I grew up in the state of Maine and still have family in the greater Portland area. In between my I travels all over the country, I try to get to Maine to visit my family few times during the year. Summer is a great time to visit, so I like to schedule a least one visit during either July or August. It’s a great time of year re-experience the unique sights, sounds, and tastes of summer in Maine.
This latest visit was a short one just to check in with my parents who are both in their late 80’s and both dealing with health / age issues. With all my traveling, I hadn’t visited them since early May. Being retired and having my RV, its pretty easy for me to just take off if there’s a few days of good weather and I have no appointments. And for me, Maine is just a half a tank away from my home.
In the Portland area, my preferred place to stay is Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarboro, just a few miles south of Portland. Its located close to my family and Bayley’s is a great place in the summer with lots of amenities. It’s got two restaurants, wi-fi, cable TV, three pools, daily entertainment, and free shuttles to the beach. It’s pricey and usually packed during the peak summer months. A basic full hook-up site will cost $75 per night and I was lucky to get an open site for a couple of nights.
Let me add that I spent my first 22 years in Maine and have taken many vacations there. Here’s a link to one of my trips last summer – Lakeside Camping at Its Best. I’ve camped all over the state, hiked up its highest mountains, sailed down the coast, fished many of it’s lakes and rivers, skied down its mountains, ridden my bike “down east”, canoed down the Allagash, and kayaked in the ocean. I even used to have an ocean front vacation condo in South Portland before I got into RVing.
When I take a trip to Maine these days, it’s not to find adventure or new sights. Its to visit family and while I’m there to do some favorite things. Things like eating a favorite food or meal, sitting on my favorite beach, taking a ride on a familiar road, or just visiting favorite landmarks. These things are in my “Maine” memory and the things I want to re-experience when I go back.
When I visit in the summer, I have some favorite things to do. First and foremost is to go to the beach. I grew up within a 1/2 mile of a beach and hanging out there with my friends was a favorite pastime. Going to the beach is still in my blood, so I try to get a beach day on the Maine coast a least once during the summer. Pine Point Beach is a favorite and it’s just a mile from Bayley’s. When I arrived, it was perfect beach day weather – warm, sunny, and a light breeze. But, like usual, the water temps were still in the frigid category so I was content to sit and walk enjoying the water views and people watch.
Next up, was to get some of my favorite summer Maine seafood. On the top of that list are lobster and some whole fried clams. Just a quick bike ride from the beach is Bayleys Lobster Pound, where they have fresh off-the-boat lobster. For my lunch, I got a large lobster roll with a side of coleslaw and another favorite – a Maine Whoopie pie for dessert. Yum!! After a few hours on the beach, I left and had a nice visit with my folks. It was a nice way to cap off my first 24 hours in Vacationland.
Day 2 was another nice warm sunny day. For the first part of the day, my plan was to take the trolley down to Old Orchard Beach and have lunch at Surf 6. Old Orchard Beach is a favorite summer destination for many and the beach was packed with people. I like to sit outside at Surf 6, have a leisurely lunch, and just enjoy the views for a couple of hours. For my lunch, I had the whole fried clam basket with coleslaw. I like the whole clams much better than the strips. And for dessert, a rum Mai Tai to slowly sip and enjoy the views. Here are some pictures.
After taking the trolley back from the beach, an afternoon nap was called for (it might have been induced by that lunchtime Mai Tai). For the evening, I made plans to meet up with my brother at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and see some racing. On Thursdays, Beech Ridge has an event called Thursday Thunder. Its two hours of amateur stock car racing and for $4 it’s some of the best fun to be had for a racing fan. Kids under 12 get in for free and the place was pretty full. We got to see races for the Beetle Bug division (old VW cars), The Mad Bombers, Mighty Trucks, Ladies League, and Legends. Its short track racing with lots of bumping, rubbing and spin outs. Wicked fun to watch!
And that was my 48 hours of fun in Vacationland. I had two perfect summer days, visited with my family, and did some of my favorite things. I have more fun stuff that I like to do in Maine. I’m planning to be back up in a couple of weeks to visit with more family, to do more, and stay a bit longer.
Please leave a comment if you’ve got a Maine favorite place, food, or thing to do.