Midcoast Maine is what most people think about when you mention the state – ragged and rugged coasts with crashing surf, lobster and lighthouses. It is all that, no doubt. And you could end the story there and have a place where you yearn to be. But of course, we can’t leave it there.
The first thing you ought to know is that there is no straight line along this coast. With multiple rivers flowing from upstate into the ocean, endless peninsulas reaching far out to sea, and the multitude of islands, it would take you months to explore it all. But you don’t need to – there is beauty around every coastal turn – picturesque seaside villages, vibrant waterfront communities, and hidden coves abound.
Route 1 is the main drag, crossing the heads of the peninsulas to get you where you’re going, but this is no major highway. You’ll still slip in and out of pretty towns, and why not? That’s part of the fun.
Summer is the key season here, and fall is no slouch, but winter and spring are quiet, those biting northern winds and snow swept landscapes keep most but the locals away.
So come for the high season. Plunk yourself down in one of the popular coastal towns – Bath, Wiscasset, Boothbay, Damariscotta, Rockland or Camden – and explore from there, or make your way up the coast a couple days at a time, staying at different B&Bs (book well ahead!).
Take your time, stop and walk the shore or just grab a rock to sit awhile. Take a windjammer cruise, whale watch or fishing charter, or go island on ferries, explore lighthouses, hike a coastline trail breathing in the ubiquitous balsam scent, then stop at a beach for a refreshing swim. Shop boutiques, nosh on a lobster roll at one of the many shacks, visit a maritime museum, or sit by a harbor watching the boats.
This is midcoast Maine.