Mid-Coast Maine draws visitors in with countless charms, from the iconic lighthouses and abundant outdoor recreation to the vibrant arts scene and picturesque waterfront towns. Regardless of what's on your itinerary, food is a major aspect of any trip to this region. In fact, simply sampling local specialties such as lobster, chowder, wild blueberries, and whoopie pies is one of the best things to do in Mid-Coast Maine!
To help you make the most of your visit (and ensure you don't miss any of the region's best goodies!), we put together this food-centric itinerary. This assumes that you'll drive up the coast from Portland and that you'll have two full days in the area — perfect for a quick weekend getaway.
Where to Stay in Mid-Coast Maine
Before you can start thinking about all the delicious food you're going to eat on your trip, you'll need a place to stay. The Craignair Inn in Spruce Head is an excellent choice, less than an hour from Portland and two hours from Acadia National Park. Situated across the causeway from Clark Island and a stone's throw from Rockland and Camden, the independently-owned B&B is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring Mid-Coast ME. Plus, it has a fantastic (and aptly named!) restaurant onsite, The Causeway.
Day 1 — Driving to Mid-Coast Maine From Portland
There are several options for traveling from Portland to Mid-Coast Maine. U.S. Route 1 (the Coastal Route) provides a straight—and scenic—shot from Maine’s biggest city to The Craignair Inn, with plenty of paralleling or splitting-off roads accessing the immediate shore if you feel like dallying a bit en route.
Breakfast Options in Yarmouth or Freeport
Fuel up for the drive with a steaming cup of joe (or whatever your preferred breakfast beverage) and some delish morning grub with an early stop out of Portland. Just remember to leave room for lunch, given some of the best lobster rolls in the state await you on the MidCoast...
In Yarmouth, you might swing by Rosemont Market & Bakery for fresh-baked pastries; they’ve also got sandwiches-of-the-day, fresh seafood, deli meats and cheeses, and all manner of road-trip-worthy provisions. Or kick back at Clayton’s Cafe with a loaded-up breakfast sandwich (or, if you're passing through on a Friday, a to-die-for Pecan Sticky Bun).
Another option is driving the Coastal Route just a bit farther to Freeport, where you can tuck into omelets, biscuits-and-gravy, pancakes, Belgian waffles, cinnamon rolls, and other delights at the good old Freeport Cafe.
The Lobster Haul — Damariscotta
Eating lobster, and lobster rolls specifically is one of the best things to do in Mid-Coast Maine! If you ask around, you'll find dozens of differing opinions on who makes the best ones, but The Lobster Haul is a solid all-around option. In addition to phenomenal lobster rolls offered in a variety of options including both traditional and spicy, you'll find lobster tacos, lobster stew, lobster sliders, and other seafood dishes. Plus, everything is made in-house!
The Causeway — Spruce Head
The Craignair Inn's restaurant serves ultra-fresh, local coastal cuisine with a modern twist. You'll find a little of everything, from crab cakes and seaweed salad to traditional New England bouillabaisse and fish sandwiches featuring fried, locally-caught haddock. Over in the Clark Bar, you'll find a lovely selection of local beer, wine, and craft cocktails. The Maine Maple Manhattan is a favorite, offering a local take on a classic. Oh, and don't miss the daily happy hour!
The Causeway is open year-round, serving dinner from Thursday to Sunday (Thursday through Monday in the summer season) and brunch on Sundays. Choose between sitting in the bar, on the expansive heated deck, near the fireplace in the art gallery, or in the main dining room, which offers panoramic water views. Reservations are strongly recommended. Takeout and delivery within the St. George Peninsula, Rockland, and Thomaston areas are also available.
Day 2 — Acadia National Park Day Trip
Iconic Acadia is just over two hours up the coast from Spruce Head, and there are countless things to see and do along the way. You'll want to give yourself plenty of time for unplanned stops at lighthouses, antique stores, scenic views, and of course, restaurants and cafes!
Breakfast at The Causeway!
One of the best things about staying at The Craignair Inn is that guests are treated to a complimentary breakfast. Indulge in a homemade, locally-sourced vegetarian breakfast, which you can enjoy while taking in gorgeous ocean views. The menu changes seasonally, but everything is made to order in-house. Sample dishes include Maine blueberry pancakes or egg scramble bowls. There's no better way to start your days of exploring all the best things to do in Mid-Coast Maine!
Blaze Brewing Company — Camden/Bar Harbor
There's nothing like a refreshing local beer to fuel your busy, adventure-filled days. The only thing better is pairing it with warm comfort food! At Blaze Brewing, on the Camden Harbor or in downtown Bar Harbor, you get exactly that. The brewery offers a dozen of its craft beers on tap, plus seltzers and a selection of local cans. The food menu features wood-fired pizzas and other classics like burgers, tacos, wings, and oysters (this is Mid-Coast Maine, after all!).
Stewman's Lobster Pound — Bar Harbor (Acadia)
With two locations on the waterfront in Bar Harbor, Stewman's Lobster Pound is the quintessential coastal Maine restaurant. Enjoy excellent views along with great local seafood, caught and delivered fresh every day. We highly recommend sticking with the classic — lobster, but you truly can't go wrong here! Order the traditional lobster bake with butter dipping sauce, or go all-out and opt for the Lobster Experience. This feast includes all the best of Mid-Coast ME in one meal: steamed lobster, clam chowder, mussels, sweet buttered corn, and a slice of made-in-house blueberry pie.
Bar Harbor Cellars — Bar Harbor (Acadia)
If you’re in the mood for a glass of wine rather than a full place, check out Bar Harbor’s local winery since 2003. Built on the 100-acre Sweet Pea Farm, Bar Harbor Cellars is located only minutes from downtown Bar Harbor. A line of vineyard trellises rolls down the field towards the pond while the barn and winery courtyard welcome you for a visit. It’s open from Tuesday through Sunday 10 - 5, with tastings until 4:30.