We spent last weekend in Maine; for both of us, our first time in the state. The drive from NYC to Wells (southern Maine) was a brutal 8 hours and we highly recommend flying! In retrospect, it was a short trip and I feel we would have benefited from more time to explore the state. This blog post will be correspondingly short!
We arrived in Wells, a very small beach town just an hour or so over the Maine-New Hampshire border, on a Friday night. We spent the weekend in Portland, Kennebunkport, and Ogunquit, all of which are within a 40-min drive of Wells. Maine was not what I expected -- it felt very isolated and secluded from the rest of the U.S. It was also full of bugs, which we were not prepared for! Pack your bug spray.
As expected, we ate a lot of lobster -- five or six lobster rolls in total. The best were at Port Lobster Co in Kennebunkport and Scarborough Fish & Lobster in Scarborough, a bit inland from the coast. I especially loved the atmosphere at Scarborough -- a roadside shack (which many lobster joints seem to be), with an extremely quirky cashier/cook who swore at customers and doted on our dog. The rolls were some of the cheapest we had in Maine, at about $13 each with a side of chips and coleslaw.
Besides the two mentioned above, we had amazing fried shrimp at The Ocean Roll, another roadside lobster joint operated out of a tricked-out camper van in the lot of an abandoned warehouse. It was about twenty minutes north of Wells, with picnic tables set right off the highway.
We also ate quite a bit of ice cream, the best by far being at Rococo, which has an outpost in both Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. I had Sweet Cream (their delicious base flavor, highly recommend) along with Chocolate Coconut Cream. They have a variety of other exotic flavors such as Horchata Rumcake and Raspberry Red Wine Sorbet that I wish I could have tried, and will if I go back!
Towns & Scenery
We saw some beautiful scenery, most notably at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport. We drove along the winding coastline, past summer mansions and the Bush compound, which the town is well-known for.
We drove up and past Walker's Point for 20 minutes or so, not following any map, and came across a farmer's market called Patten's Berry Farm where we bought biscuits and blueberry honey for breakfast. Kennebunkport itself is small, and less busy than Ogunquit was. We stopped at the famous Clam Shack for lunch, which had decent fried clams but was far from the best food we had on our trip.
We also spent a decent amount of time walking around Ogunquit, which is just slightly south of Wells. It seemed to be a very popular destination, and was by far the most crowded of the towns we visited. The main street, which is full of restaurants and gift shops, was packed with people when we went on an ice-cream run on Saturday night.
Our final night, we walked Well's Beach with Lemon, which allows dogs after 6pm. She enjoyed herself rolling in the sand, and attempting to eat every dead crab we came across. The beach was lined with rental houses and vacation homes full of families there for the week.
On the drive home Monday morning, we got an early start and stopped at the Nubble Lighthouse, just slightly south of Ogunquit in a town called York. The lighthouse itself is on a tiny island several dozen feet off the coast, so you can't actually access it, but it makes for a classic Maine view.
Overall, Maine was an enjoyable weekend, but we barely scratched the surface of this state. I would love to go back and explore some of inland Maine, which had an underdeveloped, 1950's vibe I found very intriguing. If you go, be sure to pack the bug spray!