Maine: rocky coasts, lobster rolls, gorgeous views of the Atlantic, endless breweries, and incredible memories.
A few weeks ago, a few friends (Chelsea, Elana, and Sarah Belle) and I had the opportunity to travel to Maine with Visit Maine. I couldn’t have picked better women to travel with. Each of them are so creative and unique, it made experiencing a new place and capturing travel content so much fun.
We had a JAM PACKED weekend in Maine starting in Kennebunkport, then making our way to Portland, and ending up in Camden. Below I cover where we stayed, ate, and what we did! I hope that by the end of this post, you find yourself booking a much needed trip to Maine.
Day 1: Kickin’ it in Kennebunkport
For anyone flying in from the midwest/south/west coast, I suggest flying into Boston. It was much cheaper than flying into Portland, ME. Sarah and I flew up to Boston from Nashville to meet Chelsea and then we hit the road to Kennebunkport. It was just a short 1 hr 15 minute drive from Boston to Kennebunkport.
If you love small coastal towns with colorful charm, you must visit Kennebunkport. The downtown area is filled with cute shops and restaurants – I highly recommend riding bikes through town and along the water!
I felt so calm in this quaint ocean town. If you are looking for a relaxing environment and slower pace, check out Kennebunkport.
Where we stayed:
Yachtsman Marina and Hotel
The Yachtsman Marine and Hotel is hands down one of my favorite boutique hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The staff (especially Casey!) made our experience top notch and the rooms are exactly what you would expect from a New England hotel – fresh, bright, and thoughtful. You have a gorgeous view of the bay and get to see ships pass by throughout the day.
There’s fresh coffee in the morning (a must in the morning!) and a colorful patio to spend your evening (they have a happy hour you won’t want to miss). Plus they have complimentary bikes you can check out and use for however you long you want!
Where we ate:
We were lucky enough to have this restaurant recommended to us by the Yachtsman staff and it did not disappoint! They had a diverse menu including all things seafood and plenty of options if seafood isn’t your thing.
The Boathouse has a gorgeous rooftop view of the bay and an incredible wine selection. I got the lobster roll and a half dozen oysters with a glass of Pino – I left full and happy 🙂
Salt & Honey
In need of a mimosa? Salt & Honey has an show-stopping brunch menu and all the brunchy drink options. I had the sweet potato hash and I highly recommend it! If you’re gluten or dairy free (like me), they have several options for you too!
What we did:
Biking – The best way to see Kennebunkport is biking! Grab your camera and bike down Ocean Avenue the best coastal views.
Shopping – If you’re looking for Maine digs or apparel, Kennebunkport is the place. Shops I recommend: Daytrip Society, Minka, and The Whimsey Shop
Relaxing – This part is KEY! If you stay at the Yachtsman, they have an incredible happy hour and “wine down hour.” We spent 2 hours before dinner just hanging out, sipping on rosé, and relaxing.
Day 2: Postin’ up in Portland
I’ll start this by saying I wish we had more time in Portland! But what we did experience was incredible. It’s an old port city with cobble stone streets, big brick buildings, and endless amounts of breweries and foodie restaurants.
What I loved most? Everyone was outside enjoying the gorgeous summer weather. It had an energy that made you want to explore every little neighborhood.
Where we stayed:
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Portland-By The Bay. If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay, this is a great option.
Where we ate:
I am the worlds biggest fan of gnocchi and Solo Italiano has some of the best gnocchi I’ve ever had. It had an expansive menu, so it had a little something for everyone.
Bayside American Cafe
Brunch is the most important meal of any weekend – no joke! Bayside America Cafe is charming and makes a famous cinnamon roll pancake that’s not worth missing. I had their Crab Cake Egg Benedict with a mimosa and the girls and I split the cinnamon roll pancake – there’s no way I could eat that beaut alone!
You know those hipster cafés where they turn an old gas station into a trendy coffee shop? That’s Tandum Coffee and it’s amazing. They have a wide variety of pastries and breakfast sandwiches along with every kind of cortado/cappuccino/latte/flat white you could think of.
We stopped by Tandum on our way out of town because you can’t have a proper road trip without good coffee!
What we did:
Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise
If you’re looking for a true Maine experience, look no further than a lobster cruise. We had the pleasure of heading into the bay with Lucky Catch Cruises to check their active lobster traps and learn more about an industry important to Maine’s economy.
Our crew was so helpful and educational. This fun experience doubled as a chance to really learn about the lobster industry including learning all the rules and regulations put in place to protect the red creatures of the sea. I highly recommend booking through Lucky Catch in you’re in Portland!
Maine Brew Bus
It’s no secret… I like beer. I like beer even more when I get to taste several beers from different breweries in one day. A great way to experience the micro-brewrey scene in Portland is the Maine Brew Bus.
We visited 3 different breweries in different parts of the city. I was pleasantly surprised by how many breweries there were in Portland! This is an inexpensive way to see different parts of the city and taste a lot of good beer 🙂
Portland Head Lighthouse
We woke up early Saturday morning and made it to Portland Head Lighthouse by 8am. There wasn’t a soul around and we were able to enjoy the scenery and snap a few pictures without hassling with crowds.
This is a must see in Portland.
Day 3: Cruisin’ into Camden
I’m a fan of road trips and taking the long way home.
The drive from Portland to Camden is gorgeous – I would definitely take a few detours down the fingers to see lighthouses and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
Camden is charming, quaint, and picturesque. Camden and Kennebunkport are tied for my two favorite places in Maine. Camden reminded me of the small mountains towns I love so much in Colorado, despite the fact that Camden is right on the ocean.
The sailboats and windjammers in the Camden Harbor were a sight to see! If you have the time to drive up the coast, add Camden to the top of your list.
Where we stayed:
16 Bay View
If you enjoy historic boutique hotels with a flare for detail and charm, stay at 16 Bay View. You have an incredible view of the harbor and you will not be disappointed by their eclectic rooms.
My favorite part is their rooftop bar. It has the best views of the bay complete with outdoor heaters when the nights get chilly. It’s the perfect hotel for a relaxing getaway.
Where we ate:
One of my favorite genres of food is thai and asian. Naturally we were attracted to the best thai place in Camden, Long Grain. I’m not just saying this… it was the best thai I’d ever had. It fills up quickly so I would recommend getting there early unless you’re okay with takeout. Either way, Long Grain is a must for dinner in Camden.
Sea Dog Brewing
Looking for something to do before or after dinner? Check out Sea Dog Brewing and sit on their back deck. It’s has a great view of the water and it’s covered, so even when it rains, you can enjoy the view without getting wet. Their main summer brew is their Blueberry Wheat Ale. Trust me, it’s just as good as it sounds. I had 2 (or three) of these.
If you’re a fan of old-school diners with big menus and great service, Boynton-McKay’s is your place. We ate breakfast here before heading back to Boston to fly home and it was just what we needed – a filling breakfast before a long drive.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Maine Travel Guide! We packed quite a bit into a short time so we could experience as much as possible.
And a big thank you to Visit Maine for coordinating our trip, we couldn’t have done it without you and your incredible team!
I hope you found this guide helpful and more than anything, I hope you’re thinking of planning your next trip to Maine! There’s nothing like it! I LOVE MAINE and I’m already planning my trip back their next summer.