This past weekend I was able to catch the last New England Seacoast tour of the season. The morning started off with a 9:30am departure from Boston. The bus was very clean and spacious. You could tell our tour guide, Dick, had done this tour many times before but clearly enjoyed his job. He was very enthusiastic and told us more facts (including which parts of Boston used to be under water and how to interact with the local Mainiacs- people from Maine) about New England than you ever wanted to know. We also heard many stories that he had accumulated over the years.
1. Our first stop was in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. This is a beautiful beach about 15 miles south of Portsmouth. Here we stopped for some photos and a bathroom break but didn’t stay too long because all the businesses were closed for the winter. I definitely want to come back here in the summer months to enjoy some fried clams and ice cream. This beach is supposedly ranked as the third best beach in America but I could not confirm this fact. As far as New England beaches go, this one was very well maintained and looked like it would be a thriving tourist destination in warmer months.
2. After enjoying the beach, we made our way to York, ME to see Nubble Light. I had been here once before and it is just as nice as I had remembered it. This is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine and it is easy to see why. This area has some of the highest value residences in the entire state of Maine. After viewing Nubble Light, we continued our bus journey and viewed the mansions along the coastline. One house we passed featured a heated Roman bath (including white columns)in the front yard. Imagine relaxing in your personal Roman bath while enjoying the picturesque coastal views!
3. Next stop on our tour was Kennebunkport, ME, a quaint New England town. Kennebunkport is one of the most popular vacation spots in New England because of its upscale art galleries, shops, and river/coastal views.
Once in Kennebunkport we stopped at the Pilot House for a quick bite to eat. I had the lobster roll and clam chowdah (like a true New Englander). After lunch we had some free time to shop, grab dessert and explore the town on our own. I especially enjoyed seeing the nearby houses and seeing how delighted the tourists from far away were (we had people from Australia, Texas, and Britain on our bus). Some people on the tour had never experienced fall foliage and New England culture.
Kennebunkport is also well-known because of its longtime summer resident, former president George H.W. Bush. Our bus slowed down long enough for me to snap a quick picture through the window so that you can get a glimpse of the oceanside “Bush Compound”.
At 3:45pm we left Maine and headed back to Boston. Overall, I was impressed with this tour. The time was well managed and we were able to see a lot in a relatively short amount of time. I would highly recommend booking this trip when it reopens in the spring, especially if it is your first time in the area.
The only question now is, “Where to go next?!?”