Catch Some Of The Most Breathtaking Views In New England On This Road Trip Route

Picturesque lighthouses, coastal cuisine, historic cities, dense woodland, and majestic rocky beaches are just a few things you can enjoy when you embark on a road trip through Maine. Located at the northeastern tip of the United States, bordering Canada, Maine offers some of the country's most beautiful views along the Atlantic Ocean.

Maine winters are cold and snowy, so consider planning your road trip between May and October. Summer is the busiest time for tourism, so if you want to avoid the crowds, it's best to visit during the shoulder seasons. May, June, September, and October still offer mild temperatures and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

For the perfect road-trip getaway, begin in Portland, Maine, and head north along the rugged coastline through Acadia National Park, wrapping up in the resort town of Bar Harbor. Traveling along the scenic U.S Route 1 will only take you about 3.5 hours if you drive straight through, but stretch it out over a long weekend or up to a week so that you can make plenty of stops to soak in the historical cities, quaint small towns, and natural wonders along the way.

Begin the journey in Portland, Maine

Begin your journey in the charming East Coast town of Portland, Maine. Full of cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and mouthwatering seafood, Portland provides the ideal place to kick off your road trip. With around 68,000 residents, it's Maine's most populated city as well as one of the state's top tourist destinations, welcoming more than 11 million travelers each year. It's also home to Maine's largest international airport if you're flying in and renting a car for your trip.

The city has a laid-back hipster vibe with friendly locals, tons of microbreweries, art galleries, museums, music venues, and an excellent scene for foodies. Spend a night or two along the waterfront in the historic Westin Portland Harborview Hotel, which dates back to 1927 and was recently renovated. You can enjoy comfortable rooms with lovely views of either the harbor or downtown, an on-site spa, and a glamorous rooftop restaurant. Rooms start at just $127 per night.

Creative types will love the boutique experience of staying at the Press Hotel, once the headquarters for the city's newspaper. The lobby features an art gallery with works from Portland artists and a massive display of antique typewriters. Luxurious rooms are decorated with vintage-inspired décor reminiscent of writers' offices, and the hotel is home to an excellent restaurant called the Union. Rooms start at $250 per night.

Explore Acadia and Bar Harbor

After exploring the city of Portland, head north on U.S. Route 1 to the iconic Acadia National Park. Along the way, carve out time to stop for lunch and explore Maine's adorable small towns, like Waldoboro, Rockland, or Lincolnville. You'll pass plenty of iconic Maine lighthouses and beautiful rocky beaches before arriving in Acadia National Park.

Acadia is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with more than 150 miles of hiking trails. Traverse through forests, along beaches covered with boulders, past lakes, and up mountain summits. For a moderate challenge, you can even climb Cadillac Mountain, the tallest mountain on the eastern seaboard at 1,530 feet. The North Ridge Trail is a 4.4-mile round trip and takes several hours to complete. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Frenchman Bay and the Schoodic Peninsula, as well as the town of Bar Harbor.

The National Park Service manages two excellent campgrounds within Acadia. They book up fast, so make online reservations well in advance. If you're looking for more luxurious accommodations, check out Under Canvas Acadia, where you can "glamp" in a canvas tent by the water. Bar Harbor makes the perfect base for exploring Acadia for a few days. There are plenty of lodging options ranging from high-end hotels to cozy B&Bs. Bar Harbor has a plethora of cute shops and restaurants to explore, and whatever you do, don't forget to try a mouthwatering Maine Lobster Roll during your visit!