Maine. Freakin Maine, man. I’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things, and there’s really nothing quite as spectacular as Maine.
A few years back I knew that I wanted to go to the East Coast, but I didn’t really have a huge desire to do Boston, NYC or Baltimore. I wanted to do the untouched, wild, 1st settlers style East Coast. I started planning a trip, and the plans fell through. I had to delay that trip for a year, and while any traveler knows how painful that is, it also built the excitement so much more.
I decided to drive to Maine, mainly (get it) because I knew that I could see more and discover more if I were behind the wheel. I set out for my journey on a Friday and had no idea what would take place. I had rented a one room cabin right on the ocean, had packed some good hiking shoes and 25 jackets (you can never be too prepared) and got in my car and drove off.
I wasn’t ready for the beauty that Maine offered. I wasn’t ready for the vast trails and lonely woods that would reach into the depths of my soul. The second that I crossed into the Maine, it was as if I had entered an entirely new world. It was as if my soul, for the first time, was home.
I experienced so many good things. And I want to tell you about them.
So here they are: my travel recommendations forÂ Maine, USA
Where to Stay:Â If you’re staying in Maine, I recommend going to Mount Desert Island and staying on “the quiet side” of the Island. I stayed in Tremont, a town that literally has a gas station, church, and school. It was exactly the dream vacation that I needed. I rented a one room cabin, had a ton of space to move around, and an entire private beach to myself. After that, I could never stay in a hotel again. Air BnB and HomeAway have some great cabin options.
What to See: You have to go to Acadia National Park and hike the cliffs along the coast. Like…you HAVE TO GO.
Where to Eat: I did most of my cooking at home in a towel while I danced around to Ray Charles, but I did venture out to eat with actual people every now and then. Jeannie’s Great Maine Breakfast is the best breakfast that I’ve ever had. I had their gluten free pancakes and I thought I had died and gone to gluten free heaven. Â (It’s kind of like normal heaven but less fun). If you’re in Bar Harbor, you have to eat there. Get there early, though. It fills up fast and they aren’t opened past lunch.
What to Skip:Â Either I suck at reading the tide charts, which is a verrrry real possibility, or Thunder Hole just isn’t what it used to be. Unless you are there at the exact right moment, you will be wondering what you’re doing there, as you’re staring at a rock.
Best Beaches:Â Well, not to sound like a rich snob, but my private beach was the best beach. My other favorite was Pebble Beach. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I was the only one on the beach for about an hour. It might have been the fact that there were literally millions of spiders, but either way, I enjoyed the solitude.
Best Shopping: If you can’t make it to the L.L. Bean headquarters, I suggest The Rock and Art Shop in Downtown Bar Harbor. My god, this place is full of the coolest stuff. The best stuff I found, however, was at a garage sale on a county road. Vintage Levi’s jacket? Mother may I.
Who to Meet: Carol, an Acadia National Park Ranger, is the coolest woman alive. She’s a retired high school guidance counselor who “got bored” and decided to work in the park. I stood in line for 45 extra minutes just to talk to her. She inspired me, and also told me about some super cool shortcuts through ANP.
Favorite Part: While I did almost fall off of the cliffs a few times, undoubtedly my favorite part was the hiking. Good god, the hiking was pristine. I hiked for a few hours on the Canada Cliffs trails in Acadia National Park and it was absolutely divine. I regret not being able to go back to do it for another second day.
Least Favorite Part:Â We didn’t see any whales on my whale watching tour, so that was a bummer. But I also didn’t puke over the side of the ship, so that was a real plus.
Best Moment: The entire trip was so great, I can’t pick just one. But I will say, having freshly got my brace off, this entire trip was amazing. It really proved to me that I could do it, which was such a relief. I love the resilience of the body, and Maine was a perfect place to test it out.
Worst Moment:Â The conversation that I had with the ruggedly handsome border patrol agent. I am still embarressed. For the whole story, click here.
Maine was a dream. If you haven’t gone, you need to go now. If you’re looking for a tour guide, I’m a good cook and very affordable!