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Downeast Maine in the Summer

Things to do and Places to Visit in and around Machias, Maine

I realized Friday when I did my impromptu 5 on Friday post.  That, while I talk frequently of Maine and my childhood.  I haven't really done it justice.  I think a lot of that is because even when I go home nowadays, I don't think of it like an "out-of-towner" might.  But tourist season is starting up in Downeast Maine, and what better way to learn about the area, than from someone with deep roots in the area?!

Every time we go to Maine, we stay at a camp on the water.  We use Hearts of Maine to book the stay, though it usually winds up that my Mom knows the owners.  This is pretty handy when you lock yourself out of the place at 3am and need to call the owners.  It usually runs us about $750 to stay for one full week.  It's cheaper than any hotel room, and you have a complete kitchen, living room, and bathroom.  Also, the majority of them are lakefront- and you can swim in the lakes without the fear of gators and water moccasins.

Camps on Bog Lake, Northfield, Maine
The pups can swim daily

The food in the area is second to none.  Helen's Restaurant and the Blue Bird Ranch are two of the best (and, kind of, only) sit down places in town.  Or course, you could drive over to Cutler and get live lobster, fresh off the docks.  Some camps come with big pots to boil them in.

Maine is an outdoor paradise.  From Machias, you're within driving distance of a number of state parks.  We spent one day geocaching at Cobscook Bay State park.

Overlook at Cobscook Bay State Park

Acadia National Park is only an hour and a half away as well.  You could spend a week alone there.  We drove up for day and did a driving tour.  We also had a State Representative as our tour guide of Cadillac Mountain.
Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park Bar Harbor, ME

Maine's coast is different from the coast of ... anywhere... it's mainly rock and there isn't much beach front.  I hadn't been to Jasper's Beach since I was in grade school.  The beach is entirely rocks- I would recommend sneakers instead of barefoot or flip flops- you definitely sink into the rocks as you go.  Also make a stop at Fort O'Brien Historic Site along the way.

Jasper's Beach and Fort O'Brien State Historic Site in Machiasport, ME

Canada is only a hop-skip-and-a-jump.  You can get to Campobello Island via ferry in Eastport, or drive across the bridge in Lubec.  Visit East Quoddy Lighthouse and Franklin D. Roosevelt's summer cottage.

Roosevelt Cottage on Campobello Island, New Brunswick Canada

Lubec is the Easternmost town in the country, with West Quoddy Head being the most eastern point.  Quoddy Head State Park has a number of hiking trails- and a lighthouse.
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse and State Park in Lubec, Maine

A lot of folks that go to Maine, get to Portland and stop.  Understandably so, as there's more "normal" things to do- shopping and sightseeing.  Downeast Maine is speckled with history and nature, and really is the epitome of "Vacationland."  Like what I did there?

 Linking with Chesire Kat / Martinis & Bikinis / Green FashionistaA Compass Rose, All Kinds of Things, & Live Randomly Simple, Raising Little Superheroes /  by Michelle Westbrook


  1. This looks so wonderful! I have always wanted to visit there, but have never made it that far north! Your post is so informative for someone not knowing where to start and who has never visited before. Thank you for sharing! BTW, I am your neighbor at the "Sweet Little Ones" Link-up. So happy to "meet" you today! God bless you. :)

  2. All of your Maine pictures are so pretty! Eating is my favorite thing to do when I visit a new city/state and I cant even imagine how awesome ME is!!!!!!!!

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I could go in to so much detail about where (and what!) to eat and all, but it would require another trip up there to grab some pictures to really do it justice!

  4. Gah I won't eat lobster anywhere else! And the clams are phenominal, though most people think they're gross (looking) if they haven't been raised on them. When I go in the summer, I try to make it around Blueberry season when I can get some fresh wild berries for pie and to eat. I also get a mince meat pie or two from my aunts to eat while I'm there, and have itallian sandwiches just about every day. Which you can't even find anywhere else in the country :)

  5. Biana Perez6:02:00 PM

    MY BIL's family has a house on Big Lake so we try to go at least once in the summer - it's so nice!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  6. That's crazy! I've never been over to Big Lake that I can remember. I just love having our own space that we can have the dogs and be lakefront. The last camp we stayed in had 3 bedrooms and a loft, so there was a lot of extra room!

  7. Looks beautiful! I have yet to travel much in the Northeast so I need to add this to my list! What a great linkup!

  8. It's definitely different from other areas in the country I've visited. It's also kind of strange looking at "home" in the eyes of a tourist. I never did any of these things growing up, except for class trips.

  9. Kerri Taylor2:02:00 PM

    ah i love love maine! one of my fav spots is little cranberry island! wait for it when i link up to it later :) anyway - acadia is just the most gorg - great round up of spots to see! thanks for linking up! xo

  10. I love going back for a week or two, though since it's to see family, it's hard for me to get out of the Downeast area! I'd love to explore the rest of the state properly!

  11. Gorgeous pics! I used to spend my summers in New Hampshire, and my mom would always bring us to LL Bean and the outlets for back to school shopping. And the beaches are so pretty....oh and the food!

  12. Hahah yes! Everyone had LL Bean backpacks, monogrammed and all. I do miss the food!

  13. Don't forget a lovely afternoon spent sitting in your car on the dike chatting with all your friends.

  14. Maine looks so pretty, it was never in my radar, but I think that has to change!

  15. Hahah watching the same 3 idiots drive up and down the road....

  16. It really is! I love visiting and doing all the touristy stuff, but not sure if I could live there again!

  17. I had to giggle. I rarely leave Portland, so you are right, there - yeup ;) But we sure are beautiful here - the way life should be ;) cept the winters are getting worse and I think I'd rather be more temperate. Yikes. Anyway, it was lovely to see these photos and read your story, thanks for sharing :)

  18. Haha it's so crazy to me, because even when I lived up there, I'd rarely go to Portland. And now, we still don't explore it because we're so ready to get to the camp or whatever. The winters HAVE gotten bad- I had seen some pictures that someone posted of the snow banks still melting away in May. That I don't miss. But our dogs sure do love frolicking in it when we're up there during Christmas!


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