Escape to Maine.

Last week Maine. This week I’m in NYC. Maine was better.

Lobster. Saltboxes. Becky’s. Springers in the sea. Dark & Stormys. Mabel’s Lobster Claw. Nice folks. Ice cream. Portland. Canoe trips. Harbor views. Wine. Good books. Salt water. Plank chairs. Baxter beers. Goose Rocks beach. Petite Jacqueline. The Tides. Lighthouses. Escape to Maine.

Comments on “Escape to Maine.

    David on July 10, 2012 7:15 PM:

    Maine was made in the USA.

    Ben on July 10, 2012 7:19 PM:

    I’m planning a quick trip to the Portland area in August, any MUSTS you can pass along?

    Robin Follette on July 10, 2012 9:14 PM:

    Ahhh. The Way Life Should Be. Great photography!

    AC on July 10, 2012 9:20 PM:

    Indeed, gorgeous pictures.

    Mr.G on July 10, 2012 9:23 PM:

    Agreed, Maine is close to perfect, though we vacation a bit further up the coast. Can’t wait.

    Michael on July 10, 2012 9:37 PM:


    About a half hour south of Portland on Route 1 in Cape Neddick, stop and get yourself a couple of dogs at Flo’s. Order them with sauce & mayo. The sauce is a home made relish but locals call it sauce, mayo sounds strange on a hot dog but these are 2 great tastes that go together. Enjoy!

    Ben on July 10, 2012 9:43 PM:

    Thank you good sir. Will definitely stop for a couple dogs.

    Rhon on July 10, 2012 10:16 PM:

    You took some great photos of my home state. Wish I had of known you were in town. I live near Portland, in the country. Can’t beat the ole State of Maine.

    Amatourist on July 10, 2012 11:07 PM:

    how long did those glasses next to the cracked bottle of maker’s stay empty?

    John on July 10, 2012 11:12 PM:

    Great photos. What did you Use to shoot these?

    Blair on July 10, 2012 11:15 PM:

    Benny boy, bring your appetite…cuz Portland will do you right.

    Food: Duckfat, Hugo’s, Fore Street, Bresca (Oyster Bar was being built next to Hugo’s..may be finished by the time you get there).

    Coffee: Arabica, Crema, or Coffee By Design

    Sweets: Standard Baking Co., Mount Desert Ice Cream, Beal’s Ice Cream

    Miguel Ramalhão on July 11, 2012 8:15 AM:

    Truly amazing pics. I love the wood shingle buildings. Too bad that back here in Portugal there aren’t really quaint fishing villages. We have lot’s of them but completely ruined by poor city planing!

    Kevin on July 11, 2012 8:52 AM:

    Glad you enjoyed Portland, I moved here a year ago from Australia and have loved every second. You hit a to a lot of my favorites and Blair added a lot of my others.

    Ben I’ve got a few more suggestion

    FOOD: Two Lights Lobster Shack, Local 188, Eventide (the new oyster bar, now open), EmaIlitsa, Sunny’s, hot suppa, miyaki and I strongly second Petite Jacqueline.

    BARS: I keep it local and divey. Amigos, Ruski’s, Rosie’s, Portland Lobster Co., Great Lost Bear. For something nicer try Grace, Sunny’s or 188.

    Portland has incredible food and cheap, good drinks. ENJOY.

    Eric on July 11, 2012 10:31 AM:

    My family and I have been going to Kennebunkport for the past several years. No better place to be in the summer. Great food, people and scenery.

    Michael Williams on July 11, 2012 10:40 AM:

    Those gasses did not remain empty for long.

    All photos with the Canon 5D MKII 35mm 1.4L

    Sam on July 11, 2012 10:54 AM:

    Great photos, Mike. Maine is one of the greatest places on Earth.

    Adam on July 11, 2012 11:07 AM:

    I was actually heading up to Maine next month and was looking for recommendations for food, glad to see this post.

    ellegentsia on July 11, 2012 1:27 PM:

    White canvas bags are perfectly on point, and so impractical. One farmers’ market visit and their perfection is pooched.

    Just saying.

    Win a $50 Lululemon gift card this week at
    (Open to men, too…)

    william on July 11, 2012 10:44 PM:

    Michael – What is the name of the sports bar? Is that in Portland? Looks like my kind of place. Dark and dirty with a dark and stormy. Great photos, by the way.

    George S. on July 11, 2012 11:34 PM:


    J’s Oyster

    Fore Street–> So freakishly good and not that freakishly expensive, but not cheap.

    Marcy’s Diner–> Grilled MUFFINS. Say no more.

    Caleb H. on July 12, 2012 12:27 PM:

    This is a reminder that I need to schedule a vacation for myself. – Thank you!

    TheDottedLine on July 12, 2012 12:34 PM:

    Please come and stop in next time! We’re happy to show you the ropes.

    sam on July 12, 2012 5:34 PM:

    in 2 weeks, I’ll be making the long drive/move (with my wife and toddler) from austin to portland. i’ve been reading your blog for a couple years now and it seems like you really enjoy both cities. care to do a super short compare and contrast?

    Nate on July 12, 2012 8:18 PM:

    The Way Life Should Be; hard to beat it.

    Love the Baxter Brewing shotout, Luke and Co. are doing a great job. Can’t let a trip to Portland go by without a few Shipyard Brewing beers.

    In addition to the aforementioned dining establishments, I would also highly recommend any Harding Lee Smith joint. They include The Corner Room, The Grill Room, and The Front Room. Each are different but equally fantastic.

    Also, the Standard Baking Co. which is directly below Fore Street (the restaurant) is a great place to get bread/muffins/etc.

    Don’t forget a coffee oreo cone from Beal’s Ice Cream.

    Enjoy the town and the state. I miss it everyday.

    Andrew on July 12, 2012 9:55 PM:

    The sports bar is called The Ramp, the place is awesome. If he turned around and took a picture it would be of a window looking directly over the water. The bar is below a restaurant literally right on the water. It is off the beaten path, but small enough that it’s super busy.

    it is 30 minutes south of Portland in Cape Porpoise, ME.

    william on July 12, 2012 10:01 PM:

    Thank you, Andrew. Sounds like a great place. I’ll definitely be dropping in.

    JPS on July 13, 2012 8:48 AM:

    Any ACL readers who are in the area are welcome to stop by Cape Porpoise Outfitters for a beer and some restaurant recommendations, on the house.

    kevin on July 13, 2012 10:42 AM:

    are there any great rental spots in southern maine? got a dog and a kid, and my wife and I were hoping for something near the beach. would appreciate!!

    JPS on July 13, 2012 11:01 AM:

    Kevin – yes. At this point in the season it’s just a question of what’s still available & what your requirements are / price range. Give me a ring at 207-200-3737 and I can tell you about local options. – Jared

    Casey on July 13, 2012 3:31 PM:

    If anyone is headed further north (and coastal) from maine, there is truly a unique stop just south of Bath in Brunswick. The place is called El Camino, and it’s been rated as one of the best mexican restaurants in the country, no kidding. It’s a dive from the outside but the food and the drink is as good as it gets. Show up after 7:30 and it’ll be too busy to get a seat, that night…. Happy hunting.

    Joe Kupe on July 13, 2012 10:12 PM:

    When you are in Ogunquit, ME you must go to Bread & Roses Bakery for their Whoopie Pies; they are New England at its best!

    JPS on July 13, 2012 11:14 PM:

    Just had a truly incredible dinner at Fore St. in Portland. If you make one stop that should be it.

    MBP on July 16, 2012 9:50 PM:

    Michael – Nice pics of Maine. Portland and the southern coast are great. Next time, if you (or anyone else) are looking for a different experience, take a trip inland up to Moosehead Lake (though sounds like you might have visited Baxter State Park). Get off I-95 at Skowhegan and check out the Old Mill Pub. Great spot right above the dam. Then check out Spring Creek BBQ in Monson. Smoked chicken there is fantastic.

    And for my money, Moosehead Lake is the nicest spot in Maine. take a hike up Mount Kineo. And if you’ve got the time – drive another 3 hours from Greenville and you’re in Quebec City.

    peter on July 17, 2012 6:08 AM:

    You, along with John Irving, make me want to visit Maine more and more.

    Great post

    Jim M. on July 18, 2012 12:00 PM:

    Jared: Every August, we spend the third week in Kennebunk. I will be stopping by the store this year. Can’t wait to see everything!

    Ditto on Fore Street in Portland – one of the best restaurants on the east coast..not just in Maine.

    And for the consistently best lobster rolls, head to Cape Pier Chowder House in Cape Porpoise. Sit on the deck with a roll and a Shipyard (on tap). You’ll go back every time.

    Emily on July 18, 2012 2:03 PM:

    Maine is a truly under-rated state but maybe that’s part of what makes it awesome — it isn’t over-hyped or over-populated! Still very rustic and modest and not overly built up. No wonder Stephen King (and others) choose to live there.

    Paul in NoVa on July 19, 2012 3:30 PM:

    Our family vacation this year was at Linekin Bay Resort near Boothbay Harbor. It was a classic American vacation – fantastic food, unlimited sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking. My family loved it. At any point, you would not know what decade you were in other than some of the t-shirts, shoes, and beer labels. Check it out and add it to your list.

    Dustin on July 19, 2012 5:43 PM:

    I looked at this article sitting on screened in porch on Kezar Lake looking across the lake at Severence Lodge. Magic indeed.

    Alex on July 19, 2012 9:05 PM:

    I think people have covered the food in Portland, so the only thing I’d add is to say hi to Kazeem and check out his new store (Portland Trading Co. on Middle Street) while you’re here. He was at Portland Dry Goods before, and just struck out on his own–vintage from Bobby from Boston, great stuff from around Maine, and just a great guy.

    Oh, and a picnic on the eastern prom. Mumford & Sons will be playing there in August…

    Bill on July 20, 2012 1:28 PM:

    This brings back many happy memories of family road trips to Maine in the 1970s and ’80s. Thanks for the brilliant photography.

    Brad G. on July 20, 2012 7:03 PM:

    Thanks for this. Brought back strong memories of countless summers spent in Ogunquit at my Great Grandmother’s home on Shore Rd. I took my first steps on that porch and brought my daughter back to do the same decades later. One my very favorite places on earth.

    Skip Castaneda on July 21, 2012 1:22 AM:

    I miss Maine! The Portland SeaDogs, Haraseeket Lunch and Lobster, late night shopping trip at LL Bean in Freeport. Walking around Kennebunkport. Having a wonderful beach day at Old Orchard Beach, ate a great lunch at a beach front hot dog and french fry stand. Feeling an attraction to a lovely local but too shy to do anything about it. I want to go back!!!

    Joe on July 21, 2012 4:38 PM:

    Marcy’s diner for breakfast.( On Oak St, near Congress St.) Long lines but the breakfast is excellent. Becky’s is also good for breakfast food in Portland.

    JPS on July 21, 2012 11:23 PM:

    Alex – good call re: Portland Trading Co.

    Skip – there are lots of lovely locals, e.g.:

    Come visit.

    John Coulbourn on July 24, 2012 7:52 PM:

    If ME is underrated, that’s perfect. Let’s hope everyone else keeps their NE eyes on Cape Cod. We sneak up there all the time from Boston. But love everyone’s tips here.

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