One of the best things about New England is how easy it is to get around. Once you’ve seen all you can of Boston, hop in the car for a chance to explore other nearby states — taste-test the seafood chowder from each area, check out the lighthouses along the coast or just enjoy a picturesque drive through New England’s famous towns. Start off heading north on I-95 from Boston and hit the following Maine towns for the perfect weekend road trip.
Just over the New Hampshire-Maine border and only about an hour from Boston is one of Maine’s prettiest coastal towns, York Harbor. It’s here you’ll find quiet beaches; no-frills, farm-to-table restaurants; and ice cream shacks on the side of the road. York is made up of different villages — including the popular Cape Neddick, where the Nubble Light lighthouse shines daily and seafood restaurants are abundant. Beach lovers will appreciate the rocky shores and soft waves, and kids will adore a tour of The Goldenrod candy shop, which makes its own saltwater taffy. Just around the corner from York is Kittery, home to outlet shopping and traditional Maine fare.
Make your way north from York Harbor toward Kennebunk, where you’ll find The Captain Lord Mansion. This manor looks like a bed and breakfast, but operates like a luxury hotel situated among Kennebunkport’s scenic neighborhoods. Just steps from the harbor, the hotel is a prime location for those looking to immerse themselves in local culture. Don’t miss the wine tastings while you’re here. Down the street from the inn is where you’ll find seafood shacks, boutiques and art galleries. Foodies must stop at Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The White Barn Inn Restaurant, where renowned chef Jonathan Cartwright’s epicurean creations come to life inside two renovated barns.
Head farther north along I-95 (a two-hour drive from Boston) and you’ll come to Maine’s largest city, Portland. Drive straight into the center of the city and that’s where you’ll find everything from local brewpubs to underground art galleries. Choose any number of parking garages and set out on foot for the rest of your tour around Portland. Gritty McDuff’s and Dock Fore are two of the area’s best-known pubs, featuring local craft beers from the region. Don’t miss a chance to see Portland from the water — the ferry rides depart daily and take you around the city and out past the smaller islands that make up Maine’s coastline. If you prefer to spend the night, check into Portland Harbor Hotel.
Photos Courtesy of iStock and US Hotels Inc.