Cruising the Coast of Southern Maine
As rough as New England winters are, New England summers have a habit of making up for them. And although they never seem to last quite as long as their frigid alter ego, summers on the East Coast are something to be savored; breezy with blue skies, nothing more than a lush canopy of trees obstructing the warm sunlight overhead. But as August's infamously stagnant heat encroaches upon the season's final weeks, I generally find myself flocking to the windswept shoreline for some fresh air. Though brief (and admittedly thrown together forty-eight hours prior), this summer's escape was spent with a friend as we cruised the coast of southern Maine.
Ogunquit—which aptly translates to "beautiful place by the sea" in the native language of the northeastern Abenaki tribe—happened to be the first leg of this excursion. Although it offers just a glimpse of Maine's uniquely rocky coastline and projecting peninsulas, Ogunquit is the quintessential New England beach town. Casual seafood eateries line its pine-hidden coves while an array of antique shops, bookstores, and coffeehouses can be found inland—one of my favorites being Backyard Coffeehouse and Eatery. While our tight schedule kept us from hiking the trails of the Mount Agamenticus Conservation, we made a valiant effort to burn off the lobster rolls by biking our way around—locking up the rentals only to stroll the gorgeous cliff walk known as The Marginal Way.
By combination of foot, bike, and car, the two of us managed to make our way north to Saco, where we were to spend the night in a beautiful Victorian mansion-turned-boarding-house (shoutout to you, Airbnb). Conjoined by the Saco River to its twin community, Biddeford, Maine, this region boasts both an energetic downtown and relaxing coastline. But although our weekend had only reached its midpoint on the drive en route to Saco, I had known that our decision to follow Route 1 to Route 9 so as not to miss the early-evening golden hour would be my favorite part of the trip. As sunlight finally slipped away, in its place rose the moon in waxing gibbous, high in the eastern sky. Pulling over somewhere north of Kennebunkport, we dug our feet deep in the sand, pleasantly chilled by the cool ocean air for which we had come to Maine in search of.