One of the things COVID robbed me of this year was my annual trip to Maine. Whether it was a weekend away with Mr. KK, a beach house for me, Little Mister and Mr. KK, or our big family vacation in either Wells, Kennebunkport or York Beach, we always found ourselves up north along the Maine coast. And boy, did I miss going to my Happy Place this year.
So, in honor of the vacation that didn’t happen, I compiled my favorite things to do and places to visit in Maine.
Best Things to Do in the Southern Coast of Maine
Go to the Beach
Every beach in Maine is gorgeous. The sand is soft and the water is cool, with just the right amount of waves. We particularly love the beaches in South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, where we’ve spent most of our time.
There is no shortage of lobster in Maine. Whether you want fresh steamed lobster, a famous lobster roll, or want to experience life on a working lobster boat, Maine has it all. We love the Lucky Catch Cruises lobster tours, and even Little Mister loved heading out to sea and helping pull up the lobster traps and holding a starfish right in his hand. Lobster is priced right all along the coast, and you can buy lobsters right from the fishermen and some will even steam it for you. My favorite way to enjoy lobster is in a lobster roll, and the best lobster roll in Maine is by far from the Bite Into Maine food truck that parks at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. It is filled with fresh lobster meat (big chunks, not shredded pieces), just enough mayo on a toasted bun. Perfection!
Have Dinner and Walk the Rocks at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights
This institution definitely fills up with tourists during the summer, but the view and atmosphere can’t be beat. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights is an outdoor, BYOB restaurant set on gorgeous rocks over the Atlantic Ocean. Is it the best seafood in Maine? Nope. But when you pair the view with your own cooler of beverages and some fried scallops and shrimp does it feel like quintessential Maine? You betcha.
Eat Like a Local
I mentioned in my post about pimento cheese that Scratch Baking in South Portland makes the best. I literally lived on this and some of Maine’s best beer for a week straight. And it was awesome. A must-try when you’re in the area. And the baked goods are pretty amazing too.
Explore a Lighthouse…or Five
There is no shortage of lighthouses in Maine. Visiting one is just something you do when you’re there. My favorite way to view them is by relaxing on a boat ride while a native Main-ah shares the history of the light house, the coast and sea.
See a Sunset
Whether you’re on a beach, at a restaurant or on a boat, you will see some of the best sunsets on the Maine Coast. Golds, pinks and yellows paint the sky. And if you’re an early riser, the sunrises aren’t so bad either.
Get Your Craft Beer On
On one of our trips to Portland with the Little Mister, we thought we’d hit a brewery one afternoon. After a morning at the beach our Little Mister was exhausted, and he fell asleep on the short 10 minute drive from our beach house to the brewery! And since you NEVER wake a sleeping child, Mr. KK and I backed our car up against the patio and took turns going in to have a beer. One person would drink their beer right at the patio where the car was parked, while the other person stood next the car chatting with them while they drank. And then we would switch. Ah, parenthood!
The number of breweries in Portland alone is astounding. You can brew hop all day and still not hit all of them. We’re bit IPA fans (the hoppier and hazier the better!), and some of our favorites are Bissell Brothers and Goodfire Brewing. Bring a cooler so you can bring some home.
Rent a House and Relax
Our most relaxing vacations have been on the coast of Maine. There’s just something in the air, the laid back attitude of the locals and the amazing cuisine. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, and having a little chill in the air at night after a warm summer day. I really missed being at a beach house this year with our family, cooking up dinners, mixing up cocktails and playing games. Fingers crossed we make it next year.
There is truly something magical about Maine. I can’t wait to go back and do some of my favorite things.