A Week Exploring Along The Maine Coast
We spent a week exploring along the Maine Coast. Some days we stayed put and enjoyed the local charm of New England. And some days we headed off for day trips.
We started our trip to the eastern U.S. coast with a stay in Boston for the July 4th long weekend. There was lots to see and do in the city. But when we left, we picked up a rental car and headed off. It was great to spend some time in the smaller communities north along the coast.
Our Base At Wentworth By The Sea
For our stay on the New England coast, we wanted to stay in a spot that had iconic local charm. As soon as we saw the pictures of the Marriott Wentworth By The Sea, we were hooked.
Our work to build points and status even got us upgraded to a marina-view townhouse. This provided us with an awesome spot to relax when we stayed on the resort. At nights we sat on the balcony and enjoyed the pretty pink sunsets. And the location was a great base to head off exploring along the Maine Coast.
We spent most of our visit to New England at Marriott Wentworth by the Sea. But we moved north to Bath, Maine for two nights. This allowed us to explore further north with shorter drives during the day.
Driving North Along The Coast Of Maine
When we rented our car at the airport after our visit to Boston, we were quickly convinced that we needed an EZ Pass transponder for the car. We could not even leave the airport without passing through a toll gate. And those toll gates accepted no cash! When we hit the highway, there were at least options to pay cash.
When we returned the car, we found a route that had no toll gates. But we found it so much easier to drive the highways in New Hampshire and Maine with the transponder.
Marriott Wentworth by the Sea was located in New Castle, New Hampshire. But the bridge to Maine was just a short drive away. During our trip to this area, we crossed between New Hampshire and Maine several times.
As we drove the coastal routes in Maine, it was soon obvious why we found fresh lobster everywhere we visited. Restaurants excelled at showing you they sold lobster. Lobster traps were displayed prominently in yards. We saw a busy lobster processing plant at a stop at Abner Point when we travelled north from Bath.
As we drove north, we passed many beaches at Long Sands Beach, Port Neddick, Old Orchard and Ogunquit Beach. Some were vast stretches of empty sand. While others were packed umbrella to umbrella.
Along with the beaches we saw some great ice cream shops! We passed one after the other. Although after our visit to the Nubble Lighthouse we gave in and stopped at Dunne’s Ice Cream. There was a flavour for everyone!
Even if we never stopped exploring along the Maine Coast, there was so much to see along the way.
Lighthouse Stops Along The Way
We couldn’t visit Maine without enjoying a few lighthouse views. Our offline map had dozens marked on it. We only made it to a few on this first visit to New England.
The first stop we made was at the Nubble Lighthouse. This was an iconic lighthouse standing with a while clapboard house on the point. At low tide we could walk to the lighthouse. But at high tide, supplies were sent across the wire in a bucket. We enjoyed the view and then spent some time as we looked at the views along the shore.
The next lighthouse stop was at Cape Elizabeth. This lighthouse looked out over a rocky shore. The Lobster Shack restaurant was located right on the point. It was a great option for seafood with a view.
The last lighthouse stop was at the Portland Bug Light. This mini lighthouse sat on the breakwater that protected the Portland harbour. The Greenbelt Walkway ran along the shore. It was a great spot to take a walk. Or to view the Liberty Ship Memorial. This was a tribute to the naval history of the area. And to the people who built the World War II Liberty ships at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation.
Lighthouses were something we sought out when we went exploring along the Maine Coast.
Other Stops Along The Coast
As we travelled along the shores in Maine, we found so many other interesting spots to stop in addition to lighthouses.
Fort McClary stood on Kittery Point. It was defensive point for 5 different wars. And with the zoom lens, we even saw the White Island Light that protected ships at this harbour.
Perkins Cove was a quaint New England town with a boardwalk and small shops. We circled the parking lot twice and never found parking. So I got out and walked while David kept circling. We finally left with only a few pics. And a plan to come back on another trip!
We drove through the small town of Kennebunkport. We knew that the Kennedy compound was somewhere in this area. But we saw no Kennedys as we walked around this small town.
When we ventured north for day trips from Bath, we found less populated spots to stop. The Bailey Island bridge was a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Of course this Civil Engineer needed to stop to look at the granite cribwork design. This is the only bridge of this kind in the world. We stopped at the Salt Cod Cafe for a snack before we explored further along this coast.
At the end of a long drive, we finally made it to Land’s End. The Fisherman’s Memorial was a tribute to the state’s lobster fisherman. We enjoyed a stop to browse in the Land’s End gift shop. And were amused at how many lobster souvenirs we found.
Travelling along the Maine coast, we found so many great spots to stop. We did not get as far as we expected because there was so much to see.
Seafood Stops Were Plentiful
We enjoyed so much tasty seafood when we started our trip in Boston. As seafood lovers, we never passed the chance to have our seafood fresh from the sea.
On one of our day trips, we stopped at the Saco Lobster Claw Restaurant. They offered lobsters for takeout. And a great variety of lobster dishes in the restaurant.
At the end of another long day, we stopped at J’s Oysters in Portland. We snagged a seat with a view out over the harbour. And proceeded to sample a wide variety of fresh seafood.
We started our lobster feast when we stayed in Boston. But that only whetted our appetite for more fresh seafood. And we were not disappointed!
A Visit With Friends In New Hampshire
While we were in the New England area, we did not pass up the chance to connect with Cathy and Frank from RoarLoud Travel. It was a short drive to get to Nashua, New Hampshire.
While we wanted to see our friends, we also took advantage of the fact the New Hampshire had no sales tax. We had a few things on our shopping list. And the outlet mall in New Hampshire fit the bill.
Of course shopping made us hungry. So we couldn’t pass by the sign for “Bite Me Kupcakez”. The name alone drew us in. But we made sure to sample a cupcake or two.
We met Cathy and Frank in one of their favourite spots in downtown Nashua. Surf Seafood had a great selection. It was always wonderful to meet locals and get great recommendations. We certainly ate well. And chatted for hours!
We loved when we got the chance and met with other travel bloggers on our travels. It was delightful to spend the evening with Cathy and Frank.
So Much Fun Exploring Along The Maine Coast
We loved the chance to visit the iconic New England coastal area after our visit to Boston. Our stay at Marriott Wentworth by the Sea was relaxing. Exploring along the Maine Coast for day trips we found so many local gems. It reminded us a lot of our travels through Nova Scotia in Canada. We can’t wait to plan a return trip to enjoy more!
Have you gone exploring along the Maine coast? Are there other stops we should make on a return visit?
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