Photo: Nubble Lighthouse, York, Maine
Four friends take a road trip through New England to admire the region’s stunning fall foliage. Click here to read our blog from the beginning.
A Spectacular Coastline
We woke up at our hotel (Ledges by the Bay in Rockport, Maine) just before dawn and were able take in a jaw-dropping, once-in-a-lifetime sunrise over the Atlantic. We got on the road and stopped in Rockland at Hole in the Wall Bagels, where we enjoyed a quick, simple breakfast and coffee.
We then drove for an hour on Highway 1, following Maine’s coastline and again passing incredibly cute beach towns. When we crossed the Kennebec River to enter the city of Bath, we were blown away by the beautiful bridge we drove on and the quaint historic buildings in the city.
That Other Portland
We took Interstate 295 for a few miles until we reached Portland, Maine’s largest city (despite it having a population of only 67,000 😱). We parked in the Old Port/Downtown area and went for a walk, passing the awe-inspiring old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception which dates back to 1866. We walked along the city’s many wharfs and through charming streets lined with historic buildings.
Overall, Portland, Maine, was not as large, exciting, or hipster as Portland, Oregon, but it is still a quaint place to visit and hang out and it like a bigger city than it actually is.
We drove 45 minutes south on I-95 to the town of York and drove through town to Nubble Point, a small park that overlooks the Atlantic and the awe-inspiring Nubble Lighthouse, a small home and lighthouse on a tiny island just a few feet across the water from the park.
It was quite windy and we still had two more states to get to so we didn’t stay too long. We hopped back on I-95, leaving Maine to pass through New Hampshire and finally back to Massachusetts, our first and final state of the trip.
After an hour’s drive, we made it to Salem, a distant suburb of Boston and the site of the infamous 1690s witch trials during which 20 people were hung due to suspicion of them being witches.
We were there a few days before Halloween, which was the perfect time to visit such a creepy place. We parked in Downtown Salem and took a long walk through the city, which is covered in historic buildings and cobblestone streets. We walked through the Howard Street Cemetery, which is rumored to be haunted as it is the site where one suspected witch was pressed to death. We relaxed in Salem Common, the city’s central park, for a few moments, before walking over to the Salem Harbor Walk and taking in the sights (and smells) of the city’s wharf. We didn’t feel like shelling over $12 for the Salem Witch Museum, but we enjoyed viewing its architecture from outside, and explored a ghastly gift shop across the street.
We ended our time in Salem with sandwiches at The Lobster Shanty, a tiny eatery made famous by the Food Network’s Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins. Our waiter was super jolly and friendly and it was a very homey, relaxed place.
We made the 45 minute drive back to Boston and flew back home that evening, feeling satisfied with the abundance of fall foliage, cemeteries, and attack dogs we had encountered on the road trip. 😌
Click here to read our blog from the beginning.
Guided Bus Tour
Looking for a guided tour of the New England coast? Click here to read my friend Leeann’s experience taking a bus tour along the New Hampshire and Maine coasts.