If you like road trips, it’s no wonder you love Maine. Despite having pockets of population mixed with vast areas of wilderness, we’re actually a pretty great state to explore via road. Our beautiful nature makes themed trips to outdoor attractions easy and the lovely coast makes for a scenic way to spend a weekend. Today, we have another unique themed road trip for you. Rather than set your GPS for attractions, we’re taking you through some of Maine’s most picturesque towns. You’ll love getting a sense for how different places live and we encourage you to stop along the way for tasty treats at some local spots. And, as always, we’ve mapped the entire trip for you on
Begin by fueling up at Coffee Roasters of the Kennebunks!
The Duckett-family have created a perfect local coffee shop, complete with pastries and local crafts. Stop in before you head north to get yourself fueled up! They're located at: 163 Port Road in Kennebunk / (207) 967-8304
You'll start your journey in one of the most beloved Maine tourist towns - Kennebunkport. Perfect for a visit in the summer, spring, fall and winter Kennebunkport is always beautiful. Start your trip by getting slightly out of town by heading to The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, which has a significant portion of lands in Kennebunkport northeast of Cape Porpoise and through Goose Rocks.
Bath is renowned for its shipbuilding industry and has become known as the "city of ships." The famous "Bath Iron Works" can still be found here. Stop by the Maine Maritime Museum as well as the Chocolate Church Arts Center which often hosts incredible community events. If you make this trip in the summer, try Dot's Ice Cream Shop, pictured here. They're located at 160 Front Street in Bath / (207) 443-2468
Sitting on the west side of the mouth of the Kennebec River, Phippsburg is a lovable small town with a tight community. There's no shortage of outdoors to enjoy here. You'll find the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Fort Popham State Historic Site; along with Fort Baldwin which overlooks Fort Popham. Head over to Popham Beach State Park and Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge for even more of that lovely slow pace. The population here is about 2,200.
4. Port Clyde
Port Clyde is the southernmost settlement on the St. George peninsula in central Maine. In the 19th century, Port Clyde became a busy port with granite quarries, tide mills for sawing timber, and shipbuilding and fish canning businesses. Today, the area's quiet location attracts artists and writers. One of its most notable attractions is the Marshall Point Lighthouse. You may remember it as one of the most beautiful scenes during Forrest Gump's cross-country run in the movie, "Forrest Gump."
The town of Rockport is close to Camden, but many believe it has far more unspoiled character. Forbes Magazine even named it one of America's prettiest towns! Rockport is named for its rocky land and its lime stone industry. If you have some extra time, you can jump on the ferry to Vinalhaven from here as well. It will take an overnight trip on the island to truly experience it. But, don't worry. You can jump right back on the road trip when you take the ferry back!
We can't talk about Belfast without also including the many small towns that surround it. This entire area represents some of the best of small-town Maine.It provides a great mix of art, local food and waterfront views. In June 2015, the first "Maine Fare" took place, celebrating and sharing local artisans, food and musicians.
Searsport is Maine's second largest deep water port and is ideally located from the point of view of railroad, wood products and other development interests. Searsport has a rich maritime history. During the 19th-century the port had 17 shipyards and built 200 ships. It is the second largest deep water port in Maine and is ideally located at the confluence of the Penobscot River estuary and the Penobscot Bay. The rich heritage of the town can be seen at the Penobscot Marine Museum in town.
Home to the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine has a rich seafaring history. At this stop on your road trip, check out the town's post office - the oldest continuously running one in the USA.
Brooklin is named for the brook that separates it from Sedgwick, the town it was originally a part of. Historically, the town was a fishing and overall seafaring place. Fun fact: Allegedly, an 11th-century Norse coin was found in Brooklin. If this is true (some believe it to be a hoax), it would be the only physical evidence of Nordic settlers having entered the United States. An alternate explanation is that the coin was brought to the site not directly by Vikings, but rather through trading.
The lovely town of Stonington is located on the southern portion of Deer Isle. It was incorporated as a town in 1897 and renamed from Green's Landing to Stonington for its granite quarries. Despite its somewhat hard to reach location, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. From the Stonington Opera House to the museum, it's a lovely place to end your road trip and add on a few days to enjoy yourself.
Book yourself at the Pilgrim's Inn!
The Pilgrim's Inn, located in Deer Isle, overlooks Northwest Harbor and a small mill pond. It was built in 1793 and today also houses the Whale's Rib, where you'll definitely want to grab dinner! You can find them at: 20 Main Street, Deer Isle / (207) 348-6615