5 Favorite Activities From Our Atlantic Puffin Trip to Maine
These are our 5 favorite things we did while visiting Maine to see Atlantic Puffins. If you are thinking about visiting Maine, please check them out.
The mention of Maine conjures up images of waves pushing against rocky coastlines and towering lighthouses. Its harbors with a variety of boats and lakes with forest surrounding it. The kind of place where it feels like you should simply sit down somewhere – anywhere- in that state and soak up nature in all its glory. Except it would be a shame not to partake in activities like birdwatching in Maine, among other things. The state has so many wonderful things ready for its tourists to explore.
1 . Moccasin Shopping
Usually, shoe shopping is not an activity we would include while visiting Maine. However, we discovered a luxurious footwear brand, Wassookeag Moccasins that makes their shoes in Maine. Their shoes are “Made in the USA”, and the brand is named after Lake Wassookeag, which translates to shining waters. Their premium leather moccasins are hand-stitched and handmade in their local shoe shop. These aren’t mass-produced moccasins and you can tell by the high quality and amazing amount of skill that is required to craft them.
These moccasins are a luxuriously classic and are made from cowhide, bull hide, or buffalo hide. Every step of making these shoes is custom, even the shoe last is specifically made for these handmade moccasins. They are so comfortable and can be purchased at a great price.
Most importantly, moccasins are perfect for setting out on all the adventures waiting for you in Maine, at home, or while bird watching. Don’t forget to visit this shoe shop’s website. www.wassookeagmoccasins.com
2. Bird Watching In Maine
Our favorite place to go bird watching was at Audubon’s Mass Landing Sanctuary. It was very quiet and peaceful with lots of birds to see. It also wasn’t too far from the LL Bean headquarters.
In a diverse landscape such as Maine’s, it is almost a given that there would be a good number of local and migratory bird species to see. The national parks in Maine are a sure bet to see the most colorful ones. In fact, if your main goal in Maine is to marvel at the scenery, you can do it while bird watching. Birds there seem to love playing hide and seek in the conifer forests or keeping a firm eye on the farm fields for their prey.
On Maine’s coast, Black Guillemot, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Shearwaters are a few of the species you would come across. Inland bird species include but are not limited to Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpeckers. For shorebirds, you need to head to Biddeford Pool. Great Cormorant, Razorbill, and Purple Sandpiper would welcome you there. There are also a lot of backyard birds you can see as well.
Take A Puffin Tour
We have already discussed birdwatching in Maine but the Atlantic Puffin tour deserves a special appreciation and segment. At Eastern Egg Rock, the Puffin colony is thriving. It is the only place where you will get to see so many Puffins at once. On the Project Puffin boat a tour guide and narrators accompany you to make the experience as exciting and educational as possible.
Puffin tours usually take place in spring, which is mostly June. The Puffin Watch cruise from Hardy Boat Cruises departs from New Harbor. We took this one and it was amazing. At Eastern Egg Rock, the cruise does circles around the island for half an hour. During this period, you observe all the birds gathered at the coastlines and over the sea. This includes Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns, and Roseate Terns – both of whom are endangered species. It is a little difficult to take pictures due to the boat rocking.
The boats get close to the Puffins, and you should have an unobstructed view. However, to get the full experience, binoculars are recommended so you can observe details on the island. Not to mention it does not matter whether it is sunny or raining the entire day, the Puffin tours commence on time. You have to be weather-ready with your leather Mocassins and windbreaker. Also don’t forget some motion sickness remedies if you have them. The boat was a little rocky on the way back and a few passengers had tummy trouble. Our kids did fine and so did I and we didn’t need anything.
3. Visit The Acadia National Park
Acadia National Park has a secure spot as one of the country’s top 10 visited parks. Surrounded by the coastlines that are simultaneous to Maine, the inland region of Acadia are forests, streams, and rough mountains. A traveler by car can take the Park Loop Road, which crosses over every major attraction Acadia has to offer.
In terms of activities, Acadia is so good at keeping its visitors busy that you might have to take entire two days to truly explore the place. Do you maybe want to try out the 160 miles trail for hiking? The most walked paths are Jordan Pond Full Loop and Beehive Loop. Instead of walking, you can rent a cycle. Maybe you want to take a dip in the ponds after kayaking? Or would you birdwatch at one of the hotspots knowns as Acadia? At night, you can set up your camp and enjoy the night view full of stars.
Don’t have food with you? That’s good. You should visit Acadia’s only restaurant anyway. The Jordan Pond House Restaurant’s bread and tea has been around since the 1890s and should not be missed out on.
4. Visit Lighthouses
Can you truly visit Maine and not pay special attention to at least one lighthouse? That is the number one requirement and top of the to-do list for most people. You have to marvel at these huge towering buildings meant to show a path of light to sailors.
There are lighthouses up and down the coast of Maine. We visited 5 of them before running out of time. We would have like to see more! We saw Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol, Nubble Lighthouse in Town of York, Pond Island Lighthouse in Phippsburg, and Ram Island Ledge Light Station in Portland.
Portland Head Light
Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Bristol
Nubble Lighthouse in Town of York
Pond Island Lighthouse in Phippsburg
Ram Island Ledge Light Station in Portland
We have to say that Phippsburg was our favorite spot to go to the beach. During low tide there is a sandbar you can walk across to get to Fox island. It is amazing to see all the sea creatures and nature along the way and on the island…a few birds as well.
The Nubble Lighthouse might be the one that most prominently features in photos when you look up Maine. For good reasons, as the lighthouse is beautiful, it is the easiest to get close too. A day when there is a rising tide? The best day for photographers as you see the waves crashing against the rocks, making for a picture-perfect moment.
November might be the best time to visit the place although we visited in August. There is so much festivity in the area during that time. Both the cottage of the keeper and lighthouse are alight to mark the holiday season. The year-end, the celebration involves hot chocolate, a merry, musical atmosphere, and perhaps, a visit from Santa. In addition, Ogunquit offers cruises so you can check out the lighthouse while remaining in the water.
The lighthouse also bounds several areas. On one side, there is the Long Sands – one of the popular New York Beach. Another bounds towards the Old York Historical Society while the other can take you to 1745 York Corner Schoolhouse.
5. Take A Whale Tour
It would be a shame to come to a coastline state such as Maine and not go on a whale watching tour. Where else would you get to see these playful Humpback whales? The whale-watching season in Maine begins from the middle of April and ends in October. To actually see them with your eyes, you have to book on a sunny day. A foggy day in Maine means you won’t be able to see the whales coming out of the water once in a while clearly.
There are plenty of companies offering to take you such as Cap’n Fish’s Cruises and Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. Cap’n Fish’s boat tour does not only focus on whales but also on other marine lives such as sharks and seals. A quick tour of the Boothbay Harbor is included, along with a view of the famous lighthouses of the state.
The Bar Harbor whale watch ventures directly into the Gulf of Maine for the elusive whale and their marine friends. A guide is present to inform tourists about the wildlife. Only the tour can get canceled depending on the weather. So, if you are going with this company, have an alternate plan ready in case the weather is not ideal.
There are plenty of things to do in Maine. Other than bird watching in Maine and shopping for your favorite moccasins and clothes, Maine offers much more in terms of scenery. You don’t always have to have an activity in place in Maine. You can simply set up a picnic blanket and basket somewhere and look out into the ocean.
If you do want to do something, there are plenty of hiking trails, museums, and arts to marvel at. For those who love canoeing, the water is certainly up for it.