Family and togetherness… what does that mean for you?
I have wished for greater things in this world than I would even know what to do with, when I have such amazing beauty surrounding me. The thought of exploring my own backyard has really intrigued me, so as I sit, awaiting the winter, I am planning our family travels!
As an old soul, I love to plan and dream, simultaneously. Wanting the ability to highlight, arrow, dog-ear, and take with me, I’ve loaded up my bedside table with Moon Travel Guides! Within a few weeks, I have started planning a family vacation, but also researching places to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary in the beautiful state of Maine!
Coastal Maine & Acadia National Park
Dave and I have always loved Maine, for countless reasons. We didn’t go on our honeymoon right away, but instead took a long weekend in Ogunquit, Maine. Again after we lost our first pregnancy, we went back for the serene location and countless possibilities… and that weekend stayed with us. We call her Addie.
Maine is home to those classic townscapes, rocky shorelines punctuated by sandy beaches, and picturesque downtowns that you know from movies and books. If you stretched out the amazing coastline of Maine, it would span thousands of miles; all its nooks, crannies, and crags filled with the promise of life and the enjoyment of.
The Southern Coast of Maine is the most visited section, stretching north from Kittery to just outside Portland. But heading farther “Down East” rewards travelers with the majestic mountains and rugged coastline of popular Acadia National Park. It is here that I think a great family vacation will unfold.
I am looking forward to exploring museums, galleries, and shops in Portland, and the antiques and curio shops and harborside lobster shacks in the smaller towns and fishing villages, there is such stark difference in very little area. In the hot month of August (our anniversary month), the cold waters won’t bother us, as we enjoy miles of rocky and sandy beaches, with sweeping views of lighthouses, forested islands, and the wide-open sea.
As I sweep my highlighter over the page, I am intrigued by all journalist and Maine native Hilary Nangle shares about her home state. She shares the best ways to enjoy Acadia National Park, from biking through coastal forests and exploring iconic lighthouses to visiting quaint towns with great shopping and seafood. This is all perfect for Dave and I- as we used to spend hours biking on the weekends and enjoying new foods.
Moon travel guides offer unique strategies that help organize trips around central themes, such as “A Studio Tour: Artists and Artisans” and “Lobster, Lighthouses and L.L. Bean.” Hike to ancient sea caves on Mount Desert Island, board a catamaran in Bar Harbor to observe whales and puffins, and enjoy fresh lobster at market price on the Schoodic Peninsula—Moon Acadia National Park gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience. There is even a section to help plan for all of life’s what-ifs.
The Mid-Coast Region Travel Guide
Lighthouses dot the thousands of miles of coastline of Maine’s Mid-Coast region, with striking definition chiseled into the stretching peninsulas. This coastline boasts everything from the sandy beaches and sandbars of Popham Beach to the jutting cliffs of Monhegan Island. Explorations of deserted beaches and secluded coves are welcome, especially through kayaks- hello adventure! Putting a kayak in at the Harpswells, or on the Cushing and Saint George peninsulas, and spending the day with the kids, or simply paddling among the lobster boats and other vessels in those waters, sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure… but because it’s just north in Maine- we can learn and relive these moments again and again! From the offbeat and quirky Portland to the idyllic island community of Monhegan, the state offers families of all interests and size something to love about a Maine vacation.
The Moon Mid-Coast Travel Guide offers itineraries with detailed information on finding deals at outlet stores and eating in the open-air lobster wharves of Penobscot Bay (swoon!), to viewing of tall ships that often visit Maine via the Kennebec River. Enjoy U.S. 1’s charming towns, like Brunswick, with rows of historic brick and clapboard homes and featuring Bowdoin College, Bath and its maritime heritage, Wiscasset, which arguably has the best antiques shopping in the state, and Damariscotta, renowned for its good seafood restaurants – you’d be hard-pressed to find better-tasting oysters than those from the Damariscotta River.
One of my favorite parts of Maine is south, along the peninsulas. In this open scenery, there are vistas of working lobster harbors and marinas, where you literally see your dinner pulled from traps! Quaint, but bustling summer spots, Boothbay Harbor and Camden, entice me with their picturesque window shopping and attraction to artists intent on capturing the windswept cliffs and weathered homes with colorful gardens.
Acadia National Park & Desert Island Vacation
I love the Moon Acadia Travel Guide for its full-color visuals and easy-to-use maps.
There are countless ways to enjoy this area, and they’re all laid out for you in this travel guide complete with can’t-miss sights, restaurants and activities. Maine’s only national Park, Mount Desert Island, it is home to some of the most dramatic and varied scenery on the coast. And I know the girls will love their countless activities and adventures to be had- especially the Downeast Scenic Railroad and Green Lake National Fishing Hatchery. This past summer, Addie LOVED seeing sea turtles set free in Florida- this would be right up her alley.
Mount Desert Island has four different towns, each with its own personality, and is home to inns, campgrounds, restaurants, ferries, galleries, and small museums. The town of Bar Harbor includes the little villages of Hulls Cove, Salisbury Cove, and Town Hill, and is a major tourist destination, with plenty of lodging, dining, and shopping. The town of Mount Desert has four main villages: Somesville, Seal Harbor, Otter Creek, and Northeast Harbor, a summer haven for the very wealthy. Southwest Harbor includes the smaller village of Manset south of the village center. Tremont is at the southernmost tip of the island and stretches up the western shore, including the villages of Bass Harbor, Bernard, and Seal Cove. Whatever you’re looking for: hustle and bustle, quiet, or the great outdoor vastness, Mount Desert Island is that one place on Earth for all!
Mount Desert Island has been luring visitors since French explorers first answered the island’s siren song in 1604. Raw, remote, and seductive, it dangles like a pendant into the Atlantic, flashing its voluptuous profile to passing navigators and mainland drivers. Although only 15 miles from north to south and 12 miles from west to east, the island is home to about 30,000 of Acadia National Park’s roughly 46,000 acres. It’s a miniature masterpiece, a gem of a natural and cultural resource that’s laced with hiking trails and carriage roads, etched by a craggy coastline, sprinkled with ponds, and lorded over by bald peaks. Here are the sights and activities you can’t miss if you’re after the true Acadia experience.
Knowing that the summer is a very busy time in Maine, I am thrilled to have a plan in place… and a book to help us find back up, if we need it!
Where will I get lost? In the stark cliffs rising from the ocean, offering one of the most amazing scenic drives along the rocky coastline. Along the network of old carriage roads leading to Acadia’s wooded interior, filled with birds and other wildlife, and leading to rounded mountaintops, providing views of Frenchman and Blue Hill bays and beyond? By the ponds and lakes beckoning anyone who wants to swim, fish or boat? Where will I find you?