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. Betsy says...

    Portlander here… PSA to your readership: the award winning Bite Into Maine is definitely the best Lobster Roll/truck in the State. Looks like you were fooled by the tourist trap Cousin’s Maine Lobster truch in Ft. Williams. Too bad! Other great options: a walk around Macworth Island, a scenic, wooded ~1 mile loops with a forest of fairy houses for children. The Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck + The Cliff Walk. Sushi at Miyake, any dessert at Chaval, Ice Cream at Kettle Cove Creamery after a dip in the ocean at Crescent Beach. The Press Hotel is the place to stay and Palace Diner + Rabalais Books if you find youself in Biddeford. Skip Kennebunkport and anything further South it’s just mobbed with tourists and nothing to write home about.

    • Luna says...

      I’m local as well and adore Kennebunkport. Sure, it’s busy, but I think it’s a wonderful town that’s always worth a visit. :)

  2. Dana says...

    Anton and Toby always have the cutest outfits! Where did you get the t-shirts they are wearing in the s’mores picture? Thanks!

    • Laura C. says...

      Yes, I was about to say the same, they have a really unique and lovely style!
      Joanna and Alex please adopt me, so I can have a lovely style too :DD

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, you guys are so sweet. their tees are from winter water factory, they wear them ALL the time:) https://www.winterwaterfactory.com

  3. I still don’t get how your mom can look so young. Unless she had you at age 22. Great that Maine is getting its due, although Portland is getting a bit mall-like. So different from the derelict city it was in my early youth.

  4. cnm says...

    Maine is magical! We travel every August to Acadia and Bar Harbor. Try the boat ride to Isle au Haut sometime, our daughters say ” It smells like a Christmas tree!”

  5. Rachael says...

    Beautiful photos Joanna, what a wonderful trip. I can’t help but wonder if your love of Maine is because it looks like the US version of Cornwall? But we have better beer. Haha. Just kidding. A bit. From a long time reader in South West England (#southwestisbest)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!! we kept saying how it’s like cornwall, but more spread out. xoxo

  6. Ashley McKenney says...

    I’m lucky to have two parents and many grandparents, aunts and uncles from Maine so we have visited very year of my life, first at my grandparent’s house on Damariscotta Lake (about 30 minutes down Route 1 from Camden) and now my parent’s house built next door. It’s the one trip I NEVER miss. I love bringing people to experience it, especially as I’ve lived on the West Coast and Gulf Coast for most of my life. Maine is like a little foreign planet to them, and it it really is The Way Life Should Be.

  7. Jane says...

    I always love how you say “here’s some pictures, if you’d like to see” because every time I read that I think “well, of course!!!” :)

    • Lori says...

      I love that too! So sweet!

  8. Ash says...

    Oh this just warms my heart! I live just next door to Maine but on the Canada side. It’s just so beautiful here but not really on a lot of people’s radar. I am so happy to see you loved this place and have shared it with others. I think everyone should come visit, especially on the Canadian side! We welcome visitors :)

  9. Karen says...

    “He kept saying, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful,” and told me all about the bottom of the pool.”

    My heart!

  10. Trish says...

    I love that they are called water wings ! It’s magical. We just call them arm bands in ireland . X

    • Libertad Vera says...

      haha still sounds interesting, in Mexico those are “flotis” (floatis)

  11. Also, your boys are just too adorable! The swimming and snorkelling.. bless.

  12. Gorgeous pictures and a gorgeous holiday, sounds like.

    Two of my dearest friends live in Maine and I have been lucky enough to visit them several times. I love the train journey from NYC or the bus from Boston, and when the landscape changes and I know I’m coming into Maine it’s magical.

    I STILL have not had a lobster roll, though! Missing out!!

  13. My family and I visited for Labor Day weekend 2018 and Stayed in Freeport. We took an L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Archery course, swam and picnicked at Winslow Park just outside of the town. We went to the lighthouse at Fort Williams Park and headed over to Portland, where we ate at Eventide Oyster Co., Two Fat Cats Bakery, The Holy Donut, and shopped along Congress Street.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow, an archery course! so cool.

  14. Summer says...

    We vacation in Maine every summer. My sister-in-law lives in Wiscasett and we also travel inland to Greenville. Maine is truly the best. I wish I was there right now.

  15. Becca says...

    My husband and I went to a wedding in Wiscasset and fell in love with Maine but I hesitate to take a family vacation there because my older daughter is very allergic to shellfish!! :-( I think I’d be on pins and needles at every meal, and looking at that Eventide menu just reinforced a) that I want to eat there but b) without worrying my child will die. Dang allergies!!!

    • Just like any state or city there are many types of restaurants here, and many that are not seafood!

  16. I want to visit so bad!

  17. celeste says...

    Looks like heaven. P.S., every time your mom makes a cameo, my heart bursts a little. Would die for parent “built in babysitting”. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, it really is the best! we’re so lucky when she joins us. i just wish we lived closer. it’s kind of heartbreaking to have these joyful bursts and then have to wait another 3-4 months. i’m hoping one day she might move to brooklyn :)

  18. Sabrina says...

    I lived in New Hampshire in my 20’s and I loved visiting Maine! Portland is still my favorite city in the US.
    I do think it’s funny how everyone from Maine is commenting how awful it is in the winter. I’m from Minnesota, so New England winters seemed really nice to me when I lived there. I think Minnesota tops for most miserable winters, hands down! But no matter which “cold” state you’re from, we all put up with those conditions for the amazing summers and autums.

    • Sasha L says...

      I live in Montana, lots of Minnesota transplants here, and they all say the same thing, “much nicer winters!” Lol, colder and longer and more snow but *nicer*. It’s the humidity. It’s really dry here so the cold just feels less so. Also big open blue skies and rarely overcast so even when it’s -30 degrees, the sun may be shining, for whatever it’s worth when it’s that cold.

      Personally, I wish September was there months long. Winter will be upon us again long before I’m ready.

    • Kate says...

      I’ve lived in Minnesota and Norway, and I’d agree that MN winters are the toughest!! In Norway there’s a saying, “there’s no bad weather only bad clothing.” I believed this until moving to MN…:)

    • I’m from St. Louis originally and live on the coast of Maine in Blue Hill now. A midwestern winter is much more than a coastal Maine winter, in my opinion. It’s not that bad and in the midwest, it was just so, so cold and brown. At least in Maine there is snow, which helps moderate the temperatures and provides recreational activities. We love to go snow shoeing around our property after work and on weekends.

  19. Jen says...

    I live in New Hampshire right near the borders of Maine and Mass. The whole coast truly is a beautiful and magical place. Come visit us in New Hampshire, there is nothing better than NH in the fall!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i bet the trees are incredible!!

  20. Laura says...

    I am so glad you had a wonderful time up here! As a lifelong Mainer, I have to say that I have loved every article of yours referencing our state. You show the Maine I know and love, which is not always depicted in other media, and is the reason we tolerate the long winters! Haha! :-) Hope you come back soon!

  21. looks beautiful!

  22. Rae says...

    Hi Joanna! I’d love to see a post where you (or others) talk about how you plan for vacations. Do you plot everything out at the start of the year? Do you decide to take trips more spontaneously? How do you budget for them, or decide what your travel budget for the year will be? I love the glimpses of your trips and travel recommendations, but I also think it would be so meaningful and useful to have a deeper look at how your family or others make these decisions and prioritize for them.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a great idea, rae! i would love to share more. we plan way ahead (for example, our christmas trip has been booked for months already) and budget for a mix of trips where we stay with family vs. trips where we rent airbnbs. i’d love to share more. thank you so much, rae. xo

    • celeste says...

      To build on that, any “saving for a trip tips”? I imagine it takes months for most people!

    • Karen says...

      I was thinking the same thing! I’m in love with this trip. So afraid I would spend my son’s college fund on lobster rolls tho. I remember loving your Fire Island trip too, Joanna!

    • Rae says...

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful (as always) reply, Joanna. I’ve been following for years and love seeing this site continue to grow in so many ways, from the size of your team to the depth of material that you’re covering. It’s so wonderful!

    • Sarah says...

      I echo this! I would also love a finance post on this + managing multiple accounts. My partner and I are just now merging our finances, and we’re trying to figure things out, as we just moved and plan to prioritize travel before having kids. Do we have 1 account for “big travel” (international vacations once a year, plus flying across the country to see our families) and 1 account for “little travel” (weekend getaways), both of which we deposit into monthly? What do people normally do?

  23. You trip sounds delightful! I’ve never been to Maine but its on my bucket list as I’m working visiting all 50 states!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cool, fortune!

  24. Claire says...

    I spent a wonderful week in Bar Harbor with my family this summer and can’t wait to come back to visit some more. Thanks so much fir sharing!

  25. I took a filmmaking course during college at the Maine Media Workshops (it’s near Camden where you guys stayed!) and absolutely fell in love with the state. But it’s very far away from my husband’s and my families, so even though I could really see us living there, we stayed put in Wisconsin. Where we live, right on the shore of Lake Superior, it’s very much like Maine actually. Ours is an inland sea, but we still have the crashing waves, the seagulls, the craggy rocky shores, the mist that rolls in off the lake and takes over the town in seconds, and wild blueberries everywhere in July. Still, Maine is indeed a special place! I hope to go back someday!

  26. Kalli says...

    Joanna, you used an oxford comma! I’ve been waiting for this for several years. ;) (Busted!)

    By the way, my husband and I honeymooned in Maine five years ago, and it was magical. We tried and loved Eventide, as well, and took ferries to Monhegan and Peaks Islands. Gah! So beautiful!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahahaha i use them when i think it would be confusing not to. i love that you noticed!

    • christine g says...

      I am always shocked and appaulled when people do NOT use the oxford comma! https://goo.gl/images/M4RSL1

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha

    • Sarah says...

      Hahaha love this too! XX

  27. molly says...

    Soo happy you had such a great trip to Maine:) My family of 4 has lived in Maine for 5 years now and we are still finding places to explore. My husband and I are both from Ohio and we fell in love with the coastline and Maine’s natural beauty. I feel like it’s a beautiful blend of nature and art here.

  28. Libby says...

    We used to live in PEI and we would go camping at Acadia National Park. The islanders thought we were crazy to leave PEI in the summer but ANP is a dream!! We love Portland too!

    • Laura C. says...

      Going to Prince Edward Island is my new dream trip. Lucky you!

  29. Rose Hastings Keith says...

    My husband’s parents live in Maine so we go up there once or twice a year. They live inland, about 2 hours north of Portland, so while we don’t see the beautiful coastlines or get to eat at good restaurants, it’s still beautiful and peaceful. The winters are very harsh and long, though! :-)

    • Kady says...

      My in-laws live in Maine also! My MIL is in Sabbatus, my FIL is in Litchfield….so not on the coastline either, but I do agree still peaceful! In 6 years, I’ve only been 3 times but I am dying to visit more often! So much to see, explore and eat!!

  30. I’ve never been – but my goodness have you made it sound wonderful! I’m glad you all had such a fun time!!

    Rebecca

  31. Please open your own hotel.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha maybe one day! it would be so much fun to plan all the little things :)

  32. Kelly says...

    I grew up in Thomaston, which is just south of Richland on route 1. Similar to others, I left for college out of state and have worked abroad or outside the state ever since. I feel some guilt that I’m not there because I’m contributing to the lack of labor in Maine. Joanna, did you see how many help wanted signs there are? When I was there this summer, restaurants were slow because they didn’t have enough people working. My favorite sandwich shop, Close to Home, just closed because they don’t have enough cooks. The addition to our new high school isn’t complete because we don’t have enough electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople to finish it before school started yesterday. Please, please don’t think of Maine just as a vacation land. It’s a gorgeous place with even more gorgeous people who are the most resourceful, practical, and community minded folks I know. It is also aging rapidly and in dire need of some people “from away” to come and live there.

    • Lauren E. says...

      This is fascinating to me – you’d think the tourism industry would be bringing all types of people to live in the area. A good friend of mine just moved her family to Portland and couldn’t be happier. Perhaps the residents will increase slowly over time.

    • Chi says...

      I grew up in Maine as well (Augusta) and now live in Boston – I know what you mean! Maine suffers from “brain drain,” lack of access to education and resources, the opioid crisis and more… a lot of people don’t realize this because they only know it as vacationland. Many people are moving to Portland, but that means prices for houses are being driven up too and increasing a class divide.

      There’s a big push for people to live and work in Maine (all over, not just Portland!) – people can learn more here: https://www.liveandworkinmaine.com/ I know I’ll eventually settle down in Maine when I’m older. It’s a good life, you have the ocean, the mountains, and great people.

      Also, Thomaston is lovely!! I always loved driving through it to visit the Rockland breakwater. :)

    • Sasha L says...

      It’s a conundrum, a vibrant community vs keeping it real and affordable. I love in a vacationland place, where housing prices drastically outpace wages, even though plenty of tourism economy and young trustfunders pouring money into the service sector. Many people here would now go back and stop the growth of they could, it seems the price is too high. So hard because of course we can’t really see what our community would be like without the growth. I just know it’s hard to see the place you love changing in irreparable and negative ways.

    • Amy says...

      Hey Maine Natives Living Away, I hope you find a way to come home soon! I was living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan for several years. I recently transitioned to fully telecommute, bought a house in burgeoning Biddeford, and I’ll never look back. Maine is fantastic…. assuming you can find a way to make a living here. Trades really are in high demand! As are nurses and many other professions. There’s more than lobster! Thanks for drawing attention to real life in Vacationland.

    • Mouse says...

      I came to Maine as an older person, lived in Portland before it was cool, and have lived in “the other Maine” for about 12 years. “The other Maine” is mostly rural and not coastal. Still beautiful and more down-to-earth. But the things others say are true: Maine has real challenges and it is not easy to live here unless you have made a lot of money elsewhere and that creates friction in the state. I straddle this issue, as I travel to Boston to work 3 or 4 days a week which I will probably have to do until I can be on Medicare. (9 more years!! If it’s still there….) It’s difficult, but when I hit the dirt road before my drive and see my garden and the house my husband and I built ourselves, and hear THE QUIET (except for hunting season, which is now) it is totally worth it.

      It’s complicated: the thing that makes Maine special–which is essentially the lack of people, which makes the natural world beautiful–is the thing which makes it a challenge to live here: everything costs more because there are not economies of scale for big companies, many businesses are represented by only one company, as in healthcare, because there’s no competition, and the state is generally poor.

      But I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

  33. Michelle says...

    That sounded like heaven.

  34. Grey says...

    It’s interesting to see how many people mention honeymoons in Maine. My parents honeymooned in Maine in the early 70s and decided to move to the Maine woods a few years later, from upstate NY. I was born in the middle of nowhere, where snow sometimes got too deep to safely play outside.
    I grew up outside. First north of Bangor. And then in the mid-Coast, where my family still lives, near Camden and Owls Head.
    I loved Maine. But I wanted to travel and move far away. Maine was too small.
    I’ve lived in California for 12 years, and just recently, as I watch my toddler start to explore the world, I’ve realized I want to go back east, so she can run through blueberry fields and eat warm raspberries straight off the bush with her wild Maine cousins…And climb rocks along the shore in Owls Head, just like I did when I was young. It really is a magical place to grow up.

  35. Julia says...

    My mom’s family is an old Maine family – they were exiled there for supporting the British during the Revolutionary War (whoops!). I was raised there and my parents still live there. It’s a wonderful place to grow up and, like all childhood places, indelibly shaped who I am. I’ve lived abroad for many years now, and whenever I meet a fellow Mainer I get a thrill because we are such a tribe.

    Do a winter holiday next and see if you think it’s still just as dreamy. The darkness and the cold isn’t for the faint of heart. :)

  36. Bonnie Blackard says...

    One of my favorite vacations ever was a long-weekend camping trip to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. We ate lobster every night at a lobster shack on Deer Island. The first night, we got lobster and all the trimmings. Then, we figured out that we could get bread and corn anywhere, and we and each ordered 2 lb. lobsters with no trimmings. WIN!

  37. Martha says...

    You had me at brown butter lobster roll. Gimme gimme!

  38. Lu says...

    If you ever feel so inclined. Ocean Springs/Biloxi Mississippi is likewise magical. The seafood, the culture and Tato Nut donut house has been serving literally the best donuts in the world for ages (if you can catch ‘em before they sell out every morning). Maison de Lu is great for a good sammich and there is so much to see, do, hear and eat. Maine is a bucket list trip for me for sure…but it’s important that I spread the sparkle of my Gulf Coast with y’all too. ♥️

    • Bunny says...

      Fellow gulf coaster here! OBA! Part time atleast. My dad has a house down there. Nothing like the Gulf of Mexico :) especially in the fall

  39. Aisha says...

    Maine is lovely and breathtakingly beautiful, but there is one thing about it that needs to be said: Lack of diversity. When I was there, I was wondering where people of color were. People are…curious about you, to put it gently. Unfortunately, a black family’s vacation experience would probably be different.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i was thinking a lot about that on our trip. thank you for saying so, aisha.

    • Nina says...

      This was true in Utah, as well. There is diversity in terms of different cultures (many people emigrated there as part of the LDS church in the late 1800s) but few people of color. That is one of the reasons I moved my son back east…I want him to be exposed to all different people But, I also was concerned when I looked at a job in a place that was 98% POC because I thought well, I don’t want him to be the only white kid either.

    • Thefan says...

      Yes, I agree. I feel the same way about all of New England and Phish concerts.

    • sue says...

      aisha, this is a great point. i love maine and consider moving there in the future but am disappointed by the lack of diversity which hinders my interest.

    • blaire says...

      Curoius if climate/weather has something to do with it?, Around the world most of the colder northern countries/cities are predominately white or asian

  40. Jill says...

    We live on a small island that you can drive to, just 20 minutes from Portland. And raising our three kids here and being an big kid here means trails in our backyard, the ocean a one minute car ride away, distance from all the commercial craziness, and a sense of calm simple beauty when crossing the bridge (epic sunsets, amazing fog, frozen waters in the depths of winter, my young daughter saying “boat, boat!” each time we cross, beachgoers below, seeing the city lights in the distance, and so much more…like the time a small deer was running across the bridge and I followed it home). Maine mirrors my heart.

  41. JL says...

    Every time I see a picture of your mom I think she looks 1.) so young and 2.) the cutest! Love Maine! The food, the people, the sea air. Such a great place!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she really is! :)

  42. I’m born and raised in Maine. When I moved away to Boston for college, I didn’t think it would be that different since I wasn’t leaving New England but if anything going away made me realize how special Maine is. The people there are all so nurturing and kind. It was the best place to grow up, and I can’t wait to move back upon graduation. My favorite thing to about Maine is that when you pass by people on the street you wave or say ‘hello’ to everyone. It’s something I do instinctually even outside of Maine but I’m usually never greeted back. When I’ve brought my friends to Maine in the past they’re always like “How do you know all these people?!” And I just tell them “I don’t know anyone! That’s just what you do to strangers and friends alike!” And then my friends get a kick out of waving and saying hello to people and having everyone say it back. They’re so amazed by the hospitality of Mainers but to me, I know no other way then to show welcoming kindness to both neighbors and visitors.

  43. We’ve been here for 6 years and can’t image living anywhere else. Constant “pinch me” moments happen when the beauty of this place takes hold. As a Realtor in Portland, I get to help people make it home! It’s so magical! The islands, coast line, lobster shacks and mountains, Maine is so special. But aside from all of that, the people here are genuine and that is truly what makes Maine so wonderful.

  44. Sarah says...

    Our family vacation home is in Owls Head, my husband and I were married there 9 years ago. I’m so glad you loved it. We consider it a little slice of paradise and our kids get so excited to go every summer (and beat the Nebraska heat!)

  45. Jem says...

    Maine is my favorite state that I don’t live in! I’ve spent part of my summers in Maine almost every year since childhood and I love that it is the one consistent in my life. No matter where I live or what I am doing, I always make sure to spend a few days during the summer there. This summer I spent two weeks at a lake house just outside of Portland… mostly paddle boarding, playing with my little cousins, and reading! I have always (somewhat jokingly) said, that no matter who I marry, I will be getting married on the coast of Maine. Everything else (besides the groom) doesn’t matter! ;) One place that I absolutely recommend is Belfast, cute little town near Camden… it’s quintessentially nautical. Oh, and this tiny- blink and you miss it- town called Liberty which has a really cool graphic t-shirt shop called Liberty Graphics and a neat antique/old tools shop. Love the little hole in the wall places that dot the Maine landscape.

  46. Julia says...

    We live in the San Francisco Bay Area but we LOVE Maine, and our favorite town is Castine (Midcoast). There’s no way to fully describe how lovely this place is but this article does a pretty good job. Not mentioned is their small but wonderful library with a terrific kids’ program in the summer. Highly recommend!
    https://newengland.com/today/travel/maine/castine-maine/

    P.S. Castine is only about an hour from Acadia NP, which is 100% worth its own trip but can also be a day trip if you want to experience it in smaller doses. Our kids’ favorite Acadia day is Sand Beach followed by popovers at the Jordan Pond House restaurant.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cool about the children’s program at the library. i couldn’t believe how cool the library was in camden. they had “discovery bags” that kids could check out — each had a theme (pirates, cooking, dinosaurs, the rainforest, etc.) and were filled with books and toys about that theme. anton got the rainforest one and it was remarkable — binoculars, an explorer vest and helmet, animal toys, books about animals and the rainforest, etc. it was SO cool.

  47. Elizabeth says...

    I realized I’ve bewn reading your blog for about nine years. I remember when you got engaged and it’s hard to believe so much time has passed. Congrats on nine years! xo

  48. Catherine says...

    If you didn’t eat at Earth at Hidden Pond you have to go back!

  49. Stephanie Fonda Ben-Zeev says...

    We went to Maine for five days for our honeymoon and stayed in Kennebunkport and Camden! I committed to eating lobster every day (and sometimes twice a day) and it was magic.

  50. Katherine says...

    My mom’s entire side of the family (though there’s only her and my uncle left now) is from Maine (Ellsworth)! When I was a little girl, I thought it was the most special place on earth because that’s where my grandma lived – the only place on the globe where I felt that our roots were raw and real. I was so nervous to bring my boyfriend there 8 years ago, and I kept telling myself he didn’t have to “get it,” he just had to like it. Well, he “got it” all right. My beloved grandmother died 7 years ago, but 1 year ago my amazing guy and I got married in Bar Harbor, and her spirit swelled up around us like the tides that whole weekend. Our family’s ancestors, no matter how much they may have made us ache, are all over that state – from the roots of Bar Island to the teeny main streets trying to stay afloat. It is the one place I have ever been where “home” feels visceral, inevitable…and always gratifying.

  51. Julie says...

    Love this post and your beautiful pictures, especially the one of Inn by the Sea! My husband and I met in Maine while in grad school (I went to look at an apartment he was moving out of and the rest is history) and got married at Inn by the Sea on the lawn right beside the pool. It was a beautiful, blue skied day and if I close my eyes I can still hear the waves and smell the salty, beach-rosy air. This summer, just after our 15th anniversary, we bought a condo just north of Kennebunkport. We’re dreaming of more lazy walks on Goose Rocks Beach (my absolute favorite) and hoping our kids, 7 and 5, will grow to love it as much as we do.

  52. Liz says...

    If you’re game for another Maine trip, enough good things cannot be said about the common ground fair which takes place on the third weekend in September in Unity, ME. The fair is pure magic and a beloved annual Maine getaway for our family. We have taken our girls every year since they were one (now they are eight) and every year has been so enjoyable for them as kids and for us as a family. Go! Belfast, in mid coast, is a nice home base for the fair at about 40 minutes away.

  53. Christine Frieze says...

    My in laws lived in York for a million years….we got engaged on a boat off the Isle of Shoals (technically NH) 30 yrs ago. Maine is my go to spot for peace and centering. Ogunquit has an awesome beach, the Clff House is a wonderful resort in Cape Neddick. The Stage Neck Inn is also fantastic in York Harbor. I could go in forever…….Maine, sigh

  54. Nina says...

    They’re growing up so fast! Make them stop! I still remember when you got engaged…its been a lovely trip with you. Everything looks delightful. So…is it weird the lobster isn’t IN the roll?

  55. Becky says...

    It was so great to meet you and your boys on the beach near Inn By the Sea! Thanks for all the recs, we will be back!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, so wonderful to meet you guys!!!

  56. Sarah says...

    It makes me so happy to hear that you had a wonderful time here in Maine (I live just outside of Portland, raising two boys as well!)

  57. Our family just went to Maine this summer for the first time after my husband kept raving about Acadia from a trip when he was a boy. It was truly magical. The food, the clean clean clean air and water, the friendly people and quirky small towns. We all loved it. I feel a strong pull to go back!

  58. Carrie says...

    My husband and I got engaged at an inn in Bar Harbor. We went sea kayaking, enjoyed eating poutine and lobster rolls at the local bars, built ebenezzers on the island and saw a movie at this theatre where you sat on vintage couches and could order pizza and beer. Maine!! It really is the most magical state.

  59. Catherine says...

    We have a cabin in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine (about 1.5 hrs northwest of Portland). It’s a beautiful sleepy area. Favorite place on earth :)

  60. Kayla says...

    “and told me all about the bottom of the pool”.
    Oh man Anton. We should all be so grateful! Such a beautiful trip Jo! You always write the most personal recaps, like we are all your friends and we have received a sweet note from you! Thanks for sharing!

  61. Lindsay says...

    All your travels looks so fun, and I would to take my family on a vacation like that. But honestly, I can’t read about all your excursion and not think about the carbon footprint you are leaving. I read earlier this week an article about how great of a father John Krasinski was because he flew from England to the US every weekend while filming his newest show. All I could think about was how much fossil fuel he was using, all while claiming he cares about the environment. Also the fact that you can afford to do so many of these trips brings up another issue; just how wide the gap between upper class and lower class is becoming. We hardly have a middle class anymore.

    • Rebecca says...

      This is an interesting comment. I don’t think the solution to solving our environmental issues is to stop traveling altogether, but to be cognizant of replacing the resources we use in our travels by implementing green and sustainable practices in our lives in other areas. Perhaps Joanna’s family has done so? For instance, my husband and I have built a composting area in our backyard; bike, run, and walk to local destinations, as appropriate; and purchase eco-friendly cleaning products. These small steps are our contribution to reducing our carbon footprint.

      In this era of political and world dissonance, I think travel is vital to understanding other parts of our country and the world. To not do so solely for reasons of eradicating our carbon footprint would be dangerous, in my opinion.

  62. Roxana says...

    He kept saying, “Mommy, it’s so beautiful,” and told me all about the bottom of the pool.

    LOL! Oh my goodness. So funny.

    I’ve never been to that part of the country. It looks sooooo dreamy! Plus, I’ve been obsessed with reading Robert McCloskey books to our kids for the last few years. I must go there! Also, your boys are so precious. Thank you for sharing!

  63. Marisa says...

    Just got back from a weekend in Maine-highly recommend Hermit Island for camping! It’s super family friendly and there are so many private beaches!

  64. Elizabeth Anderson says...

    We love Camden, we have friends who bought a house and cabin on Alford Lake near Hope.They let us stay in the cabin any time it’s not inhabited by their daughters. The lake is sparsely populated, so peaceful. Our friends own the funky shop Planet in downtown Camden. We also love Mt. Desert Island. The Maine Blueberry Festival in Union is loads of fun.

  65. Shannon says...

    We live down the street from Hidden Pond, so it was a nice surprise to see our beach on here today. I grew up on that beach, married my husband on that beach, watched my son take his first steps on that beach (12 years ago), and now spend most summer evenings swimming with our kids at that beach. I love that you discovered our neighborhood… it really is dreamy to live here.

  66. Kristen says...

    I pinch myself daily that I get to live here. It really is the way life should be! You were right by our house at Fort Williams park :)

  67. I always love reading your family vacation posts :-) Maine sounds wonderful.

  68. I love Maine so very much. I grew up in New Hampshire but my grandfather lived on the ocean in Westport, Maine. We would also head to Saco at least every other week in the summers to spend the day at my mother’s favorite beach. Heaven!

    So glad you enjoyed it.

  69. I live in Maine! Went to college here and was obsessed with getting back during the 12 or so years that I lived in Boston. It has been a wonderful place to raise kids and live. There are lots of hard working, capable and creative folks here who appreciate the land.

  70. Jen says...

    Oh my goodness! We live in CT, spend nearly the entire summer in Michigan…why haven’t we traveled to Maine?! Going SOON, thanks to this post. xx

  71. Ro says...

    Beautiful! This is my ideal vacation. May I ask what’s the easiest way to get to Maine from NYC? Did you drive?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you can drive or fly! it’s about 5.5 hours to drive from nyc to portland. xoxo

    • Ro says...

      thanks! :)

  72. Charlotte K says...

    Maine! So fabulous. I haven’t been there in way too long.

    I want to wear water wings and go snorkeling. I’m sure that is the best way to do it!

  73. EB says...

    I grew up in a small coastal town near Portland, spent 10 (wonderful!) years in cities, but came back to raise kids. Now, after many years of swearing up and down that I would never move home, we recently bought an 18th century farmhouse… two doors down from where I went to preschool – ha! Maine is a pretty magical place, on your next visit I highly recommend taking the ferry from Port Clyde to Monhegan, eating at Terlingua in Portland, and visiting Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay (the children’s garden is especially magical). Also, there’s a great organic farm in Freeport called Winter Hill and you can stay on the property (through AirBnB) and roam around a bit and meet the cows!

    • Summer says...

      I second the Botanical Gardens!

  74. Alyssa says...

    I’m from Mains and my husband and our 5-month-old son are currently mulling over whether or not to move back there. This post helped remind me how magical it is, which I sometimes think I forget having spent my childhood and early adult life there. So thank you and next time stay in Acadia National Park :)

  75. Esss says...

    I’ve never been to Maine, but when I was a kid, my dad would slice blue berry muffins in half, spread them with butter, and pan fry them Tim they were toasted, a little carmelized, and oozy with the butter. He told me he learned it when he sailed up the eastern seaboard to Maine, in a diner there. Best food of my life, and have always loved Maine for it without having ever been there.

  76. Penny says...

    Wooo! I live in Maine. My husband is a lobsterman! If you spent anytime sailing in Casco bay I’m sure you passed one of his buoys :) I’m so glad you guys enjoyed your time here. Thank you for supporting our state. It really is pretty great here. I just got back from a walk on Scarborough beach actually!

  77. Laura says...

    Portland is everything! I live in Boston and have literally driven there just for a meal- we love Slab, the Sicilian style pizza place with a cool outdoor area, Eventide and all the seafood places, Nosh, and there was a great little place near Duck Fat that had the most amazing ginger cocktails I’ve ever had

  78. Babs says...

    I grew up in Maine. My sister and I graduated from the same high school my father and grandfather attended. Our town was small (<2500 people), bu was large enough to have a high school, unlike the surrounding areas where students were bussed in to community conglomerate schools. No ocean but endless woods and lakes. I couldn't wait to leave and the second I graduated I did and now I go back every 2 years to see family, all of whom can't imagine living anywhere else. I'm fiercely proud I grew up in that state even as I believe there's a side visitors don't see, summed up in the idiom "It's the deep south of the far north." I've yet to find a place with it's singular type of beauty, or harshness.

  79. Claire says...

    I don’t think you’ve ever posted a recap of a trip that I’ve read, and not immediately wanted to go to wherever you have been. Maine looks delightful.

  80. Kim says...

    We did a New England drive from Saratoga Springs N.Y. to Bar Harbour for our honeymoon in 2007. On the way we stopped in a lovely lovely little town called Belfast about half way between Portland and BH. Spent the night in a small inn (which unfortunately is no longer open) and literally met the whole town in less than 24 hours. Everyone kept stopping us and wanted to congratulate the honeymooners. Just perfect. Also, Woodstock VT which was mentioned earlier in the thread ….highly highly recommend the Woodstock Inn and Resort. It’s like you stumbled onto the set of Gilmore Girls…….awesome cozy restaurants & shops & very walkable. Great for kids and for adults.

    • Nancey says...

      I have been to Belfast! I loved it, so beautiful, it was on our way to Canada. What was the name of the inn? I can’t remember mine, maybe it was the same one. Gorgeous gorgeous town.

    • Kim says...

      Nancy, I think it was the Belfast Inn. It was owned by two sisters who were in the late 50’s, early 60’s. I looked it up a few years after our visit. The owners has retired and the building was available as a summe rental.

  81. Elizabeth says...

    Is there anything bad about living in Maine? I’d like to know! Dreaming of retirement…

    • Sarah says...

      WINTERS

    • Erica says...

      I mean it’s cliche, but our winters are pretty brutal. Slightly made up for by the incredible display of holiday lights in the Old Port, and softly falling snow, and wayyyyy fewer people. :)

    • Caroline says...

      Depends how you feel about the cold. It’s not exactly balmy in January.

    • Beep says...

      Ticks. They’re out of control, unfortunately.

    • Laura says...

      Winters can be long and brutal. I’m sure that’s true of other places, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind around retirement. A lot of people from Maine “snowbird” to warmer climates. But the other 6 months of the year are pretty much perfect :-). I’ve lived here my whole life and other than that I have no real complaints! When I want to visit a large city, I just travel to one.

    • Maryann says...

      What?! I love winter as do many other snow and ice-sport enthusiasts and cozy-reading-by-the-fire folks here in Maine. I feel compelled to stand up for winter now that it seems to be slowly going away. (Thanks Climate Change!)

      I think the bad part of living in Maine is the lack of diversity outside of Portland. We have a super WHITE and aging population. Hence our current governor…

    • APaige says...

      I live in Portland and can’t believe how many Mainers there are on here. Any chance that some of you local ladies want to meet up, Joanna-style, for a glass of rose and a cheese plate? The CoJ community is such a lovely place online. It would be great to know some of you in RL!

    • Rebecca says...

      I’m a recent (within the last three years) transplant from Boston to Maine. I absolutely love it here now, but was a bit stunned at how much harder the location change was on me than I had anticipated. Besides the downfalls others have mentioned (long-er winters, lack of diversity), there are also huge challenges to living here with an aging population and a combination of lack of industry, workforce + jobs. I have no idea how to solve these problems, and am very lucky to have a wonderful career that I was able to maintain despite my move, but these problems are there and prevalent. I think it’s sometimes hard to live in a place that others view only as a vacation destination because real life is real life, no matter where you live.

      Anyways, just my two cents — and I am totally IN for a Portland Cup of Jo meet-up btw!

  82. Esp. the pictures of your kids are so adorable! I just spent the weekend in Maine because my boyfriend’s family owns an ancient house in the middle of nowhere. I can’t think of a more quiet and peaceful place than there.

  83. Maria says...

    Maine was my very first experience of the US, coming from England on a temporary visa to work in Kennebunkport at what was ‘The White Barn Inn’ I didn’t have a clue what to expect. We arrived in Boston late at night in the dark, driven out to what seemed like no-mans land & woke up at an Inn on the seafront with the ocean view & a sunrise that made my heart sing, it was such a fine year. Maine is truly special. Thank you for your blog, it’s special too!

  84. Robyn says...

    We are Seattleites but spend 2 weeks at the end of every summer on Drakes Island. Those southern Maine beaches with the softest white sand really can’t be beat. It’s like the Caribbean with colder water. :) Our favorite trips for coffee and food are to Ogunquit, Kennebunk and the Port, and Portland. Love Maine soooooo much.

  85. My husband and I moved to Maine for two years. I was previously a city girl through and through, but after spending two years in the state, I’m now so decidedly outdoorsy that we are about to start living out of a tiny home so we can spend months on end in beautiful, natural places around the country. It’s hard to describe the magic of Maine. There’s only truly one main “highway” that cuts through the middle of the state, so anywhere off I95 is genuinely “off the beaten path.” We’d spend days driving around, getting lost, discovering random lakes to swim in, and forests to explore. And don’t even get me started on the mountains! Everyone should go to Maine at least once in their lives.

    • Kat says...

      Okay, you’ve sold me. I want to move there now (except I don’t think I could handle the winters, Hawai’i girl through and through, anything below 70 degrees is rough). I can barely handle the PNW winters, ha! I love exploring little towns and the outdoors. Now penciling it on my must visit list. Thanks!

  86. Meghan says...

    All your photos are amazing, but the last one worries me…having kids swim with water wings is actually quite dangerous. They don’t develop the correct feel in the water to eventually swim on their own, and they can even get stuck with their head underwater if they lack the neck strength to lift it up when they’re on their front. A PFD (life jacket) is a much better option!

    • Nicola says...

      Looks like he is wearing “puddle jumper” type wings which are U.S. Coast Guard Approved. I’d say it actually providers a better feel in the water than a life jacket type vest, where kids are often just bobbing in the water (and often looks more like they are choking from the vest itself. More importantly is to just stay with your kids with what ever they are wearing and keep your eyes on them.

  87. Justine says...

    Ha! I was just on J Crew’s site buying a shirt that looks *exactly* like Alex’s shirt. Classic. Can hear Jack on 30 Rock reminding Liz to buy her clothes “at a… woman’s clothing store”.

  88. Kassie says...

    My biggest takeaway is Anton with a snorkel in the pool. Too funny!

  89. Bethany says...

    We honeymooned in Maine 9 years ago next month. I was so young (22!), and the whole week is the haziest memory of chilly, romantic, magical, snuggly, foggy autumn days and crisp (okay cold!) nights. We can’t wait to go back next year to celebrate a decade of marriage. We are planning to hire a photographer there to capture the occasion. If you’ve never hired a photographer while on vacation, I strongly recommend it. It’s fun to feel like the paparazzi are catching you exploring the world like a celebrity.

    We love planning travel together, but as an anniversary gift, we are each planning a surprise day for the other. He’ll take one day, and I’ll take one day where the other person has no idea what’s on the itinerary except the appropriate footwear. Also, we will eat all the lobster rolls and drink all the blueberry wine. I’m so looking forward to going back.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “as an anniversary gift, we are each planning a surprise day for the other” = i love that!!!

  90. Megan says...

    Looks so beautiful.

    I feel like your family has had a million mini or large vacations since I last managed one. I really need to figure this out…

    • Louisa says...

      I feel this way about everyone I know in NYC! I think it’s a combination of (1) small apartments – you need to get outdoors; (2) crowded city – you need breathing room; (3) cheap flights/trips to absolutely anywhere/everywhere; and (4) if you live in NYC almost everywhere else is cheaper!

      I live in Idaho; getting anywhere is 2 – 3 expensive flights and when I get there I wonder why I left Idaho :)

  91. Sandra says...

    I love Maine! I went to Baxter State Park and did some volunteer trail work when I was younger.

    When my son was 3 we went to Ogunquit for a week…it was so pretty! Your post makes me want to go back and see more of the state.

  92. Mainer here! My parents actually met in Bar Harbor when my mom was 25 and visiting from New Jersey with her girlfriends – they were watching my dad and his friends (Mainers) scuba dive for scallops off the coast. They ran into each other later at local bar, where he wrote down his number on a napkin (that she still has) and the rest is history!

    I grew up in Scarborough and was super angsty/adamant about hating Maine throughout my younger years, insisting that I would “get out as soon as I could.” Cue out-of-state college and a handful of years traveling and living in Boston. Now, I’ve been back in Portland for 3 years with my Mainer boyfriend and our massive dog….and happier than I ever thought possible. Seeing other people fall in love with this place makes my heart swell and eyes get misty.

    It’s no secret (not anymore, at least) that Maine is truly magical – the cold crisp ocean and sweet-salty air, caught-that-morning seafood, gorgeous picturesque mountains and the constant smell of trees, tiny towns that boast nothing more than a singular general store run by locals with heavy Maine accents offering a damn good breakfast pizza – I could go on forever.

    Joanna, I love that you loved Maine! If you guys ever come back I have a million recommendations for you xx

    • Lindsay N says...

      You’re making me want to relocate! Sounds dreamy✨

  93. Monica says...

    We just went on our honeymoon to Maine last week! Did a road trip up the coast and got to experience a Hippie Commune, Monhegan Island, a luxury hotel room and a 1700’s Plantation House all in a week. The amount of lobster, oysters and clams we consumed was incredible…and I (if just for a second) considered moving from Tennessee, although I don’t know if I could handle the winter temperature!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations! xoxo

  94. Anya says...

    Aww – i love Toby’s comment about snorkeling.. My husband and I just went to Croatia for our honeymoon two weeks ago, and he had so much fun snorkeling there – turned him into a little kid!! Definitely recommend the crystal blue waters in the Adriatic on the Croatian coast!!

    Just wait, Toby, there’s a whole world to explore, not just the bottom of the pool!

  95. Claire says...

    thanks for sharing about your vacation, and all these wonderful places to stay. I am starting a “Maine vacation” list.

  96. Emily says...

    We live in Kennebunkport and love Goose Rocks Beach. In fact, we spent the afternoon there with our 8 week old – soaking in the last days of leave❤️ Glad you enjoyed it!

  97. Hannah says...

    I have been going to Maine every summer of my life to visit my Gram, who was from Maine. I moved around a bunch as a kid (CA, MA, NC, VA) so my summers in Maine were the one constant. We’d drive up the day after school let out and drive back the day before it started. I loved it so much. Even though my Gram has been gone for 9 years now, we still go every summer as my parents have inherited her house. In fact, I got married there last summer overlooking the ocean, and it was so fun to introduce all my California friends to a place I love so much (I live in SF now). I didn’t write in for the recommendations post because we don’t actually do much. It’s a small town, Cushing, fairly near to Rockland. But we just hang out at the house, read, sail, kayak, and swim. The only time we get out it to do a grocery run once a week, or to check out the art scene in Rockland (love the Farnsworth!). We actually rent the house when we’re not there if you’re looking for another Maine vacation. I can’t recommend it enough!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      rockland seems like SUCH a cool place! we just stopped by for ice cream, but i loved the look of sammy’s deluxe and all the cute shops and galleries.

  98. Kelsi says...

    My brother in law and his wife just moved from Kennebunkport to Portland. They say they’ve never eaten better since moving. I can’t wait to visit!

  99. We have been in San Francisco for the past 10 years. We moved from Newburyport, Ma where we lived for 20 years and Maine is just “up the road” from there. Portland was our go to city rather than Boston. We just loved heading there for the weekend. Fantastic food, a WONDERFUL art museum, gorgeous nature, fab shopping and kind and friendly people. Maine has a great vibe!

    • Becky says...

      Love love love newburyport!!!! My husband and I eloped there last year before our planned ceremony. We live about 45 mins away. Portland is one of our favorite places to visit. We go many times a year and hope to relocate in the next year or so.

  100. isavoyage says...

    My comment has nothing to do with Maine (although i’d love to go there!). Here are the vital things I need to share now:
    – Has everybody been saying how Toby looks like timothée chalamet and i just haven’t seen the comments?
    – I know everybody has been saying your Mum looks 1/ great and 2/ so yoing – so i thought i’d add my comment to the other 99 identical comments.
    – “Water wings”? What a wonderful name for those plastic things!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      – Has everybody been saying how Toby looks like timothée chalamet and i just haven’t seen the comments? hahaha yes! on instagram for sure. so funny :)

    • Alice says...

      So the British word for “Water Wings” is “armbands” and water wings is so much more charming!! Slightly heartbroken not to have used that growing up…!

  101. Courtney says...

    We just visited Acadia National Park this summer with our 3-year-old and rented a quaint and secluded house just across the water from Mount Desert Island. Like you, we fell in love with the peaceful atmosphere, beautiful landscapes and delicious food. It’s definitely on our list to go back ASAP!

  102. Sandhya says...

    Very banal question: how did you manage to get into Eventide with a four-person party?!?!? I hear it’s impossible. I have been longing to go, but fear the disappointment.

    • Mel says...

      Go for lunch!

  103. Colleen S says...

    I’ve been to Portland, although my experience was totally different. My dad only took us to Cape Elizabeth, and the mall. Cape Elizabeth was beautiful, I wanted to take off my shoes, but it was April and still very cold.

  104. Carrie says...

    But what was in the breakfast bag?! <3

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha it was different every day! they typically included a new york times, a thermos of coffee, and some breakfast pastries. for the two days we were there, those were a blueberry cake and croissants.

    • Carrie says...

      The New York Times! A thermos of coffee! This made my morning, thank you for sharing!

  105. Ugh – in my previous post I meant its not it’s.

    My family is going to try out Newport this winter in December….we’re planning on doing some day trips to Mystic for the Aquarium and Providence.

  106. Megan says...

    Monhegan Island! Sort of like Disney Land for introverts. Honestly, a beautiful island just 10 miles off mid coast, filled with cool hiking trails, local artists, and gorgeous scenery. Day trips are possible.

  107. Annemarie says...

    I am from Denmark and this summer we stayed a week i Chatham at the Cape with friends in their summer residence. It was fantastic and I find it is the best town on the Cape. The first two weeks though, we went to Boston, White Mountains, Bar Harbour, Acadia National Park and finally Plymouth to learn about the pilgrims. We missed Maine coast line and all the places you went as well as Newport, Rhode Island. I cannot wait to return.

    • Molly says...

      Definitely visit Kennebunkport if you go to Maine, Newport/Jamestown/watch hill for RI and if you like Chatham, you’ll love either block island (also RI) or Nantucket!

  108. I was in Maine this weekend too! Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick hosts a lovely bluegrass festival every Labor Day weekend. I also took a drive to the incredibly beautiful Orr’s and Bailey Islands and ate at a fun/popular restaurant called Cook’s. These 2 islands were great because they are connected via a land bridge –easy, no ferry! I live in Hartford, Connecticut, but spent many years in California. California had my heart for a long time, but just this weekend I’ve decided that my love for Maine has won out <3

  109. A few years ago I went to a wedding at the Inn by the Sea! The ceremony was right on the lawn, then we turned around and walked 50 ft to the happy hour, had dinner under a tent, and then made smores in the firepits! It was amazing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how beautiful, vittoria!

  110. Jody says...

    I’m from NH but vacationed on the Maine coast growing up. For as long as I could remember I claimed I would move to Portland as an adult. As such, I’ve lived in the Greater Portland area since college and feel very grateful to live a place others consider Vacationland. There are tons of great, well-known spots as well as countless places that feel like little secrets. My favorite part about the state is the pride and effort Mainers put into land preservation. This makes those “secret” spots accessible to so many, regardless of wealth and stature.

    I’m thrilled my favorite blogger enjoyed Maine as much as me and my family do. You are certainly a welcome presence here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “This makes those “secret” spots accessible to so many, regardless of wealth and stature.” = yes, everything felt so natural and welcoming! we felt so grateful to be able to spend some time in your beautiful state.

  111. Kate says...

    Yes! We had a big family vacation at a former B&B in Stonington! We watched the fisherman leave the harbor in the morning, walk to the dock for fresh lobsters off the boat & went to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for day trips (about an hour of beautiful drive out). We had lobster rolls roadside and popovers and tea at Jordan Pond! The best vacation we’ve taken!

  112. megs283 says...

    It’s fun seeing what you know through others’ eyes. We live in Mass. and my in-laws live in Maine. I feel like we miss out on the magic of the state because when we go, we stay with them. It’s nice to see them but it doesn’t feel like vacation. I think I have to be more intentional about living in a “vacation state of mind” when we visit next time!

  113. These photos bring back happy memories of a trip to Maine six years ago. It was absolutely gorgeous. I spent most of the trip in Portland and loved it (I agree about the restaurants being fantastic!). I took a day trip to Popham Beach State Park, which has been called the “Best Beach in Maine” many times, and it was lovely! I also drove up to Freeport, Maine to shop at the L.L.Bean mega-store. I would love to return to Maine someday, especially to see Acadia National Park, which looks amazing!

  114. Lexi says...

    Also a note to anyone who lives in Maine: please please please call Senator Collins and ask her to vote no on Brett Kavanaugh!

    • EB says...

      I promise we’ve been calling! She unfortunately doesn’t seem very interested in our concerns. Looking forward to campaigning for her adversary in a couple of years.

    • AMR says...

      This comment is spot on. If you care about reproductive rights, voting rights, health care, workers rights, etc and live in Maine, please do call Senator Collins and ask her to vote against Brett Kavanaugh.

    • Kelly says...

      And if you need a script, 5calls.org is great!

  115. Lindsay says...

    I have such fond memories of Kennebunkport and lobster rolls and quaint homes and warm humidity and great pizza

  116. Katie says...

    I was just in Kennebunkport this weekend! My aunt has a cottage in Kennebunk (heaven). You can walk into the backyard and straight out into the bay to go kayaking, ride bikes along the rail trail, or into town.

    Those pins from the Clam Shack are new – I was thrilled to get one this year (Both, of course). I’ve been going to Kennebunkport (staying 2-3 nights at the Colony with my family for the past 20 years – when we were little my brother and I couldn’t get enough of the shuffle board).

    Such a magical place. At Christmas the downtown has a tree topped with a bright red lobster :) Next on your last…add ACADIA!!!

    • Rachel says...

      Was waiting for someone to mention The Colony. We go every summer. It is the best!

  117. I never post but wanted to add my Maine compliments to the conversation. We live in downtown Boston and have a little cabin on the Western side of Maine, where the Mountains meet the lakes. The whole state smells like pine needles! We visit year round and after 5 years there are still things to do, eat and see. It’s a very special place, glad you were able to visit.

  118. Gah! I just loved this so much! Also, I’ll be copying your exact itinerary for a future vacay for my family. Thanks a billion!

  119. Jess says...

    My wife and I moved to Maine a year and a half ago from New York, and haven’t looked back for one moment since! We still can’t believe we get to call this place home, and can’t wait to raise our kids here.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so wonderful, jess!

  120. J, says...

    I moved here a year ago after too many years in NYC and definitely liked it immediately, but there was an adjustment period. Now I’m fully obsessed with Portland and the surrounding area and feel so lucky to be here! The summer is perfection but it’s also charming and kind of “private” feeling in the fall and winter when the tourists are mostly gone. Last winter we were out one night and I remember feeling surprised that restaurants were still bustling with people – it does feel like a place that you can’t imagine people actually live full time! I love being one of them.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so wonderful, J!

  121. Paula says...

    Ogunquit, Maine. Just…. google it. I literally used to NOT tell people about it! lol We have been going there for years.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how amazing!

    • megs283 says...

      We rode the trolley around there this weekend :-)

    • Katie says...

      The beach at Ogunquit is sooooo nice. I take my toddler there as often as possible during the warmer months.

  122. Erin G. says...

    Oh, wow, just beautiful! So glad you all enjoyed it so much. We went on a Maine-cation this summer, too! It was just this magical. Friends got married (at a summer camp they fully rented out!) on a lake in New Hampshire – so we started there, and then took a road trip (down through Portland and then up the coast to Acadia). Every little, beautiful nugget was to be cherished. At one point, we were driving through a town I’m sure I’m pronouncing wrong in my head, and there was this tiny, stone-covered beach with a few boats anchored up near shore. We noticed the barely-there path through the brush down the beach was thick with dandelions and stopped to photograph it. We ended up sitting on driftwood on the beach for hours just enjoying the cool breeze and the sway of the boats – we were the only people on the beach the entire time (mind you – we were there “pre-season” in the first week of June). One Bar Harbor rec (though I could list a million more everywhere we stayed) is Acacia House (downtown B&B with the BEST food and the most lovely owners you’d ever want to meet). Everyone should visit Vacationland!

  123. Jessica says...

    Beautiful! I’d love some recommendations from your followers! We’re planning a late December trip with a few toddlers and 4-8 adults. Some people coming from Maine, some coming from NYC — we want to meet in the middle. Any suggestions like this vacation, but wintery? Thanks!! =)

    • Jaime says...

      Check out the mountains of NH or VT! Lots of winter activities for everyone

    • Kathy says...

      Try the Berkshires in Massachusetts!

    • Woodstock, VT – from there you can find two great children’s museums with 30-45 minutes (Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich VT <— best museum I've ever been to with kids, and the Wonderfeet Kids Museum in Rutland Vermont). Location isn't ideal for meeting partway, though.

      I'm not sure what you'd do with toddler's in the Berkshires in the winter….though that spot is great for halfway!

    • Jem says...

      Saratoga Springs is a cute little town, just as pretty in the winter as in the summer! I’m a little biased as I grew up around here, but it would be a good meeting spot. Lots to do in the area and close enough to Gore or West Mountain if you want to go skiing. They have a nice children’s museum in town too… which is always a plus when you have kiddos. Oh, and you can’t miss Mrs. Londons for the best croissants outside of Paris! :)

  124. Maryann says...

    I live in Portland and am so glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. Looks like you picked great places to stay and visit. My husband and i were married in Camden at the public yacht club. :) I’m biased, obviously! But I love Maine and feel so lucky to live here.

  125. Estelle says...

    I grew up in a coastal village in Maine, and man what a blessing. I think about moving back each day!

  126. Leigh says...

    4 years ago, my husband and I drove from Pittsburgh where we live, all the way up to Bar Harbor, Maine. We stopped in NYC, Boston, a few really cute towns in New Hampshire, Portland, and then ended it with 2 days in Bar Harbor where we explored Acadia National Park. The whole trip took 2 weeks and was one of my favorite trips ever. Didn’t want to eat lobster again until recently though. We ate soooo much lobster! By far the best food we had were actually the blueberries we got along a roadside stand in Maine. They are so tiny, much smaller than those I find around where I live in PA, and delicious!

  127. Tara says...

    My great-grandparents bought a small lot next to a small lake in the small town of Liberty, about an hour inland from Camden, back in 1960. It has been the family vacation destination ever since. My husband did not go for the first time until after we were married and it was such a relief that he loved it too. It has been a great pleasure to take our boys year after year now. We lovingly describe our place as “rustic” and happily sleep in the garage or the shed when we are there with the extended family or friends. Every summer when we are there, I think I would like to move there until I remember how long and cold the winters are. And that the water for our place there comes out of the lake, so when the lake freezes, we would be out of luck!

    PS – We always stop at one of the Holy Donut locations on our way home. We buy a dozen but most of them are gone by the time we make the almost 10 hour drive home to PA!

    • Mouse says...

      Liberty Tool!! Go!!

    • Tara says...

      Mouse: yes, yes, yes! Liberty Tool is the best. My dad, husband, and brother can spend several hours every day of our vacation there. They even drive up the first Saturday in March for opening day! My dad’s vacation motto is, “I want to go to the tool store every day, I want to swim every day, and I want to eat ice cream every day.” (And John’s Ice Cream is amazing!)

  128. Sarah C. says...

    We live outside of Boston but bought a house in Maine last fall. Another amazing part of Maine is all of the ponds and lakes away from the coast. Our house is on a freshwater pond which is ideal for kayaking/canoeing and swimming. We love Maine and just can’t get up there enough!

  129. Alex says...

    I lived in NYC for nearly 6 years after going to college in Maine and decided almost two years ago to pack up and try out Portland and have never looked back (my family also has a place in camden!) I was bummed to be abroad during your trip…was hoping to run into you! I’ve read the blog for eight years.

  130. Stephanie says...

    My husband and I just mini-mooned in Maine last month! We went to Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor/Mount Desert Island, Camden, and Portland. We absolutely fell in love with every place we visited. Everyone was so friendly, and the lobster was just so good! I swear, we had lobster every day, and still didn’t make it down my long researched list of lobster places. We also went to Eventide and Holy Donut. The food in Portland was seriously amazing!

  131. Hannah says...

    I’m from Maine and a funny thing about it is that many people in Maine have summer houses which are also in Maine (we call them “camps”.) When we bought ours we spent a few months trying to get familiar with it and figure out what we should call it. My sister named it “The Friendly Camp.” It really is the friendliest state.

    • I’m from New Brunswick which is the Canadian province just north of Maine, and we call our summer cottages camps too. Love that.

    • Ash says...

      Hi Sue,
      I am in NB too!

  132. Lauren says...

    Moved to Maine last summer and never looked back. This post makes my heart swell. Glad you enjoyed my (new) state!!

  133. LJG says...

    We went there for our second anniversary a decade ago. A night in Portland (even then, it was a delicious city to eat in), then a couple nights on Monhegan Island. We were just saying that we should take the kids there sometime.

  134. Jessie says...

    We spent a week in the Waldoboro/Damariscotta area for a good friend’s wedding a few years back. We loved the area & hope to go back again.

  135. I was born and raised in Maine and now live in Massachusetts with my husband…but we visit often (my parents and many other family and friends still live up there)! We got married in Camden almost 5 years ago and we especially love spending time along the coast. Our wedding ceremony was in the green behind the Camden Public Library overlooking Camden Harbor! It was a dream!

    I’m so glad you guys had such an awesome visit! I have SO many favorite places I could share! You hit on some of them…holy donut is always a must and Inn By The Sea is off one of my favorite beaches, Crescent! Its a LONG beach that is awesome to walk at low or high tide and it’s always a great place to hunt for shells and seaglass.

  136. Christy says...

    I live in Maine, and my confession is that I drove through Camden one of the days I knew you’d be here on the off chance I’d spot you guys. I imagined leaning out my car window and calling out, “Hellllooooooo, Goddard-Williams family!!!” ☺️🙈 I moved here from Florida 8 years ago to be with my husband, and I love it so much.

  137. Anna says...

    I grew up in Maine, right near In by the Sea! I live in CA now but spend a month in Maine with my kids every summer. We all swear by the Holy Donut, my husband has their t-shirt and wears it everywhere.

  138. Stephanie says...

    Love this! I grew up in Maine and couldn’t wait to leave for city life. As an adult I fell back in love with the state and we just spent August in Kennebunkport with my 2 kids. Which beach did you visit in Kennebunkport?

  139. Molly says...

    My grandparents live in Cape Porpoise, Maine (a village in Kennebunkport) and I grew up going to Gooserocks Beach. Although the water is FREEZING, its one of my favorite places on earth. So glad you got to experience it there and hopefully you spotted a sand dollar (they are super hard to come by these days) :)

    Another amazing and less well known spot in Maine is Nahmakanta Lake – its wayyyyyy up there in Maine, but a hidden gem. You stay in rustic cabins and Angel makes the BEST food. I highly recommend, its worth the long trip. Lots of Moose sightings too! https://nahmakanta.com/accommodations/

    • Brittany says...

      We stayed at Goose Rocks Beach for our first visit to Maine this summer, and can I just say that you were the luckiest kid ever?! We loved Cape Porpoise and are already planning our trip back next summer- such a special place!

    • Stephanie says...

      My family just spent all of August in Cape Porpoise & made many trips to Goose Rocks Beach. Love it there!

  140. Megan says...

    I love Maine so much, and hope to move there someday. We actually got married right in Portland in June at an awesome venue called O’Maine Studios – it was THE BEST. It was so fun to have our friends and family all in Portland – there were so many incredible meals and I loved running into people we know and love all weekend. We topped it off with a Holy Donut (and leftover pizza!) breakfast the next morning to say goodbye to our guests. I love knowing that it is always going to hold a really special place in our hearts. I’m so glad you loved it too!

  141. Kerri says...

    I was in Maine with my family the same week you were, except we ventured further north to rent a house in Lemoine and spent all of our time in Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island. It was amazing. We kept saying “Maine really is Vacationland!” (from the Maine license plate!). We found great walks to Tidal Pools on the southern edge of the park, we went to Sand Beach, Echo Lake (you swim in right next to this beautiful cliff where you could see hikers at the top), we had picnics by the ocean and in the forest. We hiked up Beech mountain (the short loop is little kid do-able) to the Fire tower. My 7 year old got into all the junior ranger activities and earned her badge; she got to recite this amazing oath in front of a park ranger. It was a great week. Sound like yours was too!

  142. Astrid says...

    How very very wonderful!

  143. We live in Maine. I moved here from NYC almost eight years ago now and I simply can’t imagine living anywhere else. I met a lobsterman when I was working as a magazine editor. We ended up falling in love, I moved to an island off the coast to be with him and now we’re raising our kiddo here and we run two small businesses from here. Lots of things happened along the way to get us to this place, but Maine is magic. It looks like you hit all the right spots! Next time I’d encourage you to explore an island or camp in Acadia.

    Also, for anyone that wants to cook a lobster the correct way, please do the following things:
    1. Remove the rubber bands. My husband always says, “Who in their right mind steams rubber?!”
    2. Pour 1″ of water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Plop those lobsters in. Mainers never boil lobsters, they steam them!
    3. Crack into them and enjoy. The best part is the knuckle meat!

  144. Alina says...

    Omg Anton talking about the bottom of the pool. What an amazing vacation! We live in Newburyport Mass, not far from Maine but I have yet to experience the Maine of dreams ha. Can’t wait to check out ALL of these spots you’ve recommended. (We did go to Portland which I LOVED and Holy Donut was closed- I almost cried :)

  145. Scarlett says...

    What a dreamy vacation! It looks so beautiful and family-friendly there. It makes me want to go!

  146. Cadence says...

    Oh this makes my heart swell! My grandparents had a small cottage in Wells and, growing up, we’d spend our summers there. I have such fond memories of that beautiful place and can’t wait to visit with my family some day.

  147. Julie says...

    Yay! I’ve been so excited for you to experience Maine ever since that post with the massive amount of comments about how wonderful Maine is. So glad you swung by Kennebunkport. <3 <3 <3

  148. We visited Maine this Summer too. We only made it to Kennebunkport as we had limited time and were visiting Massachusetts and New Hampshire (or New Hamster as my kids are convinced it’s called) as well. It’s such a pretty part of the country! My littlest has been obsessed with lobster lately so we made sure to go out on a lobster boat. It was such a fun adventure. None of my kids would eat the lobster (my oldest kids thought it was gross and my youngest wanted to keep it as a pet instead), but I love that it was a new experience that they wouldn’t normally get to try. We’ll definitely be back!

  149. Jodi says...

    You went to all of our favorite spots in Maine! I saw your post looking for recommendations a few weeks ago, and I TOTALLY forgot to recommend the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum! Toby would have flipped over it. It is the coolest ever and I try to go once a year as my dad is a member and has a few cars on display there. On certain weekends they will even take museum-goers for rides in the vintage cars. I highly recommend it! Camden is so beautiful too… and Schooner Surprise… how magical is that with a bottle of wine + snacks!?

  150. Kathy says...

    We just “discovered” Maine this summer as well, over the 4th of July. We camped in Acadia for a night – where the air smells like one of those forest air fresheners, but its for real. And then spent a couple of nights in Portland where the food was beyond delicious. Living in DC, its so nice to be somewhere during the summer where you need a light jacket in the evenings! I already can’t wait to go back.