The summer road trip either conjures a sense of adventure and free-spirited fun, or brings back nightmares of being crammed with your brothers and sisters in the back of the station wagon on the way to grandma’s house in Oklahoma.
We’re obviously fans of a road trip (whether or not there’s dirt involved). As usual, with a precious couple days of summer vacation time to burn, Becca and I are taking a twist on a trip we did a few years ago, and heading Northeast!
The goal of the trip is to do a little bit of town/city exploring in Boston and Portland, but mainly to re-visit a place that we really enjoyed a few years ago – Acadia National Park/Mount Desert Island, and check out some of the things there that we didn’t get to do on our first visit back in 2011. That and eat A LOT of lobster.
Stop 1: Boston
Becca and I must’ve broke some kind of damn land-speed record trucking it to Boston! We cut out of NoVa ~4:45AM and rolled into Boston at about 12:15PM. That gave us about 24 hours to see and do as much as we could in the city before heading further north to Maine.
It was a tall order – Boston is so steeped in history, cultural attractions, and really awesome food that we could have stayed a week. That being said, we made a pretty strong showing – between checking out Back Bay, Boston Commons, and the Seaport District, visiting the USS Constitution Museum, enjoying delicious Italian cuisine (and crushing some cannolis from Mike’s Pastries) in the North End, and touring Harvard, there’s not much else you can squeeze into 24 hours. We would have loved to stay – but we were headed further North.
Stop 2: Portland Maine
We didn’t know much of what to expect in Portland when we rolled in on July 4th, besides the promise of some pretty awesome fireworks over Casco Bay. Unlike a bunch of our camping trips, we had booked some swanky accommodations at the Press hotel, located downtown in the center of the action. Portland had a little bit of a hipster vibe and a bunch of unique shops and restaurants which were fun to check out, but the highlight of our stint in Portland was touring the Allagash Brewery. We’ve been loving Allagash bottle-conditioned belgian-style beers for years, so it felt like a pilgrimage to see firsthand where the magic happens (also, free samples!).
And yeah, the July 4th fireworks over Casco Bay didn’t disappoint either!
Pit Stop: Freeport, Maine
While on the way to Acadia NP, you MUST stop at L.L. Bean’s flagship store, get your picture with “The Bean Boot” and try to grab a lobster roll on the way out of town…
Stop 3: Mount Desert Island/Acadia National Park
We are now settling in for a couple of days on Mount Desert Island, enjoying temperatures in the mid-70’s, hiking, boating, kayaking, and eating obscene amounts of lobster.
While this is far from being a backcountry trip, the sense of freedom and adventure we feel by jumping in the truck and setting out for a week of seeing new places and revisiting some of our favorites from years ago evokes much of the same spirit we get when exploring new trails and testing the limits of the trucks. The great American road trip is alive and well!