It started a few years ago with a trip to New England to second shoot for a wedding and ever since then I’ve been making a yearly pilgrimage to the land of leaves every fall. Since my trip last year was a bit of a bust due to the government shutdown I decided to go back and redo the trip to Acadia National Park and hopefully THIS TIME actually see the dang park. Spoiler alert, I DID! I’m going to back up a bit though and start at the beginning of the trip with my short stay in Bath.
When plotting out the trip I knew that I wanted to see lighthouses and at this point I’ve seen most of the lighthouses in Maine you can see from land with a car. I read up on some lighthouse cruises and while most of them were done for the season when I would be there, there was ONE tour that had ONE last day for lighthouses and it just happened to be the “granddaddy” tour of 10 lighthouses. SOLD! I actually planned my trip around this boat tour because I was SO excited to do it. I had seen a few of the lighthouses on the tour before, but it had been a VERY foggy day when I did and there were so many new ones that I was fine with it. I signed up for the Maine Maritime Museum Lighthouse Lovers Tour and was looking forward to it.
I got to the museum with plenty of time to spare, I was somewhat worried that I wouldn’t make it in time due to my bad luck but my flight landed early and there was minimal traffic in Boston since it was a weekend. I got to the museum and after touring got a meal from the small food shack on site and read my book while eating on the waterfront. It was a beautiful fall day – the one you picture in your mind when you think of autumn. The sun was shining, the wind was crisp and the air had a faint scent of leaves. While I didn’t come to Maine to sit and read a book in the sun, that may have been one of my favorite hours spent on my trip. Below is a view from my bench on the docks.
The grounds of the museum are beautiful and it’s such a neat museum. I wanted to explore it more but I’m not disappointed that I decided to read and enjoy the stillness instead. If you are ever in the area I definitely recommend stopping by.
We boarded the boat and there weren’t too many people on board so you had your choice of spot to sit. I opted for the back of the boat to get the best views for pictures. There weren’t too many people on the trip – maybe about a dozen and I had a nice time chatting with the other couple brave enough to sit in the back with me where the wake occasionally splashed up but the views were amazing.
The first lighthouse on the tour was Doubling Point Light on the Kennebec River. I visited this lighthouse a few years ago but it was nice to return and see it from the water and without the fog. It was built in 1898 and the base was reconstructed in 2000 after sustaining damage from ice floes in the spring.
The second lighthouse was actually a range lighthouse so that means that there is a front lighthouse and a rear lighthouse and when ships are navigating the river they need to line the lighthouses up to be guided through the turns of the river and stay on course. They were also built in 1989 and this lighthouse is one of the few to have had a female lighthouse keepers under the Coast Guard. I’d visited these as well before but again, this time I got to view them without fog which was a treat (and also in a new season).
On the route to the third lighthouse we passed a lot of wildlife on the Kennebec River. I adore seeing animals and was excited to see the seals and the bald eagles. The seals could be found on any raised rock in the river sunning themselves in the warm October sun. The eagles were found soaring through the skies and sitting in nests at the tops of trees on small islands.
The third lighthouse on the tour was Squirrel Point Light that was built in 1989. I had not seen this lighthouse before as it requires a bit of a trek through the woods and with the fog the last time I wasn’t eager to get lost looking for it. It’s sadly in a sorry state and they are currently accepting donations for restoration.
As we turned the next corner in the river, the fog started rolling in and within moments were were cloaked in fog. It was somewhat scary and completely wild how quickly the fog moved in and the tour company quickly decided to turn around at the next lighthouse as we were in a fairly tiny boat and between the fog and the waves it was unsafe to continue out into the ocean for the remaining lighthouses of the tour. While I completely understood, I must confess I was a bit bummed out to not see the promised 10 lighthouses but I’d much rather be safe than sorry!
A bit further up the river we saw the last lighthouse of the abbreviated tour, Perkins Island Light also built in 1898. It was a cute lighthouse that was also new to me so I’m glad we did get to squeeze in this last one. The keeper’s house is currently being restored.
Since the tour was cut short they took us on a spin around the area and we got to see Bath Iron Works a bit up close and personal and see some Bald Eagles. While I was disappointed I still would definitely recommend the tour and hope to go again someday for the full 10 lighthouses.
My hotel, the Cod Cove Inn, was absolutely charming and I LOVED it there. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect because instead of choosing my hotel based on word of mouth or reviews, I went off of Google Maps and found a hotel with availability along the route I wanted to take to Bar Harbor from Bath. It was a total score though and I’m so glad that I took a chance on it. The room was cozy and adorable and the service was unbelievable and kind. I was stunned – and thrilled – to find scented bath salts in the toiletries for the room. I am a bath girl and that was the way straight to my heart! The bed was SO comfortable and the sheets were perfection. I often don’t sleep well in hotels because they are unfamiliar and the beds are often not so great but I slept like a rock here due to the bed a dream to sleep on. Finally, the morning continental breakfast was absolutely delicious! The muffins were so good and I almost regret not sneaking an extra one for the road. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend staying here. This is the view from my back slider where you can see downtown Bath and the Kennebec River.
That evening I attempted to eat at a local pub that was recommended to me by the hotel but they refuse to serve singles (hubs didn’t make it for this trip) so I ended up at a nearby restaurant Damariscotta River Grill and I would highly recommend it! It was another lucky find for me and they could not have been any more kind – and they were willing to seat a single! I enjoyed a lovely filet and a white chocolate pumpkin brûlée that was to die for. I also had the most delicious Prosecco and St. Germain cocktail to celebrate my first night of my trip. Thank you again for being so kind and wonderful to a solo traveler!
Next up: Acadia, we finally meet!
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