A big part of our trip to Maine was simply getting out of our house and seeing something new after being at home for most of the year due to the pandemic. Maine is the perfect place for you to unwind, slow down, and connect with nature. During our time in Maine we made quite a few stops along the coast so I’ve rounded up our thoughts on the various stops we made! Note that with COVID we really kept to ourselves, wore masks in public, socially distanced, did most of our meals to go and when exploring places spent our time almost entirely outdoors.
This is a cute town that looks like it’s out of a postcard! It’s the first stop we made as we drove up the coast and it’s a perfect place for you to stop and stretch your legs if you’re not staying here. We visited Marginal Way which came highly recommended and didn’t disappoint. We also had our first lobster roll at Barnacle Billy’s which ended up being one of the top lobster rolls of the entire trip!
We ended up stopping here for a day trip towards the end of stay in Maine and I’ll be honest, I was disappointed. We walked through the historic district but it lacked charm and the views of the water were obstructed by big industrial boats. There were some nice shops and the cobblestone streets that did add character so maybe our experience was impacted by COVID or I was just not feeling it that day.
Cape Elizabeth, ME
When we were disappointed in Portland we decided to venture outside of the city to Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park and this was a wonderful stop. The park is enormous and you could spend an entire day exploring. We climbed down the rocks to get closer to the ocean and a better view of the lighthouse. Hearing the gurgling salt water spread over the rocks with the strong ocean breeze on our faces was so peaceful. Also in the park was an artist from Scotland who had a small stand with water color paintings! Of course, I had to buy a few.
The main reason we stopped here was for Lobster at Reds Eats and wow – it was a highlight of the trip. Reds Eats is famous for being the worlds best lobster shack and boasts having had celebrity visitors like Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray and Tom Cruise. There’s always a line though that wraps around the building because it’s that good. Normally we’re not patient enough to wait in line for things but we had come for this lobster and were willing to wait! After an hour of waiting, we ordered at the window and then quickly sat in their outdoor seating. We were amazed when pounds of vibrant red lobster landed in front of us. One of the best meals not only of the trip but of our lives. Yes, it was that good.
This is a small coastal town that boasts charm however we were underwhelmed. It was a hilly, cute town but it was overrun by tourists. I also felt like most of the shops had imported goods with cheesy Maine letterings on them vs. hand crafted goods made by locals which I always prefer. That’s not to say that the local touch didn’t exist but a majority of the town honestly felt like a tourist trap. We stayed for under an hour and then left to find a beach. One thing we learned about Maine is they don’t really have beaches! We ended up finding a “beach” that smelled a bit like dried seaweed but after walking out further on the big slabs of rock we settled in and sunbathed for a relaxing afternoon.
This small town is where we rented our Air BnB. Our cozy cottage was located on an inlet just on the other side of the Atlantic. It was amazing how quiet and peaceful it was. The only sounds we could hear were birds chirping and fish jumping in the water. I’d definitely recommend staying in our rental if you’re looking for a peaceful getaway with comfortable accommodations. While at our cottage we took the kayaks out, read, and lounged around which truly was relaxing and so wonderful. We visited a few neighboring towns on separate inlets to grab take out for dinner a few times as well but no meals were noteworthy enough to mention.
On our way to Nantucket as we were driving down the coast we stopped in Wells at Congdon’s Doughnuts for what we had been told were “the worlds best donuts.” And wow, were they delicious and well worth the stop. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, this is a great one as the donuts are delicious and it only ended up being a 15 minute detour for us.
A few other noteworthy stops that we didn’t make this trip is Acadia National Park and Kennebunkport. Kennebunkport looks quaint and like quintessential Maine while Acadia National Park comes highly recommended for its stunning nature, hiking trails and views.