As I exit the plane, I already feel that something special is in store for me in Maine.
From my little airplane window, I admire the striking coastline, verdant mountain landscapes and coastline dotted with numerous tiny islands. Suddenly, a long sandy beach comes into my line of vision. That’s when I know there will be boundless opportunities to explore and relax on along the rugged, scenic coast. And I’ve heard that great shopping and exquisite food is also in store.
I land in Portland, Maine and drive south about 90 minutes to the picturesque village of Ogunquit. After check-in, I venture to heavenly Ogunquit Beach, an endless white sandy beach, where I can unwind on my first evening by soaking up the memorable colors created by sunset reflecting on the Atlantic Ocean. The next morning I drive from Ogunquit (a sleepy and beautiful village settled circa 1640!) to Perkins Cove, a nearby quaint New England fishing village. Here I step aboard a lobster boat, the Finestkind, and tour the Oqunquit shore. Grant, an actual lobster fisherman and local entrepreneur, proudly shows me how he sets his traps and catches lobster. As we sail under the famous pedestrian bridge in Perkins Cove, I happily watch the drawbridge rise up as our boat passes through – a spectacular moment.
Exploring the sandy beaches of Ogunquit, Maine
The famous Maine lobster is not to be missed. Billy’s, one of the port’s restaurants, looks particularly enticing. Obviously, I search for the biggest lobster. I end up ordering a 3.8-pound one and manage to actually eat it all. Without a doubt, it was the best lobster I’ve ever eaten. Maine lobster certainly lives up to its reputation. Afterward, I venture back to Ogunquit via Marginal Way, a two-kilometer long scenic trail. Passing surfers, kayakers, birds and other hikers, I’m struck by the magnificent rocky coastline. Maine shines in a spectrum of colors.
Beautiful view of Perkins Cove
Acadia National Park
The next morning calls for an early start. We head to Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park to witness an unforgettable sunrise. At a 466-meter elevation, I’m awestruck by my unrestricted view of the ocean, islands and forest. A mystical fog emerges and effortlessly transforms into dramatic red hues across the horizon. It’s another “wow” moment for me. Since I borrowed a bicycle the day before, I take off enjoying the fantastic landscape on my sunrise bike ride. What a wonderful way to explore the natural beauty of Acadia National Park.
Experiencing sunrise at Acadia National Park
Downtown Bar Harbor
In the afternoon, I discover Bar Harbor, a former fishing village at the foot of the Acadia National Park. Strolling along West Street (formerly Millionaire’s Row), I encounter lots of restaurants, pubs and cute shops. There’s also lovely galleries showcasing talented local artists. At the De’Alessio Gallery, I luck out and get to meet the artist. As the sun begins to dip, I quickly make my way up Cadillac Mountain one more time for another glimpse. The panoramic view does not disappoint. I offer a bittersweet goodbye to the Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor and a deep reddish purple sunset all at once.
Meeting the owner and artist of D’Alessio Gallery in Bar Harbor
On my last day, I visit the Bethel Outdoor Center. Among the many activities, I opt for “sluicing.” This entails grabbing a bucket of dirt, which I am instructed to sift. What may or may not emerge are precious minerals from the still active surrounding mines. I strike it big once again. I tuck away my pretty stones to take home with me as I traverse the 150-meter long Burma Bridge. Walking along the carefully-constructed bridge (it took the owner over five years to build) I take it all in – this moment was a trip highlight for me.
Mining for gems at the Bethel Outdoor Center
Maine is a wonder: great food, friendly people, nature, rocky coastal landscapes, islands and mountains. Beloved by many, this year-round destination has so much to offer, especially in the pleasant summer months with its characteristically cool nights. Inspiring and breathtaking, it brings out the explorer in just about anyone. I know it did in me.
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