Doing something new every week in 2017 #17: Maine — lobsters & lighthouses

Maine has been on my must-visit places for quite some time. Having read so many of Stephen King’s books over the last 15 years (most of them set in Maine), I felt that going to Maine was almost like visiting an old friend.

Stephen King actually lives in Maine but since this was a short trip, sadly we didn’t get a chance to see his house in Bangor (next time!).

Most people don’t go to Maine to visit Stephen King though, it is known for two things — the world’s most famous lighthouse (Portland Head Light) and its succulent lobsters during the summer season.

Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth

With 65 historical lighthouses scattered along the 5,000 miles of rocky coastline, Maine is otherwise known as The Lighthouse State. There are even tours that promise to take you to all 65 lighthouses but since we were short on time, we just visited the most photographed lighthouse in the world — Portland Head Light.

The most famous lighthouse in the world — Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth (ME)
Ship Wreck Memorial at Portland Head Light (ME)

Portland Head Light is about 20 minutes drive from Portland (ME) and it is the oldest lighthouse in both Maine and the United States. It was commissioned by George Washington in 1787 and played a significant role in America’s Civil War.

Portland, Maine

Speaking of Portland (not to be confused with Portland, Oregon), it’s not hard to see why the North Eastern parts of the United States is called “New England”. Victorian-style red brick buildings lined the city streets and old fashioned English-style pubs can be found at every corner. Walking through the city centre was almost like walking in parts of Manchester.

Maine lobsters

Maine is almost synonymous with lobsters. It is known for having the best and the freshest lobsters in the continental US and the best way to enjoy it, is at one of the thousands of lobster shacks/pounds along the coastline with a great view.

We checked out one of the top 10 best lobster shacks in Maine — The Lobster Shack at Two Lights and it had it all — rocky cliffs, aggressive seagulls, misty lighthouse in the distance and the eccentric nautical themed interior.

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth (ME)
Dining tables outside the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth (ME)

We ordered a lobster roll (a Maine speciality) and a whole boiled lobster. Both were reasonably priced (by Seattle standards).

The whole lobster meal came with some fries, coleslaw and a generous helping of melted butter (aka the proper way to eat a Maine lobster). The boiled lobster looked amazing and tasted fresh, sweet and juicy. It even came with handy instructions on the best way to de-shell one without cutting yourself — brilliant!

Boiled whole lobster at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights, Cape Elizabeth (ME)

Maine was my favourite during our April road trip around the United States and I already can’t wait to go back again!

My recommendation would be to visit Maine during the summer months (June to Aug), as most lobster shacks are only open for a limited time per year (May to Oct). If snow is more your thing though, I imagine it must be magical around the winter months too!

Coming up next: New York, New York!

#17 of 52 new ways to challenge yourself in 2017 | Last week: Salem (MA)