Traverse the 529-mile coastline of Maine along scenic U.S. Route 1. When the weather's nice, this dazzling highway can turn into more of a parking lot than a drive, but along the way you cross dozens of small towns to stop at, bathed in the beauty of the coast as well as antique shops, lighthouses and Maine lobster galore that will keep you entertained for a summer soiree.
U.S. Route 1 Map
Start in Kittery where Route 1 enters Maine crossing the Piscataqua River from New Hampshire. As you travel north, you encounter the sandy coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Cross the Josias River and Ogunquit River in the coastal town of Ogunquit, a gay-friendly summer getaway.
At Kennebunk, you’ll want to stop to explore Kennebunkport and its historic shipbuilders’ homes, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Conservancy Blueberry Barrens with its 1,500 acres of nature trails and blueberry fields.
In Portland, you can visit the town’s Old Port district on the Portland Harbor or the Arts District along Congress Street in the city’s center. The Portland Head Light, built on orders from George Washington, marks the entrance to the Harbor in Cape Elizabeth.
North of Portland sits Freeport, home of L.L. Bean, Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park and the Desert of Maine, a 40-acre tract of glacier silt. Stop for the 19th century architecture in Bath as you continue your journey. Next, the towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle, connected by the Main Street Bridge over the Damariscotta River, form the Twin Villages. In Rockland, you can take the Maine State Ferry Service to the islands of Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus in the Penobscot Bay. Route 1 weaves along the Penobscot Bay to Rockport, an artists’ colony.
North of the bay, the land becomes more desolate with blueberry barrens decorating the landscape. Your journey ends at Calais, a tiny town on the border of Canada with three ports of entry.