I did a road trip in and out of Portland, Maine and up through Canada. It was 10 days and beautiful. I flew into Portland early in the morning, got my rental and headed out. It was the end of June and the weather was beautiful, maybe 68 and sunny. I started the trip by driving out to Cape Elizabeth to see the Portland Light House. It was beautiful; the lighthouse, the rocks, the water, and the flowers. I walked around there for awhile, each view getting better. You can climb down and out on the rocks as well, which makes for great photos. Then it was time to get some good Maine food. I headed to the Lobster Shack at Two Lights. I highly recommend it! I got the lobster roll with fries and it was delicious. But everyone there seemed to be enjoying their food, and you can’t beat the view. After that I drove to Cresent State Beach ($8 entry) and explored that area. Being from Florida, the beach wasn’t all that exciting to me and I certainly wasn’t getting in that freezing water!! So I could have skipped that stop. After the beach I went to Mackworth Island to explore. It was a pretty walk with the rocks over the water, so I waited for sunset and relaxed. Then it was time to get to downtown Portland. I walked around there and the port area. It was my new favorite town! I wasn’t too hungry after my huge lunch but it was hard to pass up on all this good food. I treated myself to a milk chocolate oreo icecream in a waffle cone from Captain Sam’s. Definitely a must.
The next morning I made a stop at Holy Donuts, which was a must stop. I got three donuts because it was hard to decide and loved them all. So my recommendation for that is get as many as possible. Then I took the ferry ($8 round trip) over to Peak’s Island from Casco Bay. It was pretty foggy so I couldn’t see much on the ride over. I rented a bike ($10 for two hours-which was plenty) and ride around the island, stopping to take photos every few minutes. Then I got lunch at a place called the Inn on Peak’s Island. Went for another lobster roll and added a famous bloody mary this time. Delicious and once again great views. I took to the ferry back, this time able to see the whole bay. Then I left Portland and headed to Boothbay Harbor. That was a cute area that I walked around for awhile and did some shopping. On my way to my hotel I stopped and had dinner at Red’s Eats; supposedly the best place to get lobster rolls. The verdict: pretty damn good, but about the same as the others. The hotel I was staying at (Wiscasset Woods Lodge) was a cute little cabin off the road. It was definitely cozy and their home cooked breakfast can’t be beat. I think I had a little of everything: blueberry pancakes, monkey bread, eggs with sausage, and a muffin. Obviously another healthy start to the day! Then it was off to Acadia National Park. I met so many friendly people while hiking. Some of those hikes were more dangerous, but amazing. I did the Beehive hike that had vertical ladder like steps to get to the top!! After spending hours wandering and hiking I went off to Bar Harbor. I wish I could have spent another three days in Acadia, there was so much to explore. But, I absolutely LOVED Bar Harbor. I walked around the town and it was so adorable. I had locally brewed blueberry ale and lobster bisque at the Atlantic Brewing Company. I stayed at the Otter Creek Inn, which was cozy and nice, but not really in Bar Harbor.
I did some more Acadia hiking the next day before leaving the States. I started the day on the Jordan Pond Trail and then went and did Bubble Rock from there. That one had great views at the top! I finished my day by doing Cadillac Mountain. My tip for that would be go first thing in the morning for sunrise. I had to wait in a long line to even park and it was filled with people. But absolutely breathtaking at the top! I got a delicious blueberry soda at the gift store and headed to Canada. It was quite the drive, but I stopped at Truro and Saint John to explore and break up the drive. Cute little towns, I really enjoyed the public library in Truro.
I had planned to go to Prince Edward Island the next morning, but it was a 12 hour drive from where I was and then driving around the island, so I skipped it and will do that another trip. This is one of the things I enjoy about solo travel; changing the plans whenever I want. Instead I headed to Kejimkujik National Park. This was also far away, but certainly not 12 hours and it put me on the path to head back west along the coast. Now, there was not much crazy hiking to do here. I’ve been to the Everglades and this seemed similar to me. I decided on kayaking while I was there and that was nice. Then I headed to the coast. I stopped at Lunenburg which was adorable (super colorful and amazing looking churches), then Mahone Bay (also a great stop), and finally Peggy’s Cove for sunset. This is one of the most popular light houses in the area and for good reason, it was gorgeous. I stayed in Halifax that night.
In the morning I started with a walking tour of Halifax and Dartmouth-by ferry) just using a map to see the things I wanted to visit). In Halifax I saw the public gardens, Citadel, Canadian Museum of Immigration, the Farmer’s Market, Historic Properties, the Old Clock Tower, and Argyle Street. Food wise I had a local beer at Gahan House Harbourfront, Oreo icecream at Cows, and a burger with truffle fries and a beer flight at the Stubborn Goat. I would recommend all of those. This city was so fun and clean and had great food. At Dartmouth I saw Christ Church, Alderney Gate/Landing, Terminal Park, Evergreen house, First Baptist Church, the Quaker House, St James United Church, St Peter’s Catholic Church, the World Peace Pavilion, Sullivan’s Park, and Lake Banook.
The next day I drove to Cape Split. It was a 10 mile hike round trip, but wow!! Totally worth the view at the end. It reminded me of Faroe Island (from the pictures I’ve seen). Amazing views, just be careful near all of the cliffs. I had time to kill so instead of the high way I took the scenic drive along the coast. I stopped at Anthony Provincial Park and walked on the sea floor because of low tide. This area has some of the lowest and highest tides in the world. Then it was off to my hotel: The Tidal Bore Inn, known for some of the highest tides. So, it was off to watch the high tide come in. It was not as dramatic as I was picturing, but still cool to see.
It was up early to get back to Portland. Originally my plan was to go to Baxter State Park outside of Portland. However, the weather was calling for thunderstorms the next 36 hours. So I figured hiking up a mountain and kayaking in huge lakes wasn’t the best plan. On the long drive back I stopped in Reversing Falls in Saint John. That was cool to see, they even had a small Skywalk there you can do. Back in Portland I was hungry and tired from all that driving. I went to Gilbert’s Chowder House and got one last lobster roll. While eating I met a couple that told me I HAD to go next store and get blueberry pie. So after dinner I went to Andy’s Old Port Pub, and they were not wrong. Wow!
The next morning I stopped in at Holy Donuts for some more goodness. This time I had more time to explore Portland. I went to the Maine Jewish Museum, Congress Street, Fort Gorges, Market Street, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Then with some time to kill before my flight I hit up the breweries; Allagash Brewery, Rising Tide, and Shipyard. There are several companies that do Brewery Hopping tours, but I just did my own and had a blast meeting people. To sober up a bit I stopped at Duckfat and got some truffle fries and a burger. It was a great stop and great trip. Then it was off to the airport.