We love taking family weekend trips. Being from the city, we don’t get into a car all that much. When we do, a New York to Maine road trip is one of our favorite jaunts.
Written in partnership with Mazda USA. All words and opinions our own.
Table of Contents
- 1 2019 Mazda 6 Signature Car
- 2 Driving from NYC to Maine
- 3 Winter Road Trip to Maine
- 4 Best Maine Vacations
- 5 Brunswick Hotel and Tavern
- 6 Susan’s Fish and Chips in Portland
- 7 “I’m in love with my car”-Queen
2019 Mazda 6 Signature Car
It’s especially great when traveling in the comforts of a good vehicle. On our most recent New York to Maine road trip, we were fortunate to have the 2019 Mazda 6 Signature as our ride.
Driving from NYC to Maine
The drive from New York to Maine is a beautiful trip. Whenever we drive North, we enjoy taking scenic routes such as the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut, and Interstate 84 passing Old Sturbridge, a quintessential New England town.
Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, CT
Depending on your time, one can extend the drive, get off course a bit, and fill it with visits to destinations such as New Haven, Connecticut and visit the beautifully manicured Yale campus. After, enjoy a burger at Louis’ Lunch, an eatery claimed to have been the birthplace of the Hamburger.
Stop by Providence, Rhode Island
Another stop-worthy place is the Italian food capital of Providence, Rhode Island, where one can enjoy a nice bowl of pasta before heading off for the long stretch.
There’s also Boston, MA
Of course, there’s Boston. Visiting will certainly take you off the shortest course from New York to Maine, but certainly worth the added driving time.
Along the way to Maine, there are other New England towns worth visiting. Some that do keep you on the track are towns such as Portsmouth, New Hampshire where a stop for seafood is a must.
Winter Road Trip to Maine
My daughter and I are often the passengers and my wife the driver. As a whole, we also like the drive itself playing a big part in the actual vacation. Meaning, it’s not simply getting from point A to point B, we embrace everything in between.
Beyond comfort, there is also the issue of safety. It being winter during our road trip from New York to Maine, there was certainly a good share of snow on the ground, and the conditions of the road were hard.
Sport function on the Mazda 6
The Mazda 6 performed beautifully throughout the drive, which made my wife have comfort in her driving, and made us feel safe. On the fun side, my wife does have a bit of an F1 driver in her, and when that feeling arises, there is what’s called a “sport” function, which gives just a little extra boost when flipped on. She didn’t do it much, but when she did, we all felt that feeling of speed and fine road handling.
Playlist for the road trip
For every road trip, my daughter likes to create music set-lists, themed specifically for the trip. A good song selection of songs is best enjoyed with a good sound system and this car has this as well.
Best Maine Vacations
Best Maine vacations include a nice drive, comfortable stays, outdoor activities, and of course eating seafood. Especially Maine’s famous lobster dishes.
Brunswick Hotel and Tavern
One of the best towns to visit in Maine is Brunswick. This quaint destination has some great seafood shacks and craft beer outlets. It also has one of the nicest hotels in the area, The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern.
Only 20 Minutes from Portland
Well situated, we were only 20 minutes from Portland, Maine. A town that seems to be favored by bearded fishermen and bearded hipsters. It also happens to be a fun town in which to spend a day.
L.L. Bean Flagship Store
Equally as important is a visit to one of America’s oldest and best outdoor clothiers and specialists, LL Bean. The flagship location is just a 10-minute drive. A dream for outdoorsmen, this large venue has everything from a trout fishtank, an indoor stream, to a cafe that is reminiscent of country cabins in the early part of the 20th century.
Lost Valley Skiing
We were in the late winter months and wanted to get some skiing in us. Just a 40-minutes drive inland from Brunswick is a place called Lost Valley Ski. Though not known for its slopes like its neighbor, Vermont, Maine does offer a surprisingly good ski experience at a more palatable cost, and the hills acceptable for novices such as we, who ski once every few years.
Seafood at Brunswick Hotel & Tavern
But we drove here for the seafood. One of our best experiences was actually where we stayed, at the aforementioned Brunswick Hotel and Tavern. There was much to love about the dishes we ordered, but to no surprise, the lobster was the highlight.
For a fraction of what we are used to paying on New York City , what we got on a plate was extraordinary. It was just chunks of fresh lobster placed in a large buttered roll, lightly dressed. This was not the mayo and celery laden salad that we have confused for a lobster roll all these years. This was the real deal.
A dining experience that we hadn’t expected to be one of our favorites was a breakfast we enjoyed in a rustic old style diner, simply named Brunswick Diner. From the outside, it looked like a simple, small, red farmhouse. Inside was a time warp, replete with table-side jukeboxes and small wrap around coffee counter.
The establishment is lively. It’s got its locals (mostly sitting at the counter) talking about which pie they should have for the day, families squeezing into small tables, a smattering of snowboarders talking about tricks they can’t wait to perform, and visitors (like us) taking in the scene.
Sausage Links to die for at Brunswick Diner
The food took a while to get to us, a true sign of made to order. If you ever come here, do yourself a favor and order the French toast and sausage links. The French toasts had a nice cinnamon crunch to them, perfect to smother with butter and drizzle with syrup; and the sausage snaps through its natural casing as you cut and bit into it, releasing great savory flavors to counter the sweetness.
Roy Orbison and Creedence Clearwater Revival on the Jukebox at Brunswick Diner
My daughter especially enjoyed those retro table-side jukeboxes where she deposited quarter after quarter to hear the likes of Roy Orbison and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The service was equally as good and as fun as the food and the atmosphere.
Susan’s Fish and Chips in Portland
A seafood experience would not be complete without ordering at least one fried seafood platter. Nobody should ever leave the state without. As the sun went down on our last day, we made a stop at the legendary Susan’s Fish and Chips in Portland. This place was decorated with netting hung by the ceilings and other nautical features that are reminiscent of just about any fisherman’s hangout you’ve seen in films.
It had a no-frills attitude and just made large portions of fantastic fried fresh seafood. Their homemade tartar and cocktail sauces were some of the best I’ve ever tasted, if not the best. As far as must-haves, we especially enjoyed the fried clams and the fried scallops. Wash it down with some home-made lemonade.
We seemed to be the only people that weren’t locals which made for an even more authentic experience. Best yet, the coffee is always free.
“I’m in love with my car”-Queen
Bellies full and a nice ride home ahead of us. When my daughter’s playlist continued to play as we drove away. The song that played was Queen’s, “I’m In Love with My Car”. Which made for an appropriate end to a wonderful trip.
Ready for a road trip to Maine? Pin this to plan your visit.