Picturesque small islands and idyllic coastal towns – the Atlantic coast of the northeastern stateo of Maine has a lot to offer and is absolutely beautiful no matter the season. The best thing is: Exploring coast Maine is easy. All you need is a car, an adventurous spirit and a good road trip playlist. The distance from Boston to Maine is around 216 miles and depending on the number of stops along the way and how much time you spend there, you will need around one week for your road trip from Boston to Maine. We have put together an itinerary for you with the most worthwhile destinations and the perfect mix between city life and nature on the route. So, get ready for your road trip from Boston to Maine and hit the road!
Boston is a great starting point for your drive along Maine’s coast. If you live nearby you will most probably go with your own car and if you are flying into Boston’s Logan International Airport, you will have access to a variety of rental-car agencies. Before you start your road trip, you might want to explore Boston as it has a lot to offer. Discover the historic sites like the Freedom trail to learn about the city’s significance in the American War of Independence, stroll around the shops along Newbury street or enjoy Boston’s delicious cuisine. No one would want to hit the road on an empty stomach anyway, so this makes the perfect excuse (as if you needed one).
Newburyport is just a 45-minute drive from Boston. It’s known for being a beautiful coastal city and an old-time charm with a twist. You will find old gems in this scenic area but also many new shops and restaurants. In the summer, the main attraction are the beaches, in winter you can do winter sledding and snowshoeing in Maudslay State Park. The Parker River National Wildlife Refuse is only a 15-minute drive away and at this popular beach and birding spot you can find more than 300 species of birds and also mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians which make the river their home. Another great thing to do here is doing a food tour or taking a walk on Plum island. You can also explore the Custom House Maritime Museum which is a gateaway to Newburyport’s maritime history.
Portmouth is only 22 miles away and a great place to visit. Visit Market Square, the historic downtown which is full of shops, restaurants and bars and where historic building are mixed with newer ones. You will also find several beaches nearby with Odiorne State Park being a true gem. In Downtown Portsmouth you can also discover some outstanding street art that usually comes in the form of beautiful murals that even sometimes tell a story about the people living there.
Another 17 miles away you will find Ogunquit which is described as one of the prettiest places on the Southern Maine Coast, with sandy beaches, dramatic rock cliffs, tree canopied streets and beautiful colonial architecture. Visit the beautiful and sandy Ogunquit beach and Footbridge beach, take a stroll in the cute fishing village Perkins Cove, visit the Museum of Art with its collection of over 3000 paintings, ceramics and sculptures, or shop the boutiques along Main Street in the historic village center where you will find gems like Sea glass jewellery.
After only 12 miles from Ogunquit you will find Kennebunkport. If you’re arriving in the morning, you could head for breakfast at Kennebunkport’s Dock Square where its historic warehouses comprise a variety of art galleries, boutiques and cafes. You could also head for another beach walk – Gooch’s beach, Middle beach, Colony beach and Mother’s beach are all worth visiting. Kennebunkport might be famous for being the location of former President Bush’s house which is located on Walkers point and about a 10 minute drive out from the center of the town. Considering whose house it is, you obviously can’t get too close but you can still get a sneaky view. Have a sweet tooth? Go to Satellite Donuts and have some tiny doughnuts. They’re perfectly bite size, so you can treat yourself to more than one. The flavours are seasonal and can include flavours like salted chocolate pretzel and maple walnut.
Drive another 29 miles and you will reach Portland. It’s Maine’s largest city and boasts an eclectic dining scene, plenty of shopping and an attraction you shouldn’t miss – the beautiful historic lighthouse. It is perched in a rocky seaside cliff and has guarded the entrance to Casco Bay since 1791. Visit this must-see attraction, take in Portland’s scenery while following the Eastern Promenade and go to the harbour if you’re interested in taking to the water. If you fancy some more art, the Space Gallery is the place to be.
Acadia National Park
The last bit of your road trip is the longest but it will definitely be worth it. While you drive 170 miles from Portland to Maine’s beloved National Park, you will see the state’s jagged coastline and the rocky beaches lapped by the waved of the Atlantic. The landscape in the National Park is characterized by forests, rocky beaches and glacier-shaped granite peaks, like the highest point on the US east coast, Cadillac Mountain. The hikes are beautiful and with a little bit of luck you will be able to spot animals like moose, bears, whales and sea birds. This is the perfect destination to unwind and recharge your batteries, and the ultimate goal of your amazing roadtrip from Boston to Maine.