When it comes to traveling through Maine, the journey is just as great as the destination. With so many interesting and beautiful sights every few miles, be sure to allot more time than you think you need for a Maine road trip. We spoke to photographer Buff Strickland who grew up spending summers on the island of Islesboro (and continues to return each year with her family) to find the best coastal Maine road trip stops.
Touristy? Yes. Commercial? Indeed. But is it entertaining? Absolutely. The L.L.Bean Flagship Store, the brand's first and largest store, has been located on Main Street in Freeport for over a century. You’ll find quality apparel, camping gear, home furnishings and much more — all made for the shared joy of the outdoors. Be sure to check their free schedule of activities in Discovery Park, seasonal sporting expos and outdoor adventures.
Situated at the water's edge in Fort Williams Park is Maine's oldest lighthouse — and one of the most iconic lighthouses in the U.S. Park the car, stretch your legs and enjoy a leisurely walk through the grounds. There's even a Children’s Garden in the park: The 1-1/2 acre garden is designed to let children explore their relationship with nature and one another in developmentally beneﬁcial ways.
Established in 1956 on Route 1 long before that stretch became bustling and busy, Bob’s Clam Hut was the locals' golden fried standard. Now Bob's is a favorite spot for locals and travelers alike. Bob's serves traditional Maine fried seafood with straightforward simplicity. Customer favorites include Bob's New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Stew, the traditional Bob's fried clams and the Lillian fried clams.
Maine's 44,000 acres of wild blueberries grow naturally in fields and barrens that stretch along the Downeast coast to the state's southwest corner. Adapted to Maine's naturally acid, low fertility soils and harsh winters, wild blueberries are a low input crop requiring minimal management. You're sure to spot plenty of roadside blueberry stands throughout Maine, so be sure to pull over and enjoy some fresh berries.
Under two hours northeast of Portland is the charming Midcoast town of Camden. Quaint and idyllic, it's worth a stop. Get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants lining Main Street or shop at a variety of unique locally-owned boutiques. The High Street Historic District features 19th-century homes and Camden Public Library, with its landscaped amphitheater and stunning vistas. Trails line the slopes at Camden Hills State Park with views of Camden Harbor and the bay from Mount Battie.
By Bridgette Langdon