I was able to squeeze in some exploring in the Great State of Maine this week. A short work assignment provided the setting and a rental from Enterprise provided the locomotion!
I visited Maine back in 1998 but spent most of my time in the Portland area (known as the Southern Coast). It was a wonderful area and is loaded with things to see and do. This visit found me flying into the capital city of Augusta while working in Richmond. My base hotel was the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Brunswick. It was time to invade the home territory of our good friend, the legendary. ProfChiara
I arrived on a Sunday evening. My flight plan included USAir from PHL to BOS. The next leg was from BOS to AUG on Cape Air. The flight to Augusta was on a Cessna 402.. 10-seater plane. That was a gas!!
I headed out on Monday afternoon from Richmond to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The GPS suggested the shortest time route was to go north on I-95 to I-395 through Bangor. So, that's what I did. For the most part, this was just Interstate highway driving, not much to see.Once you get past Bangor (about 90 min.), you hop on 1A and the State starts to take on a personality. It was a beautiful drive from Ellsworth to Bar Harbor. I had to stop a half dozen times to snap pictures. The temperature was about 50° and the air was crisp and beyond clean. It's almost impossible to describe breathing in that air...it's just phenomenal. I was told that Maine is third on the list for number of lakes, behind AK and MN. It sure looked like it! Every twist and turn on the road brought another beautiful lake. As you get closer to Bar Harbor, you start to see some coastal islands, all full of what look like balsam fir and red spruce trees. It's really spectacular.
I pulled into Acadia National Park for a quick hike..just to say I did! There is so much more to this park than I could see in 30 minutes, so a return visit is needed. Back on the road for a few minutes and I was in Bar Harbor. The surrounding area is full of all types of housing from mansion like structures to small trailer type homes. They all fit in well. Once in the downtown area, it's Inns, historic homes, restaurants, stores, stores and stores. Very touristy, but in good taste, I'd say.
The headliner of Bar Harbor is the view. It's stunning. The town looks down and out to Frenchman Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Island after island.... boats of all sizes... shoreline in each direction. It's almost spiritual standing along the water and looking out at this beauty. Did I mention restaurants? Lobster is a featured item at every turn. The "Lobsta" is a food that I can't get enough of !!!. I enjoyed a Lobster Roll and washed it down with a Seafood Pie (think pot pie).... I actually had two bites of the pie and took the rest to go. The glitzy Route 66 restaurant was featuring a blueberry sangria. Oooh, was that good!
I headed back to Brunswick with about 2 hrs of sunlight left in the day. I decided to skip the Interstates and use Rtes. 3 and 1. This was a great choice. These roads took me through coastal town after coastal town. Each as charming as the next. If you decide to drive in the area, take these roads.
I'll add Part 2 about Freeport in the next blog entry.