Ste. Croix & Other Early Maine Settlement
From Boston travel to York, ME and the Old York Historical Society where costumed guides offer tours of some of Maine's oldest buildings. A short drive along the coast brings you to Ogunquit where you have time to explore the many art galleries, shops and restaurants, including Perkins Cove. Travel to Portland where a step-on-guide will join the group and give a tour of Maine's largest city. The tour includes the Portland Head Light lighthouse that was commissioned by George Washington, America's first president. Visit the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of America's most famous poets or the Portland Museum of Art with its newly restored McLellan House and the L.D.M. Sweat Memorial Galleries. Dinner and overnight in Portland.
Maine has an extensive shipbuilding and maritime history and the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is an excellent source for educating your group about this history. One of Maine's earliest settlements was the Colonial Pemaquid in Phippsburg. The park staff hosts interpretive tours and teaches visitors about the people who lived on the peninsula in the mid-1600s. Tour the museum the archeological site and Fort William Henry, with beautiful views from the roof. Travel back up to Route 1 and stop for dinner in Bath or Woolwich. Drive to Camden where people have some free time to explore the village and its shops, then travel to Bar Harbor for dinner and overnight.
Awaken bright and early to drive to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, one of the early discoveries of Samuel de Champlain, and then return to the village of Bar Harbor for a tour of the Abbe Museum where you can see how the Native Americans of Maine lived. After lunch in Bar Harbor, the group travels to the Schoodic Peninsula along the Schoodic National Scenic Byway in a quieter section of Acadia National Park. You'll pass by the Burnham Tavern in Machias and its Revolutionary War history, en route to the day's final stop in Calais for dinner and overnight.
This morning, cross the border into St. Stephen, New Brunswick to visit a small island near Red Beach where a group of explorers from France tried to establish a permanent settlement named Ste. Croix. The National Park Service has developed an interpretive site at Bayside on your way to St. Andrews. Back in the U.S., have lunch in Calais before traveling to Augusta where you can visit Old Fort Western, America's oldest surviving wooden fort. In 1775 Benedict Arnold used the Fort as a staging area for his assault on Quebec during the American Revolution. Dinner and overnight in Augusta.
The three-story Maine State Museum in Augusta is the morning's first attraction. Learn about Maine's fascinating history in textiles, granite quarrying, lumbering, maritime history and more. Poland Spring, ME is the next stop. The bottlers of Poland Spring water host the group next at Poland Spring Preservation Park. Learn about the water company and the history surrounding the region by touring the Museum and Spring House, Maine State Building, and All Soul's Chapel. A small café inside the museum provides some tasty treats for a rest stop. From here it's time to travel home.