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Vacationing in Maine - Part 2

As we continue traveling up the coastline, we come along many striking places to visit.  Here are some more northern suggestions.

Portland Area.  Greater Portland is about a two-hour drive from Boston.  This enchanting area abounds with wonderful ocean views, pictorial landscapes, antique shopping, sandy beaches, charming stores, and so much more.  The Old Port area is a diverse collection of old and new, and Casco Bay is delightful with its vibrant boats.  What else is in the area?

  • Desert of Maine.  No, it’s not a section of Arizona transplanted into Maine, but it is a desert: well, sort of.  Back in 1797, the land was a working farm owned by the Tuttle family.  They successfully grew potatoes and raised sheep.  However, the family extensively cleared and overgrazed, and they failed to adequately rotate the crops.  This miscalculation led to soil erosion and unearthed a sand-like substance called glacial silt.  At first, the problem was controllable.  Within time, it spread to unmanageable means.   Since 1919, the property has become a “desert” attraction.  What does it offer?  Large sand dunes, nature trails, picnic areas, tours, and other interesting activities (like sand painting!).
  • Freeport. Freeport (yes, the Desert of Maine is in Freeport) is a lovely coastal town situated about 15 minutes north of Portland.  It has many outdoor activities and great shopping (there are over 200 outlets stores).  The world-renowned L.L. Bean has its flagship store in Freeport.  L.L. Bean Discovery School, an interesting part of the L.L. Bean experience, offers reasonable lessons in archery, sporting clay, and kayaking.  Snow-shoeing and cross country skiing are available in the winter months.

Next stop?  Mount Desert Island.  What’s so great about the place?  For starters, Bar Harbor. This town is filled with romance, towering cliffs, upscale shops, and an outdoorsy kind of excitement—e.g., kayaking, whale watching, hiking, bicycling.  Think “a more casual” Newport.  Other ideas?


  • Arcadia National Park.  This popular national park encompasses in excess of 40,000 acres.  Overall, the scenery is incredible, as much of the land abuts the coastline.  Valleys, mountains, and forests all call out to the nearby ocean, receiving saltiness as an aromatic gift.  Campgrounds, beaches, museums, hiking trails, picturesque drives, and so much more are also available to delight even the toughest critic.
  • Cadillac Mountain.  Cadillac Mountain sits in Acadia National Park.  With an elevation of over 1,500 feet, it is the tallest mountain in the park.  Originally, it was called Green Mountain, but in 1918 it was renamed Cadillac Mountain.  Multiple hiking paths and a paved road lead up to the summit.

Maine is chock-full of vacation possibilities. Other thoughts?  Sebago Lake (west of Portland), Kennebunk/Kennebunkport (south of Portland) and Baxter State Park (north of Portland).  Wow, no wonder this Northern New England state is called vacationland!