New England is a beautiful region to explore in the states, and I’ve been trying to do just that since moving out here. By now some of you may know that I was born and raised in California, so I’ve loved getting to experience a new part of this vast country.
Maine seemed to be a reclusive state to me since I mainly hover around major cities, so I’ve been eager to visit ever since I moved east. A weekend road trip with some friends provided the perfect opportunity to get up north, so we set out to explore the towns of Portland and Freeport Maine which are only about a 30 minute drive apart.
We based ourselves out of a cute airbnb in Cape Elizabeth which would be a charming place to stay in the summer. We first set out to see Portland Head Light–Maine’s oldest lighthouse and apparently most photographed one in America! I can’t reccomend their volunteer run museum enough–it was $2 admission and it was so well done. I was with two history/museum studies graduates, so I should know–oh and I guess I do work at a maritime museum myself. Anyway, I’m just saying we know our stuff and we all thought this tiny museum was impressive and well worth a visit! Plus you can’t beat the price.
We walked around more of Fort Williams Park which is adjacent to the lighthouse. The park was full of easy pathways and plenty of picnic tables, but keep in mind they adhere to a carry in carry out policy so there are no trash bins. We stumbled upon Goddard Mansion which was built in 1858, but later became non-commissioned officers quarters and later a club. Now just the exterior walls stand and most of it is fenced off.
We then further stumbled upon Battery Keyes, which was built in the early 1900s and used in World War II.
These two always off roading! ^^
Definitely a mish mash of sites at the park, but it was fun exploring! We had GORGEOUS weather and lighthouse was the perfect backdrop to our morning “hike”.
We then headed into Portland for lunch, shopping, and some beer tasting. Portland is such a cute city! They have tons of shops with artisanal goods, hand made soaps and candles, pottery…things like that.
Liquid Riot was bar/brewery/restaurant that came highly recommended before we departed so we made sure to stop in. It’s a bottling company named for the Portland Rum Riot. I really liked the atmosphere! I just asked to taste all the IPAs…maybe a little ambitious. I didn’t realize there were 5! That’s a lot of IPA for one girl. My favorite I have to say was the first one I tried called the Cannonball XPA. Also, all you Game of Thrones lovers (myself included) will appreciate one of their IPAs called “A Beer Has No Name”–which was probably the reason why I didn’t catch that I had ordered 5 IPAs… We then made our way over to Shipyard Brewery for another tasting, and on to a cozy pub for dinner.
The next day we planned to spend in Freeport shopping at the outlets–specifically the L.L. Bean outlet. So, I have to preface this part by saying when I was growing up in California, anyone wearing L.L. Bean was seen as kind of nerdy. So when I first moved to New England, I really didn’t get the hype…although I DID know bean boots were back in style. Well, after living in New England, I get the hype–if you want to be warm you WILL wear L.L. Bean. And I like to be warm, in fact I actually LOVE to be warm and I really struggle with it. My blood is just too thin after all those California “winters” (winter, what is winter?).
I was hemming and hawing about investing in a pair of these boots all weekend long, but I loved that they were hand made in Maine with a lifetime guarantee. I’m all about investing in quality clothing as I get older so I was really torn. I figured if anything, I could maybe swing the base model boot–no thinsulate, no nothing…just a standard boot even though I was lusting after the (way more expensive) warm and fuzzy shearling lined ones. Well, I was in luck–the L.L. Bean outlet was having an additional sale on top of their already discounted prices. And the single pair of shearling-lined boots in the whole store that were sitting on the center shelf right when you walked in were in my EXACT size. It was fate. I bought the boots for a very discounted price and I’ve never felt more love for an inanimate object. My toes are finally WARM people…I now understand L.L. Bean.
I figured visiting the flagship L.L. Bean store in Freeport was a great way to end my first trip to Maine. Next stop, Canada?
How about you? What part of the U.S. do you most want to explore? Have you ever had to get used to living in a different climate?
Thank you for reading!