Led-by-a-Local Guide to Maine
This pandemic took on a toll on me, along with everyone else, making me go stir crazy and have immense anxiety. I knew a needed a break and though I was bold to get on a plane during this crazy time, I took the risk and turned out better than ever.
My best friends from college, Chloe and Grace, took a girl's trip to the Pine Tree State of MAINE. Chloe is born and raised in Five Islands and led us through the wilderness... literally.
After a long day of traveling, on our way back to Chloe's house from the Portland Airport (PWE), we grabbed dinner at DuckFat.
We're carb friendly and aren't afraid to show it-- As basic & boring as it sounds, I recommend getting the fries to start with a flight of sauces. My favorite is the horseradish mayo. The Poutine is also delicious! This restaurant is known for cooking all their dishes with duck fat which is what makes the flavors stand out. We also ordered the specials including a watermelon salad & lobster roll... duh! But, to save the best for last, the doughnut holes are a MUST.
The next day we took a three hour drive to Bar Harbor / Acadia. We stayed at the Quality Inn which is a 10 minute walk to the waterfront and a 5 minute drive to the National Park entrance. Breakfast was included!
The hotel lobby sold parking passes for Acadia National Park but there is also an option to buy on-site for $30.
We started the day with the 'Beehive Hike'. It's just as cute and whimsical as it sounds as you physically have to climb up the rocks using a built-in ladder. It's a moderately-hard hike and is not dog or children friendly.
The morning started off a bit foggy but burned off and turned into a picture perfect day! The trail is marked with blue marks on the rocks. Again, I cannot stress enough that a big portion of this hike was climbing!
Note: Once you have reached the top of the 'Beehive', the same way you came up is NOT the same way to return. There is a much easier trail that is not as steep. It also trails off to 'The Bowl' which is a lake you are able to swim in (shown below). Continue looking for the blue markings!
I also highly recommend taking a drive up 'Cadillac Mountain' as there are truly exquisite views!
We decided to head back into town and grab some lunch / dinner.
Testa's Bar & Grill did not disappoint. My friends & I are big into family- style so we tried the Lobster Bisque, Coconut Shrimp (with Blueberry Sweet Thai Chili Sauce), and the famous Maine Street Lobster Tacos.
We also tried Stewman's Lobster Pound. Big fan of the Lobster Roll & Haddock Sandwich. It was a picture-perfect day being right on the water.
It was 80 degrees, so naturally, we needed a sweet treat. Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium is delicious and has an extensive array of ice cream, candy, pie, etc.. I went with the 'Joyous Almond' which tasted like an Almond Joy / German Chocolate Cake!
We shopped around the rest of the day & got some souvenirs. After eventually heading back to Five Islands, we stopped along the way at The Happy Clam Shack a.k.a the cutest place ever!
The next day we had a beach day at Indian Point Beach. It was my first time swimming in the East Coast ocean! Many people warned me that it was always cold, even in July. I say ya'll are wimps because I was swishing my little heart out.
Chloe's family owns a boat and we were blessed enough to take her for a little spin back in the Five Islands harbor.
And just when you think the day would be over, we rallied and went to the town of 'Bath' to Bath Brewing Company.
I'm a big fan of Belgians and citrus-infused beers. The 'Weisenheimer Hefeweizen' is the best beer I have ever had in my life- no exaggeration! Highly recommend if you want something light and refreshing! Prices are great, as well.
Okay, not exaggerating about this next place... The Gelato Fiasco is amazing. The 'Maine Wild Blueberry' is the best gelato I've ever eaten. The beauty of this shop, is that you are able to get any size and however many flavors you want. I got a size small and got four different flavors. It's 100% worth checking out.
The next day was a full adventure spent in BoothBay, ME. Wow, what a sight to see! It was the most adorable & quaint little town right on the water.
For lunch, we went to Taka Mediterranean Bar & Grill. This is a staple when it comes to BoothBay as the food and atmosphere did not disappoint. It's right along the boardwalk overlooking the water.
The 'Sushi Lobster Roll' is the best sushi I've ever eaten... please, don't miss out on this one. Generous helpings of meat. I'm drooling just thinking about it...
We also ordered the Crab Cake sandwich which was great, but I'm still biased to the sushi.
My favorite lobster roll of the trip was also eaten at Taka's. We ordered it hot!
Across from Taka's, we popped into the Ice Cream Factory. Again, when in Maine, I went with the Maine Blueberry ice cream. Are you sensing my pattern of seafood & blueberries yet?
There is a museum on the premises which gave insight to its history. The Pemaquid LightHouse is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard. The tower was built in 1827 by order of President John Quincy Adams. And, It can be seen from 14 miles away in clear weather.
I've never had Clam Chowder before... I know- crazy! But again, when in Maine, I had to eat copious amounts of seafood. I'm glad I splurged & also ordered Wood Fire Salmon... so stinkin' good.
And that marks the end of our trip! If I had to sum up any takeaways it'd be that the state of Maine is so lusciously green and beautiful; the seafood lives up to the hype; and the fact that it is normal & legal to take your roadkill to the butcher to chop it up & keep in your freezer for 3+ years is still the most baffling concept. Maine, you treated me well... until next time!