Category Archives: Maine

Fall in New England

After a hot Florida summer, we headed north for a month to enjoy the change of seasons: Fall in New England is spectacular.  We spent most of our time in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

New England Map

Portsmouth New Hampshire

Portsmouth is one of the oldest cities in America, incorporated in 1653. This area is the cradle of the American Revolution. We’ve all heard the story of Paul Revere riding into town shouting “The British are coming” or “The Red Coats are coming” — to warn the Revolutionists that the British were on their way to attack. Portsmouth is where this took place in 1774.

Portsmouth is a coastal city and was an important trade route for the early Europeans and a fishing mecca.

Portsmouth shoreline

There are lots to do in Portsmouth. Portsmouth is a funky city with small cafes, coffee shops, and breweries but its much more. Portsmouth has done a great job of preserving its rich history by restoring and renovating its pre-revolutionary homes and the visitors center is a great place to sign up for walking and biking tours. Portsmouth’s oldest house (Jackson House) dates back to 1664 and is currently being restored.

Jackson House

We toured several houses as well as the iconic Strawbery Banke – a separate neighborhood of Portsmouth featuring over a dozen restored historic homes in Colonial, Georgian and Federal styles of architecture.

Strawbery Banke

Moffatt House

One of the best ways to soak in the history of Portsmouth is on a bicycle tour. In about 3 hours and 13 miles, you take in the best of Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Bicycle Tour

Portsmouth Bicycle Tour 03

Portsmouth Bicycle Tour

Portsmouth Bicycle Tour

Portsmouth Bicycle Tour

If you are a leaf peeper, a 1-hour trip north to the White Mountains rewards you with beautiful fall foliage.

White Mountains

White Mountains

White Mountains

White Mountains

White Mountains

White Mountains

If you travel north of New Hampshire into Maine, you will find the towns of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, where the Bush family spends a lot of vacation time. On the way to Kennebunk is a home that’s referred to as the “wedding cake house”. Can you tell why?

Wedding Cake House

Kennebunk and Kennebunkport sport some of the nicest beaches in New England.

Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport

Kennebunk is a short drive from Old Orchard Beach, a quaint beach town where a lot of New Englanders spend their weekends and summers. Friends of ours (Derek and Susan Langone) own a place here and we were able to have dinner with them in their Danvers home during our stay.

Old Orchard Beach

Since we were so close to Boston, we spent a couple of weekends in Boston. A fun way to explore Boston is through a Duck tour. This is an amphibious vehicle that first takes you through a tour of Boston on land then pops into the bay to show you Boston from the water.

Boston Duck Tour

Boston Duck Tour

Boston Duck Tour

Boston Duck Tour

I also took some time to golf in New England. The courses here are a bit easier than ours in Florida but offer incredible views of the fall foliage.

Golfing New England

Golfing New England

Our final stop was in Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National park. It was off season and a bit sleepy but offered beautiful scenery.

Bar Harbor 1

Bar Harbor 2

Bar Harbor 3

Bar Harbor 5

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post on our trip to New England.  If you are not subscribed to our blog and would like to subscribe so that new posts come directly to your email, scroll up to the right top section of this page and type in your email address.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Thunder Hole, a coastal area of Arcadia National Park that thunders loudly as waves come in from the sea.

Bar Harbor 6

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New Friends in Bar Harbor Maine

Note: If you wish to see a slide show of pictures we took in Bar Harbor Maine, click here.

Bob and Robin Charlton

New Early Retiree Friends

After meeting another early retiree couple (Bob and Robin Charlton) online a year or so ago, it just happened that we were going to be in Bar Harbor Maine at the same time.  We took that opportunity to meet up with them, have some wine, compare notes about how we retired, how we plan to spend our time, and of course, talk about our common love of travel.  They also took us to a restaurant that offered fresh lobster for about $10 per pound.  We quickly hit it off and found we had so much in common.  We really admire them — they retired at 43 years old the old fashion way — by saving every penny to make it happen.To learn more about their story — see their website at http://www.wherewebe.com.

Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

Bar Harbor is a really beautiful place, if you get the chance to see it, you should do it.  Bar Harbor itself is just the beginning of the beauty — it is flanked by Acadia National Park, which is just breath-taking.   We first visited Bar Harbor, then we entered the Acadia National Park, following the Park Loop Road around the park.  Our first stop was at Sand Beach, it is a light brown sand beach nestled in a small cove.

No lifeguard to be found!

Sand Beach

After Sand Beach, we made our way to Thunder Hole.  This is a huge rock where the Maine seas thrash themselves against to make incredible splashes and sounds of thunder.  When we visited it was pretty tame, with small incoming waves, but we have heard that it can get pretty rough and loud.  While there, we met another retired couple that were visiting from Vermont, they told us to be sure to visit Prince Edwards Island because it is beautiful — we will take them up on that suggestion!

Thunder Hole

Then we made it to Cadillac Mountain.  This is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard and is the first place to view sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.  The views from the top of Cadillac Mountain is awe-inspiring:

Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain

Cadillac Mountain

We finished this incredible day at the Jordan Pond House, a cool eatery at the end of the park loop road.  We had Lobster stew and pop overs.  If you’ve never had pop overs, they are  a light, hollow roll made from an egg batter similar to that of Yorkshire pudding, typically baked in muffin tins.  We had ours with strawberry jam.

Pop overs

From our table, we had an outstanding view of the bay.

Our view from Jordan Pond House

We are now traveling through New Brunswick, Prince Edwards Island and Nova Scotia. We will be blogging about those adventures in the coming days.  Note: If you wish to see a slide show of pictures we took in Bar Harbor Maine, click here.

Hasta Luego…