Our 2016-2017 middle school trip was to Maine. We flew to Boston and drove up the coast, exploring as we went.
Day 1 — From Boston, MA to Portland, ME
We arrived in Boston at 1:00 and started our drive up the coast. Our first stop was in Kennebunkport, where we visited the Seashore Trolley Museum where we learned about the evolution of public transportation and enjoyed a ride on their interpretive railway.
Our next stop was at the Clam Shack in Kennebunk for delicious lobster rolls and fried clams.
Our bus driver stopped at the first opportunity for us to enjoy Maine's rocky coast.
Day 2 — Portland, ME
We started off our day in Portland with a Bike and Hike Tour, biking from Old Port to Mackworth Island.
We hiked around Mackworth Island, enjoying stunning views of Casco Bay and taking a minute to build houses at the local fairy village.
We biked back to Old Port and then found lunch and waited out a downpour.
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum was our afternoon activity. It included a train ride along the eastern promenade of Casco Bay. We learned about the history of Casco Bay and Portland, and about the preservation of the historic two-foot gauge railroad equipment.
After spending time exploring Old Port, we enjoyed our first real Maine dinner — fresh seafood at DiMillo's.
Day 3 — From Portland to Camden
After breakfast at the hotel, we boarded the bus for the trip to Camden. Our first stop along the way was Bowdoin College. Students really loved the tour where we learned about the history of the school, famous alum, campus life, and fields of study that they offer.
Our next stop was in Bath at the Maine Maritime Museum. We had a picnic lunch and then a tour. The docent told us about Maine's rich maritime heritage and culture.
From Bath, we headed to the Maine State Aquarium in West Boothbay Harbor. This was a great opportunity to learn about local sea life, particularly lobsters.
After the aquarium, we finished the last leg of our trip and checked into the Camden Riverhouse Hotel. We walked into town for dinner and exploring, then returned to the hotel for s'mores.
Day 4 — Camden, then on to Bar Harbor
We started our fourth day with a hike to the top of Mount Battie on the Mount Battie Trail — incredible views of Camden Harbor!
We did some shopping in Camden before boarding the Camden Harbor Cruise. On our cruise, we saw seals and bald eagles, and hauled up a lobster trap to learn more about lobsters and the life of a lobster fisherman.
When we returned to the dock, it was time to board the bus for Bar Harbor. On the way, we stopped at the Penobscot Bridge Observatory — the tallest bridge observatory in the world that offers spectacular 360-degree views of the Penobscot River and Bay, the Maine countryside and the distant western mountains.
Day 5 — Bar Harbor
We began our last day with an outdoor breakfast at the hotel — what a view!
After breakfast, we took the Acadia National Park Bus Tour, a narrated tour featuring three stops in Acadia National Park: the summit of Cadillac Mountain (the highest point on the eastern seaboard, Thunder Hole (oceanside stop), and Sieur De Monts Spring (Wild Gardens of Acadia).
After the Acadia tour, it was low tide, so we took a walk on the sandbar, the "Bar" of Bar Harbor, to Bar Island which is part of Acadia Park.
After dinner, we were supposed to take a sunset sail on the four-masted schooner, the Margaret Todd, but the weather didn't cooperate, so instead, we took a walk along the Shore Path, swam in the rain at the hotel pool, and did some shopping.