10 astounding roadtrip stops in Maine

Maine; a place where coastal towns have been preserved in time, history oozes from every home or building, and the mountains meet the sea. Autumn boasts vibrant colors, apple picking and the benefit of catching sea excursions before everything closes up for the winter, making the season an optimal time to take a roadtrip through the pine tree state.

Higgins Beach Inn-Scarborough, ME

Located quite close to Portland, in Scarborough, the Higgins Beach Inn has been recently renovated after 100 years in service. Steps away from one of the swimable beaches on the typically rocky Maine Coast, the hotel is the perfect ocean getaway. Renovation didn’t erase the classic feel that’s existed over a century; beautiful wooden staircases, original floors, and era appropriate modernization has simply enhanced an already gorgeous inn. Guests have their own luxurious bathrooms, while feeling like they are in a genuine bed and breakfast. An onsite restaurant serves local favorites, but when it’s not open, the Chart Room, down the road, is the place to get clam chowder, artisanal prepared seafood, and traditional Maine blueberry pie with ice cream and a sweet crumble on the side.

Lulu Lobster Boat-Bar Harbor, ME

Lobstering is the soul of Maine coastal living; many menus thrive off of the crustaceans. It’s seems only appropriate to immerse in the life of a lobsterman while in the area, and the Lulu Lobster Boat takes you through every step, while providing a scenic tour of Frenchman’s Bay. Lobstering history, current methods and a little about the surrounding islands are some of the things the guide will cover. During the trip, traps are pulled up so passengers can interact with a live lobster, which are later tossed back in the water.

Bar Harbor Inn-Bar Harbor, ME

The Bar Harbor Inn was once known as the Mount Desert Reading Room, before it received its additions and was dubbed with its current name in the 80’s. Before World War I, it was known for promoting social and literary culture while serving as the center for many events. Now the inn, still holding on to its notable style and character, houses guests in exceptional suites with spectacular water views. Two story rooms are adorned with balconies that face outward to Bar Harbor, a popular lobstering spot in the area. Fresh flowers, nightly chocolates and lobby refreshments are a few things that make the stay even more special.

Acadia National Park-Mount Desert Island, ME

Where to start with this beautiful oceanfront park? It would take months to fully explore it. But if you’re in town for a short period, hike the Gorham Mountain Trail, or bike the carriage roads, which are reserved only for hikers and bicyclists. By taking the Jordan Pond Loop, you’ll have spectacular views along a route that will take you to Jordan’s Pond House. Since 1884, the old farmhouse has operated as a restaurant, and today they still serve the warm popovers and jam they’ve been known for over the past 100 years. Once you regain your energy, continue on your bike to see the rest of the loop.

Mount Desert Oceanarium-Bar Harbor, ME

Slightly inland from Bar Harbor is one of the humblest, most unique marine life experiences. Mount Desert Oceanarium teaches about conservation, general marine biology, and specifically lobsters through interactive tours and displays. The lobster hatchery works to sustain lobster population by raising thousands of these little guys at once, only to release them into the ocean, which you’ll get to see on video. The discover tank demonstration lets kids touch and see everything from starfish to sea snails.

Stephen King Tour-Bangor, ME

If you loved the movie IT, you might be interested in delving into the life of the mind behind the original story, Stephen King. SK Tours of Maine loads folks in their crimson van to tour the town of Bangor, which not only has been home to the King family since before his success, but served as inspiration for many of his iconic stories. Perhaps the highlight is getting to see and hear the story behind their magnificent, historical home. Even the biggest fan will learn something new from the knowledgeable guide with first hand information.

250 Maine Hotel-Rockland, ME

The rooftop balcony has killer views of the Rockland Harbor, which served as a major hub for ship building, ice harvesting and lime manufacturing, which began in the 1700s. Each room in the industrial inspired, boutique hotel is uniquely designed; a beautifully artistic approach contributes to the colorful vibe. The stay is quite personalized and extras include a daily wine social with cheese, nuts and dried fruits, and a cozy breakfast every morning by the modern fireplace.

Sail Heron-Rockport, ME

Sailing on a real sailboat along the coast of Maine is an absolute must. The Heron departs from the Rockport harbor, which neighbors Rockland, and runs through the warmer months. When cold weather strikes, the Heron makes her way to the Grenadines. The experience is simple, relaxing and filled with interesting historical facts while passengers watch crew members hoist sails like they did back in the day. The gorgeous wooden schooner hosts lunch, sunset and dinner cruises too.

Nonantum Resort-Kennebunkport, ME

Charm and Luxury seamlessly combine at The Nonantum Resort in the Kennebunks. The grounds wrap around a serene inlet, and many of the rooms have a direct view toward the open sea. During the fall, the lawn is decorated with scarecrows, the porch is draped in garlands or mums, and autumn treats, like pumpkin whoopie pies and pastries, are served. Breakfast is included with the stay; smoked salmon, sweet potato pancakes, handmade English muffins, maple sausage and egg whites with mozzarella are some of the offered dishes.

Coastal Maine Kayak-Kennebunk, ME

Coastal Maine Kayak deepens the Kennebunk experience by paddling adventurists around islands and open ocean. The experience is generally calm and appropriate for most; you’ll get to see, and possibly step foot on, Goat Island, a small piece of land which hosts one of Maine’s many lighthouses. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a few playful seals pop out of the water, or spot land wildlife in the distance. Kayaking is a fascinating way to explore the Kennebunks from a different perspective.

Comments (5)

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  1. Rachel S says:

    We have family in Maine and have spent some time here but there is always something new to explore. This is such a historic area, with so many small charming places and the freshest seafood I’ve ever tasted! I really like the idea of the Stephen King Tour, which I imagine is even more popular now the movie has just been released – but I’ve always been a fan of his books.

  2. Cal says:

    We go to Bar Harbor almost every Summer. I love it there. Never thought to explore the coast by sail boat, though. Must look up The Heron for our next trip. Do you have to be experienced in sailing at all? I’m guessing not if there’s a crew on board…

  3. Karyn says:

    The Stephen King Tour is wonderful. And no experience is needed to sail on the Heron. It’s a very relaxing experience and all is taken care of by the crew :)

  4. Adrian says:

    I like the idea of the lobster trip myself. Maine lobster is renowned for being the sweetest, most tender lobster in the world. Would be nice if you could return to shore with your catch and take it to a local restaurant. Are there any vessels that go out and offer that kind of service, do you know?

  5. Karyn says:

    I’ve heard that Maine Ocean Adventures and the Portland Lobster Company offers those experiences. There may be several more! It would be an incredible experience!

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