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Best Road Trip Drives: U.S. Route 1, Maine

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Best Road Trip Drives: U.S. Route 1, Maine

US 1 Near the Courthouse in Key West Photo by Deror avi

Interested in taking a road trip that gives you a taste of New England? Then taking U.S. Route 1 through Maine would be perfect for you. Since the mid 1920s, Route 1 has hugged the coast of Maine, providing views so beautiful that the 12-mile stretch of Route 1 between Danforth and Orient has been dubbed the “Million Dollar View.” So go ahead, fill up your tank—there’s no need to turn back. You can take Route 1 all the way to Key West in Florida!

What You’ll See

Along with picturesque views of Grand Lake and Peakaboo Mountain, there are a variety of manmade wonders to check out on your road trip down Route 1. Lighthouses are abundant, the most notable being the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. Built in 1791, it’s the oldest lighthouse in Maine (and one of the oldest in the country) and offers splendid views of the coastline.

Where to Stop

When cabin fever hits you, there are plenty of roadside attractions to stretch your legs at, too, particularly the Maine State Prison Industries showroom in Thomaston, which sells items that are handmade by prisoners, ranging from carved wooden jewelry boxes to model ships. Because it’s illegal for the showroom to ship items across state lines, it’s a terrific find if you’re looking for something you can only find in Maine.

For foodies, there’s the typical New England cuisine galore—especially if you’re hankering for some lobster. In Kittery Point, the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier offers a riverside picnic table atmosphere with some awesome nature views and terrific lobster dishes.

With an abundance of scenic nature, great food, and terrific roadside attractions, U.S. Route 1 in Maine is a terrific option for a road trip, especially once fall comes calling. Do you have any favorite haunts to visit on Route 1? Share your thoughts below!