by Nancy Dorrans
When I’m away traveling and I tell people I live in Portland, Maine, the reaction is dreamy.
“Ah, Maine…I love Maine,” or “Wow, you live there? I’ve always wanted to visit Maine…”
My favorite cousin has never been to Maine, but she has a dream of living here in a small cottage with a sea view, picking berries, baking and running a small roadside stand with the sign “Lori’s Pies”! Can you see it?
Those of us that are lucky enough to live here should be full of gratitude, embracing all that our fine state has to offer but, if you live here, you know that we must share our abundance of outdoor beauty, tastes and senses with our guests from away!
So, what do you do when “Away” arrives? Do you run away? Whatever your plan, this season in Maine is short, so you need to choose carefully to make the most of it!
As a travel agent, I’ve made a career out of sending people away, but not this time of year, not in Maine! Most of my clients and folks that live here don’t want to leave now. They may be thinking about a trip away in the Fall or Winter but not now, not when it is summer in Maine.
Here are a few ideas from Adventure Marketplace on where to go for a day or more to avoid the crowds…but shhhhh….don’t spread it around.
If you’re in town, get off the Peninsula! Get up early, pack a picnic, grab a coffee and delicious baked good from Standard Baking Company (my favorite is the pecan sticky bun), and jump on the Casco Bay Ferry Line either for the Mail Boat run or to debark on one of the islands and walk the perimeter.
Both Susan’s Fish & Chips on Forest Avenue and Silly’s on Washington have wonderful food and creative hidden garden outdoor dining spaces.
If you want to spend a day at the beach, instead of tackling the traffic of Old Orchard Beach, head to Pine Point and park at the Lobster Co-op.
You can tuck up against the rocks with a good book or take a stroll to the pier for people watching, tchotchke and pier fries. You can cycle down the Eastern Trail and/or rent a canoe and paddle the Scarborough Marsh.
For a true taste of coastal Maine, drive twenty miles past Ellsworth and the signs to Bar Harbor and turn right on Route 186 to discover the uncrowded Schoodic Peninsula.
Keep driving north to Petite Manan Wildlife Refuge or into the quaint quintessential town of Jonesport, where you may just drive or ride past that little sea view cottage with the sign, “Pies for Sale!”
Maine is a huge state but also has the feel of a small town. There’s plenty of room for everyone. So spread out and enjoy the season!