Photo: Courtesy of Hidden Pond
While the West Coast might get most of the attention when it comes to honeymoon planning (after all, it's hard to say no to wine country and sandy beaches!), there are plenty of amazing locations if you head east. One such locale that's under-the-radar, but definitely packs a punch when it comes to romance, amazing food, and stunning views is Maine. From quaint inns to waterfront restaurants, it's the perfect place to relax and unwind, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To help you navigate this secluded honeymooners' paradise, we've put together an itinerary to give you a taste of all Maine has to offer.
Photo: Courtesy of Hidden Pond
Where to Stay
For your romantic getaway, really get away at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport. Surrounded by 60 acres of forests and just a mile from nearby Goose Rocks Beach, this lodge boasts Earth, a restaurant developed in collaboration with James Beard Award-winner Ken Oringer, as well as a spa with treatment rooms high up in treetops. Settle into an intimate bungalow, grab a drink at the Back Porch Bar, or wander the nearby hiking trails. You'll be a true Mainer in no time!
Photo: Courtesy of Eventide Oyster Co.
Where to Eat
You can't go to Maine without having a lobster roll, and locals will tell you one of the very best is at Red's Eats in Wiscasset. You'll know you've found it when the traffic on Route 1 slows to a crawl and you spot a line backed up onto the bridge over the Sheepscot River. Grab a spot along the water and dig in.
For more fresher-than-fresh seafood, Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland is a go-to spot for, well, oysters. With 10 or more Maine varieties on the menu, plus a Korean BBQ-inspired broiled oyster and lobster stew with green curry, it's the perfect spot for a serious fish fix.
Speaking of fish, another hidden gem is Miyake, a Portland sushi bar with global influence. Put yourself in chef Masa Miyake's hands with the omakase menu, and get ready for some of the best sushi you can get outside of Japan.
Looking for a sweet treat you can feel good about? Head to The Holy Donut in Portland. Get there before noon for your pick of flavors, like pomegranate glaze or Allen's Coffee Brandy (a local favorite). The secret? The donuts are made with Maine potatoes, which gives them their melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Photo: Getty Images
Where to Drink
Originally opened as a mocktail bar and family-friendly soda shop selling specialty items for soda and cocktail enthusiasts alike, Vena's Fizz House in Old Portland added a liquor license and has transformed into an evening hot-spot. With unique ingredients and specialty techniques, they shake up concoctions like the gin, pine, and spiced tonic Lumbersexual and a Vodka Collins dressed up with elderflower liqueur and hops — not to mention an apothecary of boozy libations designed to cure what ails you.
Committed to taking care of the planet (they donate 1% of their proceeds every year to environmental causes) as well as making amazing beer, Maine Beer Company in Freeport is just the place to find IPAs and pale ales that would be perfect for an afternoon on the shore.
For a sleek spot with a "geeky" cocktail list, head to Portland Hunt and Alpine Club. Drinks include barrel-aged spirits and are organized into four categories: Refreshing, Adventurous, Classics (and Riffs), and Brown & Bitter. If you can't decide, ask for a cup of their Daily Punch, an ever-changing combination of spirits and flavors — and only $6!
Photo: Courtesy of Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co.
What to Do
A visit to this coastal state wouldn't be complete without a trip to one of the amazing beaches, from three-mile Ogunquit beach to a secluded sand beach in Acadia National Park. Want to get out on the water? If you're honeymooning from June to August, join Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. for a tour of the Gulf of Maine in search of humpback, finback, and Minke whales. The on-board galley serves beer and wine, so you can sip and snack while you search for these impressive creatures. Or stay closer to shore on one of their light house tours, seeing some of Maine's most popular lights (as well as coastal mansions like the Astors' Breakwater Estate and Martha Stewart's Skylands).
Ready for some relaxation after all that activity? The White Barn Inn's spa boasts treatment suites with soaker tubs, a hot stone massage using stones from the Kennebunk River, and body wraps with Maine sea salt. Spend date night in the Couple's Spa Suite, with 90-minute massages followed by canapé and sparkling wine.