Downeast Maine may be the quintessential ideal that many have about what Maine is like, but it is usually overlooked by travel sites, politicians, and developers alike. Washington County or northeast Maine is sparsely populated and the tax base is so small that much of the funding at the state level is given to the already overpopulated southern portion of the state where most of the “Maine” focus is.
Downeast Maine, or the Maine that exists above Augusta, has its drawbacks but if you are willing to spend some time on the road getting there, it is also vastly untouched and absolutely breathtaking.
Sticking to Route 1, there are many must-see places for a family-friendly road trip. Here are five stops that are worth every minute of the drive. In no particular order, check out these Washington County jewels.
Machias Farmers’ Market – What could be better than bringing the kids to a fresh fruit and vegetable market? They can burn off steam and enjoy the local fare. It’s a great place to find healthy snacks and even find some new local foods! Here is their Facebook page.
Devil’s Head – This is a simple looking pull off located directly on Route 1 right before Calais. It’s so much more than a little rest stop. The trails are well kept and if you walk (or drive) to the end, the view is breathtaking! Walk along the beach and enjoy a bit of nature. It’s a fun day trip for the kids and there are multiple trails that are well marked, so you could go back many times and try something different.
Maple Lane Sugary – If you love fresh maple syrup and friendly conversation, Maple Lane Sugary is top notch. They have an annual kid-friendly sugar Sunday when they have informational booths, free ice cream with maple syrup and even sap water for tasting. It’s a great stop for your kids to learn about maple sap gathering and for them to ask questions to really friends volunteers. We go every year and it’s always a highly anticipated trip.
The Brewer House – This stunning home/museum is an absolute must-see. Located directly on Route 1 it was the last stop on the underground railroad before slaves found their freedom across the river in Canada. The Brewer House is an important part of our United States history.