Boston is the perfect city to begin this scenic trip to the New England coast. The booming Seaport District, luxury shopping at the Prudential Center or places to explore Boston’s historic past are all just minutes from Logan International Airport. The busy airport provides a convenient place to start your Boston to Bangor road trip. End your adventure in Bangor, a friendly and pedestrianized town. It is home to author Stephen King and local nature-based experiences that are a nod to Maine’s great forests.
With a fun rental, perhaps a Jeep with a folding top or a classic Mustang convertible, you’ll set out in search of amazing coastal cuisine, unique shopping experiences, perfectly brewed craft beers, and coastal entertainment. adventures in the sun.
Some of the information in this article was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are mine.
1. Boston, Massachusetts
Shopping in the airy Prudential Center, home to high-end brands, is a feast for the eyes of fashionistas. You can find L’occitane, Swarovski, Oakley, and more that will satisfy your urge to own pretty things. When you need to stop for a bite to eat, try Earls Kitchen & Bar or Eataly, two world-renowned establishments.
Boston is home to many classic and well-known craft breweries. Check out our list of 5 fantastic breweries to visit in Boston to help you decide which one or two you want to visit while you’re in town.
Start your trip with a luxury stay in Boston. There is a wide selection of great options. the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse is located in the renovated historic Custom House. They offer well-appointed suites with panoramic city views.
2. Newburyport, Massachusetts
At the start of your trek north, stop for lunch at Bob Lobster in Newburyport. There is always a line full of locals and hungry visitors, but it moves quickly. Their selection of lobster rolls is fresh and tasty.
For more information on visiting beautiful Newburyport, check out How to Spend a Perfect Day in Picturesque Newburyport.
3. Hampton Beach, New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s coastline is relatively short compared to its neighbors to the north and south. However, they have a lot of fun on the beach in a small package. Hampton Beach is a classic East Coast beach, where aromas of fried food, sunscreen and salty air blend into the quintessential ‘beach day’ memory.
The water is cold, but the beach is wide with a walkway and parking along its entire length. Hampton Beach is the perfect location for your day at the beach.
Make the most of your visit to Hampton Beach with links to all of the city’s events in How to Spend a Perfect Day at Scenic Hampton Beach.
4. Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Portsmouth is a pleasant stopover on the way to stroll through quaint shops, small bistros and artist galleries.
Portsmouth Brewery is a foothold in the Portsmouth bar and restaurant scene. Order a flight to sample a variety of their craft beers at this fun spot for lunch or dinner.
Another big stop is the Salt shaker, where you can find a wide variety of finishing salts. Try black lava sea salt, lime sea salt, merlot sea salt and others. They will add the perfect four star touch to your homemade delicacies.
5. York, Maine
More beach fun awaits you in York, Maine. York’s main sandy beach, Short Sands, is right in the middle of the action. The beach offers parking and a lively town center with shops and restaurants. Long Sands Beach is another popular beach in York. It has sections of rocks to climb over and a sandy beach as well as street parking.
A must-see store is Stonewall Kitchen Company Store. Every Stonewall product you love, but never find in your home, is there for you. In addition, they offer cooking classes in their on-site kitchen.
6. Portland, Maine
Portland is a port city full of history, foodies and fun. You can spend a lot of time wandering around the Old Port district discovering wonderful restaurants and quaint shops.
Red Sox fans will want to attend a game and watch the Portland sea dogs. You never know what up-and-coming baseball freak or rehab star may take the field.
A mandatory stop is The sacred donut. Their mashed potato donuts make baked goods history. Dine on pomegranate, maple bacon and sea salt donuts made with fresh Maine potatoes. The sweet treats with healthier ingredients and their daily rotation of flavors will amaze and delight you.
7. Freeport, Maine
Freeport is home to the LL Bean flagship store, which looks more like a complex with separate buildings, including the hunting and fishing store; Bike, boat and ski shop; Home store; and the factory outlet. For the LL Bean enthusiast, it is possible to spend an entire day exploring.
When you are done shopping, stop by Stars & Stripes Brewery and enjoy a cool craft beer as you read your shopping.
You can easily spend a whole day in Freeport. How to Spend a Fantastic Day in Freeport, Maine: Shopping, Dining, and Relaxing is packed with tips to get the most out of your visit.
8. Bath, Maine
Bath’s Main Street is a craftsman’s paradise. Beautiful historic buildings filled with boutiques featuring items from Maine artists and craftspeople add to the bohemian vibe.
Stopped at Sweet Shoppe Bath for a sweet treat at midday. A bag of milk chocolate gold coins or Jelly Belly Red Raspberry Hearts evokes fond memories of childhood.
9. Wiscasset, Maine
Enjoy an outdoor lunch of the legendary Red’s Eats. The line becomes especially long during traditional dining hours, but queuing for a mid-afternoon meal means less waiting time.
10. Camden, Maine
Camden’s charming waterfront town center is blessed with perfect views. Sailboats adorn the cozy harbor, which is lined with local restaurants offering views of dining on the water.
Maine is known for its lobster, and you won’t find a better lobster roll than McLoon’s Lobster Shack located on Spruce Head Island. Tucked away in a classic Maine cove is a little red hut that serves amazing seafood. It is worth the detour; your reward is a beautiful view and a perfectly prepared lobster.
If you have more time to stay in Camden, you can find some great ideas in How to Spend a Great Weekend in Quaint Camden, Maine.
11. Belfast, Maine
Belfast is a charming city rising from the waterfront to a thriving shopping area. The waterfront is occupied by fishing and pleasure boats heading for Penobscot Bay.
Visit Eat more cheese to equip your picnic basket, then grab a bench and enjoy the view of the waterfront.
12. Bangor, Maine
Bangor has a homely hometown feel shrouded in a sophisticated city that only Mainers can seem to accomplish. A hub for renowned concerts and great food, Stephen King’s hometown and close to forest wonders, Bangor is unique.
Concerts by the water presents concerts from nine of Bangor’s concert halls. With guests like Thomas Rhett, Jay Leno, the Osborne Brothers, Kiss, and more, you can plan your visit around a fun waterside location or a cozy auditorium.
For fans of Stephen King, Saskatchewan Tours will offer you a fascinating 3-hour tour of the locations that inspired King’s “Derry, Maine”, film locations and a view of his private residence. Your guide will enchant you with local tales and the history of the King family and their many philanthropic contributions to the Bangor area.
Spend time hiking and canoeing at Hirundo Wildlife Refuge just outside of Bangor. With 11 kilometers of hiking trails and peaceful streams, you will find the perfect place to satisfy your need for nature and a Zen moment.
The gastronomy could not be finer than by Novio. The bistro is tucked away on a side street where connoisseurs dine on sumptuously prepared and beautifully plated cuisine. The menu changes seasonally and focuses on produce from the restaurant’s garden and locally sourced proteins. Ramp donuts are a light and tasty appetizer. Continue with the crab pesto accompanied by house linguini and delicately dressed in a white wine crème fraîche. Save room for dessert, you’ll want to enjoy s’mores cheesecake.
Pro tip: Roads 1 and 1A by car offer magnificent coastal landscapes and bucolic views of farmland. If you’re not flying out of Bangor, you can return to Boston on Interstate 95 for a faster, albeit less scenic route.