Updated: Sep 14, 2021
If you have ever wondered what freedom taste like, then go lick Maine. This post includes some of my favorite things I have experienced in Maine so far. From the ocean to the mountains and the food that fuels me in between.
Majestic is the prefect description of an eagle with outstretched wings soaring across the Kennebec River. The weather is a comfortable 73 degrees with a light breeze. At night, around the bond fire, the smell of pine mixed with smoke from the burning wood fills the air. Bull frogs croak in the background, creating a harmony with the babbling brook that trickles around the Kentucky Blue grass.
Every few miles on the side of the road there are vegetable stands with fresh goodies.
(I stopped at a farm stand for a snack while riding my bicycle around the Damariscotta Lake)
Sometimes, there are farm stands offering an array of food from baked goods, to eggs, to meats, or even arranged flowers. On a separate bicycle ride, I stumbled upon a sign that said, "50 cent a scoop" for a scoop of goat pellets. All I had was a $5 bill. Those little lambs had a hay day ;)
(I'm not sure who was more excited about the food, me or the lambs)
These little excursions are what make Maine such a character state. Along with the every day good vibes, Maine has so much to offer for vacations.
Old Orchard- Long beach (free) with about 13 miles of sand just south of Portland. Great for families. There is a board walk, and an amusement park that is very Coney Island vibes. The waves are for light surfing. I went for a run with Prairie Dog on this beach in the morning. There were several other runner out that morning along with some walkers. Watching the sunrise over the ocean is a truly beautiful experience. The Hampton style beach houses on the beach made the experience truly magical.
Popham Beach- State Park ($12 for non residents) Great fun for surfing. The ocean's tides showcase a sand bar which creates a path out to a few rock islands, making great fishing areas! We played frisbee on this beach between the beach goers. There were some families, but mostly a lot of individual people just out enjoying the day.
Sand Beach in Acadia- National Park ($30 per vehicle). This beach is amazing! We went in the winter. The summer would be the time to go. The swimming would be so much fun. Think of a wave pool but on a much larger scale. Highly recommend!
Recommend: Bigelow in Winter
Acadia National Park in Summer
Bigelow Mountain Range- Part of Appalachian Trail. Fairly rigorous hiking. Hikes can be extended into back packing trips or just day trips like we did. I've never met a mountain I didn't like, however this range isn't as epic as Acadia National park. If you only have one shot, I'd recommend Acadia over the Bigelow Mountains for hiking in the summer. With that being said, I would recommend the Bigelow for some winter fun!
Acadia National Park- THIS IS A MUST! The camping is awesome because of the great temperatures in early September. Nice low 70's in the day, and upper 50's at night. The mountains and ocean offer some incredible hiking and views. Hiking these mountains are no joke. Be sure to bring hiking poles. While we were at the park, it was raining like crazy because of Hurricane Larry. To wait out some of the worst of the rain, we went to little local towns. Highly recommend Bar Harbor as much as I recommend Acadia.
(If you look closely, you will see a blue paint strip indicating the trail is this rock.)
Food and Beverage:
Here is a little secret (shhhhhh). If there is a restaurant with "Pub, Tavern, Bar" the food is going to be amazing. Most restaurants have some sort of seafood on the menu, so don't feel like you have to go somewhere that is "known" for the sea food. Also, don't be afraid to try some oysters. Here is a list of some places around Maine, I highly recommend for visitors and locals:
Maine Craft Distillery in Portland
They are their own distillery and have signature craft cocktails in a can for $5. And they're yummy. Also, order the hush puppies. You won't regret it from this Kansas Girl.
Batson River Brewing and Distillery in Portland
Very sexy. This is a must for couples. The atmosphere is intoxicating. The food and drink are very very good but what sells this place is the building.
Flight Deck Brewery in Brunswick
Great beers and large indoor and outdoor seating.
(May have spilt my beer on Prairie Dog's head. Needless to say, she was not impressed.)
Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe in Brunswick
This is literally right across the parking lot from Flight Deck Brewery. This is the most unique cafe I have been to (and I am a cafe gal). The food is amazing and there are more options than you can imagine.
The Depot Sports Pub in Gardiner
The chicken wings. Mic drop. This Pub was my Dads and Pats favorite eatery in Maine. Don't be in a hurry, its very popular and worth the wait.
The Quarry Tap Room in Hallowell
The Quarry has excellent food with a lot of options. There is also a chef's menu as well as the regular menu. There is indoor and outdoor seating. Prairie and I love to go there in the afternoon for a cocktail and to blog! Hallowell has several restaurants in their down town strip. So there is something for everyone as well.
Coffee- Traverse Coffee Shop in Hallowell
I loved this coffee shop so much, I volunteer there! Good vibes with good coffee. A local bakery provides pastries as well as some in house made breakfast sandwiches and wraps.
The Woodshed in Manchester
Have you ever heard of the Cabin Masters? Its a reality TV series. Well they created the Woodshed. A tap room with sandwiches. And these aren't any ordinary sammies. These sandwiches are so mouth watering, I'm getting hungry just thinking of it. While you are there you can also visit the Cabin Master's gift shop. My mom was a huge fan of that!
Here is what is coming up for us! Pat is going to be gone in California for another week. When he gets back we are having a bond fire out at our land with all the friends we have made while in Maine. The following week, Vacation's Nation is officially hitting the road! Our first destination is no other than Riverside California!
More to follow, until then
See you next post