Mr. Harper's Travel Guide
Maine is as inviting as it is rugged. The jagged, wooded coastline of New England's largest and northernmost state is dotted with old lighthouses and picturesque fishing villages; its lobsters and autumn foliage are iconic; the state comprises 17 million acres of forestland and ...
Maine is as inviting as it is rugged. The jagged, wooded coastline of New England's largest and northernmost state is dotted with old lighthouses and picturesque fishing villages; its lobsters and autumn foliage are iconic; the state comprises 17 million acres of forestland and 6,000 lakes and is also one of the most sparsely populated in the Lower 48.
Maine divides itself into eight tourism regions. The Greater Portland area, on the southwest coast, is named after the largest city, in whose Old Port district cobblestone streets wind among quaint shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. Farther south, the popular tourist town of Kennebunkport draws summer visitors (including the Bush family) to its charming beach colonies and Colonial villages. The western Lakes & Mountains region is home to Maine's two largest ski mountains, and Aroostook County, in the north, is a heavily agricultural area that attracts more die-hard outdoorsmen than day-tripping tourists. The Downeast & Acadia region is home to the well-known vacation spot of Bar Harbor, dotted with inns and cottages.
Recommended Luxury Hotels in Maine
Best Restaurants in Maine
The delightful Primo, just outside of Rockland, south of Camden, also occupies a Victorian house. The restaurant is on two levels, the downstairs being formal and the upstairs casual. The chef is Melissa Kelly, an alumna of Chez Panisse and, before Primo, the outstanding Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in upstate New York. Kelly here oversees a kitchen where almost every ingredient is grown or raised by the restaurant or obtained locally. It would be a shame not to start with one of the superb wood-fired pizzas, followed by a main course such as the pork chop marinated in hand-pressed cider. Closed Monday and Tuesday.2 South Main Street Rockland, Maine http://www.primorestaurant.com/
A short walk from the Camden Harbour Inn, the Hartstone Inn is a lovely Victorian building. Chef Michael Salmon, the inn’s owner, is dedicated to serving as much Maine produce as he can. The dinner menu is a five-course feast, and reservations are a must. Memorable selections from our meal were generously proportioned lobster tortellini, and beef tenderloin in a Gorgonzola-herb butter with potatoes Anna. Salmon teaches several cooking courses, which enjoy great popularity.41 Elm Street Camden, Maine http://www.hartstoneinn.com/
The sister property to Hidden Pond, the Tides Beach Club has a terrific bar/restaurant with a sophisticated deco look and a casual menu well-suited to its seaside setting. I’m always eager to try new versions of clam chowder, and the one here was exceptional—thick, with a nice sea tang and garnished with delicious clam fritters. I surprised myself by ordering the buttermilk fried chicken, and was glad I did: Perfectly crisp, it was nicely paired with cheesy grits. Closed Sunday and Monday.254 Kings Highway Goose Rocks Beach Kennebunkport, Maine http://www.tidesbeachclubmaine.com/wineDine-en.html
It is the rare traveler to Maine who does not, at some point, hanker for a great lobster roll. We found our grail at Pier 77, on the water a short drive from Kennebunkport. In a picturesque building festooned with colorful lobster buoys, the restaurant overlooks the charming Cape Porpoise Harbor. While taking in the view, we enjoyed the plump Maine crab cakes and then indulged in the succulent lobster rolls, packed with sweet meat on a soft bun. The food is simple, straightforward and delicious—just what we had been looking for.77 Pier Road Kennebunkport, Maine http://www.pier77restaurant.com/