Maine is the largest state in New England, the northeastern region of the U.S.
The state has a long coastline, beautiful mountain and ocean views, and in the winter, you can ski on forested, snow-capped mountains. The sea, the beach and the freshly caught seafood made me feel like I was living a peaceful dream.
Exploring the Portland Area
Located in southeastern Maine, Portland is the largest city in the state and a great place to start your visit. On one side of the vibrant downtown waterfront is the historic Old Port, where I explored a wide variety of locally owned arts and crafts shops among the ornate Victorian architecture and cobblestone streets. I enjoyed the most delicious meal at Street And Co. restaurant. This is also where you’ll find the city’s working waterfront overlooking Casco Bay. You’ll see lobster boats coming into port, and you can watch the workers bringing their catch to shore.
Waterfront Icons in Cape Elizabeth
South of Portland, we visited a small town called Cape Elizabeth and its famous Portland Head Light. This is the oldest of the 65 lighthouses in Maine, and it’s still in operation. Many tourists, especially photographers, love waiting to capture the sunrise here. Enjoy the sea breeze, listen to the crashing waves – what a fantastic life!
After a quick 10-minute drive, we made it to The Lobster Shack At Two Lights, a much-loved restaurant that attracts patrons from near and far. I’d never had a meal so close to the ocean. I enjoyed the popular lobster roll – made of fresh and juicy lobster meat in a buttery, fluffy roll – while listening to the sound of crashing surf and horns from entering ships.
Nearby, Crescent Beach is a pristine beach that provides visitors with the opportunity to surf and swim, or you can take a casual stroll on the white-sand beach with your family.
Shopping in Freeport
Only 30 minutes by car from Portland, we stopped in the city of Freeport to go shopping. You can browse a range of outlet stores at discount prices from popular brands such as Ralph Lauren and Coach or take a visit to a local favorite, the renowned outdoor apparel maker L.L. Bean.
Beautiful Bar Harbor
Bar Harbor, located in northeastern Maine, is a small yet vibrant waterfront town with plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Our first stop was Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. This is the highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard. We drove all the way up to the summit to see the sunrise. Even before 6 a.m., there was already a group of people standing at the top of the mountain, waiting for the sunrise ready with their phones and cameras. It truly is one of nature’s masterpiece.
Winding through the heart of Acadia National Park, the carriage roads have crushed rock surfaces perfect for bicycling. This was my favorite activity because I could immerse myself in nature and enjoy all it has to offer.
Also in Bar Harbor, I highly recommend the Lulu Lobster Boat Ride. The captain took us on a tour to learn about how local fishermen catch lobsters and gave us a comprehensive analysis the anatomy and life cycle of the Maine lobster. For example, I now know that lobsters smell with their leg hairs. During the tour, we even got to see seals sticking their heads out of the sea!
If you want an unforgettable vacation, Maine is definitely a first choice. See the ocean, play on the beach, enjoy the lobster, go shopping – and relax!