[Downeast Maine] — It’s a curious fact that as you travel north along Maine’s seacoast, you’re said to be heading downeast. For that we can thank the seafarers of yore (not mine, yore), who sailed northeast from Boston to Maine with the wind at their backs, and referred to the trip as heading Downeast.  The Downeast region extends from Penobscot Bay to the Canadian border.

The men who settled these towns were seafarers and lobstermen. Riding north on Route 1, you’ll see lobster traps stacked next to weathered-shingle shacks and fishing boats propped up on barrels in backyards awaiting a fresh coat of paint.

At Cutler Harbor, moored boats bob in the tranquil water, glowing golden in the late afternoon sun. In the nearby town of Lubec, the West Quoddy Head Light sits at the easternmost point of the United States. Constructed in 1857, its red and white candy-cane striped tower is one of Maine’s most photographed lighthouses.

If you come to Maine at the right time of year, you’ll also see lots and lots of blueberries. Maine is the country’s number-one producer of both the wild and cultivated varieties of the fruit. In the small town of Columbia Falls, I arrived just a few days too early for the opening of Wild Blueberry Land — a one-stop shop for all your blueberry needs. “We sell everything blueberry,” owner Marie Emerson told me. “And we make it from scratch. We’re most famous for our pie.”

As Maxwelll Smart used to say, “Missed it by that much.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Maine Office of Tourism: www.visitmaine.com

West Quoddy Head Light Station: click here

Wild Blueberry Land (facebook): www.facebook.com/pages/Wild-Blueberry-Land/150076515062559


About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

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13 Comments
  1. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy

    November 6, 2011

    I think this was the road I followed when I visited Maine. I only made it as far as Portland… I would love to go back and go further north!
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Quirky Attraction: Southernmost Point in the Continental USA

  2. Grace

    November 3, 2011

    It took me a full minute to figure out that the big blue ball is suppose to be a berry!! LOL Maine is actually one city I want to visit. I love seafood and I hear they have a good selection.
    Grace recently posted..The Tri-Star: Tom Bihn’s Convertible Carry On Bag…and a giveaway!

    • Travelin' Gringo

      November 4, 2011

      Hey Grace — it’s WILD BLUEBERRY LAND, duh! (just kidding).
      Yes Maine is beautiful and the seafood is great — even if you’re not a lobster fan, you’ve gotta try a lobster roll there (that’s my next blog post)

  3. Cathy Sweeney

    November 2, 2011

    That’s such a pretty part of the USA. The “downeast” thing is very interesting. Too bad you missed the opening of Wild Blueberry Land — my mouth is watering for a piece of fresh blueberry pie!
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..The Heat Was Hot

  4. Audrey

    November 2, 2011

    Great pictures. I love that lighthouse, it is incredible. Now I am craving blueberry pancakes!
    Audrey recently posted..Stage Your Own Bed In At The John Lennon Suite In Montreal

  5. Christopher

    November 2, 2011

    i love the blueberry pics, and the trivia about “downeast” is very interesting as well.

  6. John Cloonan

    November 2, 2011

    I grew up in Southern Maine, and it’s very pretty there. Just make sure you go from June through August, possibly as late as mid-September. Outside of those months, the weather is too unpredictable.

    One nice route to ride is Route 103 from Kittery to York (or vice versa). Another nice (albeit short) ride in that area is from downtown Portsmouth, NH out to Wentworth-by-the-Sea. Take South Street or Marcy Street out to Newcastle Ave, follow it to Portsmouth Ave and head out towards Fort Constitution. Then pick up Wentworth Road and head back inland.

    Also, while the coast is pretty, the better riding is inland away from the populated and tourist areas.
    John Cloonan recently posted..Be careful what you wish for…

    • Travelin' Gringo

      November 2, 2011

      Hi John, thanks for the travel tips and suggestions — I went at the end of May (just before Memorial Day) and it was very cloudy and overcast much of the time – but I got decent pics and there weren’t a lot of tourists.

  7. Charles McCool

    November 2, 2011

    Oh, yes, I was lucky to be in Maine one mid-September. It is blueberry heaven.
    Charles McCool recently posted..McCool Travel: October 2011 Summary: Travel Tips

    • Travelin' Gringo

      November 2, 2011

      Hi Charles, I LOVE blueberries, so I was disappointed I was there a bit too early for the season!

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