Memorial Day is on its way and, with it, a few days to relax and enjoy the soon-to-arrive summer. Well, we hope it is soon-to-arrive. If the last few days have been any indication, Maine will just be experiencing a year-round winter. But, let’s be optimistic and assume it’s almost here. To help kick things off, here are three road trips that are perfectly doable in a weekend. Tackle one Memorial Day weekend and then spread the rest out over the summer. Grab the car snacks and hit the road!
1.The Down East-ish Brewery Road Trip
Start by having your designated driver pull into
The Black Bear Brewing Company
in Orono. This place is family run and located at 19 Mill Street. Check out the weekly brewer's choice special or try out a a variety of brews with 5 ounce tastes for $1.50. Click
for more information.
Next head down the road to Brewer and check out
Blank Canvas Brewery
for some creative expression on their walls. You'll find them at 71B Center St. in Brewer or online
Next up is the
Penobscot Bay Brewery
in Winterport. Check out what they have on tap, as well as their wines. Learn more about both the brewery and Winterport Wine
Next you're headed to Sedgwick for a stop at
Strong Brewing Company
. Try a Localmotive, Bale O' Hay IPA, The Maineac or the Soulpatch Porter at 7 Rope Ferry Road or online
And, last up is a stop at
Atlantic Brewing Company
in Bar Harbor. This is one of the oldest brewers in Maine and their expertise at English Style Ales is evident. Check them out at 15 Knox Road or online
And, now, tell your designated driver to take a break. The trip is over and you can sit back and enjoy Bar Harbor together.
2. The Southern Lighthouse Road Trip
This trip is perfect for those who have only a day and are more keen on a leisurely trip than one that means hours in the car. The first stop is a quickie and really more of a from-afar viewing opportunity.
is the location of a particularly grisly story of a shipwreck that led to cannibalism. Learn more by reading our article on the meaty (sorry!) event
. Because you can't actually visit the island without a private boat through dangerous waters, you'll be in York for this stop.
Next we'll brighten the mood by heading to lovely
Nubble Lighthouse in Cape Neddick. Nubble Light was built in 1879 and is the southernmost of our lighthouses. The name refers to the rocky island on which it sits, just off shore. It flashes red every six seconds, and is visible for 13 miles. Electricity didn't come to Cape Neddick until 1938. Before then, the extremely cold wind caused numerous problems to the flow of oil to the light's lamp. For the best view, head to the end of Nubble Rd. in York. There is a park with a clear view of the Nubble just off shore.
Next, head North to famous
Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth. Portland Head is Maine's oldest lighthouse. Completed in January 1791, the original tower stood at 72 feet and was made of rubblestone and lime. It is also known for its ties to Maine's dear poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was here that he wrote his beloved poem, "The Lighthouse."
Wait! While you're at Portland Headlight, stop at the Bite Into Maine truck for, what many consider to be, the best lobster roll on the coast! Check them out
Stick around Cape Elizabeth for a trip to
Cape Elizabeth Light. Cape Elizabeth Light is Maine's most powerful! Cape Elizabeth Light's history begins in 1828 when two stone towers were in operation very near each other. In 1874 the two stone towers were replaced with 65 foot cast iron towers and were fitted with second-order fresnel lenses. In 1924 the Two Lights western tower was decommissioned. Today Cape Elizabeth's light is a 4 million candlepower flashing white light visible for 27 miles.
The next destination brings you into closer to Portland with a stop at
Portland Breakwater Light, more commonly known as "Bug Light." It was built in 1875 and was modeled after the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates of ancient Athens. The six Corinthian columns originally held up a fourth-order fresnel lens with a red beam.
Today, the lens has been removed and it's more of a historic site than a helpful light.
3. The Western Maine Waterfalls Road Trip
We're in the process of creating a Northern Maine waterfalls road trip article and this had us reminiscing about the original waterfalls road trip published back in February. This trip is a mini-version of that and begins with
Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park. These Bear River-sourced falls are comprised of two impressive drops. The first is a 30' drop over a granite ledge into a gorge. The second is just below the first and features another 30' drop.
A half hour drive from Screw Auger Falls will take you to Dunn Falls, which features two main sections - an upper falls and a lower falls. Many people feel the lower is the most impressive, but both are worth hike it takes to reach them.
Just a hop, skip and a jump down Andover road (that's the technical term for "ten minutes") are
The Cataracts. The snow melt is currently making this pretty impressive, so it'll be worth the stop. Together, the individual falls total about 100' and you'll enjoy swimming and sliding around when it's warm enough.
About 45 minutes Northeast, and visible from Route 17 scenic highway, is
Coos Canyon. In the summer you can wade in the waters, jump in or stay dry with a picnic in the connected park. If the springtime warm weather hasn't shown up by the time you do this trip, do not fear! You can easily pull over to simply take a look if you want to make this one a quick stop.
Last up for this truncated waterfalls trip through Western Maine is beautiful
Angel Falls. The impressive water feature is located about 30 minutes north of Coos Canyon. The 90' plunging falls come from the Mountain Brook and take about 30 minutes to reach on the (almost) mile-long trail.
Now that you've enjoyed a sampling of Maine's waterfalls, why not spend the rest of the weekend at a camp in the Rangeley area? On your head up there, stop for lunch at
The Shed BBQ
. For the exact location and a look at the menu, visit their website