“Maine, huh? I guess we can drive just inside, see a lighthouse or something and then we can add the Maine sticker to our ‘places we’ve been’ map.”
– Me, before.
Okay, this was me. I was totally not feeling Maine. Well, silly me ’cause I ❤️ Maine! Talk about a shift in perspective. We ended up staying almost two weeks and more than once I stood in awe in the beauty of the state.
Lighthouses ($0) VIDEO
We did indeed check out some gorgeous lighthouses. First we saw Owl Head and it was just what you expect from a lighthouse albeit a little shorter than you would think. You want up the hill and are treated to a gorgeous view of either the Atlantic Ocean or Penobscot Bay depending which way you look. The lighthouse has lots of history and may or not have a ghost! Lighthouse perfection! The other lighthouse we saw was Rockland Breakwater. This one gets my two thumbs up because of its location – it is almost a mile out to sea! You walk along a granite breakwater for about 20 minutes to get there. It is just neat-o. DO IT!
Lobster Dinner ($😳) VIDEO
Another Maine must do is to have some lobster. We only ate it once, and I haven’t had lobster since I was a kid, but in my opinion it was pretty yummy! We ate at Estes Lobster House in Hartwell. It had a fun and very casual atmosphere with yet another great view of the ocean. The waitress brought out a live lobster for the kids to hold/scare each other with. It was a fun evening!
Maine State Aquarium ($7 adults and $3 kids over age 2) Video
If you don’t want to eat the lobster, but are interested in learning more about them and other sea life, spend half a day at Maine State Aquarium. It has the most diverse touch tank I have ever seen. We all got to pet sharks and I learned the hard way that clams spit! We learned all about lobsters and lobster trapping. There was fishing off the pier (poles and bait provided – no license needed) and a room with a bunch of hands on activities and crafts. I definitely recommend going there! Bring a picnic and have lunch on the lawn while watching the boats go by.
Side excursion: we popped into the “Puffin Project” when in Rockland. Our six year old loves the little ocean birds! We learned about how the project was working to help reestablish the puffin population off the coast of Maine. I also learned that seagulls eat baby puffins! Add that knowledge to the fact that I grew up going to beaches where they dive bombed you and stole your lunch, seagulls are not my favorite bird! I am definitely on Team Puffin!
4th of July
We were in Maine for Independence Day. Bath had a week long festival going on to celebrate! It was a proper carnival with rides, fair food, and vendors. We went into town for the parade in morning and then the fireworks over the Kennebec River. The parade was pretty mild (although it claims to be the biggest in Maine??) but the fireworks were impressive!
The rest of our time was spent exploring the quaint towns and rocky beaches in the area. I can’t believe I almost passed up the opportunity to visit Maine! I have been properly schooled in its glorious-ness and have changed my mindset about some other places I felt “eh” about. Bring. It. On.
Where we camped: Topsham (pronounced Top-sum) Fairgrounds: a no-frills county fairground campground just north of Portland and near Bath. We had full hook ups and it was $25 a night. Here is the kicker though… it was only $100 a week! That works out to just over $14 a day! For full hook ups! Can’t beat it!
Next Time: Arcadia National Park