As you may know by now, I typically travel to New England in the fall, generally in mid-to-late October when the leaves are stunning and right at the end of what we in the industry call the ‘wedding season’ (which is May – October). Due to a wedding in Virginia in 2017 I skipped the annual trip the year before and was quite excited to go back in 2018, this time with my husband along for the ride. Usually I do this trip solo but he hadn’t been out in the fall to New England yet and agreed to go along. It was fun to show him all of my favorite places and discover a few new ones along the way!
Usually I break up these trip posts but since I’m so far behind on blogging I’m going to put it all in one post so buckle up and enjoy! There will be a few iPhone photos mixed in with the camera photos since I love to blog about where I went/did along with the pretty perfect things since when I look at blogs about trips I like to get ideas for my own trip. I may be a photographer but I rarely drag out my camera for meals and quick stops. Shame on me LOL.
The morning after Alyssa and Taylor’s wedding we flew out to Boston on JetBlue’s direct flight from Cleveland to Boston. I LOVE this route, I’m still a bit salty that CAK got rid of their direct flight to Boston but at least there’s still one nearby.
Since it was SO early and a Sunday I drug my husband to my favorite breakfast spot, Roundabout Diner, in Portsmouth, NH. I’ve been here numerous times over the years ever since my friend Gianina introduced me to it and it’s always a huge win, totally worth the wait!
After breakfast we continued north and stopped by the wiggly bridge in York on our way to Ogunquit. The last time I’d been here it was on a wet and soggy day with a gale storm so it wasn’t the best for exploring. This time the weather was better but the leaves were just past their peak. Ah well!
We continued on and stopped at our home for the night at The Sparhawk Oceanfront Resort in Ogunquit. I first stayed here with Jill a few years ago and again a year later. I have a few favorite places to stay in this area of Maine (ViewPoint Hotel in York is another close favorite) but the Sparhawk just makes me happy. The customer service here is top notch, the rooms are comfy but the best part is the location. It’s right at the start of the Mariginal Way and the oceanview rooms have a balcony overlooking the ocean. Chris loved it just as much as I did.
Since it was SO early our room wasn’t ready yet so we headed out to do what I have been dreaming of attending since I first found out about it a few years ago – OGUNQUITFEST. I have had a wedding booked for the weekend of the annual Halloween festival in Oguinquit ever year since we stumbled upon it but last year I finally was able to make it work, despite being booked for that weekend. While it was the last day of the festival and the weather was terrible I am SO glad that I was finally able to attend and get a taste of it. Some year I hope to make it for the whole weekend. If Halloween tickles your fancy, I highly recommend making the trip to Ogunquit to check it out. It’s just SO fun and quaint. It’s like a novel come to life.
We started out at the tent where the craft fair is held. I didn’t take many photos since it was so crowded but there was so much talent in that one tiny tent! I did manage to grab one of these muffins from The Greenery Cafe and it was AMAZING.
It was pretty chilly on the ocean but as we were leaving the pets were lining up for the Dogtoberfest Dog Parade and Costume Contest. CAN NOT HANDLE THE CUTE.
After we left we headed over to Perkins Cove which is at the end of the Marginal Way. We had fun poking around all the shops with their end-of-the-season sales. If you’re ever there (or in Kennebunkport) hit up my favorite jewelry store in Maine, Sea Glass Jewelry Studio! I have so much of their stuff and it’s so beautiful. They also had a fun little Harry Potter nook set up for Ogunquitfest so you know I had to take a spin down that!
After Chris got some coffee at Java (I don’t like coffee so I passed) we went over to the drawbridge so I could take photos from the bridge, which was down this time so I could get better photos! Definitely a highly photographed spot in Maine but with good reason, it’s so picturesque! I always want to stay at the hotel here but they are closed for the season when I’m there.
We then decided to park our car back at the Sparhawk and walk around downtown for a bit since the traffic was getting a bit crazier as the day progressed with various activities for the festival. One of my most favorite thing is strolling around Ogunquit seeing how all the local places decorate for Ogunquitfest.
How cute does the Nellie Littlefield B&B look decked out for Halloween?
Before we got too far into our stroll the Sparhawk called and our room was ready! We stayed in a room I had stayed in before which was fun and before I knew it Chris was zonked out. Pretty much every time he’s in salt air he suddenly takes lots of naps so I read a good book while overlooking the ocean while he slept. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.
Soon enough it was time for dinner and I had reservations for That Place in Ogunquit. It was another favorite of mine from a past visit and it didn’t disappoint in food or decor. Chris loved his food but sadly we discovered afterwards that he likely has an allergy to lobster like I do. At least his last one was delicious!
After dinner (and before Chris’s hives started in earnest) we strolled around Ogunquit again, checking out all the fun displays for Halloween. I knew that I wanted to do this at night because when I was there before the displays all came alive at night and this year was much the same. The local businesses are SO creative, I love it and how much they are all in for this display contest!
Can I start a petition for North Canton to do this? Ha!
Anchorage By the Sea is next door to The Sparhawk and they always have an awesome display. This is just a small part of it!
Five-O Shore Road is also another favorite that has fun displays. This past year’s scene was fantastic!
The next morning we sadly packed up and left Ogunquit. Chris said that he was sad to leave because he really liked the location and hotel. I think if he were to come back we’d definitely spend more time here. I’m so glad he loves that place as much as I do!
It was a long haul up to Sullivan, Maine to our next stop but it was a beautiful one. We also stopped along the way at another favorite of mine, Moody’s Diner. Go there. Get the pie. Thank me later.
The nice thing about bringing along my husband meant that I could be a passenger and take photos along the way of the pretty drive. It was a smidge bit warmer and we had sunny blue skies so the last bits of the color were on full display. If nothing else I highly urge everyone to take at least one fall drive through Maine and New England when the leaves are changing. It’s nothing short of an amazing visual experience.
Finally in the late afternoon we arrived at our home for the next few days, the Captain Bennis House in Sullivan Maine! This is the home of my Aunt and Uncle and they graciously allowed us to stay there for a few days when we were in Maine. I was so elated to finally see it in person. As you can tell, it’s a beauty! It was built in 1875 and they have been renting it out on Air B&B. It’s so conveniently located between Acadia National Park and the Schoodic Peninsula. Oh, and it’s beautiful. Did I mention that? I’ve stayed in Bar Harbor a few times so it was nice to see a new area and find some new favorite places.
After we got settled in and our luggage situated we headed out to hopefully hit sunset at the Schoodic Peninsula and made it juuuust in time! It was SO windy and cold I’m glad it was quick because I was sooooo cold. Chris peaced out and went back to the car pretty quickly. It was pretty but not an OMG WOW sunset.
On the way home we were both famished and thanks to Google we ended up at The Pickled Wrinkle in Birch Harbor which was one of the few places still open. The downside to traveling at the end of October is that many places are closed for the season but a few were remaining open through the end of October so we lucked out. We both LOVED our meals there (the pizza is a huge win!) and I loved my drink. If you’re in the area it gets two thumbs up from us!
The next morning I had intentions of getting up early and watching the sunrise again from Cadillac Mountain but the rain had moved in and chased our blue skies away. I didn’t feel like being drenched AND cold all day so we took our time getting ready, hit up Chester Pike’s Galley for breakfast and then moseyed over to a rainy Acadia National Park.
It was still drizzly but luckily it had mostly let up by the time we got into the park. Since the weather was so crummy we didn’t do much walking but there was a wooded trail with a walkway I saw on Pinterest that I really wanted to see and photograph myself. Since it was so rainy it kept a lot of tourists away so luckily I didn’t have to wait long at the trail at Sieur de Monts Nature Center to empty so I could have my own version of it. It was such a beautiful park, I hope to return again someday when it isn’t rainy and cold.
The skies finally started to clear up a bit so I drug Chris down to my favorite beach in Acadia National Park, Little Hunters Beach – also known as boulder beach. It has these small boulders that the ocean comes in on and the sound over it is something I can’t begin to describe but is SO soothing. Someday I intend to bring a chair and a book and spend an afternoon here.
After a quick spin around the Jordan Pond House (which was closed for the season just the day before, dang, no popovers for us!) we ended up doing the drive up Cadillac Mountain. The sun had broke through so it wasn’t AS cold but the wind up there was ridiculous so we didn’t stay out long. Still though, alllll the colors were out to play!
We were finally cold enough to wave the flag and retreat into the warmth of Geddy’s for dinner (where I had another delicious pizza, which I had been thinking about since the last time I was there and it did not disappoint). After dinner we walked around the city of Bar Harbor a bit eventually ducking into one of the shops having a sale on sweatshirts and stocking up. Chris has a habit of under packing (and I overpack) but we both realized we needed warmer gear for the rest of our stay. The temps for the rest of the week were not going to be much above freezing!
The next day I didn’t have any firm plans for but the weather ended up making them for us. Acadia National Park had snow and most of the roads were closed due to how slippery the snow was. Luckily in Sullivan we didn’t have much snow, just flurries and a very cold rain. We ended up deciding to spend the day on the road, heading way up the coast to Lubec.
Are you surprised it took me THIS long to finally visit a lighthouse on my trip to Maine? So am I! While Chris endures them they aren’t his thing so I tried to keep things interesting for him too so I held out for as long as I could. Our first stop was Prospect Harbor. It was a bit foggy so the photo isn’t the best but, hey, it’s another new lighthouse to me! This lighthouse is reportedly haunted which added to the fun factor of seeing it in October.
After a long, long, long drive up the coast in crummy weather we finally arrived at West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec! I’d been before but it was right at sunset and my friend was hoping to get to another lighthouse before we lost all the light so we didn’t get to linger long. I’ve tentatively planned to return about a million times but never have pulled the trigger.
This lighthouse is such a unique and beautiful one – it’s a shame the weather was so awful. I’m still glad that I got to return though.
Since we head time, despite the weather being horrid, we headed over to Campobello Island to mark Chris’s first visit to Canada. It amuses me so much that this piece of Canada is only accessible from the United States by bridge (some parts of the year there is a ferry from Canada). I had been here before on the same trip I mentioned above but we didn’t linger much. Due to the weather this time we didn’t either sadly. I really, really want to return someday and maybe I’ll make this happen. There were so many things I wanted to photograph but the weather made it near impossible. There’s some neat shipwrecks on the beach and just off shore here that look so neat. Chris liked the little island too.
The main reason for the quick trip to Canada was to photograph East Quoddy Head Lighthouse. You can walk over to it during low tide, which it was, but sadly the winds whipped the ocean into a fury and walking across wasn’t possible in the slightest. It was also so cold that it would have probably been utterly miserable even if the walk was possible. I think I was outside for a whole 5 minutes if that for these photos and I was soaked through.
We drove back home and ended up dining at Ruth and Wimpy’s that night, we kept passing the restaurant and it looked so intriguing we couldn’t help but stop. It was another hit. I swear there’s no bad restaurants in Maine!
The next morning we woke up and headed back south again for the final day of our trip. For lunch we stopped in Belfast and holy cow as that an amazing decision. We didn’t get to wander around much because the wind was brutal but Delvino’s Grill & Pasta House was worth the sprint through the rain and wind. Highly recommended if you’re in Belfast!
The clouds let up and we saw the sun again just in time for our trip up to the top of Mt. Battie! It’s such a pretty spot and even Chris got into the spirit of things and took a few photos of his own. The leaves here were SO glorious! In my dream world I have that house below nestled in the trees.
After we got into Rockland we had some time to kill before we could check in so we hit up a place I’ve been meaning to visit for a while, the Maine Lighthouse Museum! It was pretty neat inside with lots of bits and bobs from various lighthouses and tons of history. Poor Chris was bored to tears! It wasn’t one of the more exciting lighthouses I’ve seen but it was very well run and had lots of info.
Finally we were able to check into our home for the last night, Berry Manor Inn. I’d stayed here before and LOVED it so much and was eager to share it with Chris. He LOVED it and has professed his love for this place many, many times since our visit. It’s by far and away his favorite stay ever (mind you, he said this about the Sparhawk too, which he still loves but Berry Manor blew him away). EVERYTHING here is top notch. The rooms, the beds, the service, the breakfast… THOSE PIES. Seriously I could write a sonnet about how amazing this place is. If there’s anything about this blog post you decide to do, STAY HERE. Thank me later. Eat the pie.
The last time I stayed at the Berry Manor Inn I wandered out to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse and captured the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen in my life. I went back another time and was disappointed but was hoping that this time I’d get lucky again. Sadly it was not another spectacular show but I DID get to see a TON of seals which was kind of fun.
That night we dined at a Rockland favorite of mine, Waterworks. It was so cozy with the fire and yet another good meal. I know there’s a few fancy places there that are raved about but neither of us felt like getting dressed up. Foodie, I am not. We followed it up with a delicious slice of pie from Berry Manor Inn for desert and it was perfection!
The next morning we had yet another amazing breakfast at Berry Manor Inn before heading back towards Boston and our flight home. Since it was an evening flight we weren’t in too big of a rush to get back so we made one last final stop at Marshall’s Point Lighthouse since the last time Chris had been there it was so foggy you couldn’t see the ocean! It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Maine!
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