Simple Pleasures—Art and Flowers on the Maine Midcoast

October 14, 2019


Our continuing travels in Maine…

After Acadia and Bar Harbor, we began a leisurely drive down the Maine coast. I had made a list of places that sounded interesting, and we decided to explore what took our fancy, deciding where to stop for the night on the fly, since we didn’t know exactly where we’d be when it was time to find a place to stay. We were between the tourist seasons of summer and “leaf peeping,” so it wasn’t too crowded. If you want to stay somewhere special or if you go during a busier time of year, it would be better to make plans ahead of time, but this worked fine for finding a place just to sleep for the night. We had a couple rooms that were just OK, but mostly every place we stayed had something nice about it, whether it was a tasty breakfast, a pretty view, or even an adorable puppy in the office.

This is Bella. No, we didn't pack her up and bring her home with us. 

Farnsworth Art Museum

One day we explored some of the art and garden attractions in Maine’s Midcoast area. This area so charmed us, we’ve even discussed retiring there! That would be quite a change for this California/Florida couple!

We started with the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. The Farnsworth focuses on American art from the 18th century to the present, with a special focus on artists who have lived and worked in Maine. These include artists like Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and Georgia O’Keeffe, in addition to works by the Wyeth family: N.C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, and James (“Jamie”) Wyeth.


Frolic, by Jamie Wyeth.

Detail from Frolic

On recommendation of some people we met at the tire repair shop—because of course we had to have a little adversity on our trip—we ate lunch at Café Miranda, an adorable little place just a few streets away from the museum. My husband had a late breakfast, but I had the “Fabulous Bowl of Meat,” which was actually…Thai lettuce wraps. And delicious.



Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Thus fortified, we meandered down to Boothbay to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. As I mentioned on Instagram, we may not have seen many colorful fall leaves, but we made up for that in displays of flowers. We saw gorgeous flowers everywhere, but, of course, the botanical gardens were exceptional.

The entrance





Vertical garden

Dahlia




The garden opened in 2007 after 16 years of planning, and is the largest botanical garden in New England. Seventeen of its 295 acres feature plants native to Maine as well as other plants suited to northern coastal conditions.

The children’s garden area was especially fun:

Look closely at the picket fence, also below



Garden resident

Arbor with gourds--you can see one at the right of the entrance

When our feet we were finished with exploring the garden, we found ourselves a hotel in East Boothbay, the Smuggler’s Cove Inn  (where we met Bella). We spotted a sign for a fish and chips special at the Carriage House restaurant on our way to the hotel, and went back there for dinner—and it was one of our best dinners of the whole trip. Everything from the pickle fried chicken wings appetizer to the homemade sauce for the fish was scrumptious. 

And so we come to the end of another full day of the Johnson & Johnson belated anniversary road trip of 2019. Thank you for letting me re-live our trip as I post these photos and memories here—I have a few more experiences to share!

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4 comments

  1. Kathy what great photos. The botanical gardens are awesome. Loved the little frog you captured. Looks like you mixed in some wonderful art as well. Thanks for sharing this lovely trip. Have a super day. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks, Debbie--it was hard to take a bad picture in the gardens. This was one of my favorite days.

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  2. Wow!! You probably passed right by my home town on your way from Acadia to Rockland!!! I used to work at the Farnsworth! I live an hour and a half from Acadia, I love it so so much and have done a number of posts about it. I'm happy you got to come to wonderful Maine and that you had a nice time...but oh, how I wish I could have met you, if only for a moment!!! Come back, OK?

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    1. Oh, Rita, I would have LOVED to have met up with you! Maybe we could have eaten lunch at Cafe Miranda together :) I would love to come back to Maine, and hope I get the chance to in future. I'll have to go look through your posts now that I've been to Acadia myself.

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