Earlier this summer, we had another amazing vacation in the Outer Banks, NC. Last week, we visited Belgrade Lakes, Maine, our annual trip. I’ve been going there nearly every summer of my life, and plan to allow our kids to do the same. We relish in the relaxation, the ability to get away from the rest of the world and live with unstructured, free play where we rely on sunrises and sunsets for time and no one gets upset if you forget to make dinner.
When vacationing in Maine…
Skip the make-up and hair dryer
Because, unless you regularly live there, you’re not going to see people you know. Well, you aren’t likely to. So skip making up and dressing fabulous. Let go. Comfortable, baggy college t-shirts and hair in ponytailed hats is the way to go. After all, everyone else in on the lake, too.
Smell like lobster
I was 2 when my mom and dad put me in front of my first lobster and said “dinner!” I loved it. My kids aren’t as daring and still refuse to try it, but I still enjoy it. In fact, I had 3 fresh Maine lobsters last week. I prefer hard-shelled as they’re meatier and richer in flavor, but you really won’t go wrong with hard or soft. They’re fresh in Maine, so you’re crazy to go to Maine and not try one.
If your child is daring enough to try lobster, keep some Culturelle Kids! in your bag. It’s a probiotic, so it helps reduce occasional digestive upset that might result from trying a new, heavy food.
Take a hike
Mountains are everywhere in Maine, as are gorgeous expanses of landscape and water. Go on a hike at one of the many parks and campsites such as Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain (both are great for kids). Or walk through a harbor town like Booth Bay Harbor, Bar Harbor or Portland (all three are fun, hippy-ish towns. Very casual and enjoyed by kids and parents… and even grandparents.)
Be on a boat
Two years ago, we took a Puffin Cruise and the kids not only still talk about it, they found the boat this year and asked to go again. We’re waiting until they’re a bit older to take them on a longer whale watch, but can’t wait to do it. If your family has kids 8 or under, definitely go for a shorter cruise, like the Puffin. We were lucky enough to see a whale on that cruise as well… which they say happens often.
You knew that was coming, right? Freeport, Maine, is a shopper’s love. They have outlets and company stores and you’ll find everything you need. The highlight is the company that built the town: LLBean. Their flagship store is more than a store, it’s an adventure. Be sure to take a picture with the giant boot, explore the fish and just have fun.
Go to McDonald’s
I know. I can’t believe I’m suggesting this either. But your kids will cheer for you for this one. Not all, but some of the McDonald’s in Maine have lobster rolls on their menu. Yes. Lobster at McDonald’s. It’s a great, unmessy entry to Lobsterville–chopped lobster meat on a hot dog roll. (Note, not all McDonald’s in Maine have lobster rolls, as we sadly found out in Freeport this year.)
Thanks to Culturelle Kids! for sponsoring this post. I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.