Prime 6 Coastal Maine Destinations Far from The Tourist Path
Maine is certainly one of the preferred U.S. States in the summer season. Sometimes, tourists inch along on US Route 1 to get to Kittery, York Beach, Ogunquit, The Kennebunk’s, and a number of other towns a couple of miles off of Route 1 further up the line, like Boothbay and Bar Harbor. However these with an appetite for genuine, weather-overwhelmed, Maine-in-the-raw should exit bumper-to-bumper Rt. 1, and head east to the ideas of Maine peninsulas or on ferries to hidden islands for the sort of blissful experience so many others miss. You may finest discover the ebb and stream of Pure Maine away from the din of the crowds in the next communities. (These with a penchant for the extra common Maine seaside spots can examine them on this Huff Po piece).
The following roundup offers a small glimpse of every vacation spot. However for more in depth protection – and other Offbeat Escapes within the Northeast – go to GetawayMavens.com.
Cape Elizabeth and its nearly empty Crescent Seaside State Park is just a 15-minute drive from trendy, busy Portland, Maine’s largest city, which makes this quiet place even more fascinating for individuals who wish to have it each methods.
What You understand: Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth’s premier small luxury lodge is large dog pleasant.
What You do not know: Inn By the Sea serves as an arm of the Animal Refuge League of Better Portland (Maine), and each fosters and facilitates adoptions of rescued canine one at a time. Visitors come to stay a couple of days, fall in love with the canine of the second, and take it home. There have been fifty four adoptions thus far.
Quirky Fact: Inn By the Sea has been attempting to deliver back the endangered New England Cottontail Rabbit in its “Rabitat,” an initiative that explains the rabbit paperweight in each visitor-room and other bunny paraphernalia around the property.
Keep: Inn By the Sea. I’ve been writing about this environmentally acutely aware, dog pleasant, 61-room luxury seaside lodge in Cape Elizabeth ME for years, and each time I visit, it just gets better. Solely 5 miles from Portland, a keep right here supplies travelers with the better of all worlds: a excessive-end, environmentally conscious beach resort experience and forays into the foodie paradise of East Coast’s Portland.
Maine was a shipbuilding heart, and nonetheless is, which is why the exceptional Maine Maritime Museum is positioned in Bath – dwelling to the nonetheless-in-operation immense-boat-builder, Bath Iron Works. Stone Island Sale Bath ME is just 20 minutes from one of the final surviving true Maine Household Resorts, the Sebasco Harbor Resort on the hardly-trampled Phippsburg Peninsula, where exploring off the beaten path is a simple joy in and of itself.
What You already know: The Maine Maritime Museum complex, which includes over a dozen buildings, offers a compelling look at how boats were designed, constructed, and launched prior to computer systems and electronics. Most astounding is the contemporary white sculpture that outlines the dimensions of the Schooner Wyoming, the most important sailing vessel within the USA, built right here in 1909. At 50 ft. wide, 40 ft. tall and 329 feet long, built precisely full-scale, the inventive interpretation of the Wyoming takes up a lot of the property with a bowsprit that tasks out almost across the street. Do not miss the guided tour, which takes visitors through the numerous steps involved in shipbuilding: a grueling process that amazes even probably the most initially disinterested teen-ager.
What You don’t know: Except you have got a home or have summered on the Phippsburg Peninsula, you might be unfamiliar with the vast 3-mile gentle-sand almost barren Popham Seaside State Park, or the Hermit Island Campground on Head Beach, one of the extremely coveted ocean-front campgrounds in Maine, with websites that promote out rapidly on January 1st when reservations open up.
Photo Op: Sebasco Harbor at the Sebasco Harbor Resort at sunset. Transcendent.
Native Flavor: For the most bare-bones lobster dinner, head to Spinney’s in Popham Seaside – Real casual, Actual Maine, or provision up at Percy’s, the unassuming basic store subsequent to Fort Popham, which options shelves stocked with good wines, live lobsters and nice breakfasts. Head to The Pilot Home at Sebasco Harbor Resort for an excellent meal and to say hi to Fred the Seagull. One single seagull has been mooching meals off of visitors there for the final 20 years.
Native Character: Bob Smith, an enormous fan of off-Route-1 “Pure Maine,” is the buoyant owner of Sebasco Harbor Resort, and eats, sleeps and breathes his Resort and the lodging business as an entire. To many visitors, Smith is the face of Phippsburg.
Keep: Sebasco Harbor Resort, Constructed For Multi-Generational Bonding. The youngsters are radiant, sticky with sundaes from the cute ice cream shack, and already talking about candlepin bowling in the night – manner previous their usual bedtime. However who cares, right here at Sebasco Harbor Resort, a throwback 200-acre summer time camp constructed for multi-generational family gatherings. As one of the final of a “dying breed” of Maine Household Resorts, Sebasco Harbor Resort is as unpretentious as it will get, but rustic-chic enough to please Mom and pop (with Spa and ocean-front 9-gap Golf Course), simple enough for Grandma and Grandpa to get round, and thrilling sufficient for teenagers of all ages who will study to golf, tie-dye t-shirts, swim, and kayak or SUP. And the setting, particularly at sunset, is absolutely breathtaking.
CASTINE, THE BLUE HILL PENINSULA, AND DEER ISLE
Far off the effectively-trod Route 1, Castine ME and the Blue Hill Peninsula as an entire permits an escape from the hordes simply an hour from booming Bar Harbor. Time appears suspended right here, especially at Castine’s deep harbor waterfront and about 35 miles away from Castine, in Maine’s final remaining fishing village, Stonington on Deer Isle.
What You know: Maine Maritime Academy is predicated in Castine. And the tony town of Blue Hill ME, studded with art galleries, is a retiree favorite.
What You do not know: Heading North on Route 1, about 18 miles from Castine, you will drive over a hanging harp of a bridge spanning the Penobscot River. The Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory, built in 2006, is the “Tallest Public Bridge Observatory in the world.” You’ll be able to really take a minute-long, 400+ ft. elevator trip inside one of many soaring pylons that hold the bridge in place to an enclosed observation platform at the top- a really neat-o experience.
Photograph Op: Dyce Lighthouse, Castine. In non-public fingers now, it is still a gorgeous sight. A trail behind the property supplies great vantage factors.
Definitely worth the Drive: It’ll take a very good 6 or extra hours to do the Blue Hill Peninsula justice- driving its perimeter, over the precarious Deer Isle Bridge to the art/fishing village of Stonington and back to Castine with just a few pull-offs along the best way.
Local Taste: Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies, owned by Anne and Peter Beerits, is a few miles off Rt. 15 on Deer Isle. You can’t miss the place – the property is festooned with Wild West facades proper out of a 60’s Tv Western, and many funky sculptures created by Peter. The “no synthetic anything” small batch jams and Chutneys are made onsite, and although Nellie’s ships, a good variety of fans make the pilgrimage – always of year – to say howdy and inventory up on the candy stuff.
Native Characters: Pentagoet Inn owner, Jack Burke, worked with refugees in conflict zones around the world. His wife, Julie Van De Graat, owned Pink Rose Pastry Store in Philly for twenty years. Company from DC and Philly come to Castine ME and the Pentagoet Inn specifically for Jack’s phenomenal knowledge of the area and for Julie’s well-known scones and muffins.
Stay: Pentagoet Inn. She’s the lovely Queen Anne on the hill in city overlooking Penobscot Bay. On the Choose Registry, the 1894 Pentagoet Inn caters to the quirky foodie traveler stone island overshirt van mildert who actually desires to flee from the world and unplug. Based on Yankee Magazine, the Pentagoet is the “Best Traditional Maine Inn,” though there’s nothing “classic” concerning the inn’s low-lit pub- each inch of wall blanketed with photos and paintings of heads of state and officials, good and unhealthy, oddball and electrifying, from world wide.
SEARSPORT AND ISLESBORO: SEA CAPTAINS AND ISLAND Folk
In Searsport and on the island of Islesboro, it is all about ship’s Captains and Islanders – a Mid-Coast Maine that’s far from the maddening crowds. From Searsport, it is about 20 miles (South) to Lincolnville, the place you’ll catch the ferry to throwback Islesboro. Once on the island, you will uncover a quaint historic society and laid-back locals. Again on the mainland in Searsport, explore nice exhibits within the improbable Penobscot Marine Museum complex and stay in an actual Sea Captain’s grand home. These lesser known communities signify real, historic Maine at its greatest.
What You understand: Islesboro, accessed by a 20-minute ferry from Lincolnville, has been a summer retreat for generations.
What You don’t know: At this point, Islesboro has no accommodations for guests, but all are welcome to take the ferry over for the day to take a look at the Islesboro Historical Society, sip espresso, grab a sandwich, and hike bay-view nature trails.
Quirky Reality/Islesboro: All Islesboro residents (and guests) Must wave to one another while driving. It is pretty much obligatory.
Quirky Reality/Searsport: Within the 1800’s a great share of the nation’s sea captains hailed from Searsport, with a formidable number of seagoing wives. At a time when girls usually stayed home, Searsport Captain’s wives made their homes at sea for years at a time, having infants and raising children on board as nicely. You will study all about this curious reality at the superb Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, a posh of 12 buildings that collectively illustrate all elements of this industrious maritime neighborhood.
Local Characters/Islesboro: Sit on the old school stool counter at midnight Harbor Shop on Islesboro, owned by realtor Bill Warren, for a sandwich and ice cream. You will seemingly find a bunch of locals discussing island happenings right here, as this place, which additionally homes a small souvenir store, appears to be one among Islesboro’s in style gathering spots.
Native Flavor/Searsport: Glorious chef, Mark James, will likely be creating a Chef’s Alternative Wine Pairing Dinners with 6 or 7 programs for $87.50 a number of times per month at the Captain A.V. Nickels Inn. Dishes, like Crab-cakes and Scallops with Corn Salsa, Sauced Lobster Tail, and Shrimp with Fillet of Beef are beautifully and adeptly prepared and plated: A real indulgence. Name 207 548-1104 for schedules and reservations.
Keep: Captain A.V. Nickels Inn, Searsport. Mike and Brenda Liston retired from Island the U.S. Air Force and located this magnificent Sea Captain’s dwelling at the highest a hill while cruising up Route 1 in Mid Coast Maine. They purchased it in 2011 and reworked the Captain Nickels home into the luxurious inn it is immediately. The exterior is grand sufficient, but the grandeur continues into sunlit rooms with high ceilings that function hefty and intricately carved wood sideboards, wardrobes, seating and different gorgeous furnishings shipped from overseas. Luxe rooms, named after Nickel’s ports of call, are beautifully designed, and embody a decadent gourmet breakfast within the morning.
SCHOODIC PENINSULA: ACADIA Nationwide PARK’S QUIETER Facet
For those who wish to “do” Acadia Nationwide Park, however do not want to deal with the crowds that converge on Bar Harbor each summer season, keep on US 1 North one other 20 miles from the place the crowds veer off, and hook a proper onto Route 186 to the next point of land. The Schoodic Peninsula is far more secluded than Mount Desert Island, but encompasses three,500 further acres of Acadia National Park.
What You (Would possibly) Know: If you select to remain round this part of Acadia National Park, there are ferries that will take you from Schoodic Peninsula to Bar Harbor, the place a free Mount Desert Island Park Shuttle awaits to transport you round the bulk of the NP.
What you do not know: Rockefeller Corridor, the eye-catching stone and brick building that serves as the Welcome Heart and administrative offices for the Schoodic Institute, was a gift from John D. Rockefeller, who had it built in 1933 for the US Navy. At the time (1919 to 1933) the Navy was working it is “listening station” from what’s now Acadia NP’s Otter Cliffs. Rockefeller wished to preserve Mount Desert Island strictly as a National park, so he provided funding for the Naval Base to be moved one peninsula over. The Navy vacated the property in 2003, and it was turned over to the Schoodic Institute. Program attendees, and most of the people, can drop in to be taught extra about this analysis and science-based mostly companion of the Nationwide Park on the very interactive Welcome Heart.
Photograph Op: Drive on the 5-mile Schoodic Loop Street to Schoodic Level for rapturous (and practically private) views of the Maine Coast. Come whereas you continue to have the place to yourself.
Local Flavor: Pickled Wrinkles at the Pickled Wrinkle, Birch Harbor. An outdated Down east delicacy, these bountiful sea snails (whelks) sustained poor fishermen in robust occasions, offering a fast protein infusion when food was scarce. Boiled and pickled in vinegar, these items are an acquired taste for sure. Order them when you dare, and if you do not dare, there are many other non-snail options. If accessible, do not cross up the ultra-delish sizzling Rhubarb Streusel for dessert.
Keep: Acadia’s Oceanside Meadows Inn. On 200 numerous acres, this unbelievable place simply 4 miles from the Schoodic Institute is not just an “inn:” it is a nature preserve, a lecture/occasion hall, and seaside all in one. Plus, it presents one of the beautifully introduced and delicious B&B breakfasts ever. FYI – innkeepers are vegetarian, so do not expect a farm breakfast with sausage and bacon. You’ll experience, however, B&B breakfast nirvana.
LUBEC AND EASTPORT MAINE AND CAMPOBELLO ISLAND CANADA
Lubec, Eastport, and FDR’s summer time cottage on Campobello Island in New Brunswick, brings you to the easternmost land within the United States, with a brief foray into Canada. Yes, it’s all the way up here: an excellent ten hours from New York Metropolis or 7 from Boston, however is so completely worth it. The region is beautiful and welcoming – simply you should definitely deliver your Passport!
What You know: Campobello Island – only a two-minute drive over a border crossing bridge from Lubec, ME was FDR’s summer residence. Now, it is an “International Historic Park” managed by both the US and Canadian governments. Tours are incredible, but ensure to join Tea With Eleanor – a free hour-long talk concerning the life of the primary Lady over served tea and cookies.
What You don’t know: Campobello Island is much more than the FDR Cottage and Customer’s Center. There’s an excellent Natural Space (get maps from the Journey Middle you see on the correct as you arrive on the island), two iconic lighthouses, and Whale Watching tours. So ensure to leave at least just a few hours or full day to discover.
Photograph Op/Lubec: West Quoddy Head Light State Park, Lubec. This crimson and white Cat In the Hat saltshaker lighthouse sits on the Easternmost Level of the Continental USA.
Local Characters/Lubec: Monica Elliot, owner of Monica’s Chocolates, was a non-English talking Peruvian newlywed when her Maine-primarily based husband moved her to Lubec and then promptly suffered a debilitating aneurism. Monica was pressured to earn an revenue and take care of him – so she realized easy methods to make chocolate bonbons and grew to become a not-so-in a single day sensation. Thirteen years later, Monica’s English is nice, but her chocolates, sold all over the world and from her lovely Lubec shop, are phenomenal.
Native Taste/Eastport: At the turn of final century, sardine canneries lined the harbor-fronts of easternmost-Maine. Again then, sardines had been preserved in mustard, and one mustard firm from that period, Raye’s Mustard in Eastport, remains to be in enterprise. In addition to pure “Off The Stone” Mustard – you too can buy aged and flavored varieties in the unique 1903 factory.
Worth the Drive: Eastport ME is a 45-minute drive from Lubec. Though remote, Eastport is replete with artwork of all kinds – from the nudie Little Mermaid and gnomish Eastport Fisherman statues in a wharf-entrance park, to a number of excessive-end crafts galleries, to the venerable Tides Artwork Institute and Art Museum. Tide’s gives engaging applications with artists in residents, site-specific art installations and an eclectic gallery featuring the best of Maine artists.
Keep: Peacock Inn, Lubec. This 1860’s Captain’s house sits atop a hill in the charming coastal city of Lubec. Surrounded by flowers in the spring, with birds chirping and coffee brewing in the morning – it’s a quiet, tranquil, and beautifully decorated haven. When all 7 charming rooms are full, mornings change into a contented, social, “small world” time for conversation over a sizzling gourmet breakfast.