You know it, I know it …. Exploration is not to be rushed. That being said, when I only have a few days between moves (Miami via Chicago), I decided the best way to explore was to plan it.
The Pemaquid Peninsula has been a staple of my time in Maine since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and therefore a necessary stop on our great Fall adventure. My grandparents have a Summer house at the head of the peninsula in Damariscotta, and thus an excellent “staging area” for any trip.
Arriving the day prior, Lianne and I were able to get a hearty meal and plenty of sleep in before our adventure began. The sun coming through the window had me up well before my 7 am alarm, allowing ample time to shower and layer up for the day ahead. Brooks brothers button down, Paul Landry crew neck, and a L.L Bean anorak were essential to the tried but true layering system cool Fall days in Maine call for.
Homemade McLandries (egg, bacon and cheese on a english muffin) and a hot brew of coffee gave us the kick we needed to take on the day. Lianne and I are unofficial coffee connoisseurs, and thus felt it was of the utmost importance we try out a local coffee shop first.
Walking down main street Damariscotta, it was not hard to quickly have a handful of options to choose from. One place in particular, Fernald’s Country Store, stood out to us. Weathered cedar siding and a bright orange Moxie sign hanging above the front door sold us on charm alone.
Inside, the delectable scent of homemade scones, cinnamon rolls, and muffins filled the room. A cleverly placed mix of diner’esque bar seating, scattered cafe tables and retro toys and games filling the shelves, was just the vibe we were looking for. We settled in for a quick cup of Rock Coast coffee and a chocolate scone!
Pro Tip: Ask to get your scone warmed up in the oven! They’re 1000x better.
With plenty of day ahead of us, we hit the rest of downtown while it was still early, and the crowds were light. Damariscotta, listed on the national register of historic places, is a no brainer for finding great local shops and boutiques. One of our favorites was the Beach Plum Island Company shop. Conveniently located next to the Damariscotta river bridge, this small home goods & accessories shop was well curated, and provided plenty of fun and interesting products to shop. Being a bit of a bookworm, I was drawn to a particularly unique book near the back of the shop. Called “The lost book of Adventure” by Teddy Keen. Filled with whimsical watercolors, sketches and stories of an explorers travels all over the world. I bought it on the spot.
10:00 am and plenty of time to spare! Onward to the rest of the peninsula! The pemaquid peninsula is huge, and would probably take three days to really cover it all. With only a day available to ourselves, we chose to take scenic route 32 down the coastline to see it!
Our first official stop was the Rachel Carson salt pond preserve. Tucked right next to the charming lobstering village of New Harbor. The preserve is a unique protected tidal pool and the inspiration for Rachel Carson's early studies about the environment and preservation. This was my first time coming in the fall, and there was something in the air that was so unbelievably peaceful. The seas had picked up, and the crashing waves were the perfect ‘firework’ show. You do need to time your visit carefully, as at high tide, the tidal pool and accompanying rock formations are inaccessible. Something we didn’t notice at first, was how quiet you get when awe struck by nature. It felt as if we had both looked at each other and agreed to climb the rocks to where the waves were crashing without exchanging a single word. Once there, we got to work taking loads of product pictures and desperately trying to time our pictures with the crashing of the waves.
As our 2:00 lunch date with the grandparents rapidly approached, we moved onward to the Pemaquid Point lighthouse to enjoy the beauty of coastal Maine for a few hours! The museum and climb to the top of the lighthouse are kept open primarily by volunteers. Being late Fall, the tourist season was for the most part over, and thus no volunteers to keep the inside open. Nonetheless, the grounds were still open with a $0 entrance fee! Pemaquid point, displayed prominently on the Maine State commemorative quarter stands proudly guarding the rocky coastline of the Pemaquid coastline. With a light 80ft above the crashing waves, it’s no wonder mariners have reported seeing the light over 40 miles out to sea.
We climbed down the rocky cliffs to enjoy the scenic vistas as well as to do a bit of bird watching. If any animal in the world were to not have any care in the world, it would definitely be the ducks of Pemaquid. They were nonchalantly riding the rising waves mere meters from where they were crashing ashore.
Before we knew it, our time had run out, and we hurriedly climbed back to the car. Full of smiles but lacking in substance, we happily drove to The Harbor Room Restaurant for lunch. Our two hungry souls were way too hungry to stop and take pictures, but I’ll list our meals below!
The Reuban + Fries - $12
Chicken blt + Fries - $13
Side order of coleslaw - $2.50
With my grandparents in tow, we jetted off to the one and only Round Pond, Maine! As many of you lobstah lovers know, Round Pond is very near and dear to my heart, and the birthplace of Paul Landry Co. We stopped by the ole office/boathouse to do a little light dusting and some day dreaming. I have always wanted to be able to turn the boathouse in a AirBnB or “preppy” collective for like minded brands.
Side note: if you have any fun ideas about the boathouse space or others, comment them down below!
We spent the remainder of the day walking around the tiny downtown, some light “home” shopping, and of course, stopping at the Granite Hall Store. One of the first shops to carry Paul Landry Co. apparel, as well as good sailing friends, it is always so much fun to stop by. I even introduced Lianne to the famous ‘penny’ candies at the snack counter inside. 5 cent gummy lobsters? Count me in!
Fall in Maine means the sun goes down early, and thus, a setting sun was the motivation we needed to pack up and get back to Damariscotta for a warm soup dinner and good laughs.
Until next time Pemaquid,
P. Landry + Lianne