This summer we decided to visit Maine in the north of New England. It is not far from Rhode Island (it depends who you are talking to), the girls have never been there and it has been 20 years since I went. So we went on a road trip for 5 days all the way to Acadia National Park.
Wells – Kennebunkport
We drove to Kennebunkport, Maine for our first stop. We took the dog with us. Not my idea. So we had to find hotels which accept dogs. Finding a hotel is not easy during this time of year ( Maine is the “Vacationland” if you didn’t know) but with a dog it is more difficult.
I finally found a hotel in Wells near Kennebunkport on US 1. US 1 is the road you take if you want to visit the Maine coastline. And this is where you can find most of the motels at an insane price! $240 for one night !
In Wells you have lots of beautiful beaches and ….french Canadians! Indeed it is the vacation destination for my husband’s fellow citizens. So you can see lots of Quebec flags and you can even listen to french tv. We did not go to the beach because that was not the goal of our trip but we visited Kennebunkport which is known for the Bush family destination place and also because it is a really nice place. It’s also popular place but the shops are cute and you can find nice restaurants. We tried the Clam Shack located just before the downtown bridge (why changing when you love lobster shacks?) and we had a lobster diner (lobster and chips) for 14,99$. You can choose your lobster before they cook it, that’s cool.
Old Orchard Beach
The day after we headed to Rockport where I had booked another motel (for dogs :-)) . We took road 5 to Old Orchard Beach because I was curious about this town.
My husband told me: “Are you sure you want to go there? It is really 70’s and not really interesting” . Me: “Yes, I am on vacation I want to visit Maine! ” .
Well, what can I say? : “Veni Vidi” and not “Vici”. Old Orchard Beach is the most popular place I’ve even been, more than Wells and Kennebunkport. I think that even during my vacations on the French coastline I never saw so many people on the beach. Not the idea I have about Maine, the wildlife and the moose! Don’t try to find a moose in Old Orchard Beach. 😛 .
Anyway we decided to stop and walk to the pier and leave .
After that we drove to Cape Elizabeth, a much more quiet place. We drove to the end of the road that goes to the lighthouse (Cap Elizabeth lighthouse) . When you go to the end of the road you don’t really see the lighthouse and it is really hard to find a place to park because there is…. guess what?…. a clam shack! This Clam shack has the best spot I have ever seen for a clam shack because you are at the end of the road and you face the ocean. It is beautiful and then crowded. So crowded than we decided not to wait and eat in a small cafe on the road.
We wanted to visit Portland but changed our mind because we wanted to arrive to Rockland at one point and I also wanted to go to Booth Bay Harbor, for no reason 🙂 . We though we would stopped on our way back home (we did not 😥 ). Even if you have to go out of your way I am happy we went to Booth Bay Harbor. We visited the harbor, walked on the FootBridge which goes from one side of the bay to the other side. We almost decided to go on a puffins watching cruise. But I think I like whale watching cruise way too much 😀 .
Rockport – Rockland – Camden
We arrived at our motel in Rockport. We didn’t visit Rockport because it is really small so we missed Andre the seal ! What is Andre the seal? I did not know but my husband knew all about it. It is a child book and also a movie and apparently Andre the seal was going to Rockport and now he has a statue. So now you know. I also learned that the movie ” The man without a face” with Mel Gibson was filmed in Rockport. I know things now… 😛
Instead of visiting Rockport we went to Camden which is the next town after Rockport. Camden is a really cute town (another one) and we eat in a good and nice waterfront restaurant called.. the Waterfront Restaurant 🙂 . In Camden you will see lots of shooners and can go on a cruise at the sunset.
The day after we went to Rockland to see the lighthouse (Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse). You can walk the 1 mile breakwater to reach the lighthouse. It was a good morning exercice for the dog and us.
And then we hit the road to our final destination Acadia National Park . You can read our 3 days in Acadia here.
So Maine is big. You have to be prepared to be on the road a lot and not to do everything you want to see. I discovered some amazing new places. Maine coastline is really different from Rhode Island coastline or Massachusetts’, much more pine trees and fish harbors and much more lobsters! The weather was perfect and no mosquitos ( almost none).
* From Providence to Maine you take I95 north . You cross New Hampshire and you have to pay a 3$ toll . Then it’s the US1 north all the way to Canada!
* Going on vacations with your dog and find hotels in Maine is not an easy task .If you don’t want to spend too much money you need to book far ahead. I booked my hotels in May and I didn’t have lot of choices for July . But there is a lot of motels and some of them are really cute for motels .
* Maine coastline is really popular and crowded. I did not remember it was so crowded but the more you drive North the more quiet it becomes except when you arrive to Acadia 🙂 !