Top things to do in Maine

I never thought about visiting Maine until someone mentioned it, but I’m sure glad they did! What a beautiful state with PLENTY to see and if you’re an outdoor person, then its right up you’re alley! I’m going to list a few of my favorite things I did that I consider “must sees” if you travel to Maine.

20150827_120114

GETTING THERE

This was the first time my boyfriend and I were traveling to Maine and since I like to save money where I can, I decided we should take the megabus from Maryland to Boston and then to Portland (about 7 hours total). Once we arrived in Portland, we rented a car since most of our destinations were off the beaten path.

Next time, I’m going to look into taking the train to save some time (and maybe it’ll be a little more roomy) – the bus was not the most comfortable to sleep on.

ACADIA

Our first stop was Acadia National Park. We stopped by the visitor center first to pay for a park pass, grab a map and plan what we were going to see for the day. Mt. Desert Island (where Acadia is located) is sort of split in half so we decided to spend one day on north half and the next day on the south half.

On the northern half, there were a few hiking trails I wanted to hike, but Cadillac Mountain was the first one we drove to. The great thing about Cadillac Mountain is that if you don’t want to hike it or you’re short on time there’s a road that leads straight to the top!

20150828_102807Fun Fact: Cadillac Mountain is the first place to view the sunrise on the East Coast from October to March.

20150828_104839Once you’ve explored around the top of Cadillac, there’s a small souvenir shop as you start to head back down. This is where we discovered blueberry soda – YUM! I’m not a huge fan of blueberries, BUT the Maine blueberries are not the same as what I’ve eaten back home.

The soda wasn’t syrupy or sweet – it was actually really refreshing and we bought a few to put in the car while we drove around Acadia.

After the souvenir shop with our soda in hand, we drive to Jordan Pond House to park the car and start hiking! Apparently the Pond House is known for their popovers, but I was so excited to start exploring that we missed out on those – next time I’ll grab one!

Our goal was to hike up the Pemetic Mountain and Penobscot Mountain trails if there was enough time. We started to look for the Pemetic Mountain trailhead which we had a lot of difficulty finding and ended up flagging down a ranger to help us out (very friendly by the way!).  It took us about 3-4 hours to hike the trail to lead back down to Jordan Pond. We could’ve hiked it in less time, but we- meaning I took a TON of pictures and we took a break to eat lunch at the top. All said and done -I highly recommend hiking this trail!

20150828_132656

We didn’t have enough time to hike Penobscot trail too, but we took a nice walk around Jordan Pond and back to the car.

We stopped by Bar Harbor on our way out of Mt. Desert Island since we stayed at a hotel 30 minutes away. I’d describe Bar Harbor as pretty, but slightly “touristy”. There were t-shirt shops and souvenir shops up and down the main road and after going in a few, they all had the same nik-naks and shirts.

20150830_135431

Our second day back at Acadia we drove through the south half of the island. We spent most of our time on the water walking on top the rocks and finding washed up lobster claws instead of hiking. Acadia is amazing and we both agreed that we’re coming back.

20150830_113533

Our second day back at Acadia we drove through the south half of the island. We spent most of our time on the water walking on top the rocks and finding washed up lobster claws instead of hiking. Acadia is amazing and we both agreed that we’re coming back.

20150830_105611

 BAXTER STATE PARK

The main reason I wanted to go to Baxter, was to hike Mount Katahdin which is the highest mountain in Maine. We woke up at 5 am to drive from the hotel to the park and get a parking spot for the trail (I had read online that it fills up fast).Once we got to the park and walked into the visitor building it was almost 7 am and the ranger told us the parking lot for Katahdin has been full for about a hr and whats our plan B. I didn’t have a plan B!! Katahdin was my plan!!

The ranger recommended we hike Doubletop Mountain which he felt was underrated and his favorite hike so off we went to Doubletop- this hike is the reason why I now have hiking boots! The trail definitely kept us on our toes (literally) and contemplating where we could step so we don’t end up in the stream or mud. Half of the trail going up was an actual stream and at one point as we’re rock climbing between boulders we’re questioning if it was even safe for us to continue.

20150829_111948That rocky waterfall/stream is the trail.

At this point, turning around WAS NOT AN OPTION. We had already been hiking for 4-5 hours and hadn’t even reached the top yet so I was not going to turn around until we got to the peak and boy was it worth it!

20150829_124255Total time took us around 10 hours to complete and if you are planning on hiking Mt. Katahdin I recommend staying closer to the park or camping there so you can get a spot in the parking lot!

BOOTHBAY HARBOR

When I think of Maine, besides the lobsters and hiking, I also think of whales. We signed up to go whale watching in Boothbay Harbor and if you ask my boyfriend, that was his favorite thing we did in Maine. They do let you know as you’re beginning your boat ride that seeing a whale isn’t a guarantee, but we were lucky enough to see a couple of Humpback whales! How exciting! One of them even swam right under the boat which puts in perspective how big they are compared to you!

img_20150901_20354520150901_150721I would recommend putting sunscreen on and bringing a jacket while you’re on the boat ride. We both are lucky enough that we tan easily, but we had sunburn on our cheeks while being chilly at the same time even though it was August.

20150901_135626

PORTLAND

Portland was the last stop before we headed back home. Honestly, we thought Portland was going to be more exciting, but considering all the other amazing things we saw Portland kinda missed the mark. However, we saw some attractions that I would recommend to someone who travels there like the Portland Head Lighthouse.

20150902_094250

If you’re visiting Maine, a lighthouse has to be on your list and this one is beautiful and a must see. There are a few small walking trails around it so if you go on a nice day, you should walk around and explore!20170120_112821Another stop that was our favorite near Portland was Higgins Beach. It was crowded when we went there, but we managed to find a parking spot and just sat on the rocks wishing we didn’t have to leave yet. We had a great time and even though we thought the lobster rolls were overrated, I highly recommend this being on someones travel list to visit!

screenshot_2015-09-16-21-29-59-1

If you have any favorites or awesome places that weren’t listed feel free to leave a comment, its much appreciated! ♥

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s