Mid Coast Maine Weekend

The Mid Coast Region of Maine is known for its craggy coastline, beautiful harbors, and picture perfect small towns. It is a perfect place to spend a weekend relaxing, visiting galleries and museums, and eating great food which is exactly what we did recently.

After a short two hour drive from the cottage, we arrived in Camden, Maine. As it was lunchtime, we headed directly The Waterfront Restaurant and had lunch outside on their deck. We enjoyed looking out at the fleet of windjammers (4, 5, or 6 masted sailing vessels), schooners and other boats moored in the harbor.

Moored Windjammers in Camden Harbor

We had a light lunch of mussels mariniere and a lobster and orange salad which were both excellent. We skipped the delicious looking blueberry pie as we had dinner reservations in Rockland.

After lunch, we went for a long walk through town. It seems that no matter where you walked, Penobscot bay was within view. In the opposite direction were the nearby mountains. The sidewalks were lined with boutiques, galleries, antique and gift shops.

We later headed to Rockland, Maine to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum that is known for its large collection of paintings by three generations of Wyeths; N. C., his son Andrew and his grandson James. The three artists have painted subjects of everyday life…landscapes, animals and people of Pennsylvania and Maine. After touring the museum, my husband and I headed to dinner. We had made reservations at Primo Restaurant, the ultimate farm to table experience. Produce is grown in gardens and greenhouses on the property along with chickens and pigs. You will find vegetables, fruits, honey, eggs, ¬†house cured and smoked meats on the menu that come directly from the property. The chef, Melissa Kelly, is a James Beard Award Winner for Best Chef in the Northeast.

We enjoyed a wonderful meal that evening from an ever changing menu. Our starters were corn oyster fritters and Hudson Valley foie gras two ways. Our main courses were wood grilled duck breast and pan roasted day boat scallops.

The next morning we headed out to the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum which is just two miles away from Rockland and 8 miles from Camden. They were having a car show of hot rods, customs and muscle cars and an antique airplane show. The museum has an extraordinary collection of antique aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, carriages and motorcycles. They also have a full size replica of the Wright Flyer 1. The original was the first successful motor driven airplane. It was flown by Wilbur and Orville Wright from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. This is a museum for people of all ages…from children to the elderly. Everyone will really enjoy the experience.

WWI Biplane with Wooden Rough Terrain Landing Gear

WWI Triplane

The best part of the visit was a ride in an open air cockpit, 1933 Waco biplane. The pilot explained the does and don’ts of riding in the front cockpit. He kept explaining to me to please watch where if kept my feet as I would be sitting in front of the rudder pedals. After a few more instructions, it was time to climb in.

1933 Waco Biplane and Pilot

The hard part was getting two people into the front cockpit of that small red biplane which was designed for one. All I can say is that it is a good thing that I’m small. After putting on snoopy type leather helmets, we were up, up and away into the wild blue yonder. As you can see, the pilot was sitting behind the two of us. How he manage to know where we were going, I will never know.

The bird’s eye view of the rocky shoreline, beaches, lighthouses, hills and lakes were incredible. We took photos of the breathtaking views with our little point and shoot camera. There was no way to know what we were getting photos of…my husband just held the camera outside the cockpit and snapped. I was constantly wiping tears from my eyes from the rush of wind. I wish I had goggles like the pilot.

Bird's Eye View of Camden Harbor

Our 30 minute ride in that antique open cockpit biplane will go down as one of the most fun and memorable things my husband and I have ever done together. This is something that I know you will enjoy if you ever visit this area.

The day ended with another good dining experience. We had a reservation at Francine on a quite residential street in Camden. It is a small, cozy bistro with a couple of small tables outside.

Francine Bistro

The interior had a friendly atmosphere with an open kitchen right across from the bar and a small number of bare wooden tables simply set. They have a small menu that changes daily. We had corn soup with chanterelle mushrooms and chilled oysters for starters. Our main dishes were pan roasted day boat halibut and steak frites. The food and service couldn’t have been better. I can see why the restaurant has been written up so many times.

On our third and last day, we went a couple of miles to Rockport. It is hard to believe that Maine has so many towns loaded with charm. Rockport was named as one of the prettiest towns in America by Forbes.com. It has a reputation as an artists’ community. After a nice walk around town, we headed to the end of a pier jutting out into the harbor to a restaurant with large windows looking out to the water.

Restaurant on the Pier

We just ordered some fresh seafood appetizers… lobster fritters, smoked fish dip, and oysters on the half shell.

If you ever get a chance to visit¬†Maine, I would suggest that you think about heading to the mid coast. Everyone wants a lobster roll and blueberry pie on their Maine vacation but you should also think about a night out in one of Maine’s better restaurants as well. You too, will have a rewarding and fun packed adventure.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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53 Responses to Mid Coast Maine Weekend

  1. Great planes and wonderful sounding food.

  2. Susan says:

    When I grow up I want to be ………………Karen!
    What a life you lead. Good food, good travels. Wonderful!!!
    Maine is gorgeous, no doubt. One beautiful town after another.
    I think we’ve been banned from there.
    We don’t eat lobster!
    : )

    • Karen says:

      I think that I’m so lucky to have the life I do…it’s my wonderful husband that has made it all possible. Not eating lobster must be a curse that someone has put on you. The state of Maine will still let you in. It just means more lobster for someone else.

  3. kbosin says:

    Wow – the plane ride! I can’t wait to go out on a small plane here over the Chesapeake Bay! It looks great – and the food you had – oooo la la! We have visited that area several times – near Friendship, Maine – and I too love the craggy shoreline and old towns. And lobster. Great post!

  4. Next time I get up to Maine, I will be hitting these great towns and skipping the airplane ride. Looks like a great weekend!! Bliss

  5. Karen, What a wonderful weekend! A great blog! Ritchey would have loved looking at the planes – and the ride! Maine is definitely a vacation spot for us! Thank you!

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    It sounds like you had a great weekend, to begin with, but, to add a ride in a vintage plane? That makes this weekend get-away a truly memorable experience. Good for you both!

  7. ceciliag says:

    Oh Lovely, really lovely, you had a great day and going up in that plane without a LID! How brave of you, I was impressed that you took photos as well i would have been holding on for dear life.. hope the pilot did not do a loop de loop! c

  8. Sounds like a wonderful weekend…great scenery, great restaurants, and that plane! Thanks for taking us along!

  9. cabinet stew says:

    WOW WOW WOW – I know you said it wasn’t scary and I consider my self pretty adventurous but I have to say I am not sure I would go on that plane ride!! VERY COOL that you did – and the breath-taking scenery made it all worth it!
    P.S. thanks again for the memories – I spent a great weekend many years back in Camden with my parents on a windjammer weekend. The harbor was so packed it was like a “boat jam.” We sat on the hillside grass and listened to music in the evening.

    • cabinet stew says:

      thanks for the words of encouragement but I don’t see a bi-plane ride in my future any time soon! :-)
      As for Camden..wonderful place – by the way one time we went in the winter to a “snow bowl” and went on a toboggan track. Great fun if they still do it!

  10. Your coverage of these wonderful East Coast events makes me very envious. I used to subscribe to an American magazine called “Wooden Boat”, and your posts bring out the wonderful traditions of tat seaboard.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Roger, I’m so glad that you have enjoyed my posts about the East Coast. I grew up on a ranch in Texas, so experiencing the East Coast of our country and all of the traditions has been a wonderful experience for me.

  11. Charles says:

    Wow! That looks so much fun… the plane reminds me of one which was featured in a Swedish childrens’ movie based on a book by Astrid Lindgren – not sure if you’re familiar with her works. It’s incredible, looking at those planes and seeing how much technology has changed in just 80 years or so. Amazing – looks like an incredible experience and a fun day out :)

  12. CorkAndSpoon says:

    The picture of the Camden Harbor was all I needed. I’m there – someday in the future. Sadly my next trip to New England will take me only as far as Boston for a wedding… so close but yet so far. ~Emilie

  13. Beautiful post and photography! Maine has always been on my “must- see” list. I’m glad your trip went well !

  14. ambrosiana says:

    Beautiful pictures Karen, specially the one from the vintage plane – stunning! The meal at Primo Restaurant sounds delicious! What a lovely weekend you had!

  15. spicegirlfla says:

    Karen, what a lovely weekend! Not only great food but adventure too! How cool to have taken a plane ride like that! Amazing view! I do agree with you the NE Coast is special and I’d love to visit there again sometime. In the meantime, I so appreciate your posts and taking a “virtual” trip with you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I feel like I’m just having a visit with friends and letting them know about a great place for their next vacation. I’m glad that you enjoy the posts and the “virtual” trips.

  16. lulu says:

    Well, it’s too bad I didn’t know you were coming. I’m right on Rockport Harbor and would have loved to meet a fellow blogger who loves Maine. I thoroughly enjoy getting your posts AND your recipes.

  17. Gary Lum says:

    Sounds like a lovely weekend, especially with aeroplane rides.

  18. What a fun trip and great photos…I’m envious! We’ve been to The Waterfront Restaurant…the best and largest fresh fish taco I’ve ever tasted. We also took a cruise on the schooner “Surprise” around the bay on the same trip, and visited the Farnsworth Art Museum…but no bi-plane ride…how exciting! So happy to see that Camden is still thriving and beautiful, it’s one of my favorite places.

  19. Bonnie says:

    Oh Karen, What beautiful photos. I actually met Jamie Wyeth two years ago. He and his wife came and he gave a lecture to a small group on his Seagull paintings (the Seven Deadly sins). He is an amazingly talented painter but he also is a very nice person.

    I hope to visit your beautiful state someday.

  20. Monique says:

    What a trip….I love everything..I went in a small Cessna..30 yrs ago:( It seems like yesterday..I LOVED it..I was 27.. 2 daughters.. 6..and 4.. :)
    Our neighbor flew planes and had a small Cessna.
    It was WONDERFUL.
    I was in heaven at that moment..almost:)
    I love Maine..How cute is Francine’s?

    I have read books that have Camden in the title..that’s how popular it is~

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monique, It sounds like we both like to have fun and a little adventure in our life. Francine’s was cute and romantic. I’d would definitely return for another meal.

  21. Kelly says:

    What a journey… Thanks for this Karen. We just recently returned from Maine and I think we will miss it all winter….

  22. Ann says:

    Okay, that was a COOL trip! I’m glad you shared it with us and the pictures are incredible!

  23. I love love love Maine! Looks like you had a great taste of all the wonderful activities it has to offer :)

  24. Tandy says:

    what a stunning break away! I love Richard Bach’s books and so would for sure go in a biplane if at all possible :)

  25. What a great getaway for you. Maine has always been a state I have wanted to visit, but yet, not one I have checked off my list. Your pictures are beautiful and the restaurants sound amazing – especially the farm to table – Primo, I think it was.

  26. What a wonderful experience, Karen. Riding in that little bi-plane must have been a thrill. I visited Maine years ago and remember the beautiful coast line and charming little towns. Hope to revisit someday.

  27. Wow! A flight in such a beautiful airplane and with spectacular views. What a wonderful way to spend a weekend.

  28. Caroline says:

    Sounds like you had an amazing time and ate some very delicious food! Those planes are awesome. Jealous of this trip!

  29. Karen Harris says:

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. Kolaches are really a quick fix for south Texas homesickness. I really enjoyed reading your post. What a beautiful adventure!

  30. Now, I have lobster on my brain. Great trip, great photos!

  31. Kristy says:

    We drove through Camden on our way out of Maine this summer. It’s such a cute little town. And you are very, very brave…I don’t think I could have gone up in that little plane even with the cool views. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, Camden is a cute little town. Actually that whole area is fun to visit. I don’t know if I would say I was brave, I guess I’m just an adventurous person.

  32. lvaletutto says:

    Sounds like you had an awesome time Karen! I would love to go on a plane ride like that! Those planes remind me of one of my favorite authors, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I love his books and he was always flying those types of planes… it must have been such a trip to fly in one! I’ll definitely remember goggles if I get the chance to go up in one!
    Laura
    BG, Germany

  33. We visited Maine a few years ago, Kennebunkport, Surrey, Camden and of course Acadia National Park. We had delicious seafood, totally enjoyed the cooler weather, met friendly folks and reading your post reminded me of how wonderful it is!! Thanks…we will go back someday and stay longer. What is the yellow field in your header photo? Looks like a place my bees would like to visit!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, It sounds like you had a nice time while visiting Maine. Your bees would have quite a trip. The yellow field was in France. It was so beautiful…yellow as far as you could see.

  34. sartenada says:

    Wonderful photos. Especially I love Your beautiful photos from air plane. They are really awesome. I worked all my life among air planes, which can be read in my About me page, so the love of flying, travelling and air planes are very near to my heart.

    Happy blogging!

  35. allidriscoll says:

    Those airplanes remind me of my dad. He never built or flew planes that large but he did large biplane models that he flew with a remote control. We would go out for the day and watch him fly them. Good memories. Thanks Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Alli, I would have enjoyed seeing the model biplane fly. Some of those models are really incredible and it takes a lot of talent to fly them. I am happy that I brought back memories.

  36. ladyfi says:

    What lovely shots of Maine – it looks so picturesque. And that plane ride looks amazing!

  37. Michelle says:

    Only been to Maine once, and was in Rockport and was able to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum. We had a blast. And Mid Coast Maine is just beautiful. My favorite thing to see were the belted galloway cows grazing in a pasture with the ocean in the background!

  38. Mary says:

    What a fabulous getaway. The food and the scenery both sound wonderful. I have to look for a recipe for lobster fritters. I’ll wager they are wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  39. What an amazing weekend! I’ve always wanted to fly in a biplane like that! Maine looks gorgeous!!

  40. I am originally from New England and lived in Maine for 5 years before moving to Oregon for school… this brings back many happy memories :) Thanks for sharing! I’m now following your post!

  41. i just stumbled on your blog, how wonderful it is, you take such nice photos of all these places too.

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