Maine Bound

Looks like I’m heading to Maine in 3 weeks, and I’ve never been to that neck of the woods. I’ll be flying out on Wednesday, August 1, and leaving the next day for a lodge at Grand Lake Stream, which is 2 hours northeast of Bangor. I’ll be there until Saturday or Sunday, then plan on flying home on Thursday, August 9, so I’m looking for suggestions on where to stay and what to see and do for those few days. I’d like to keep lodging (for one) in the $100 range, if that’s possible.

I’m flying from San Francisco or Oakland and haven’t decided between Portland or Bangor. I think I have enough mileage on United, Alaska and Southwest. Airline recommendations?

Thanks in advance.


Maine is really awesome… Love coastal areas up by Camden and Acadia NP. Eat tons of lobster rolls, hike and bike it off during the day, sleep with the windows open.

I love Maine as well, contact Dan Kravitz on this board as he lives there and is full of useful info. I love Portland for the “urban” thing but further north around Acadia/Camden is where you should be. Lobster rolls, yum!!!

I really loved Maine. I remember feeling really lonely in Lincoln at some point, trying to find a gas station and a place where to sleep (I think I found the first but not the second, sadly). I ended up going almost all the way to Canada and coming back following the coast, stopping in really nice little towns for breakfast.

And Acadia NP is simply one of my best memories of the US. Jordan’s Pond (?) is amazing, as are the views as soon as you go up a bit. And of course the coastal roads. And the lobster.

Not sure I can help you with lodging as I went camping. There’s a KOA campground just at the entrance of the park.

Thanks folks. I think I’ll head from the lodge south or southeast to the coast, then work my way to Acadia NP and back up to Bangor, taking about 4 days to enjoy the scenery. I’m finding lodging prices under $100 in the smaller towns east of Bar Harbor. I better book asap since it’s high season back there.

Any other suggestions?

I really liked basing out of Castine. We stayed at a great historic hotel… ProSlot77 : 3 Rekomendasi Situs Slot Gacor Deposit 5000 Untung Terus

We were there in the October so the crowds were slight and the weather was perfect.

Hi Truett,

If you go that way, Campobello is very beautiful and interesting, Roosevelt summered there, (but in Canada, so you need a passport to reenter Maine), also reversing falls park on Cobscook Bay (I think that’s what it’s called, it’s approached from the N side of the Bay, might be a town park–I don’t mean the Cobscook Bay State Park on the W side), Quoddy Head State Park, Culer Harbor and the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land–nice hike to some cliffs on the sea. All these places are mostly or entirely outdoors, so it’s very weather dependent.

If you are N of Bangor or E of Bar Harbor, you won’t find a lot of fine dining (or wine stores!). But you seem to be heading for an outdoor adventure, and that you’ll certainly find.

Acadia will be very different, lots of people (but it’s not packed like some places in summer, and if you hike a little way you can escape any crowds). BTW I’ve heard that Burning Tree (near BH) is really good, but haven’t been there.

Have fun!

If you are in Portland, reserve for a dinner at La Vignola.

Another nice place to visit is Schoodic, part of Acadia NP but separate from the main bit (and to the E). Also, a few miles E of Ellsworth is Ruth & Wimpy’s lobster pound. Very casual and downeast, good lobster. Not far from there is Lamoine beach, pretty spot with views of MDI.

I now have almost a week to spend after the lodge stay. Does it make sense to drive to the Eastport area, then work my way down the coast? Any other suggestions for hiking, lodging, lobster shacks, etc?

Red’s Eats in Wiscasset is about as good as it gets for lobster rolls, but it is no secret anymore. Helen’s Restaurant in Machias for pie. Duckfat in Portland. Doris’ Cafe in Ft. Kent Mills for great diner food and pie. A few others I’m forgetting

If you like kayaking there is no better place than Maine with so much coastline to explore. You’re going at a high part of the season so do expect to see other tourists.

and here is a link to my google map of lobster pounds in Maine. I haven’t been to all yet so send me your comments

Cool map. I’m sure I’ll hit a couple of those places. Thanks Peter.


Based on your interests, Katahdin is an absolute must!. You are very close. The problems are:

  1. Getting accomodations in the park at this late date, or
  2. Taking a sleeping bag with you.

I assume you have a rented car because you can’t get anywhere without one.

If you are a strong hiker, you can get a place in Millinocket for easily under $100. You then get up at the crack of dawn (about 4:30) and drive to Katahdin early enough to get in. Once they let in a number of cars that correspond to the number of parking places, they close it down.

The classic loop hike is from Roaring Brook up to Chimney Pond Campground, then either the Saddle or Cathedral trail to the summit of Baxter Peak, then the Knife Edge, then back down to Roaring Brook on Helon Taylor.

An alternative is the Abol Trail, which is shorter, more challenging and not a loop.

Either of these are a long day hike for a strong hiker. Hiking, scenery and wildlife are all in abundance (you are more likely to see a moose than not). I know that there is excellent fishing, but know nothing about it because I don’t do it. Food up there is not going to be Michelin star quality, but I’ve heard good things about River Driver’s Restaurant near Millinocket.

You also want to go to Acadia National Park for spectacular views and easier hiking. Harder to find a place to stay in your price range (Le Domaine in nearby Hancock is a lovely place but rooms start at $150 this time of year). The only National Park in New England and stunningly beautiful, although not as wilderness as Katahdin. There are some better restaurants, but not foodie quality.

Further down the coast is Camden, Rockport and Rockland. I posted on restaurants there. Again, you should be able to find accomodations in the $100 range, but it’s late to be looking.

Portland is foodie heaven and if you love great restaurants, you need to spend a day or two of your time there. There is also a lot of very beautiful scenery.

Eat in lobster shacks anywhere on the coast, most are BYOB and you can find a pretty good selection of reasonably priced, rather esoteric wines in little shops in the more touristy neighborhoods (this does NOT include Millinocket / Katahdin area, but does include Acadia / Bar Harbor, Camden etc. and especially Portland.

E-mail me for more details.

Dan Kravitz

Thanks Dan. Email forthcoming.

Email sent, Dan.

It’s as good as it gets except for the pricing. I think the key is just that the lobster is cooked in butter and not mixed with mayo, which can be provided on the side for dipping. For a similar experience, but 3 rolls for the price of 1 at Red’s (maybe less meat in each one, but far more overall), follow Rt 1 North just past Red’s to take a right on Rt 27 toward Boothbay, and follow that for about 15 minutes until you see the second place on the left offering them (Ray’s? I forget, but it’s 3 for $20). You can even sit outside there and have a beer or a glass of wine with your food.

There are so many good options in Portland if you’re there for an evening:

Miyake – absolutetly fantastic sushi, get the Omakase 5 course; at $50 it’s a great deal (7-course is ridiculous in a good way). I’ve usually gotten something that I’ve never heard of, and preparations are in line with any high-end sushi place in NYC, from what I’ve been told, for much less money. The wine list is not good, which is tough when the food is so amazing. I did find a decent Austrian Riesling last time I was there, but nothing that would really get me excited.

Bresca – wonderful Italian-inspired fare, quite good, though small, wine list. It’s tiny in there, probably seats something like 25 total; it almost feels like you’re eating in someone’s home.

Boda – authentic Thai food, unlike anything I’ve ever had at any other “Thai” restaurant, reasonably priced

Street and Company – great seafood, nice wine list

I agree that Vignola is very nice. I’ve had varied experiences with service there, but the food is very good and the wine and beer lists are good.

Fore Street is one of the more well-known fine dining places. It’s probably good if you like game and other less-common types of meats. I like it a lot, but I came to prefer other restaurants when living in the area since I generally order seafood at that type of place and would rather go to Street and Company for a similar type of experience with a wine list better suited to that kind of food. It can be tough to get in, but you should be able to get a reservation far enough in advance, and if not, you could try to eat in the bar area. good wine list.

Novare Res – beer bar with a FANTASTIC selection, food is mainly sandwiches and the like, which are actually very good and creative, but not necessarily constituting dinner unless you’re not all that hungry or want to order multiple things. go there after dinner if you like beer at all and try some stuff

Have to second the Katahdin advice. One of the most spectacular areas in the country. If you have the fitness and the weather cooperates, a hike to the summit along the Knife Edge trail is one of the most spectacular hikes I’ve ever done… and that includes anything I’ve done out West.

If you’re near Acadia, don’t forget to swing by Blue Hill, Castine, and Deer Isle. Blue Hill has a great little wine shop, and the Blue Hill Inn was a wonderful place to stay (although a little more than $100/night if I recall). The short hike to the top of Blue Hill affords wonderful views of the town and coastline. If you make it out to Deer Isle, drive out to the Barred Island preserve (at the end of Goose Cove Rd.). Park in the little dirt lot and walk through the woods and out to the island (at low tide you can cross the sand bar). While Acadia was spectacular, we enjoyed the seclusion and quiet beauty of this little preserve even more.


Just got back from midcoast Maine and hit a couple of lobster pounds. In Round Pond, on Pemaquid Peninsula, went to the Fisherman’s Co-op pound, there’s 2 competing pounds on the harbor and this is very bare bones, serving only lobster, steamers and a few sides. Soft shell lobsters cooked were $5/pound, BYO everything else. Round Pond is a working ocean harbor that looks like a pond, and the setting is very scenic.

South of Bath (about 12 miles), went to Five Islands lobster pound in Georgetown, once again, exceptionally scenic, soft shell lobster $5.50/lb, hard shell $9/lb. they serve a lot of fried and grilled stuff too which is much pricier, like fried clam bellies @$15/order. The place is BYO also, a little rock beach near it great to let kids run around in while you spend about 3 or 4 hours chowing down.