Meandering Maine’s coastal town

Portland was a great overnight stay.

The morning was so foggy we put off viewing the lighthouses and instead headed north to Freeport.

I had told Steve about visiting LLBean the huge outdoorsy store and thought he should see it.

It’s amazing. Three huge barns devoted to everything you could need for being outdoors – or even indoors!

Freeport is a 20 minute drive north of Portland and is such a pretty, well kept place. It’s also an outlet centre. Lots of nice shops selling genuinely reduced clothes. Perfect for a short visit on a rainy morning.

We bought a few things. Steve’s keen on the Ralph Lauren polo shirts and I got some things in J Crew.

We headed back to the lighthouses of Portland. If you were here in warm weather you’d take a boat tour to view them but we drove ourselves.

There are two just south of Portland.

This little cute one shrouded in fog.

But I also enjoyed the houses in the area.

The next lighthouse was viewed through the artists frame.

We continued meandering down the coast stopping a few times. these ‘beach shacks ‘ are hardly shack like!!

Kennebunkport is a lovely seaside town.

And the white churches – and there are many – stand proudly on every corner.

Castle Island near Portsmouth was particularly lovely. There must be some wealthy people living here! The houses were gorgeous.

I’ve noticed people like wreaths on their front door. But they must have a wreath for each season. These ones are all about Spring flowers.

One house had an historic cemetery as part of its garden.

We passed many beaches and tried to picture them with the summer crowds.

Our final stop for the night was Newburyport. It’s a really lovely place.

We explored the streets and once again I loved the houses and the High School.

It’s just like in the movies!

Once again the churches are beautiful and the cemetery had a perfect section for us as it is Anzac Day in Australia. Here the people always honour their military.

We found a lovely BnB and made our way to the riverside for a walk before dinner. There are rows of benches for sitting all with plaques on them remembering someone loved. What a great idea.

There were some great shops particularly of a nautical theme but the Odds & Ends one above was a favourite. Look carefully at the odds and ends arranged so well!

We had a lighter dinner and an early night. These lovely ports are not jumping at night this time of year!

Is there such a thing as too many Oysters! In Maine!

We headed off from our Portland hotel and walked the cobbled streets. It’s an up and coming tourist destination (perhaps it’s already arrived!) and the township near the port is filled with fun shops, bars and restaurants.

We followed the suggestion of the hotel receptionist and went to J’s oyster bar.

it’s a modest place but packed with atmosphere. We tried two types of local oysters. A salty and a sweet. Both delicious but the sweeter one won.

Washed down with a Prosecco for me and a Guiness for Steve it was a winner. After a big breakfast we had skipped lunch so we’re ready to eat.

We left J’s and walked along the sea front

Then headed to Oyster Bar #2 called Eventide. Back a few streets it was just superb. Right on trend I’d say!!!

Cool guys working there but very friendly, we sat at the bar and ordered 6 different Maine oysters each. They came with a choice of sauces. I chose horseradish ice and Steve had lemon pepper ice.

We worked our way through the menu. We definitely had our favourites.

But all were delicious. Again washed down with Prosecco and beer(s)!

The rock on the bar was set up for oysters and the guy shucking them was a machine.

After some time there we walked a little, went to the hotel to regroup then went to Scales for our last plate!

http://www.scalesrestaurant.com/menus

What a great place.

We just had to try local lobster. We ended up slightly messy but it was worth it. And so was the Santa Barbara Pinot Grigio.

Slightly messy plate. Well worth it.

Portland is a foody paradise.

Vermont to Maine

A beautiful, silent night’s sleep in the four poster bed !

Followed by a wonderful breakfast made by Willa at the BnB we stayed in.

If in Woodstock you should stay here

. http://charlestonhouse.com

I guarantee it’s terrific. Breakfast was beautiful. Egg Pie, sausage, fruit and croissant. All while chatting to Willa from Montreal and husband Dixi a former Austrian ski instructor.

We headed off to explore the covered bridges. There are over 100 covered bridges in Vermont. They say they are covered to make them stronger and protect them. It seems to work as most are standing well – though some have had work done on them after storms back in 2011.

They are beautiful.

Woodstock : you may see me in the window!

Lincoln: a fully enclosed one.

Then onto Quechee. It was amazing as the river dropped and the water rushed under it.

Then we headed north to the White Mountains. It’s not the season to be here. No autumn colours ( like when I visited with my sister ) but still snow around.

Locals are heartily sick of winter. Roll on warmer weather!

We wound our way through the mountains. Stopping for the view. And the odd covered bridge!

We made our way to the coast, to Portland, our next stop and decided the drivers are more polite than in Australia. For a start, when crossing a road in a small town, the cars automatically stop for you. Not even at a crossing! They also don’t drive fast!

We arrived in Portland, a beautiful coastal port (which is undergoing a big surge in tourism, ) with plenty of time to explore.

We’re staying at the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa which is considered an historic hotel. It’s well located and helpful staff guided us to the best oyster bars. We’re keen to try the oysters.

http://www.theregency.com

So we left our bags and started walking!