Boothbay, Popham Beach and a Vintage Village
After our unexpected layover in Vermont, it was on to Maine! We nabbed a spot at Shore Hills Campground and stayed the week.
Our first surprise? It was really hot. I mean, we drove as far north as we could to get away from the hot and it just followed us. To be fair, the whole east coast seemed to be having a heat wave. Thankfully it didn't last long, and we grew to love the cool evenings with their amazing sunsets.
I don't know what's up with Maine's sky, but it caught me off guard every night. Dang.
So, how was the campground? Really nice and chill. There were plenty of shaded areas nestled back in the trees, and even the pull through area where we stayed was spaced well. We totally lucked out and a little path from the back of our spot went right to a beautiful little shaded playground. Let's just say the we didn't see the kids much that week (hah!) They had so much fun there.
We also found an easy hidden trail down to the water, and they had a pond with a bunch of ducks and frogs.
This may have been the first place where we really got to talk to our neighbors, too. They were all super nice, gave us tips about the area and even shared their firewood. Plus they had wicked accents (bahhabahh!)
Location-wise we were a good 15-20 minute drive to either Boothbay Harbor or Wicasset. Honestly, we didn't find a lot to do here - partly because we just don't dig the touristy kind of stuff that permeated Boothbay. Funny story - we didn't realize how much the tides affected the water level downtown and were disappointed when went to explore one evening. It just looked really ghetto with the water gone. We soon learned that the tide changes were one of the best things about Maine. More on that in a minute.
Now, just because we didn't love the harbor area doesn't mean we didn't find some fun adventures.
Boothbay Region Land Trust
The Boothbay Region Land Trust, a non-profit that maintains over 30 miles of hiking trails free of charge, really caught our attention. If we didn't have such young kids I think we would have really enjoyed some of their more difficult trails. The easier ones we were able to find were pretty nice.
With high recommendations from our family in Rochester, we took a day and went to Popham Beach - about an hour away. And it was totally worth it. Remember the tide thing? So this beach is really unique in that nearly 2 miles become walkable as the tide goes out. This leaves behind all sorts of tide pools full of creatures to explore. And as you get down near the ocean there are tons of huge rocks covered in seaweed and all manner of ocean inhabitants.
If you time it right, you can walk right out to Fox Island when the tide is low and go exploring. It also had really unique tide pools left in the rocks. Plus we were able to say we walked to an island!
Needless to say, it was one of the more memorable beaches we've been to.
Boothbay Railway Village
Right across the street from our campground was the Boothbay Railway Village. We knew this because we heard the train whistle multiple times a day! We decided to stop by the day before we left and were so glad we did.
In addition to the aforementioned authentic steam powered locomotive that took you around the grounds, there was literally a village of historic preserved Maine buildings, each filled tons of vintage products from around 1850-1950.
Even cooler - all those products were local as well. The exhibit dedicated to fire engines used back then was fascinating, and the trucks were all from the Boothbay area.
The antique auto collection was insane - and how amazing is this old hot dog cart? "Brud" sold hot dogs in the Boothbay, ME area for 60 years - rain, snow or shine. I want one of these!
And the model railroad was mind-blowing. The team that put that together must have spent a good part of their lives working on it. And it was just there to look at, no strings attached. I was a nervous wreck with the kids in there, though!
So! We really enjoyed Boothbay. The people were kind, the vibe was chill, and the things we did find to do really impressed us. Now it's time to head to Acadia National Park. We are pumped!
Until then, Lobster hats!
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