For years Kerry has raved about Maine. Her college beau was from Cape Elizabeth and she used to visit him often, road tripping all over the state. She would return to Maryland high on her coastal adventures and talk (and talk and talk) excitedly about Maine. I listened politely, but I didn't really get it. She mentioned ice cream and my ears perked up, but still I remained ambivalent at best.
And then I went to Vermont (!) and thought how criminal it was that I hadn't given poor Maine a chance. Who was I to write Maine off without even a quick little visit? And then I found this delightful blog and it was all over. And this is how long before I had earned enough vacation time to plan a trip, Kerry and I had booked flights to Portland, and I'd bought a comprehensive guide to Maine travel.
We spent our first 3 nights in Portland with lovely friends who graciously showed us their favorite restaurants, bike rides, and exercise moves (that last one would be in response to Kerry's creepy inquiries). Portland highlights included: The Green Elephant, Silly's, The Portland Head Light, and biking around Peaks Island. It's always such a treat to have locals to show you around so you can put the guide book down for a few days and just take it all in (Thanks Ami!)
I should tell you that Kerry and I both struggle with over-ambitious travel disorder, an exhausting condition, which leads us to make somewhat crazy plans where we pack 10 towns into 3 days. And this is precisely what we did in Maine. From Portland we drove 3.5 hours up the coast to Bar Harbor. The drive, mind you, was STUNNING. Our conversations went something like this:
"I see more water!"
"Boy this sure is pretty"
"Look Kerry, MORE water!"
"Lindsey I'm going to eat lobster rolls for every remaining meal here"
"Maine has so much water!!"
Once we got to Bar Harbor we had a bit of a mwap mwap moment when we realized that Bar Harbor itself crosses that fine line from touristy to tacky and ends up on the wrong side of it. Also, the wind. GOOD LORD it was so windy. But we had driven almost 4 hours to bike around Acadia, so bike around Acadia we did. It was beautiful, clearly. We whizzed around on our mountain bikes until my hands were so cold and claw-like that I could no longer change gears... and I feel like we still only barely scratched the surface of Acadia. But our ambitious plans required us to press onwards, and so we hopped back in the car and headed (with many stops along the way) back down the coast to Belfast.
And this is where it all starts blending together. So many cute towns, so much water, and oddly, so many strip malls in between. After our quick morning in Belfast we drove down the coast to Kennenbunk stopping wherever our little hearts desired (which I probably don't need to tell you was everywhere).
Our final night we stayed in Kennenbunk but spent lots of time exploring neighboring Kennenbunkport and biking all about. If you've been keeping track yes, this did make 3 days biking in 6 days in Maine and yes, we might have overdone it.
I would go into more detail here about all the places we saw but I think it's easiest to just say Maine is lovely, and well worth a visit, probably many visits actually and that you can see some photo highlights below. Naturally Vermont is still my favorite state but Maine is pretty high up there and so I am grateful that I had this chance to visit.