Maine sits in the corner of the Northeast snuggled up next to Canada and bordering Vermont. If you’ve ever looked at a United States map when considering your next trip, I am sure that you have overlooked the State more than once. As a lifelong New Englander, I have memories of heading to Maine with my family when I was young, and then with friends in my teen years, but thereafter I sort of overlooked, too.
Shortly after I got married, my husband and I decided to book a getaway that was close enough to Massachusetts but different enough that it truly felt like an escape- that was Maine- and continues to be Maine. Since 2016 we book travel here two to three times a year usually Summer, Fall, and Winter (yes we did this in 2020 as well pre & post pandemic lockdown!) If Maine is not on your destination calendar for this year, then you need to pencil it in immediately and here’s why:
Local Food Bragging Rights:
When visiting coastal Maine you discover that seafood literally does not get any fresher than this. Lobster is, of course, the most famous catch along the coast and you’ll find that every restaurant lining roads through Kittery, Ogunquit, and Wells boasts “twin lobsters!” or “world famous lobster rolls!” on their signs outside. Freshly caught Scallops, Oysters and Atlantic Salmon are a local favorite that also appear on menus everywhere. Let’s not forget the Maine Blueberry! Handcrafted blueberry jam, salt water taffy, blueberry baked goods, just blueberry everything and it’s all so delicious! You won’t be able to resist buying at least one Maine Blueberry-themed snack or souvenier while you’re there, I promise!
New England Charm:
Lighthouses, antique shops, and farm stands are among some of the coolest spots to visit when in Maine. When we visit Maine in the warmer months, we always come equipped with the Nikon camera to capture the beauty of the Atlantic Coastline and their lighthouses, our favorite being Nubble Lighthouse in York. Visiting a local farm stand is always on our agenda because freshly baked treats and ripe seasonal produce are at their peak!
These pit stops are a necessity, especially when we are driving home from our Summer trip- fresh rhubarb pie corn on the cob are “wicked good” and all of the farmstand bounty gives me a good excuse to host a bbq in the days to come! Oh and the antique shops! These sleepy little shops have such cool and unique items, each telling their own story, but some also feature a mix of locally made goods as well. Local Maine residents and business owners are lovely people who truly appreciate tourism , especially since many businesses are seasonal. You can expect to have great service and warm welcome everywhere you go!
In the summer months Portland, Ogunquit, and York are among the top Maine destinations. There is fun to be had by the whole family! Why not spend a day at the beach or head to the arcade if you stumble on a rainy day? Feel like shopping? Peruse the Kittery outlet shops or spend a day in the downtown Portland area. Need to get some energy out of the kids system? York’s Wild Animal Kingdom is a good option for you as it’s a hybrid of zoo and amusement fun! In the Fall, why not enjoy the New England foliage and head to an apple orchard for a day of picking?
The Great Outdoors:
If you like to hike, fish, bike, or boat you’ve found your place! Acadia National Park is in Northeast Maine, about a four hour ride from Boston. Though smaller than most National Parks, Acadia offers hiking and biking trails galore. Its mountains are spectacular, including Cadillac Mountain, which will provide stunning views of sunrise and sunset. Whether you enjoy saltwater or freshwater fishing there are so many areas of the state for you to enjoy. But, Sebago Lake and Tripp Pond are our favorite for freshwater, especially ice fishing, and it’s a blast to book a boat charter to do some angling in the Atlantic! Winter activities are robust, you can take your pick of skiing, skating, or even a day of dogsledding!
How do you picture your Maine Escape?
Sitting on a picnic bench eating lobster rolls in the summer sun after a beach day. Seeing the Fall foliage in Acadia National Park. Snuggling up at a cozy Inn to enjoy a fireplace and hot tub during winter months. Renting a cabin by the lake with the family. Strapping those skis on to sail down the slopes. These are the reasons why we keep going back to Maine and why it should be on your 2021 list!
Ready to get planning your ultimate Maine escape? Check out my travel guide Winter in Maine: Outdoor Adventures to make the planning process a breeze. It includes local food, and all the activities to do in Portland, Maine during the cold months!