By Georgina Sturmer
Coastal Maine is stunning, peppered with quaint seaside towns, beaches and lobster shacks. We spent 2 nights in Kennebunkport, 2 nights in Portland and 3 nights in Bar Harbour.
**Boston to Portland
We drove up the coast, taking in the pretty Nubble LIghthouse in York and the cute high street in Ogunquit. Our first impressions on arrival in Portland weren’t great, as it seemed a bit desolate but once we had wandered around we could see that it is a fun, trendy town on the sea, more gritty than the cute towns you pass along the way. With hindsight we might not stay there agin with a toddler, as we didn’t get to fully enjoy the cool bar and restaurant scene on offer.
We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn
I would recommend highly – huge room, great breakfast, laundry room, nice indoor pool to splash around in and helpful staff. The only downside is the car park is a short walk around the corner and there is an extra charge ($12 per day)
We were hoping to go and see the Portland Sea Dogs play baseball but decided against it due to the weather. I also think that it would be more suitable for older children who are happier to stay still:
- Ate and drank well in Portland, although it is more geared to trendy young people than families. Highlights included beers at the Three Dollar Dewey, chips at Duckfat and dinner at White Cap Grille
- Shopping at the Maine Mall, which isn’t too far out of town. The carousel and ‘Build a Bear’ workshop were a hit with our little girl
- Portland Children’s Museum was a definite highlight. It’s not so much a museum, more a really fun educational play area.
**Portland to Bar Harbor
We carried on up the coast to Bar Harbour, stopping off at the Maine State Prison Showroom in Thomaston. Definitely worth a look for some interesting souvenirs, followed by lunch at Watermans Beach Lobster. Enjoy the pecan pie but beware of the portaloos!
We spent 3 nights at the Quimby House B&B in Bar Harbor. Lovely place just slightly set back from the main street, with very reasonably priced efficiency suites. The hotel had a small outside play area and was right next door to a friendly organic supermarket.
Activities in Bar Harbor
- Drove into Acadia National Park, but the weather was pretty poor so we didn’t see many sights
- There are plenty of boat trips taking tourists to see the lobsters, seals and whales. We weren’t sure whether our toddler could handle a long boat trip so we opted for the shortest one. The Miss Samantha Boat Tour lasts 1hr 45 but unfortunately that was too long for us as our little girl cried most of the way and puked halfway through.
- Bar Harbor itself has lots of nice little shops and great places to eat. Our favourites were breakfast at Jordans (on Cottage Street) and takeaway pizza from Rosalie’s.
**Bar Harbour to Kennebunkport
We headed back south again and rented a cabin for one night, just to break the journey at Point Lookout near Lincolnsville. We hadn’t booked in advance but it was a great choice. We had a really sweet 2 bed cabin in the woods. There is no restaurant on site but there is a gym. The following day we headed on to Kennebunkport, stopping off in Freeport for some shopping and a delicious lunch at Linda Bean’s
In Kennebunkport we spent 2 nights at the Nonantum Resort. This is a lovely old fashioned American family hotel and we had a suite in the main part of the house. We would definitely recommend the hotel although the outdoor pool is quite small and the lift is very annoying – it’s tiny and so old that you have to call someone from reception to operate it for you. The hotel restaurant was in range of our baby monitor so we took advantage and ate there both nights. The food was great and there was a lovely, friendly atmosphere with live music.
Kennebunkport is another sweet coast town, with the added cachet of being home to the Bush family. We just enjoyed wandering around taking in the peaceful scenery and massive houses.
Read more about our New England Trip: