In May, we took a ten-day road trip to Maine with two of our best friends. We fell in love with rocky coasts and camp vibe lifestyle. There’s too much beauty in Maine to slim down into a couple of paragraphs. So, we whipped up our top ten musts for when in Maine.
If you’re road tripping, take Highway One up the Coast.
Maine is known for its port cities. But some of them can be touristy. Instead of making only one a destination, drive through a bunch on your way along the coast. This ended up being one of our favorite parts of the trip. We picked and chose our favorite parts to the different port cities and even found little local stores along the way.
#Two. Find a Lobster Pound.
You can’t talk about Maine without talking about lobster. Maine is filled with one lobster joint after another. However, we think there’s only one way to experience Maine’s lobster. Lobster pounds are usually located right on the water and get their supply of lobster straight from the boats. Young’s Lobster Pound is our top pick. The guys who run it are from Jamaica. It added a little extra culture to our Maine experience. We held lobster, ate lobster, and heard stories of Jamaica. Nothing better.
#Three. Souvenir in a nonconventional way.
One thing that’s important to us is supporting local economy. Adventuring in new places gives us a reason to spend a little more money then we usually would. For us, souvenirs that supported local businesses looked like thrift shops, boutiques, and locally roasted coffee.
#Four. Shop in Freeport Maine.
While Maine’s wilderness is too beautiful to spend time inside, Freeport is worth a stop. The L.L.Bean store is another iconic part of Maine. With the L.L. Bean headquarters and Patagonia outlet all on one street, Freeport is the perfect place to stop and gear up.
#Five. Sleep Outside.
For us, this was the sleeping arrangement for the majority of our nights. In the summertime, Maine has the perfect temperatures for camping. We’d have to say that there’s no better way to experience the ruggedness of Maine then to sleep outside. If you are sticking to the coast, I’d say the best place to sleep outside is at Blackwoods campground in Acadia National Park. My favorite part of our nights spent there was the five minute walk that puts you right on the rocks of the coastline. Perfect places to sit and watch the sunrise over the ocean.
#Six. Sea Maine.
And by that I mean see Maine from the sea. There’s a big sailing community in Maine. So while in Maine, do as the Maine’s do. We took a three hour sailing trip out of Southwest Harbor while in Acadia. We experienced the coast, its lighthouses, and wildlife in a way we couldn’t have from shore. Captain Karl took us out on his charter boat, the Alice E. He’s a rad dude with a ton of adventure tales, knowledge of the coastline, and sailing experience.
#Seven. Acadia National Park.
If nothing else, spend a good chunk of your time in Acadia. There’s so much to see and so much to do. My next couple of Must’s are located within the park. If you get a stormy day with an angry ocean, make a trip to Thunderhole. Two hours before high tide is the best time to hit this park attraction. If you get rough enough seas, the incoming waves create a loud thundering noise as they crash into the “Thunderhole” in the rocky coast.
#Eight. Cadillac Mountain.
I can’t talk too highly about this one because the day we made the trip the top was covered in heavy fog. But, even half way up the view was outstanding. To be on the east coast and see the mountains meet the sea is for sure a Must of Maine.
#Nine. The magic bridge.
I made up that name. But, one thing about Maine is the tidal range is crazy. For most of Maine, there’s a twelve-foot difference between low tide and high tide. From downtown Bar Harbor, you can see a small island across the water. At high tide, this island is only accessible by boat. But at low tide, a sandbar bridge emerges and gives access to the island for a few hours each day.
#Ten. Baxter State Park.
If the coast doesn’t have enough rugged wilderness for you, Baxter is worth the trip. The park offers tons of great hikes and requires some knowledge of the land. With bears, moose, and more, Baxter’s wildlife is plentiful. In Baxter, you can do some true backpack camping, or drive several miles on old dirt roads into secluded campsites.