A Solo Road Trip up the Coast of Maine
If you have been following along with my Instagram feed, you may remember my stories from last month’s solo road trip up to Maine! Aside from my big cross-country trip last summer (which I don’t fully count as an OFFICIAL solo trip, since I had friends join me throughout) this was my first experience of road tripping completely by myself. And now that I’ve done it, I can’t recommend it enough!
After a couple dreamy days of glamping at Sandy Pines campground outside of Kennebunkport, I made my way up to Portland. My original ‘plans’ were to just bypass the city and continue on up the coast, but given that I was the only one MAKING the plans, I realized the first joy of solo travel - making the itinerary work for me, and not the other way around! I really enjoy exploring new cities, and just playing the tourist. Portland has some really amazing shops and cafes, and countless charming spots on the water!
My Portland Picks :
Judith - a chic and airy upscale clothing boutique
Tandem Coffee Roasters - the perfect place for a morning cup and quick bite!
Portland Head Lighthouse - just one of MANY lighthouses in the area.
After a day of exploring and good night’s rest, I was ready to continue on to Acadia National Park. This was my third time visiting the park, so I had a bit of an idea on what I wanted to see again and what new things to add to my itinerary. This time around I stayed on Mt. Desert Island (where a majority of the park is located) for two nights, and my third night on the Schoodic Peninsula. For the duration of my stay, I camped in the park's designated campsites. Since it was June, I was able to snag walk-in sites, but I highly recommend making reservations if you’re heading there in the busy summer months! With my three days in the park, I was able to see all the highlights. If you just have a long weekend here, know you can still have time to see a ton of the park!
My Acadia Itinerary
Night One :
Check in Blackwoods Campgroun
grab a quick bite in Bar Harbor
sunset at Bass Harbor Head Light
Day One :
sunrise on Cadillac Mountain
hike to North and South Bubble Mountain
drive the Park Loop Road - stop at Otter Cliff, Thunder Hole, and Little Hunters Beach
‘hike’ Jesup Trail
sunset at Blue Hill Overlook
explore and grab breakfast at Bar Harbor
hike to Beech Mountain fire tower
stop at Beech Hill Farm
drive to Schoodic Peninsula and check in to Schoodic Woods campground
sunset at Schoodic Point
Day Three :
explore along the Schoodic Peninsula Loop Road - stop at Frazer Point
By the time I left the Schoodic Peninsula, I was going on a full week of solo travel! Some things I learned along the way :
Carve out time each day to RELAX. During the afternoon, I would read, write, and catch up on work. I remember telling V that these daily “breaks” made the trip feel like an actual vacation! (P.S. I was shooting for clients on this trip, so every day did have work involved. But this was the first trip that didn’t feel like a WORK trip, if that makes sense!).
Get very familiar with a tripod and remote control if you’re shooting portraits! I get asked quite often how I take photos with myself in them if I’m traveling alone. It’s a pretty simple process of using my tripod and live view mode on my camera! You just have to ignore people inevitably watching as you do this ;)
Listen to your body and know not every day has to be full adventure mode. This trip I definitely let my mental and physical health call the shots. Some mornings I slept in and took it easy, and that was totally OKAY!
Talk to strangers, tourists, locals… Okay this is a BIG one, especially when coming from a place like New York where you never do this! But one thing I loved about this trip was just striking up conversations with other visitors. It’s always amazing to connect with others who you obviously share a passion for the outdoors (why else would you both be enjoying a sunset on a mountain, right?!).
After my week + of solo travel, I felt so refreshed and inspired. It was honestly such a breath of fresh air knowing I could make every day its own adventure, with no expectations or stress getting in the way. I can’t recommend it enough, and am already planning out my next solo trip for the end of summer (a secret for now!). Have any of you done a solo trip? Would love to hear your stories!