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Maine Lighthouse Road Trip: Bailey Island

This past May, I went on a solo road trip through the coast of Maine in search of the prettiest coastline views and beautiful lighthouses. I covered a lot of ground, and if you'd like to catch up on some of my other destinations, I'd love for you to follow these links:



Today's post is all about a very happy surprise. While planning my road trip, I decided rather than driving all the way to Ogunquit from Camden, I wanted to stop somewhere to spend the night to break up the drive. I looked at a map, picked a general region, did about 10 minutes of research, ended up in Bailey Island, and didn't really think too much about it, or plan a whole lot. And it ended up being such a beautiful stop with one of my favorite coastal viewpoints. 



This post won't have a ton of information because Bailey Island is small. You can drive from one end to the other is less than 10 minutes, and there's not much to actually do. The only shop I saw was a gift shop, which was closed when I was there, and there are very few restaurants. And since I was there in May, very few of those restaurants were actually open, so it was more about just enjoying the scenery outside. This is definitely a place to come, and do, well - a whole lot of nothing. And I loved it. 




FUN FACT ABOUT BAILEY ISLAND

It's said to be home of the only cribstone bridge in the world. I couldn't find any concrete sources online, but I saw this fact pop up on almost every piece of information I read about the island. The bridge connects you to Orr's Island, which you'll drive through to get to Bailey Island (the drive is so beautiful and scenic, too), and while it's not the most beautiful thing you'll ever seen, it is really cool (especially if it is, in fact, one of a kind).

Supposedly the only cribstone bridge in the world, which you will have to cross to get to Bailey Island.



WHERE TO STAY ON BAILEY ISLAND

When I visited in mid-May, I had one hotel option, which was the Bailey Island Motel, and it was actually pretty great. The rooms were very clean and spacious, and you'll see the motel right after crossing the bridge, making the location really convenient. Inside my room waiting for me was a rather large basket of complimentary snacks and bottles of water (and they were actually good snacks, like mixed nuts and granolas, pirate's booty and some chocolates), and the staff couldn't have been more friendly. The motel also has its own little lawn overlooking the water, filled with Adirondack chairs for casual lounging. It was just such a lovely surprise, since I pretty much put zero thought into my stay here.





OVERVIEW OF THINGS TO DO AND RESTAURANTS 

- Stop at Island Candy Company on your way in, before you cross the bridge (they had excellent candies, chocolates and baked goods)

- Drive around the island, and pull over for scenic views of the water

- Giant's Steps (more on that below)

- Eat at Salt Cod Cafe (in-season only, was closed when I was there, walkable from Bailey Island Motel)

- Eat at Cook's Lobster & Ale House

- Take a drive to Harpswell and eat at Dolphin Marina or Erica's, and then stop for ice cream at the very adorable Pammy's Ice Cream Parlor




My absolute favorite thing about Bailey Island was Giant's Steps, which is a coastal walking path with some insanely beautiful views. I was able to find this by typing it into my GPS, and with the island being so small, it was only about 5 mins from the motel. When I went a couple hours before sunset, I was the only one there, but I can imagine in peak season, it would be more busy. I spent about an hour and a half here taking pictures and enjoying the views. It was hard to peel myself away and head to dinner.




Giant's steps was one place I wish I had taken more pictures. Even though it was a very simple path that seemed to be in people's backyards, it was truly a magical little spot, and I found myself just sitting there, wondering what it would be like to live in one of the neighboring houses.

One of the beautiful houses along the Giant's Steps path,


When I first arrived at Bailey Island, I went for a drive just to get a feel for it. There really aren't a lot of places to pull over because this is mostly a residential area, but there are some places where you can stop. There's also also a nice little waterfront park called Mackerel Cove where you can spend some time taking in views of the harbor. 





I decided to take a drive and eat in Harpswell which is about 30 mins from Bailey Island, mostly because I wanted to explore more of the area and go for a nice drive. I ended up getting dinner at Dolphin Marina, which was awesome. I got a salad, mussels and seafood stew (which was served with a freshly baked blueberry muffin warmed to perfection) and it was all delicious. Close by this restaurant is a seafood shack called Erica's. But, it was cash only, and I didn't have enough on me to cover my dinner, so I popped on over to Dolphin Marina instead. 

On my drive back home, I pulled over into Pammy's Ice Cream Parlor, which is truly the most adorable little ice cream place I've ever seen. I don't believe the ice cream here is homemade, but I'm pretty sure they serve locally-made ice cream. Either way, it was delicious, and a really nice way to end my night.




And that's all I have for you for Bailey Island. It was a really quick stop, not even 24 hours, but I was so happy with my decision to stay here. I remember texting Josh when I got to my hotel saying how happy I was to have picked this little tiny spot to explore for a day. Next up will be my last and final post from this road trip, and it'll be all about Ogunquit.








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