There’s much more to “Vacationland” than meets the eye.
“That’s the state with the lobster, right?” As a born and raised Californian, Maine was as foreign to me as skiing and seasons before I made my first trip in 2016. I was right about the shellfish, but when I peeled back the coastline curtain and looked beyond, I found more secluded hiking spots and hole-in-the-wall restaurants than I could tackle in one go. It’s hidden gems like those that keep me coming back to Maine time and time again.
As big as the five other New England states combined, Maine is a road tripper’s dream. Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it’s safe for vaccinated travelers to fly domestically with masks and social distancing when possible, but the Pine Tree State is best traversed behind the wheel. In the backwoods and off the beaten path is Maine at its best, whether you’re pulling into Smalls Falls off of Route 1 — whose name definitely doesn’t do it justice — or spanning the 40 miles between Presque Isle and Houlton to check out the Maine Solar System Model. And don’t even get me started on the islands, offering woods full of fairy houses (yes, you read that right) and a lengthy list of lighthouses.
If you find yourself an honorary Mainer at any given time, make sure you keep these secret places and unfrequented finds in mind.
For a postcard-perfect moment, look no further than Fisherman’s Point. You can take in panoramic views of Maine’s oldest lighthouse, Portland Head Light, and watch boats set sail from the comfort of a park bench.
The scenic lookout is only a two-minute drive from Scratch Baking Co., so don’t forget to grab a sweet or savory treat on your way. Though the inside of the bakery is closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, it still offers coffee and fresh pastries for pickup.
The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.