Maine – Explore the Beautiful Maine Coast


One of the most underrated destinations in the United States, Maine is an absolute wonder. From the rocky peaks of Acadia to the shimmering waters of Bar Harbor, from the delicious lobster to the crisp blueberry beer – Maine is the perfect spot for everyone. Check out my highlights and some of the lesser known spots!

Need to Know:

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English


PVM – Portland International

BGR – Bangor International

BOS – Boston Logan International

Electrical Outlets: 120V supply voltage and 60Hz

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – For Bar Harbor, I recommend staying downtown so you can walk to the Island Explorer. We stayed at the Bar Harbor Villager Motel, nothing fancy but worked out well for our purposes! My friend stayed at the Mira Monte Inn and recommends it because of the ideal location and nice breakfast! There are limited Airbnbs  in Bar Harbor, so a hotel or Bed & Breakfast is the way to go.

In Portland, I also recommend a hotel so you can be close to downtown. There are more Airbnb options here if you prefer a house.

Getting Around – You really need a car to get to and around Maine. I’ve flown into Boston and New York before, then rented a car and drove up. For getting around Acadia National Park, use the Island Explorer shuttle. This is the bus system that takes you around the park because there is extremely limited parking. I do not recommend trying to drive into the park, except to drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain.

Maine Sunset
Downtown Portland
Maine Road Transportation

Mount Desert Island

Bar Harbor

Shore Path: A nice paved walking trail follows the shore of the harbor and is a great spot for a morning stroll. We also used this path to get from one part of Bar Harbor to another and it is more peaceful than walking on the streets. 

Eat Lobster: Considered a delicacy in most parts of the world, this Maine staple is so fresh and reasonably priced, you can’t pass it up. Check out one of the many lobster restaurants in Bar Harbor and splurge on this delicious shellfish. We enjoyed the lobster above at Stewman’s Lobster Pound.  

Sunset Sail: The highlight of Bar Harbor is, of course, the harbor and the beautiful bay beyond. My mom and I took a Schooner Sunset Sail aboard the Margaret Todd for $48 each. With smooth waters, this was a relaxing and picturesque cruise. Bring your own wine and cheese to have a little snack as you cruise through the bay serenaded by a local acoustic artist they usually bring on board. 


Bar Harbor Sunset Sail
Bar Harbor Walk
Stewman's Lobster Pond BAr Harbor

Acadia National Park

Beehive to Champlain Hike: This was my favorite hike in the whole park, but do not attempt if you’re out of shape or scared of heights. This hike includes climbing up metal rungs with a steep drop off behind you. They take you up to spectacular views, then down to Bowl Lake and up to another vista on Champlain Mountain. 

Norumbega Mountain / Goat Trail: Check out this 3 mile loop hike, moderate difficulty and moderately trafficked. You’ll get great views at the peak! Do Goat Trail side first and if you’re driving, get there early to get trailhead parking. 

Jordan Pond: This stop is mainly known for the Jordan Pond House and Restaurant that were build near Jordan Pond. The restaurant is known for its lobster rolls and popovers. There is usually a long wait, so I recommend putting your name in for a table and then doing the short little hike around Jordan Pond while you wait.   

Cadillac Mountain: One of the most popular vistas in the whole park, Cadillac Mountain is definitely worth checking out. My mom and I took on the challenging hike to summit Cadillac Mountain, and although it was a nice hike and a stunning view, it was a bit disheartening to see all the people walking around in flip flops since you can also just drive up there. In the future, I’d probably drive up to Cadillac Mountain and save my energy to reach a more secluded view on another mountain.

Gorham Mountain Trail: This moderate trail, only 1.8 miles (2.9 km) round-trip, offers stunning views of the ocean and the island (both Bar Harbor and Acadia are part of Mount Desert Island – MDI). This is a relaxing hike and would be gorgeous at sunset. 

Sand Beach and Ocean Path: Visible right away when you get off the Island Explorer at stop D, there is a sandy beach (hence the name), usually filled with people relaxing or wading in the ocean. From this beach starts a well-traveled path that follows the shore to the east towards Otter Point.

Sieur de Monts: Not a huge priority in comparison to the one-of-a-kind hikes and vistas of the Acadia trails, but this nature center and gardens are worth checking out if you have some extra time. The Island Explorer will drop you off right at the front of the nature center and you can learn about native flora and fauna. 


Jordan Pond Acadia
Beehive Trail Acadia
Beehive Trail Acadia

Northeast Harbor

Main Street and Marina: This cute little town is worth a visit, especially because you can get there on the Brown Mountain Island Explorer Line. Walk along the quaint streets by the harbor and check out the local boutiques and shops. 

Thuya Gardens: Located on the Thuya Lodge grounds with a suggested donation of $3.00 as the visitor’s entrance fee, these flowering gardens are a beautiful sight in the spring or summer. Enjoy the open observation pavilion overlooking the main garden that cascades down to a shallow reflecting pool below. 

Asticou Inn: Whether you just marvel from afar or spend a night in the cozy rooms, be sure to check out the historic Asticou Inn. Although we chose the prior option, I heard their popovers are to die for. 

Top Restaurants and Bars on Mount Desert Island

(limited to what I was able to try)

Stewman's Lobster Pond Great place to get a lobster meal right in downtown Bar Harbor. We got a whole steamed lobster, multiple sides, and delicious blueberry pie!
Beal's Lobster Pier Would 100% eat there again. So delicious, and it’s on a fishing pier so it has a unique vibe. They also have Udi’s gluten free buns available for lobster rolls!
Atlantic Brewing The best blueberry beer I found in Maine! They also have pretty good food and a nice space to hang out.
The Stadium Great blueberry pie (especially if you pick up vanilla ice cream at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream and sit by the water). They even have GF blueberry crumble!
2 Cats Cafe A great spot for brunch. They advertise the biscuits as the showstopper, but they were overhyped in my opinion. I thought the blueberry pancakes completely stole the show!
Tan Turtle In Northeast Harbor, they had a fantastic seafood chowder and huge sandwiches. A great spot if you have a big appetite.
Mount Desert Island Ice Cream Right downtown, this little ice cream shop is a popular spot for everyone visiting the island. My favorite flavors were the lemon poppyseed and blueberry!
Blueberry Pie Stewman's Lobster
Jordan Pond Lobster Roll
Jordan Pond Tea and Popovers


Cape Elizabeth: Probably the most iconic lighthouse in Maine, the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is absolutely beautiful. Set on the rocky coastline of Maine, you’ll get stunning ocean views and a perfect photo op with the lighthouse. 

Bike Along the Eastern Promenade: This 68-acre waterfront park has a beautiful trail for enjoying the coastal views. The trail starts at Old Port and runs along the old rail line. There are multiple shops to rent bikes such as Allspeed, Portland Encyclopedia, or Cycle Mania

Explore Downtown: Portland downtown is sure a charming area to explore. There are tons of shops and boutiques to peruse, cute coffee shops, and fresh seafood! 

Brewery Hop: There is an incredible brewery scene in Portland, so make sure you check out a few! Some of my favorites are Allagash Brewing Co., Liquid Riot Bottling Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, and Rising Tide Brewing Co. 

Take a Ferry to Peaks Island: I haven’t actually taken a ferry, but there are many islands in Casco Bay that you can visit. Check out the ferry schedule for a little excursion to Peaks Island or one of the other islands. 

Drive the Maine Coast: If you’re staying in Portland, be sure to venture out along the rugged Maine coastline. A short drive from Portland, you can head out to Harpswell, part of a grouping of peninsulas. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have limited time, but if you’re looking for something to do, this can be a cool excursion. 

Portland Harbor
Downtown Portland
Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse

Favorite Restaurants in Portland

(limited to what I was able to try)

Luke's Lobster Portland Pier This was a highlight for me because they have gluten free lobster rolls! With a great view right on the pier, Luke's was a highlight for fresh lobster, clams, and fish!
Standard Baking Co. Delicious handmade breads, sweets, and pastries.
Duckfat Super well known for sandwiches, fries, milkshakes, this is a popular spot so be prepared for a wait. It is fancier than a burger joint, it's more like a European style cafe.
Gilbert's Chowder House I've seen lots of blogs claim this as the best chowder in Maine, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree!
Captain Sam's Homemade Ice Cream Cute little ice cream shop with huge servings! Right by the pier so you can walk by the water.
Luke's Lobster Roll
Portland Ice Cream
Local Clams Portland

Coastal Towns

Wells: Check out Wells Beach. It gets busy, but there’s lots of space and free municipal parking if you get there early. You can also swing up to the little town of Kennebunkport and check out the cute little shops.

Kittery: Pretty much the last exit in Maine before you hit New Hampshire, stop here to get lobster rolls at Bob’s Clam Hut, featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. 

Camden, Rockport and Rockland: We stayed at the Glen Cove Inn and Suites and loved exploring these little towns. Check out Camden Hills State Park, Breakwater Walk out to the lighthouse, and tons of great waterfront restaurants. 

Freeport: Worth a stop to visit the L.L. Bean Flagship Stores and Outlet.

Plan Your Trip to Roosevelt Campobello Island

Check out this unique hidden-gem just north of Maine. Roosevelt Campobello International Park is full of nature and history. The island has something for everyone!



  • Cyndi Mattson

    December 9, 2021

    Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is not to be missed.


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