They speak the quickest route between two points is a straight line, however everyone knows that’s not always the best method to reach her destination. The journey from Portland, Maine come Acadia nationwide Park is a little over three hrs if you drive right through on the highway—but you’ll cruise right previous some of Maine’s ideal art, culture, and awe-inspiring natural beauty. Instead, veer off the to win path and also head right up the Maine Coast, take U.S. Route 1 in between Portland and Bar Harbor.

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Adventuresome species won’t desire to miss out on out top top walking these beaches, sea kayaking roughly a brand-new England harbor, or peeping puffins and whales. The route additionally features lot of of rainy day activities, consisting of the finest lobster roll in Maine (but we’ll let you it is in the judge) and two amazing naval museums. So following time she heading up to Acadia nationwide Park, take it the scenic route with stops at any type of (or all) of these Midcoast gems.

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Giant’s stair is a distinct place to explore along the coast, phibìc of Portland.Jon Cook

1. Giant’s Stairs, Harpswell

Only 25 minutes north of Portland, Giant’s stairway Trail should be in ~ the height of her Midcoast list. Adhering to along the rocky coastline, complete with crashing waves and also views that the Casco Bay, this simple nature to walk is the best means to kick-off a road pilgrimage up the Maine coast. One look in ~ the rocks and you’ll quickly see why it’s named ‘Giant’s Stairs’, and if friend look closely, you might see some harbor seals playing in the water, or a lobster boat hauling traps. If you want to seize a bite come eat before setup out, grab some seafood at one of the spots at Harpswell’s Lobster Pounds, or roll v Brunswick’s Downtown area, wherein you can discover eight different international cuisines in a single mile stretch.

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Popham beach State Park is residence to among the longest sandy beaches in the state.Ernest McGray, Jr.

2. Popham coast State Park

Stretching in between the mouths the the Kennebec and also Morse Rivers, Popham beach is a unique place in brand-new England—it’s among Maine’s couple of long, sandy beaches. It’s additionally the site of the historical Popham Colony, i beg your pardon was started in 1607 and lasted simply one year, in part due to the area’s ferocious winter storms. Today, the best adventure here is a walk the end to Fox Island, i m sorry is only easily accessible at low tide. Once you acquire out there, scramble increase the rocks, discover tidepools, and also look for the 2 lighthouses on nearby Pond and Seguin archipelago (which you can also visit). Use a birds calendar to setup your trip so you don’t finish up marooned.

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Don’t miss out on out on a stop at Red’s Eats, renowned for its very delicious lobster rolls.Tim Sackton

3. Wiscasset’s Waterfront key Street

The tiny town of Wiscasset is a must-see on any seaside Maine road trip. Once amongst the busiest seaports in new England, you have the right to take in all its history with the self-guided, Museum in the roads tour. Check out the historical Castle Tucker and the Nickels-Sortwell House, and also then seize a kayak or canoe for a paddle down the Sheepscot River. The entire waterway runs with 66 mile of the state, so you can go a pair miles or invest a day the end there. There are enough shops and also eateries to keep you busy all day, and if you setup your trip in the summer, check out the alive on the flow Concert series on Thursdays or the Wiscasset arts Walk, organized on the critical Thursday of the month.

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Kayakers take into consideration Muscongus Bay among Maine’s most picturesque rocky coast paddles.Maine Kayak

4. Muscongus Bay

Thanks come its security by bordering peninsulas and also uninhabited islands, Muscongus just sees tiny in state of ocean wind and big waves—or traffic. The Maine Island trail is a water path that links up much more than 200 archipelago and coastal sites and passes v Muscongus. It’s right for beginner and intermediate sea kayakers. Suppose to just see a few lobster anglers during an entire day of paddling about this quiet bay. If you aren’t confident or experienced sufficient to feel comfortable paddling alone sign up for a expedition with Maine Kayak in brand-new Harbor, who offer every little thing from a two-hour tourism to a several-day adventure, complete with island camping.

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Boothbay harbor is house to the largest boating harbor phibìc of Boston.JR P

5. Boothbay Harbor’s Offshore Excursions

There’s no much better introduction come life on the seashore than Boothbay Harbor. The town is residence to the biggest boating harbor phibìc of Boston, together the sheltered bay deserve to house up to 500 vessels throughout stormy weather. The area is well-known for its wonderful sea kayaking, yet you can likewise charter a watercraft with among several regional outfitters if girlfriend don’t desire to strength your own vessel the end on the water. Plan to invest the much better part that a day right here to cruise around Boothbay trying to find puffins, seals, and, if she lucky, whales. Additionally check the end the area’s numerous hiking trails, which range from straightforward stroll top top the Gregory long walking Trail to more difficult trails with the heavily-wooded Ovens Mouth Preserve.

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Rockland harbor is a an excellent jumping off point for experimenting Maine’s coast by boat.Cait Bourgault/ Maine Midcoast and Islands

6. Rockland’s Docks and also Festivals

Like numerous of the Midcoast neighbors, Rockland got its start as a fishing and also shipbuilding village. Today, it’s residence to quintessential Maine cultural events, including the Maine Lighthouse Museum, appropriate on the waterfront (get there by walking along the town’s famous breakwater), and the Maine Lobster Festival, hosted each August. Rockland also boasts the greatest concentration of Windjammers—cargo ships supplied by merchants in the late 19th century to move goods between continents. These days, Windjammers space living history, and visitors deserve to spend a few hours or a week exploring the coastline and nearby islands aboard among these beautiful ships.

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Hikers rest to top top the way to the top of Mt. Meginticook. Every peak in Camden has actually a water view.Cait Bourgault/ Maine Midcoast and Islands

7. The view from Atop a optimal in Camden Hills State Park

Camden hold plenty of appeal for travelers year round. (It’s even the home of the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, hosted every February.) obtain out of the car and also stretch your legs on the the summit of mountain Battie, i beg your pardon you have the right to drive come the peak of, renowned for the gorgeous wildflowers and also incredible watch of Camden Harbor. Or hop in a boat and head out past Curtis Island, who postcard-worthy lighthouse boasts a beam that have the right to be checked out up to 6 nautical miles away. If you loss in love with Camden, publication a night (or two!) in one of the quaint bed-and-breakfasts overlooking Penobscot Bay.

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Explore the numerous tidal pools around Searsport.Jo Ann Deasy

8. Searsport’s Nature Preserves

With almost 10 mile of coastline on rough Penobscot Bay, Searsport is no to it is in missed together you make your method from Portland to Acadia. Head come Moose point State Park, where you can stroll along the rocky coast, beachcomb in the countless tide pools, and enjoy a picnic at the park’s day-use area. The town is also connected to the 900-acre Sears Island via causeway, wherein you’ll find miles of straightforward to moderate hiking, including a loop roughly the island’s shoreline. Visit in the winter and hit the trails because that snowshoeing and also cross-country skiing. One more option is a to walk through long Cove Headwaters Preserve, a good place to view vernal pools in the spring, teeming with brand-new life. Before setup off, catch up on the area’s background at the Penobscot marine Museum.