We will undoubtedly add to this list over time but many of our new RV friends when they tell us they are going to Maine and looking for things to do have asked, so we’re putting this out there. Some are very “touristy” but a few are not so much and things the locals might do. To my Maine friends viewing this, if you have suggestions, let me know and I’ll add them!
Southern Maine area (or within 60-90 minute drive)
Nubble Light house, York (just over border from NH) – great sunrises if you’re into them http://nubblelight.org/
Old Orchard Beach -boardwalk, restaurants, fireworks at night
Ken’s place on Pine Point rd, Scarborough, 10 minutes from OOB above. Great seafood.
Scarborough Marsh also Pine Point road, there’s a nice bike/walking trail and place to rent kayaks too.
Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth – One of the most photographed light houses in the world. http://www.portlandheadlight.com/
2 lights State park Cape Elizabeth (10 minutes from Portland Headlight)
The 2 light houses are down the road 1/2 mile east of the park and at the light houses you should eat at the Lobster Shack! Good eats!
South Portland: Bug Light and Spring point lighthouses. Nice view back at the Portland Skyline across the harbor too! (Both light houses in sight of each other)
Spring point light located on SMCC campus and south side beach faces entrance to harbor and Portland Head Light can be seen from there too. Plan to walk the campus!
Spring Point Light: http://springpointlight.org/
Becky’s Diner – Comercial St Portland. Simple home cooking but a destination spot for many! http://www.beckysdiner.com/
Portland Maine Old Port area – shops, bars, adjacent to Portland waterfront
Dimillo’s floating restaurant, Comercial St Portland. More formal than Becky’s and a little pricier. http://www.dimillos.com/restaurant/
Portland Eastern Promenade – Gorgeous views of Casco Bay and Portland Harbor. Take a lunch and enjoy the view! http://www.easternpromenade.org/about-the-eastern-prom/location/
Casco Bay Lines, Ferry from portland to Islands, mailboat cruise is a nice way to see Casco Bay! http://www.cascobaylines.com/
LL Bean (of course) in Freeport
Quaker Ridge (AKA Hacker’s Hill) Casco Gorgeous views of White Mountains, Sebago lake, gorgeous sunsets (pack a picnic – totally free) Open M, W F, Sa Su 8:30-sunset http://www.loonecholandtrust.org/places-we-protect/preserves/hackers-hill-project/
Near Quaker Ridge is Naples ME on Rt 302. Seaplane rides, restaurants, boat rentals, nice views of Long Lake
If you have a perfect day forecast, the Mount Washington auto road (NH) is a fun destination via car or motorcycle. Plan to arrive at base as early as you can as it tends to be better visibility in AM Bring something warm as 80F at base is usually about 45-50 at the 6288′ peak! If you do go, there’s a TON of shops and restaurants in N Conway NH near the mountain, places to eat & shop.
There is a Tiffin Dealer in Nashua NH called Campers Inn, no personal experience there. Also a camping world in Conway NH if you get up that way. There are also CAT and Cummins shops in Scarborough (zip 04074), 10-15 minutes south of Portland. Freightliner has several locations in Maine including Westbrook (near Portland) and Bangor.
Mid Coast area:
City of Bath – nice shops and views of the famous Bath Iron works where many US military ships are built.
Booth bay Harbor & Southport Island (VERY touristy, but for a reason so worth a look). http://www.boothbayharbor.com/
Maine Botanical gardens at Boothbay Harbor – if you life this kind of thing, this place is awesome! Bring your camera. http://www.mainegardens.org/
Moody’s Diner, US Rt 1, Waldoboro – This place is an institution and great simple home cooked food (save room for desert!) http://www.moodysdiner.com/
Famous breakwater, plan to walk it on a nice day! http://www.rocklandharborlights.org/
Rock Harbor Brew Pub – excellent local eatery & brew pub http://www.rockharbor.me/
Owl’s Head Transportation Museum – very cool place: http://owlshead.org/
Bar Harbor area:
Helen’s Restaurant in Ellsworth is awesome and their deserts are fantastic. In season, the fresh blueberry pie is outstanding (they have great deserts!).
Also in Ellsworth is Martha’s restaurant for breakfast. Excellent and reasonable. In the shopping center that Reny’s department store is in.
Other things to see/do “up theya” as we Mainuhs would say:
The town of Bar Harbor is a cool little town just to walk around and take in all the sights. Very touristy though and is typically packed in July and August.
Sunrise/sunset on Cadillac mountain (Acadia National Park)- fantastic!
2 cats restaurant in Bar Harbor (town) – granola-ish but good food!
Bass Harbor light, iconic lighthouse. http://www.acadiamagic.com/BassHarborLight.html
Thunder Hole, touristy, but cool if you catch the tide right. http://www.acadiamagic.com/ThunderHole.html
The restaurant at Asticou Inn. Sit on the deck with view of Northeast Harbor and enjoy a bowl of lobster stew and a hot popover! When you’re done with your lunch/dinner, walk across the street and take in the beautiful Asticou Azalea gardens!
Whale watches out of bar harbor – very high success ratio, puffin sightings too
If you like antique vehicles, this place is cool! http://www.sealcoveautomuseum.org/
More Acadia info: http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm
Off Island but nearby:
Schoodic Point (40 minutes from Bar Harbor island) http://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/upload/schoodic.pdf
Deer Isle/Stonington 1 hour from Bar Harbor, beautiful drive, you can take the mail boat to Isle Au Haut from Stonington harbor (Isle au haut also part of Acadia Nat park). This was my first patrol before I transferred back to Portland area. It’s a living Norman Rockwell painting. See town of Blue Hill on the way there also. Very quaint.
On was to/from Deer Isle, you could also go through the very beautiful Castine, home of Maine Maritime Academy, prestigious school for many a ships captain & crew. http://mainemaritime.edu/
If you go up Route 1 from Belfast area towards BHB, you will go across the Penobscot Narrows Bridge. If you have the time, it’s worth the ride to the top for the amazing view of Penobscot Bay. At 420′ the highest bridge observatory in the country (take a ride up and bring your camera).
Further “Down East” from Bar Harbor, a wonderful “day drive” could include Schoodic Point (noted above), several wonderful small towns on Rt 1 going up the coast (east) The original Helen’s Restaurant in Machias (great eats!). And if you want to say you’ve been to the eastern most point in the USA, West Quoddy Head lighthouse is a MUST! (gorgeous too!)
And if you made it as far as W. Quoddy Head, bring your passport and drive across the bridge from Lubec to Campbello Island (Canada). Another gorgeous lighthouse there http://www.campobello.com/lighthouse/ as well as FDR’s former summer home, now a museum you can tour (and we strongly suggest it!). http://www.visitcampobello.com/