very walkable, lots of great shops, restaurants, and coffee shops, and just a beautiful place overall. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect for us (even if a little hot for me in the direct sun). We ate lunch at another Phil Rosenthal stop, the Thirsty Pig. We visited several bookstores, had an afternoon coffee, and did lots of walking. Before leaving, we just drove around the rest of the city to see what we couldn’t/didn’t walk.
Our final full day in Maine we went to breakfast at Mae’s in Bath. Then picked up coffee at Cafe Creme before driving to Popham Beach and Fort Popham. We spent a few hours at a dog friendly beach I found and wandered around the ruins of a fort that’s been protecting the mouth of the Kennebunc river since colonial times (current ruins were civil war era). Next we drove to Wiscasset, self proclaimed “prettiest village in Maine” to hunt for lunch. The wife and son waited in line for a bit at Red’s Eats for “the best lobster roll in Maine”. But after they heard that it was taking over two hours to make it to the front, they abandoned ship. No lobster roll is worth that wait in a state where almost every restaurant serves one! Instead we drove back to Bath to snack at the AirBNB and picked up an early dinner from a local pub. After dinner we took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked into town to get an ice cream at The Fountain … an old fashioned ice cream and deli. We wandered along the riverfront and enjoyed our final evening.
Final verdict: wonderful vacation! Two thumbs up.
This post has been day 83 of #100DaysToOffload