4 Fantastic Food Road Trips
Sampling the Seafood Bounty of... New England
Along the Atlantic coast, you’ll find some of America’s oldest foodie traditions. Here are some must-haves, as you enjoy historic New England and its untamed coastline.
Mileage: Approximately 320; Days: 4-5
From Bangor international airport, follow US-1A E to Acadia National Park. Within the park, there are numerous places to stay, eat, and explore. Acadia has something for everyone — just outside of the park is Bar Harbor, a quaint and beautiful little town with interesting shops and great restaurants. Expect to spend three to four hours driving the park’s loop road and enjoying the spectacular views of the harbor, as you fantasize about which island you’ll own someday. Take a moment to visit Cadillac Mountain and Sand Beach, ringed by wild, rocky cliffs. If you’re adventurous, hike up the Beehive, a short but extremely steep (read: ladder rungs on cliff edges) hike which gives you an incredible view of the beach and bay. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Erin McDaniel)
Spend a couple days in the park, then head south on scenic US-1, which hugs the coast of Maine starting all the way up at Canada and runs all the way to Florida. Your destination is York Harbor, a four-hour drive from Acadia. While en route, you’ll pass roadside stands and restaurants with regional specialties. Keep an eye out for clam chowder, a creamy blend of clams, potatoes, and bacon worlds away from its tomato-based Manhattan cousin; Maine black bear, a unique local flavor of ice cream with vanilla and a black raspberry swirl and little raspberry filled chocolate bits (you’ll find it at Gifford’s Ice Cream stands on the road); and whoopee pies, a sweet dessert treat made of two chocolate cake "buns" filled with a sweet, creamy frosting — it’s such a popular treat that Maine and Pennsylvania both claim it as their own, resulting in controversy when the Maine Legislature proposed to make it the official state dessert. Try one and you’ll see what the fuss is all about.
End your day in York at Foster’s Clambake, one of the only restaurants to offer an old-fashioned clambake. Get settled in for an evening of fun, and a belly-busting meal featuring the best of the ocean: clams, mussels, and lobster, served with corn and potatoes and topped off with Maine’s official state dessert (whoopee pie notwithstanding), blueberry pie. The next day, head to Boston (still on US-1), where you can fly out of Boston International Airport. Before leaving, be sure to stop by the city’s iconic North End for an authentic Italian experience — think a bag of Italian cookies or Mike’s Pastry’siconic cannolis.