Traveling down Route 1 from Portland south to New Hampshire takes one through a number of smaller towns along the Maine coast. Here are some places we have enjoyed on this drive.
For more on what to see and where to eat in Portland Maine, check out these blogs:
York Harbor Maine
The upscale resort community of “The Yorks” (York, York Beach, and York Harbor) was founded in 1624 and retains a number of colonial-era buildings. York Harbor, the most fashionable of the three towns retains a number of the huge rusticator “cottages” and resort hotels from the later 19th century when it rivaled Bar Harbor and Newport in popularity.
Ogunquit means beautiful place by the sea. And it is. is also home to the highly regarded Ogunquit Museum of American Art. This museum highlights works from late 18th and early 19th-century American masters and those American Modernists who were part of the Ogunquit Art Colony.
But what we really like about Ogunquit (besides lobster), is walking along Marginal Way. One can walk the slightly over 1-mile cliffside walking path from Perkins Cove to Shore Road. In addition to beautiful ocean views, one walks past many “cottages”.
Wells is the third oldest town in Maine. It is a popular summer destination where people flock to its beaches.
The Bowdoin College Art Museum in Brunswick has an impressive permanent collection highlighted by a number of Gilbert Stewart portraits (including President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison) and works by Georgia O’Keefe and Edward Hopper and prints by George Bellows (including Dempsey through the Ropes) and Thomas Hart Benton. When we were last there, it also had an impressive temporary exhibition, “Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960” which explored how changing portrayals of subjects in limited light (from dawn to dusk) served as a catalyst for modern art. The exhibition includes oils, prints, and photographs from dozens of world-class artists including Frederick Remington, James MacNeil Whistler, Georgia O’Keefe, Joseph Stiglitz, and Ansel Adams (including his famous Half Dome and Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico photos).
Bristol Maine used to be called Pemaquid. The main attraction here for us is Pemaquid Point on the Boothbay peninsula. It is a lovely, but the rugged edge of a peninsula that consists of exposed, distinct layers of metamorphic rock that have been tilted on their sides, infused with molten lava, and eroded into impressive dikes. To add to the atmosphere is a historic lighthouse museum that marks the dangerous coast, an art gallery, diner, inn, and chances of walking the rocks to see the power of the sea and explore its tidal pools. As a bonus, New Harbor, with its lobstering wharf scenic lobster pound almost around the corner.