Land’s End, Maine: An idyllic drive through history

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Maine has a lot of things going for it as a travel destination. There’s Acadia National Park, where you can climb Mt Cadillac and see the place where the rays of the sun first hit the United States, every morning. There’s sleepy fishing villages along the rugged Atlantic coast, where dour lobstermen haul in their traps in the eerie early morning light. And there’s Land’s End, the furthest point East on Bailey Island. I visited Maine as part of my 7-day road trip through new England and I was very happy to discover this little slice of heaven.
Land’s End has something for everyone, but it’s managed to remain more or less hidden from public view. Apart from the locals and a few intrepid travelers (most of whom extoll its virtues as a destination) very few people know it exists. Which is odd, because its an incredibly scenic drive. The best time to start on the road through Casco bay into Bailey Island is the early morning. Before the island’s few residents are up and driving to work or school. The road is narrow and winds a bit, which means there are chokepoints for traffic and that’s a sure ruiner of moods.
As I drove through the islands on my first trip there, what struck me the most was how firmly rooted in the past the whole place is. Every house, lawn, yard and turn in the road seemed to be pushing me further back in time. We went from modern looking designs to ancient porches and houses that seemed to spring out of the pages of a Stephen King book. There are many stops along the way that one should make. Some of these are for pictures at the various fishing villages, which are nestled in the coves you’ll pass along the road. Other stops need to be made to pick up supplies: fresh picked strawberries and clotted cream at the farmhouses along the way, saltwater candy at Cindy’s Candy Store (it seems like a childish thing to do, but trust me – it’s well worth it!) and the amazing wooden piling bridges that link Bailey Island to the mainland.

The best photo spots are usually along the coves as well, where you can use a mid-length zoom lens to capture lobster traps awaiting use, or boats tied up alongside piers. The little villages make for idyllic postcard-style shots as well.
As you (hopefully) zip through the streets towards your destination, the Atlantic, you’ll soon start to feel the signs of civilization retreating. The houses become fewer and further in between, until finally they disappear and you’re left with a road that’s hemmed in by trees, until you cross the final bridge and the road opens up – only to end abruptly at a railing, beyond which lies a shingle beach, and the vast ocean. As you gaze off into the distance, you’ll see a small island with a tiny house and a flag waving above it. And, if you’re like me, you’ll marvel at the industry and the pioneering spirit that drove the person who lives there to colonize that little chunk of land out in the Atlantic.


  1. I have never been to Maine but it looks beautiful! I would have stopped for the Candy too!

  2. I’ve been to almost every state except Maine and Alaska. I would love to visit. It seems beautiful!

  3. Alaina Bullock says

    How beautiful! I have wanted to go to Maine for as long as I can remember! In every picture I have seen it looks so peaceful and pretty! Hopefully one day!

  4. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell says

    Acadia is one of my favorite national park childhood memories. Gorgeous there!

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