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Camping In Maine: Camden, Rockport, & Vinalhaven

It comes a time where all the Porters from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut all migrate to Maine for a big ole’ Porter-Camporee. It is a few days filled with Lobster, tons of physical activity, and a whole lot of laughs. If you’re planning a trip to the Maine shoreline, I have just the itinerary for you.

Day One: Are We There Yet?

If you’re making your way up to Camden there are a few places you need to stop: Kittery, Freeport, and Bob’s Clam Hut. Growing up my family would always drive four hours up to Kittery and Freeport to go a thick lobster roll while we do back to school shopping. You can even find an old post from 2015 here! It was the perfect way to make a weekend out of a somewhat mundane task. Bob’s Clam Hut has recently gone under new ownership, so the roll I grew up with has changed slightly but it still puts a smile on my face. Hey, I swear it makes me feel like the first day of school jitters are just around the corner. But if that big claw poking out of the bun and tons of outlet shopping doesn’t make you smile I don’t know what will!

Stores you should check out:

  • Kittery Trading Post: This place is absolutely enormous and attracts people from all over. They carry a ton of sustainable brands like Patagonia, Pura Vida, and Smartwool.
  • L.L. Bean: Up in Freeport is the L.L.Bean flagship store and boy is it cool! They have a ton of fish tanks throughout the store and something for everyone.
  • Horny Toad: Also up in Freeport is a sustainable store called Horny Toad. They have a ton of cute, comfy clothes and are located right next to the Patagonia outlet!

Day Two: 30 Mile Bike Ride Around Vinalhaven

My oldest brother, Nathan, is an avid bike rider so it only makes sense that we all got up bright and early for a 30-mile bike ride. We biked four miles from the campsite to catch the ferry to Vinalhaven. Despite the fog warning, the hour and 25-minute ferry ride was so peaceful. Something about being on a boat makes me feel like summer time is here to stay.

The island of Vinalhaven is absolutely beautiful. The fog clung to waterfront but once we biked a few miles away we started to see clear, blue skys. The bike ride was pretty hilly here and there but it was definitely doable (that is if you’re a trooper). We ended up taking a bike ride all the way to Zeke’s point because my brother’s dog is named Zeke. Once you get to Zeke’s point it becomes super steep so keep that in mind!

Where to Eat: Greet’s Eats. Right when you get off the ferry, there is a little shack right up the road. This place has the best lobster we had the entire trip (Andrew disagrees but after the bike ride kicked my butt, this place really hit home). I’m usually not a cold lobster roll fan, but after 30 miles nothing is more refreshing than this savory treat. While you wait for your food, you can watch the lobsterman go in and out.

Day Three: There Is Never Enough Lobster

Day three was spent relaxing and paddle boarding at Megunticook Lake. After a day of soaking up some sun, we all piled in a car and headed to Young’s Lobster Pound. This place is absolutely wild. Not only does it have amazing sunset views, but their food will creep into your dreams weeks later – it is that good. When you order, they pick the lobster, clams, corn, mussels, etc and cook it all in the same basket in front of you. Plus, this place is BYOB so if you’re a beer connoisseur like my brothers, you can bring your pickings for the perfect dinner in Maine. I for one was happy enjoying my lavender Nine Pin cider. To sum it up: go for the food and stay for the views.

Day Four: Can You Feel Your Legs?

In case you still have energy after biking and paddle boarding, then head over to hike at Mount Megunticook. We ended up hiking Ocean Overlook and Mount Megunticook Via Carriage Road Trail, a 4.5 mile hike. This hike had a whole bunch of mushrooms trailing the path and a bunch of creepy critters… oh, and a killer view of Mount Battie. It was the perfect activity after my dad made some killer blueberry pancakes (side note: blueberries are a staple in Maine).

After you shower and rinse off all that sweat, head over to Camden to explore all the shops. While you’re walking around the town, you need to stop the Smiling Cow. This store has been passed down for the past four generations and has never lost it’s charm. You can find all sorts of little treasures like salt water taffy, magnets, shirts, and so much more! Personally, I collect pins and was finally able to fine a Maine pin for my collection. So happy that it has a big ole’ lobster smack dab in the center of it.

Stores to check in Camden:

  • Smiling Cow
  • Joe Ellen Designs
  • Starbird
  • Glendarragh Lavendar
  • Maine Sport Outfitters (where I rented my bike)

Day Five: There Is Always Room For Ice Cream

Day five Andrew and I waved goodbye to the campsite and started are trek down south. But this trip wasn’t a straight shot, we stopped a few different times.

First stop: Red’s Eats in Wiscasset. According to our parents (and multiple different news articles), this was the best Maine lobster roll in all of Maine. Obviously Andrew and I were dying to see what the hype was so we waited in the hour-long line to get two overflowing lobster rolls. The line may be long, but the employees made it worth it. Every 20 minutes someone would come out and offer water, a piece of fried shrimp, or even an umbrella to block the sun. Someone would also come on the loudspeaker and promote other small businesses in the area. The verdict? We thought the lobster roll was good but maybe not worth that wait. If you are a lobster snob, it might be the place for you. If not, there might be better spots on you way home!

Second and Third Stops: Maine Beer Co and Bissell Brothers Brewing Company. Like I said, I’m not a beer person but Andrew is a brewer so he needed to pick up some things. You know, research and all. So we stopped at a few Maine Beer Co (super cool in there) and then Bissell Brothers (I waited in the car so I couldn’t tell you). But Portland, Maine has a ton of breweries so if you’re a beer lover, this might be the perfect stop for you!

Fourth Stop: Ahhhh, what we’ve all been waiting for. A trip is not complete without a scoop of ice cream in my hand. And this isn’t just any scoop – this is the world’s best (self-titled by yours truly). Back in the 80’s my parents first started dating and were handed a book of the top ice cream shops in the United States. Ranked by their ice cream flavor, Kimball Farms was smack dab in the middle with the glaring title of best peanut butter chocolate chip. Back then, Kimball farms was this little ice cream shop that would hand out insane serving sizes. It was just ice cream and a wee petting zoo with goats and chickens (yeah, I’m confused too). Since then, it has gotten bigger and bigger. They now have mini golf, concerts, bumper cars, zipline, arcades, driving range, and so much more. Plus, they expanded from one shop in Westford to now 4 locations across Massachusetts. Despite growing rapidly, Kimball Farms still tastes like a slice of childhood. I highly recommend getting the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Coconut Almond Chip, or Black Raspberry.

And that is the perfect five day vacation we all knew we needed! If you’re heading up to Maine and were looking for a few ideas I hope this helped! If you have any questions or need even more suggestions feel free to leave a comment down below!

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As always,

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