So apparently a long weekend in Maine is a thing New Yorkers do in the summertime. I knew this, vaguely, from the five summers I’ve been here, but it really became clear this month. Once I was planning a trip to Maine, I started noticing other people were going there too – from NYC bloggers I follow to several of my coworkers.
This means you’ve maybe heard about the wonders of Maine already. Here’s the thing, though – I don’t think in this case you can ever have too much of a good thing. I spent four days in Maine and when I left all I could think of was that I wanted to go back. Like I said last week, one of my mom’s guidebooks stated that something like 80% of first-time visitors to Maine visit again, and I can see why. If you count my mom driving us to Maine to pick up my dad after a bike trip when I was too small to remember it my first visit, I’ve already become part of that statistic. But if you don’t count it, well, I’m sure I’ll get there before too long!
I flew into Portland on Friday night and after a quick pizza dinner downtown, my family drove up to our hotel near Brunswick. We drove around the area, looking for neat spots to see the water. Our first breakout spot – and one of our favorites the whole trip! – was Land’s End, on Bailey Island. If you go to visit, make sure to stop in the Land’s End Gift Shop for some Maine-made products.
We visited the Farnsworth Museum and Wyeth Center in Rockland and learned more about the Wyeth dynasty. My mom’s a big fan of Andy Wyeth, especially of his painting “Christina’s World”, and so one day we took a drive to Olson House, the farm where Wyeth made a lot of his famous paintings – including “Christina’s World” – and where he is buried. The house is closed for renovation, but we were able to take a look around outside and peer in the windows. The light was perfect as we walked around the field – it looked just like it does in Wyeth’s paintings.
We took a boat ride in Camden and checked out Penobscot Bay. My zoom wasn’t quite good enough to capture the wildlife we saw, but we spotted a bald eagle and a number of seals. Being out on the water was such a gorgeous way to spend an hour and a half, and seeing the coast from the water was pretty special. I took photos of the first (of four!) lighthouses we saw on our trip.
Our hotel for the second half of the trip, Ledges by the Bay, was right by a cove on the bay, which meant the view from our window was stunning. We wandered down to the grass to get a better view, and one night my parents and I sat in chairs and looked at the stars. There was some light pollution from the hotel but we still saw so many more stars than I would here in NYC, and there was a haziness to them that we suspect was the Milky Way.
On our last day we visited two different lighthouses that looked exactly how Maine lighthouses should. I could probably sell postcards, but then again I’m pretty sure any photo with a lighthouse in it is destined to come out perfectly.
It was tough to come back to the hot city after the cool coastal breezes of Maine. It was quiet there on the water, and that quiet helped my brain quiet down for a few days away from the circles it tends to run in here in the city. So, yes, it was tough to come back. But it’s also been a summer of short trips and visitors, and so there was also something nice about coming back home and knowing I was almost done with traveling for the summer. I love traveling, but I love being home, too.
It’s September 1, and summer is slowly winding down, but I’ve got these lovely images of Maine to gently nudge me into fall. If you’re looking for a fall weekend trip, Maine might be a good option. If it’s not, maybe I’ll see you there next summer!