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Guys — I finally went to Maine!

So, I know destination weddings elicit a groan from some guests, but for this travel-and-champagne-addict, it’s a swoon-worthy combination. So when my friend high school friend Liz announced the location for her very own destination wedding, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It’s a goal of mine to visit all fifty states someday, and with less than half ticked off the list, I do try — and frequently fail — to squeeze in at least one new one per year. Maine has topped the list for years! Turned out that for the summer of 2017, I would finally get there — my twenty-second United State of America.

Maine Road Trip

Maine Road Trip

The wedding was located in Harpswell, Maine, and I originally planned to build a full one or even two week trip around it. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I ended up with just four days — but I was determined to make the most of them. And that involved using as many Maine themed puns as humanely possible.

With my mom as my wedding one and travel buddy, I hopped a flight from Philly to Boston, she swooped up with the car from Martha’s Vineyard, and together we headed north.

Maine Road Trip

Maine Road Trip

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Our first stop, after a short swoop through an art gallery in Wells, was Kennebunkport. This little coastal town is famous for being the vacation destination of the Bush family, and as Martha’s Vineyard residents, we do love our destinations steeped in presidential lore. Unabashedly preppy Kennebunkport is a quintessential East Coast destination I just couldn’t miss.

We kicked off our rainy visit with lunch at the fantastic local favorite , overlooking the cloudy harbor. It was incredibly scenic even covered in a coat of gray — I can’t even imagine how quaint it would be on a bright sunny day.

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

After lunch, I was tempted by a tasting at , which is based in Portland but recently opened their Kennebunkport tasting room. It was a nice mid-day pick-me-up, and I ended up buying a bottle of the Lavender Lemonade and the Habanero Lime.

Maine Mead Works Kennebunkport

Maine Mead Works Kennebunkport

Maine Mead Works Kennebunkport

Before heading out of town, we did one lap of the charming town center shops. I treated myself to a pair of Sperry’s tennis shoes and a slice of fudge, classic New England purchases.

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Kennebunkport Travel Blog

Eventually, we said a reluctant goodbye to Kennebunkport and made our way up to South Freeport to check into our highly anticipated Airbnb. I admit that when I started researching this trip, one of the things that prevented me from extending it was the cost of Maine’s accommodation in the summer.

Prices were shockingly steep, even for fairly nondescript motels in the rural area around the wedding venue. I suppose with a very limited warm weather window, hoteliers have no choice but to make hay while the sun shines — literally. Airbnb to the rescue!

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

For cheaper than even the wedding rate at the local Best Western, we scored on the property of the sweetest local couple. The wife is a clothing designer who imports fabrics from Bali, and the husband teaches Tai Chi lessons in the barn when they don’t have guests. He left us little treats like fresh strawberries and local chocolates every day, and was incredibly helpful in doling out recommendations for the area. They even recycled and offered to compost any food waste we produced — so sustainable!

Freeport itself is really known as more of a retail center — it has the world’s first and largest LL Bean, which is open 24/7 and where we had a great breakfast in the cafe! — but South Freeport has a more charming, rural feel.

New to the magic of Airbnb? for $40 off your first booking!

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

South Freeport Maine Airbnb

That night, we hopped back in the car to head to in Brunswick. We were pretty tired from a long day behind the wheel and considered sticking closer to home, but as soon as we arrived at Frontier we knew the twenty minute drive had been well worth it.

This gallery, theater and restaurant was the kind of place I like to think I’d be a regular if I were a Brunswick resident — organic, locally sourced healthy meals, screenings of documentaries and indie films, and shows by local artists. Plus, killer sunset views — and the waitress genuinely thanked me when I asked for no straw in my water (a kindred single-use plastic loather!) It might have been one of my favorite meals in Maine, and there was a lot of competition.

Frontier Restaurant, Brunswick, Maine

Frontier Restaurant, Brunswick, Maine

Frontier Restaurant, Brunswick, Maine

Freeport Maine Travel Blog

The next morning, we woke up bright and early to walk the four minutes from our Airbnb to the Harraseeket Harbor. While the rest of the day would be taken up by bridesmaid duty in Portland, it was nice to kick things off with another peek at charming, small town coastal Maine. The harbor was deserted but for a few fishermen in the early morning hours, though my mom told me when she returned later for lunch the line for lobster was wrapped around the building.

Harraseeket Lobster, South Freeport, Maine

Freeport Maine Travel Blog

This two day wedding extravaganza was special enough to warrant a post of it’s own — so stay tuned for that. For now, we’ll fast forward to our fourth and final day in Maine, which arrived all too quickly.

We were sad to say goodbye to our adorable Airbnb — but I was pretty thrilled to be rocking day-after wedding braid.

Maine Travel Blog

Maine Travel Blog

We’d decided to spend the day in Portland but made a quick detour when we saw a sign for DeLorme mapping, home of Eartha. Eartha is the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe, conveniently located right on our path of travel in Yarmouth, Maine. What travel blogger could possibly pass by without stopping?!

Unfortunately it was a Sunday and so the building was closed — but we managed to admire it just fine from the outside.

Giant Map in Freeport Maine

Next stop, brunch at . Portland, Maine, much like its West Coast namesake, is known for it’s insanely high quality restaurant scene. We were so hungry we inhaled our beautiful entrees — including a pulled pork breakfast burrito with local peaches, and a fried chicken and biscuit sandwich — before I had the chance to snap a photo.

Bad blogger, but great burrito. So far, Portland was really living up to its reputation, and I can’t recommend Hot Suppa more highly if you’re in the area.

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Next, we drove down to the harbor area to stroll around, do a bit of gift shopping, and get a feel for Maine’s largest city. Portland was nothing like I expected Maine to be — Kennebunkport was more the vision I had in my head for the Pine Tree State (which also, in my opinion, could work on its official state nickname.)

But while Portland was more modern than I expected, even after our short trip I agreed with assessment of it as “one of the hippest, most vibrant small cities in America.”

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Leaving Portland proper, we headed out on a mission to tick off two final Maine must-dos off our bucket list: blueberry ice cream and lighthouses. While there had been plenty of ice cream opportunities in Kennebunkport, our first two days were pretty chilly — this was really our first beautiful sunny day of exploration.

First up, Bug Light. Bug Light Park was just moments outside Central Portland and offered gorgeous views of the city’s skyline. With kites blowing in the breeze, residents relaxing on quilts and lawn chairs and sailboats dancing in the harbor, it would be hard to paint a more idyllic scene. A World War II Memorial in one corner was a touching tribute.

Portland Maine Travel Blog

Portland Maine Lighthouse

Portland Maine Lighthouse

Next up, Portland Head Lighthouse in Fort Williams Park. Be careful if you’re headed here — though it’s alleged to be the most photographed spot in Maine and shouldn’t be too tricky to find, we almost got tricked by a Google Map error that marked it at a different location in Cape Elizabeth.

Thankfully, we followed our instincts and found the iconic lighthouse, which was every bit as impressive as its reputation promised.

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

And then, in what felt like the blink of an eye, we were on our way back to the New Hampshire border, starting our four-state crawl back to New York.

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Our time in Maine really was fleeting, though we managed to at least glance at several of Southern Maine’s most enticing destinations — charming Kennebunkport, quirky Portland, rustic Harpswell, sweet South Freeport, and crunchy Brunswick. While the major destinations of the North were calling to me — Acadia National Park, I’m dying to camp in you! — I’m quite certain this won’t be my last jaunt to Maine.

Stay tuned for my dispatches from bridesmaid duty in Harpswell!

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24 Comments...
  • Kacy
    August 30 2017

    Gosh, I love Maine so much! I spent a few days in Bar Harbor and Portland last year and it was the best. We missed out on Hot Suppa sadly, but definitely enjoyed the food scene in Portland. I think if I had to pick a place to “summer” it would definitely be somewhere in Maine.
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    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      It is so impressive — my mom and I were wondering if people from Portland are just totally bummed out by the food scene when they go anywhere else, ha ha!

  • Katelyn
    August 30 2017

    So glad that you love Maine! It’s the best, but, of course, I’m biased. Acadia National Park is worth it so put it on your calendar for next summer! That’s funny that your GPS almost sent you somewhere else in Cape for the lighthouse. Portland Head is actually the most photographed lighthouse in the United States! Hot Suppa is pretty awesome. I live right around the corner from it. And these are tons more amazing options to try when you come back.

    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      We really did enjoy it so much… it made my heart ache that there was no time for Acadia. Excited that I have a camping trip in a Thai National Park coming up soon to ease the pain!

  • Jo-Anne the crazy lady
    August 30 2017

    I knew nothing about Maine so found this a really interesting post
    Jo-Anne the crazy lady recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Jo-Anne! I didn’t know much of anything before this trip so it was all a learning experience.

  • becky hutner
    August 31 2017

    I’d love to visit Maine & like you, find weddings one of the best excuses to explore new states & beyond. I’ve got some South Carolina nuptials coming up in March & then a Bali wedding next summer. Cannot wait!!!

    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      Nice! Next summer I have just ONE on the docket, believe it or not. It’s in Long Island which I must admit as a New Yorker I have never been to! Looking forward to exploring the wineries in the area…

  • Ijana Loss
    August 31 2017

    I need friends to start getting married so I can travel to their weddings xD I’m not quite old enough where that’s really started happening yet lol. But dude this post is awesome, I really really want to visit Maine! It has my perfect kind of weather and from what I’ve heard about it the towns are just the kind I love visiting. Perhaps the accommodation prices would be better in the spring or fall, you think? Because I am both cheap and completely fine with chilly weather 😀

    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      Absolutely! I think they really skyrocket for like two months a year and then the rest of the time they are very reasonable. I’d love to go back and camp!

  • Leigh
    August 31 2017

    I need a return trip to Maine! I spent a week there once and loved it, but was with a horrible ex so the memories are tainted 🙂
    Leigh recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 20 2017

      Haha! Just photoshop him out of the photos 😉

  • Dominique
    September 1 2017

    I have a thing for Maine. A bit of an obsession really. I have loved Stephen King’s books (most of which take place in his home state Maine), since I was a little girl. So, Maine has been in my head since then.

    There are areas of the States I’m more eager to check out first, but New England is quite close to the top of my wishlist!
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    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      Ah, you must be so excited about It coming out! It’s been It mania everywhere I go!

  • Marni
    September 1 2017

    If I were to rank all the states I have yet to visit based on my desire to see them, Maine would probably be somewhere around the middle. Still, I love that it seems to have so many cities that are so quaint! Kennebunkport in particular looks adorable, and sort of reminds me of Peggys Cove in Nova Scotia.
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    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      So funny — it was right at the top for me! My current top of my wish list is pretty varied and diverse. Texas and Alaska and Oregon are all up there 🙂

  • Adam
    September 2 2017

    I have always loved Maine as a holiday spot. It looks like it has modernized somewhat, but it has kept its charm as well!
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    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      Indeed — like going back in time! Portland of course was a bit more modern but Kennebunkport and Harpswell were like Normal Rockwell paintings.

  • aiman Parween
    September 2 2017

    travelling alone is the best thing ever.

    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      I agree — was lucky to have my mom on this trip but love traveling solo as well!

  • Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    September 3 2017

    I have yet to visit Maine but it has been on the list forever! I love that photograph of the women drinking wine. It sounds like you had a fun trip and I will be bookmarking this for when I finally make my way up there 😀
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      It was on my list forever too — this trip was long overdue and only whet my appetite for future trips! Can’t wait to get even further north in the state next time.

  • Roxanna
    September 5 2017

    I am another person who has not been to Maine yet, but really longs to see this. I have this vision of the small coastal towns being similar to British coastal towns, and being the “way the US was supposed to look.” I am not sure where it comes from, but must get a visit onto an itinerary soon… Bookmarking for when I start those plans!
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    • Meihoukai
      September 21 2017

      Yes, it certainly does feel a bit like the set of a US movie, doesn’t it? Reminds me quite a bit of my other favorite quaint US destination, Martha’s Vineyard!