Turn thirty, run away to Maine. That’s essentially what I did! I wanted to bring in a new decade in a new and beautiful place! Summers in Maine are legendary and I finally got my *taste* of the beautiful things this state has to offer.
Reasons a Summer in Midcoast Maine Should Be on Your Travel List:
The Lobster: Honestly, I’ve had some pretty pricey lobsters from some very nice steak and seafood restaurants. Before heading to Maine, I thought, “how much better could it actually be?” I sit here writing this corrected and informed. It doesn’t matter how great other lobsters have tasted, there is nothing like a giant, fresh lobster pulled out of the water that morning. It’s divine.
The Blueberries: Summer in Maine means blueberries galore! From late July to early September, you can find them everywhere- even growing on the side of the highway! There are stands on the side of the road selling pints of blueberries, every restaurant is advertising wild blueberry pies, pastries, and cocktails.
After I ate my first one, my eyes were opened. I specifically said, “this is a pocket of sugar.” They’re incredible. Blueberries anywhere else do not compare.
Pie and Ice Cream: Maine is extremely serious about their desserts! Everywhere you look there are ice cream shops and restaurant pie lists a mile long. Even our Bed & Breakfast put out fresh pies for guests each day!
The Weather: Maybe the most incredible experience, literal outdoor air conditioning. *heart eyes* Every day was in the low 70’s, sunny with an easy breeze. It was like entering a different world, coming from Texas, where the highs have been in the triple digits for months. Imagine: a place where you *want* to open the windows during the first week of August. It was so ideal, it almost felt like it couldn’t be real. Truly, too good to be true.
The Landscape: My first sigh of Maine was flying into the Portland Jetport. It was like rapid fire of brain processing: lighthouses, island homes, sailboats, calm waters, rocky coastline, greenery, mountains on the horizon. It’s beyond gorgeous- a true escape. There is no doubting why Maine is called “Vacationland.”
The Peace and Quiet: Maine is ranked the ninth smallest state by population and the 12th smallest state by area. With a population of 1.3 million over 30,843 sq mi, there is plenty of breathing room. The summer season is by far the busiest time in Maine, especially on the mid-coast, but even with tourists flocking to the area, it still keeps an easy-going, peaceful vibe.
So, you’ve got a few days in Maine. Let’s talk about the must-dos!
Where to Go and What to Do:
Wiscasset: We enjoyed Wiscasset as a lunch stop on our way to and from Rockland. I’m not sure that it has much to offer an active tourist. There were some nice restaurants and a great view of the Back River, but overall seems quaint and residential. We stopped for two meals at Sarah’s Cafe and Sprague’s Lobster for lobster rolls – both were impressive!
Rockland: Rockland is the lobster capital of the United States, so obviously the restaurants have a lot to offer. The downtown area is trendy with coffee shops and many art galleries. We even saw a pop-up hosting local creators and small business owners.
Have drinks at the bar and get a front row seat to the magic of meal preparation in the small kitchen of In Good Company. The teamwork, attention to detail, and fast pace are beyond impressive to observe.
Make reservations for dinner at Primo. Pricy and reservations are required, this farm-to-table restaurant operates within a Victorian house and is lead by two-time James Beard award-winning chef, Melissa Kelly.
Grab coffee from Rock City Coffee and take time to appreciate the local art within the many galleries along Main St.
Have an amazing lobster dinner at Claw’s. This was my favorite lobster roll of the entire trip- and I had many!
Watch the sunset on the deck of Archer’s on the Pier. Dinner and drinks have never been so peaceful. Don’t forget to ask about the pie list!
Camden: Camden is beautiful and filled with things to do! It has something to offer everyone. The downtown area is more developed than Rockland with many local shops, restaurants, and historical sites. This is a fantastic place to visit if you’re traveling with family.
Stop at Owl & Turtle Bookshop for coffee and a vacation read! They have a great selection of new releases, best-seller favorites, and classic editions. Books make the best souvenirs!
Grab lunch to-go from Camden Deli and picnic in Harbor Park or the Camden Public Library Amphitheater.
Pick up an ice cream cone from River Ducks Ice Cream and take a stroll down Main Street.
Book a sailing cruise with Maine Schooners and get a view of the gorgeous coastline from the open waters.
Eat dinner at Peter Ott’s on the Water– Located on the Camden Harbor waterfront, this upscale dining atmosphere pairs perfectly with a sunset and watching boats travel in and out.
Hike Mount Battie and Camden Hills State Park– Around a two hour hike, you’ll make it to the top of the Camden Hills to find a beautiful view of the harbor village of Camden. With 30 miles of hiking trails, this is the perfect way to spend a day of adventure!
Bar Harbor: Well developed and home to Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor was the most active area we visited. Many different restaurants, vacation homes, hotels, and activities! We spent a day there, but could easily have spent an entire week! Acadia National Park, alone, deserves multiple days. On top of that, there are many lobster fishing and whale watching boat tours that operate out of Bar Harbor. This town definitely deserves your attention!
Hike Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park. It’s a flat trail, just over three miles long. It’s considered an “easy” trail, making it ideal for families with children. If you’re feeling adventurous, take the South Bubble detour on this trail and climb up to the top of the rock! It’s a breathtaking view that was worth the steep incline- definitely not “easy.”
Book a whale watching or nature cruise with Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. See these wild animals in their natural environment. When choosing Bar Harbor Whale Watch, you help support whale research and conservation.
Eat popovers and drink lemonade at Jordan Pond House. Directly in front of the Jordan Pond trailhead, this restaurant is the perfect place to rest and recover after a few hours of hiking. Make sure you get the popovers and lemonade- they’re famous for them!
- Flight from DFW>DCA>PWM
- Picked up our car in a TURO pick up lot
- Headed “down east” toward Rockland
- Stopped in Wiscasset for a lobster roll and pepperoni pizza at Sarah’s Cafe
- Checked into our Bed and Breakfast, The Rockland Talbot House – they keep complimentary homemade pies stocked in the fridge at all times
- Dinner and drinks on the deck at Archer’s on the Pier
- Breakfast at our B&B
- Walked through downtown Rockland and explored a pop-up makers fair- lots of local craftsmen and artisans selling their work
- Drove up to Camden for the day
- Went to Owl and Turtle Bookshop
- Lunch at Camden Deli
- Walked around the downtown area- there’s a lot to see!
- Took a sailboat tour around the bay
- Headed back to Rockland
- Dinner at Claw’s – get the lobster roll “flatlander style”
- Nightcap drinks at In Good Company
- Back home to our B&B for homemade pie
- Woke up early and drove to Bar Harbor to spend the day at Acadia National Park- it’s about a two hour drive from Rockland
- Had breakfast on the dock at Sunrise Cafe
- Hiked around Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park – approximately 3mi – very family friendly path
- Took a detour while hiking Jordan Pond and climbed South Bubble – while there were some children making this climb, definitely not an easy path.
- Lunch at Jordan Pond House
- Drove to Sand Beach and stuck our feet in the icy Atlantic waters
- Dinner at Paddy’s Irish Pub in Bar Harbor – not what we had planned, but we were hungry after a day exploring. They may be an Irish pub on the coast of Maine, but they made some Texas-style margaritas that made use extremely happy.
- Drove back to Rockland and ended the night with more homemade pie at the B&B
- Breakfast at our B&B
- Scenic drive back toward Portland
- Lunch at McLoon’s – lobster rolls were insanely good! Get there right at 11am and beat the long line
- Drinks at Stroudwater Distillery in Portland
- Dropped out car back off at the TURO parking lot – bonus: the car owner then drove us to the airport!
- Flight from PWM>ORD>DFW
There you have it! If you follow me on Instagram, you know we also went on a Lobster Roll Tour through midcoast Maine. I’m working on a foodie blog post that covers each sandwich with locations and ratings. Be sure to subscribe to blog posts so it arrives right to your inbox!
What did I miss?! What are your must-dos when spending your summer in #Vacationland?!
Leave me a comment!