I’m nearing the end of my 50 by 50 quest to visit all 50 states by the time I turn 50 next month!
A couple of weeks ago I headed to the East Coast with my mother, to knock off states 47-49. First up was Maine. Here’s what we did:
State 47: Maine
We spent the first night in Portland, a groovy port town with a ton of history, thriving craft beer scene, and lobster – lots and lots of lobster! We got an introduction to the city on the first morning by taking a Portland Discovery trolley tour.
Our guide was Charlie, a garrulous man who had a tale for any destination or topic anyone could come up with. Our tour took us around the city, down the port side, and out to Portland Head lighthouse.
The downtown area of Portland is immensely walkable, and strolling between historic sites, wharfs, restaurants and boutique stores is a very enjoyable way to spend a summer day here.
For our second and third nights, we took the ferry over to the car-free island of Great Diamond, to stay in blissful serenity at the Inn at Diamond Cove. In the chain of Casco Islands just two miles from Portland, there are few places more restful, more peaceful, than a small island like this with no traffic noise, nothing really to do but relax.
The island was at one time an artistic retreat visited by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Harriet Beech Stowe in the 1800s; by the end of that century, Fort McKinley was built there as part of the United States’ coastal defense system to protect Casco Bay and the deep-water Portland harbor. Officers’ quarters have become gracious homes and the barracks have become the Inn at Diamond Cove. The former quartermaster’s storehouse is now a fine-dining restaurant, the wagon shed is an art gallery, and the blacksmith shop a general store. Diamond Cove is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and staying there was a true pleasure.