Travel

Our Trip to Maine

Maine lobster roll

Have you ever been to Maine? We just got back from a family trip, and we fell for the rocky beaches, lobster rolls and friendly towns. What a magical place! Here are a few snapshots, if you’d like to see…

Fort Williams Park in Maine

Running into old friends at Fort Williams Park.

We kicked off the trip with three nights in Portland, Maine, at a rental house. We hit up playgrounds, lighthouses, and the wonderful children’s museum — complete with a mini theater with sound effects, like an evil laugh and silly walk.

Eventide menu

Eventide brown butter lobster roll

Bon Appetit just named Portland, Maine, the “2018 restaurant city of the year,” and it wasn’t hard to see why. For example, Eventide serves up the most ridiculous brown butter lobster rolls on Chinese-style steamed buns. And thank you to everyone who recommended The Holy Donut, where the secret ingredient is potato.

Hidden Pond family hotel in Maine

After a couple days chilling in the city, we drove down to Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport. We usually stay at rental houses, so we were excited to spend two days at a resort. You sleep in these adorable cabins!

Hidden Pond cookies

Sometimes if I can’t fall asleep, I’ll daydream about opening a hotel and think about all the surprises and delights you could have for your guests. Hidden Pond nails it in this way. When you first arrive, you get warm cookies and strawberry water in the lodge…

Hidden Pond s'mores

Each cabin has an outdoor shower, and there are lemonade pitchers by the pool. You can pick out bikes to ride around, and play ping pong and board games. In the morning, the boys would run to our door to get the breakfast bag left outside our cabin. Every evening, we roasted s’mores around the fire. It was such a fun and beautiful place to stay!

Kennebunkport beach

Kennebunkport beach

We explored the town of Kennebunkport and grabbed lunch at The Clam Shack. When you get a lobster roll, they give you a pin revealing whether you chose “butter,” “mayo,” or “both.” (Busted.)

Kennebunkport beach

Then we hung out at the beach for some ocean air and that seagull soundtrack.

nana

After two nights, we drove up to Camden, a seaport town on Maine’s midcoast region. We rented a little house, and my mom joined us! She sent us out on a date night, so Alex and I went out to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary.

Camden sail

Camden sail

We went on a sail, which felt especially fun since we had gotten engaged on a schooner a million years ago.

Owl's Head beach in Maine

The next day, our Mainer friend Julie introduced us to Owl’s Head beach.

Owl's Head beach in Maine

You could find hermit crabs and periwinkles, which are like sea snails. Apparently, they come out of their shells when you hum to them. How cute is that?

Inn by the Sea in Maine

Inn by the Sea in Maine

Our final evening, the lovely people at Inn by the Sea let us come by for a swim. Toby asked me to take this photo “to remember that we went swimming at 7:31 p.m.!!!!!” And Anton became super passionate about snorkeling, even though he was still wearing water wings, which made my heart swell. He kept saying, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful,” and told me all about the bottom of the pool.

Alex and Anton

Thank you so much for the wonderful experience, Maine. I sort of can’t believe people actually live there. We can’t wait to come back. :) Do you live in Maine, or have you ever visited? Where have you stayed? What would you recommend? I’d love to hear!

P.S. The random thing we do on vacations, and Cup of Jo city guides.

  1. Sarah says...

    I’m a Maine native and looking through your pics and reading about you fabulous time gave me warm fuzzies! Next time, you’ll have to head up north, to “the other Maine” (where I’m from). Up by the Canadian border, with wild rivers, endless forests, and fewer people per square mile than moose, you will fall in love with a completely different type of wild.

    https://matadornetwork.com/read/addiction-living-in-maine/

  2. Christina says...

    Seriously, how cute are you in the winky photo?!

  3. Lidia says...

    I loved reading this! Would you mind sharing what camera you used to take these beautiful pictures? Thanks!

  4. Carolyn says...

    Girl – if you loved Maine, you HAVE to check out Prince Edward Island, a tiny island on the east coast of Canada. I am an born and bred Islander (so obviously a little bit biased), but it is seriously heaven on earth in the summer time. Farm to table restaurants, seafood galore, endless white sand beaches, the friendliest people on earth,quirky craft shops, an amazing arts and music scene, quaint local breweries…I could go on!! I pinch myself everyday to remind myself that it’s not a dream and I do actually live in this incredible place. I have two small boys the same age as your fellas and we stay busy all summer long exploring our beautiful home province. Come check it out, we’d be happy to show you around!!

  5. Mackenzie says...

    So glad you had such a great time!!! I’m actually from Owls Head- born and raised so it always makes me happy when people discover Midcoast Maine. Was that beach Crescent Beach?! My parents’ house is on that street. Such a gem!

    Mackenzie

  6. On your trip to Maine photos…when I see the expressions on your boys faces, it reminds me of my own boys (now 27 & 30) way back when.
    Most people would probably say their heart swells but I think a better description is that my heart actually feels heavy and tight with the memories of the pure joy and wonder of childhood.
    I now have grandsons that are 6 and 3 and I am thankful every day that I get to experience it all again.

  7. Malia Hasegawa says...

    Portland, Maine is one of my favorite places to play. Exploring all the wonderful surprises along the coast. It is such a special place. Travelling all the way across the country, Seattle, is a “big” day of travel but entirely worth it. Your pics are quite precious!

  8. Sarah K says...

    I have always been interested in Maine but now I think this sealed the deal. I am literally going to copy this itinerary and put it on our family bucket list. The pictures were gorgeous and I am drooling thinking about lobster rolls.

  9. anne says...

    We went to Maine a few times when we lived in Mass. and it was pretty magical and totally opposite from my Nevada ranching upbringing!! Every time we went I held my breath thinking maybe we’d run into Soulemama :D

  10. Renee says...

    I grew up in Maine, lived elsewhere for several years, and am so glad that I returned to raise my kids here. I haven’t seen anyone recommend the Blue Hill peninsula yet. It is quieter than Camden and magical, especially for kids the ages of yours. Think E.B. White and Robert McCloskey, who both lived there and used it as a setting for their books. Condon’s Garage from One Morning in Maine is easy to find today. Read Charlotte’s Web, Blueberries for Sal, and Time of Wonder with your kids and then visit and easily imagine yourself in those characters’ places.

    It is one of my absolute favorite places to explore.

  11. Em says...

    A full-blooded Mainer here :) We live outside of Portland and I work in the city, but we almost never venture that way as a family (although I love me some Holy Donuts!) Growing up, the ocean was my heart and soul. The sandy beaches and cold salty water were my favorites. As I’ve explored more on my own, I have found that the inland areas- lakes, forests and mountains are my true soul. I agree with Constance, next time you come try to explore northern/central Maine a bit more. Brunswick is one of our favorite nearby towns (although still coastal.)

  12. Jacqueline says...

    You were in my backyard! We live in Old Orchard Beach. The next time you come to Maine, let us know!

  13. Kristian says...

    I love hearing about your trip because it isn’t some glitzy magazine photoshoot (though I’m sure it was still work!); it feel exactly like what it is, family photos. You make us feel like your friend or neighbor :)

    Because of that all the photos feel effused with memories and delightful but that last photo is especially heart melting!

  14. Awww, you were so near us! I live on Spruce Head Island, very close to Owls Head. Next time I hope you’ll visit Rockland for fabulous food and museums – great date night options. xo

  15. Cate says...

    We were in Maine this summer and it was as magical as you describe. We went on the Schooner Surprise in Camden, too–they even let my kids steer! Lobster rolls, blueberry pie ice cream…take me back!

  16. Carly says...

    We actually went for a long weekend to Portland the same weekend you did! We also went to The Holy Donut, the kids museum, and Eventide, but our Airbnb was in the west end :) other restaurants we really liked were Chaval for dinner and Tandem for breakfast/coffee!

  17. We live in St George(not far from Owls Head) and you must go to Monhegan Island. Ferry from Port Clyde and and artist’s colony and cool hiking island 10 miles from the mainland!!! Just surreal.

  18. Jeremy says...

    Haven’t been to Maine in a while but it is indeed a gorgeous state. Top 10 worst drivers in the country though :)

  19. Merry says...

    Haha, I fully saw you outside of Rosemont and thought you looked an awful lot like Joanna Goddard. Also you stayed like 400 feet from my house! Glad you enjoyed Maine, it’s got a magic you don’t get over.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow!!!! haha small world :)

  20. We live here and we love it too! So glad you all had fun!! :)

  21. Suzie says...

    I live in Portland. I swell with pride when I hear about the memories people make while visiting our state. It is an amazing place to visit and an even more amazing place to live and work. I am lucky enough to teach in the lovely coastal town of Falmouth.
    But really, you have to come to Portland’s Old Port during a holiday snow storm, THAT is magical.

  22. Constance LaFlamme says...

    I grew up in rural, central Maine. There are great experiences to be had in that area if you are interested in giving the boys the lake experience. Look for a rental on a cold water lake. My favorite place is Bailey Island, Maine. You would enjoy renting a cabin there; that place is magic. And…the surrounding area, Brunswick, for example, is beautiful. The food, art, recreation scene there is diverse, and you could get tickets to great theatre for the boys at the Brunswick Music Theatre.

  23. Laurie says...

    My husband and I spent our honeymoon at Inn by the Sea. Maine is a magical place. Thank you for sharing your photos and bringing back happy memories!

  24. Vicki says...

    I’ve been wanting to visit Maine for ages! Recently, during some genealogical research, I discovered that my ancestors were some of the first settlers of Maine (specifically Appledore Island), so now I’m DYING to go and explore this strange connection I feel for a place I’ve never been.

  25. Jenn Achuff says...

    amazing! Acadia NP is breathtaking, you’ll love it :]

  26. Alison Briggs says...

    We LOVE Kennabunkport and stayed at Hidden Pond for my best friend’s wedding a few years ago. Its magical! We loved it so much and I have been dreaming ever since to go back for a summer trip (we went in the fall – which was equally amazing!)

  27. Connor says...

    Maine is my favorite place in the world. My soon-to-be husband even organized a wintertime vacation in order to propose to me there, and we plan to eventually move from Boston up to Damariscotta or a similar coastal town, either before kids or when they are grown.

    It’s the best place in the world.

  28. Courtney says...

    Where is Alex’s striped shirt from? My husband would love it! Thank you. Lovely post, as always.

  29. Jacqueline says...

    Hidden Pond – what a gem! Did you have a chance to dine at Earth? It’s spectacular

  30. Tamk says...

    My husband surprised me with a trip to Maine for our one year anniversary because I’ve always thought I would love it. It’s AMAZING!! literally cried about 100 times over how much I love Maine

  31. Salina says...

    This is so lovely and helpful! I am eloping in Maine next May, but I haven’t been there before. My fiancé and I go on a National Park Trip every summer, so we’ll be driving from Florida to Maine, hitting up a few National Parks along the way and ending the trip in Acadia National Park where we will say “I do”!

    • Jennifer says...

      I love this idea! Acadia is one of my favorite places on earth-I recommend the Jordan Pond House for popovers and lobster bisque, breakfast at Two Cats, and The Burning Tree would be a great place for a special dinner! Havana is another great place for dinner.

    • Kim says...

      If you’re up for camping, the Blackwoods campground in Acadia is beautiful and close to some great trails. We also stayed in an amazing cabin by the water in Deer Isle (search Waters Edge Cottage on Airbnb); it’s about an hour or so before you get to Acadia. Happy travels!

  32. Carrington says...

    Went to Portland last summer! Did you try the honey paw!? I loved that resto even more than eventide…also, duckfat?! Amazing.

    • Duckfat was so gooooood! My husband and I went their twice on our honeymoon.