Honeymoon · Travel

New England road trip: Portland, Maine

Portland

This post is the sixth in a series of blogs about our honeymoon trip to New England and New York. See all New England road trip posts.

Our second day on the road saw us heading from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor. Realising that the drive would take well over 5 hours, we decided to break up the journey with a short stop in Portland.

When researching the trip I had happened upon a twitter-driven road trip by The Guardian from Baltimore to Bar Harbor. Portland was one of the places they visited and I loved the sound of the The Thirsty Pig where they’d stopped for beer and hot dogs. It was the first place we headed to when we arrived and we instantly loved it. There was a great atmosphere, helpful staff, board games, a huge range of beers, reasonably priced and delicious sounding hot dogs and Scott Pilgrim was on the TV. We had a hot dog each (a veggie one for moi) and pretzelkins (little balls of pretzel dough with cheese dip) and they were so delicious.

I’d really recommend visiting the Thirsty Pig for lunch or just for drinks. Sadly as we were sharing the driving on our next leg to Bar Harbor we just had soft drinks but the beer selection looked amazing. A craft beer tour was just setting off when we arrived and wish we could have joined in!

After the hot dogs we took a short walk through the streets on our way to our next destination. The short walk made us wish we had more time in the city. I loved the independent feel of the place and the bars and shops. If I was lucky enough to spend more time in New England, I would definitely plan for at least two nights in Portland, Maine.

Knowing that we didn’t have long in the city we pre-booked spaces on the Portland City and Lighthouse tour. I’m really glad we did because I think we might have struggled to get tickets on the day. The trolley tour was a great way to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Our tour guide was a Portland native and really interesting to listen to. It was lovely to see the docks, the grand houses and Portland Head Light which was picture perfect on that day. The tour cost £24 each but I would really recommend it.

Sadly after our tour we had to head straight back to the car and set off up the coast to Bar Harbor. We would have loved to have more time but our next destination awaited!

Next: Bar Harbor, Maine

See all New England road trip posts

Honeymoon · Out and about · Travel

New England road trip: Kennebunkport, ME

kennebunkport

This post is the fifth in a series of blog posts about our honeymoon trip to New England and New York City in October 2014. See all New England road trip posts.

When I was researching our itinerary for New England, I decided that we absolutely must visit Kennebunkport. Blame Pinterest or whatever, but I had my heart set on it having seen gorgeous photos of the the coastal resort and its preppy feel. I’m so glad I did because our first stop in Maine in Kennebunkport, even though it was only for one night, provided us with a wonderful New England experience.

We arrived into Kennebunkport just as the sun was setting of which we had a lovely view from the porch of our hotel. We had intended to arrive much earlier but Salem had proved far too interesting to leave after such a short time.

The hotel we stayed at was the Kennebunkport Inn and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was a wonderful, homely inn with a perfect maritime New England feel. The shared areas downstairs were immaculate and the staff were really welcoming upon check in. The location was absolutely perfect too – the hotel is right in the centre of Kennebunkport at One Dock Square and only a short walk to most places.

We carted our cases up what seemed like an impossibly steep and narrow stairway and arrived into our lovely room to discover they’d left us a free bottle of prosecco to help us celebrate our honeymoon. It was such a lovely thought and after the first day’s driving we were ready for a drink!

The room was relatively compact but clean and well-designed with a coffee machine and really comfortable bed. What else could you need?! Our room faced out the back but even that gave us a nice view of a church, some lovely houses and the autumn leaves.

After a quick sit down, we headed out into the Kennebunkport in search of food. I had read online about Allison’s restaurant which sounded like a popular choice with reasonable prices. Having a strict budget and just wanting a good hearty bite to eat somewhere, this sounded right up our street. As luck would have it, Allison’s was the first place we came across on Main Street and it lived up to its online reputation – laid back and popular. So popular in fact that upon arrival we were told that there was a significant wait but we were given a remote which would vibrate when our table was ready and in the meantime we could amble up and down the main street. This was great as we managed to get a quick look at Main Street, the bridge and a few of the shops and get some fresh air before sitting down to dinner.

Allison’s was very busy and chaotic with lots of regulars but our food was lovely and all the tables had Trivial Pursuit question decks on them so we whiled away the time waiting for our food by asking each other trivia questions. If I was back in Kennebunkport ever (fingers crossed) I would definitely go back.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to have our prosecco and watch the Boston Bruins play hockey.

The following morning we woke up early (as we would do consistently during our time in New England) and carted our cases back down to the car as sadly we were only in Kennebunkport for one night (my number one regret from the trip). We had a takeaway coffee from the machine in our room and sat on the porch drinking it whilst waiting for breakfast.

The breakfast buffet on offer was amazing with a wide variety of things – cooked breakfast, pancakes, toast, pastries and loads more. We both had a hot breakfast and pancakes which would set us up for the morning.

We then took a walk around some of the streets. Some of the town is built up on stilts so we visited some of the open shops and bought Nial a Bruins hat and a friend’s little boy some socks.

Amble across the bridge

We walked over the bridge where we found an amazing Halloween and pumpkin display for charity. We also found a lovely welcoming little general store where we stocked up on supplies – water, coke and M&Ms which would soon become the staple of our diet.

Most of the shops were still not due to open for an hour so we decided we had to say goodbye to Kennebunkport and head off. But we would go the scenic route along Ocean Drive.

This was the best decision of our trip as it detoured us around the beautiful coast with gorgeous views and along tree covered roads and amazing looking homes. We saw a wonderful tiny little chapel along the side of the road which looked perfect. We also saw the Bush family ‘compound’ which had a flag flying, security gatehouse and lots and lots of serious looking cars. They must have a wonderful view from there.

The road led us to Route 1 and we followed it on the way to our next brief stop in Portland stopping only once when we happened across a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop. I last went to Tim Horton’s in Toronto and couldn’t resist.

Next: Portland, Maine

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