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The beauty of Maine alone makes it a year-round tourist destination. Picturesque coastal towns, rolling mountains, lush forests… it all adds up to the perfect getaway.
This is especially true if you’re a foodie on top of the fact that you’re a traveler: The Pine Tree State is known for its fresh, tasty cuisine almost as much as it’s known for its incredible landscapes. If your next cuisine-inspired vacation takes you to Maine, you’ll have to take the following checklist with you to make sure you don’t miss a single taste of fresh produce, fresh seafood, and everything in between that the state has to offer.
Your foodie dream trip to Maine should go a little something like this:
Lobster Rolls: Fort Williams, Maine
Named one of the 18 essential restaurants to visit in the state, Bite Into Maine has one specialty dish: the lobster roll. It’s also one of the quintessential dishes of the northeastern United States, so your trip to Maine would be incomplete without sampling at least one. Why not start with the state’s very best offering?
Perhaps the best thing about Bite Into Maine is that its flagship location is a food truck in Fort Williams Park. Not only can you try a verifiably delicious lobster roll, then, you can do so while taking in the natural surrounds and ocean views that the park has to offer. In other words, this is a great place to kick off your foodie trip and get yourself into a Maine state of mind.
Lobster isn’t the only seafood worthy of a foodie’s attention while on a trip to Maine. The state’s fresh supply of bay and sea scallops have subtle differences — the former are sweeter but harder to harvest, for example — and you’ll want to sample both to complete your culinary tour on your trip to Maine.
Head toward Wells for the freshly caught seafood you crave. The seaside town has the quintessential rocky, lighthouse-lined coastline you envision when thinking of New England. Close access to the sea means your scallops will be fresh and flavorful, and Wells has several lauded eateries. Try Mike’s Clam Shack, Fisherman’s Shack Restaurant or Jake’s Seafood for your first taste of scallops.
Oysters: Portland, Maine
The truth is, just about any coastal town in Maine will have you set as far as seafood dinners go. You can get a lobster roll, a plate of scallops or fresh oysters in any of the above destinations.
But Portland’s Eventide Oyster Co. makes the oyster-centric dining experience a bit more special than some of the cozy, down-home seafood joints that dot the state’s coast and should definitely be added to your trip to Maine. Here, you’ll find modern cocktails that pair perfectly with your shelled main course. The menu also features comfort food sides like biscuits and baked beans, so no need to take your meal too seriously.
Beer: Portland, Maine
Portland is a hub for Maine’s tourism, so your foodie dream trip will likely reflect that. And, since a foodie lifestyle tends to go hand-in-hand with an appreciation for good beer, you should make a stop or two to try Maine’s best brews.
In Portland, for example, you’ll find Shipyard Brewery, which has been around since 1994. The family-run brewery has many varieties of beers it has perfected, from year-round pours to seasonal flavors. Depending on when you go, you may be able to sample smashed blueberry, smashed pumpkin or blood orange varieties, or even a chocolate milk stout. Grab a sampler or fill a growler with your favorite flavor at the brewery’s on-site tasting room. And, if you have kids in tow, don’t worry: they can try the brewery’s alcohol-free sodas at the same time.
Blueberry Pie: Bar Harbor
Acadia National Park sits nearby to this adorable port town that has attracted the likes of former President Barack Obama for a family vacation. Your foodie trip to Maine will likely bring you here, too. Of course, there’s incredible seafood on offer here. But you might want to polish off your meal with a traditional Maine dessert of blueberry pie, and there’s no better place to do it than in Bar Harbor.
There’s no specific place to go for your sweet treat, either. Instead, the town has plenty of bakeries and dessert shops, all of which have mastered the pie. Find the one that looks best to you, grab a slice — or the entire pie — and dig in. You can’t go wrong when it comes to dessert.
Anything Else: Ask a Local
No matter where you end up in Maine, you’ll quickly realize the locals are just as crazy about food as you are. If you’re in doubt as to where — or what — to eat, don’t worry. Just ask someone where their favorite clam shack, lobster roll or blueberry pie is. Chances are, they’ll be happy to help you. And that may just lead you on the tastiest and most memorable foodie tour of your life — and that, of course, is what culinary-inspired travel is all about. Bon appetit!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.