The Maine Idea

Home to Acadia National Park, bordering Canada to the north and New Hampshire to the south, Maine has 3,478 miles of rugged coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and is home to around 60,000 to 70,000 moose! The state has a great New England feel with a variety of things to see and do. We explored towns on or near the coastline during our visit, including Ogunquit, Freeport and Bar Harbor…..or as locals pronounce it; Baaaaah Habaaaaaah.

Getting There

Southern Maine is a short 4.5 hour drive from NYC and has several airports if you are flying in from further away.

Things to Do

Visit Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine. OK…. I am a HUGE fan of his, so this was a must do for me. I’ve read almost every book he’s written. I have also stared into the darkness at 3 a.m. after hearing a sound, certain that one of his creepy characters was lurking somewhere in my bedroom. “Cujo, is that you?” Thanks Stephen. So how could I not take the opportunity to be a real live stalker and stand outside his gate, just hoping that he would bring out the garbage or check his mailbox. He may have seen me from his window and decided to wait . Talk about scary. I took many stalker pictures while he hid. Don’t worry Stephen, I will be back!

I’ve also stayed at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado…The one that inspired King to write the Shining… ..but that’s for another blog!

Explore Acadia National Park

Oh how I love my National Parks! Acadia did not disappoint. There were so many hiking trails to choose from, but we narrowed it down to a few. Out of the hikes we chose, The Beehive Trail was the most thrilling. By “thrilling” I mean TERRIFYING! The description stated that it was “challenging/difficult”. Adjectives to stay away from on a dating app, yet when it comes to hiking, it sounds fun, exciting, adventurous! You gain 450 feet of height within a relatively short time while scaling tremendous boulders, climbing up iron rungs and inching along cliffs with sheer drops… sound fun yet? I kept checking my safety harness only to realize THERE WAS NONE. Nope. I can’t forget to mention the two bridges. One was like walking across toothpicks on a cliff with a two hundred or so foot drop. My son loved this climb. Of course he did. Although I was petrified while ascending and wondering if I should have let my principal know that I may not be back in September, I was also having fun! Crazy scary fun! Why do I find such excitement in the midst of sheer terror?

Less Heart Stopping Hikes in Acadia….

The Beach Cliff Trail is definitely worth mentioning. There was a series of ladders on this hike that made it a pretty cool climb. It was not as “thrilling” as Beehive, but still a great hike. We also hiked the Cadillac Mountain Loop to get amazing views of the ocean below, and the Ocean Walk which is a much easier hike along the Atlantic with chances all along the way to scramble on some rocks or go down into the water.

Back in town there is a cool strip of land that can be crossed twice a day when the tide is at its lowest. At these times, the Land Bridge is exposed and you can walk to Bar Island. You can hike to the highest point on Bar Island to gain terrific views of Bar Harbor. Make sure you check the tide times…you can cross one and a half hours before and one and a half hours after it goes out. If you get stuck on the island and the tide comes in , you either have to wait 11 hours for the tide to go out again , or call a water taxi which will cost you around 150.00. Getting stranded on an uninhabited island overnight …..now this is a Stephen King novel begging to be written. I should go back to his house to pitch the idea. That won’t seem strange at all.

Up for a little mini golf? Pirate’s Cove is about 10 minutes from town. They have the usual props…a pirate ship , pirate cave and waterfalls. How original. It’s close to Bar Harbor Cellars… so to make things interesting, stop here after wine tasting and see how things work out.

Two other places worth mentioning back in town are Sherman’s….the oldest bookstore in Maine, and Reel Pizza where they play outside movies during summer months. You see what they did there? “reel” as in movie reel. I love a good play on words. I “reely” love a good slice of pizza . Sorry. I had to.

Antiques

A really eclectic place for antiques can be found about 30 minutes southwest of Bar Harbor if you are heading towards Ogunquit on Bangor Road. Relics is a two story building with some of the coolest antiques as well as some great stone gargoyles.

Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse

It’s about a half hour from town, but I felt it was worth the drive. They say that it’s a magical spot at sunset. We were there in the late afternoon. There are some trails that you can take to get different views of it. The lighthouse is actually home to a US Coast Guard family, so you cannot enter. That makes this the second home on this trip that I walked around, peered into and photographed…I am officially a creeper!

Where to Eat

Downeast deli makes boxed lunches to bring on your hikes. They have an extensive menu including the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Need I say more?

Bar Harbor Beer Works. Lobster mac n cheese….. unbelievable! or as they say, “lobstaaaaah”.

Paddy’s Irish Pub Nice views of the water and great food.

Sweet Peas Café – This was my favorite dinner. They had tables right at the edge of the vineyard! Be still my heart! The brick oven pizza was really tasty . The best part? There are horses grazing 15 feet from where you eat! All food here is farm to table. Did I mention the awesome firepit??

Where to stay

The Bar Harbor Villager Motel right in town. Excellent location, clean rooms and a very small pool. Some of the best rates in town.

Freeport, Maine

About 3 hours south of Bar Harbor (Baaaah Habaaaaah) you will find the home of L.L.Bean. The town boasts 12 seperate L.L .Bean stores including one for boating, skiing and biking, and another just for clearance items. There are also a ton of other outlet stores in the center of town. L.L. Bean has an outdoor discovery center right outside of town on the water . They offer a variety of classes including kayaking, biking, camping and paddleboarding. We took the intro to paddleboarding. I was so impressed with the entire experience. The instructors were so knowledgeable, everything was so well organized and even my son had a good time. Fortunately, his irrational fear of kayaks did not carry over to paddleboards! Many of the classes offered are actually free, some have a small fee. Those of you who actually read my blogs know how much I love the free stuff ! You can find their schedule of classes here; https://www.llbean.com/llb/ods/33.

Ogunquit

Look up the word quaint in the dictionary and you might see a picture of Main Street in Ogunquit. There’s a beautiful beach right in town. One side is the ocean side, the other is the bay. If shopping is your thing, there are quite a few unique shops in town. Two of my favorites were On the Main and the Harbor Candy Shop. I could have spent so much more money than I did in On the Main. It appeared that all of their items were made by American artists, which I like. The town has no shortage of items with moose on them… they truly pimp this animal out. He’s on everything from mugs to t-shirts. These clever folks even incorporate him into their company names. For example, in Bar Harbor, “Cool as a Moose” offers (you guessed it) Moose attire. One week in Maine and I didn’t actually see one damn live moose!

Where to Stay

The Meadowmere Lodge

This was a great hotel boasting and indoor and outdoor pool a well as an indoor hot tub. Breakfast is included and they even play movies at night! It’s in a great location and parking is…..free!

Where To Eat

The Egg and I – Such a yummy order of pigs in a blanket!

Angelina’s- Nice outdoor dining , good menu, refreshing prosecco .

Day Trips

Boston, Massachusetts is a short drive away from Ogunquit. I really wished I had more time to spend in Boston and feel that it deserves it’s own post altogether. However, for a quick stop, it’s still worth it! We stayed at the coolest hotel in the Beacon Hill area. This is a fabulous part of town to get lost in. Cobblestone streets, little winding alleys with restaurants here and there, and the famous bar; Cheers made famous by the TV show of the same name. There are too many sites in Boston to mention, but I will say that the Freedom Trail is great for anyone who loves history!

Where to Stay

The Liberty Hotel – This hotel was formerly a prison known as the Charles Street Jail. The interior is beautifully decorated and some of the cells were left intact to add to the decor. I love the original architecture and the history which can be found upstairs by the elevators.

Where to Eat

75 Chestnut. Great atmosphere. The steak was unbeatable!

So if you are looking for a little adventure, great lobster, fresh air and the probability that you will not see any real live moose (or Stephen King for that matter), take a trip to Maine. Enjoy the scenery. Hike the many trails in Acadia. Just don’t call me if you forget to check the tide schedule and get stuck on Bar Island overnight. I will say, “I told you so”.

5 comments

  1. Sounds wonderful! I certainly enjoy reading your blogs. I think we will go up to Maine. We have been to Ogunquit before but never ventured further North. I think we will skip the rock climbing and stick to milder forms of entertainment. Kayaking would be fun. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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