Just a hop, skip, and a jump over state lines from Portsmouth, NH is Kittery, ME. Seriously, the two towns are only 2 miles from one another, 10 minutes away. I thought it would be a shame not to double dip right into Maine. The two are so close I actually stayed at an AirBNB in Kittery, with this fantastic ‘Norwegian forest kitty with some of the biggest paws I have ever seen, named Turney.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife, Near intersection of Cutts Island Lane and Seapoint Road, Kittery
First things first. Don’t even THINK about coming here without bug spray! Even with it on we got massacred. Maybe it was just the day, but be prepared. The tiny kiosk for the Cutts Island Trail (one of three maintained by the preserve) is barely visible, there is a gravel pull off beside the bridge and boat launch with room for about one or two cars. Without looking at the map hard, the shape of the trail kind of fooled me, initially. The path is well marked and maintained so you won’t get lost, but take a good look at the map so you won’t be disoriented.
It’s a reverse lollypop (1.8 miles long), where you start going one direction of the loop, then out and back to a vista, and around the back end of the loop. Interesting. So we started out into the quiet woods, no one else around, and saw some great trees, mushrooms, and heard many birds (but saw none).
Along the path there are a few historical plaques and maps that let you know where you are in regards to the path. Out at the vista the trees vanished to reveal some of the most beautiful grass I have ever seen.
The name Rachel Carson was so familiar to me, I had to look up where I remembered it from. She was the conservationist who wrote Silent Spring, a book which shed light on the horrors the pesticide DDT was wreaking on the environment.
Fort Foster, Pocahontas Rd., Gerrish Island, Kittery Point, ME
There is a little bit of everything here. Explore World War II fortifications and take in the views of Whaleback Lighthouse and Portsmouth Harbor. You will find trails to hiking, a swimming beach with tide pools, playground, and picnic areas.
Fort McClary, Pepperrell Rd, Kittery Point, ME 03905
Learn about the history of a fort that was active in five different wars. There are bunkers to enter, an underground tunnel, and an 1844 blockhouse. Top floor will grant beautiful views of the surrounding area.
Shopping at Kittery Outlets, 306 U.S. 1, Kittery, ME 03904
If you’re looking to score some sales, this is your stop!
Dinner at Robert’s Maine Grill, 326 Route 1, Kittery, ME 03904
My imagination had me thinking this was going to be a little shack, with just a few tables, on the side of the road. In reality, the place is huge boasting it’s very own decorative lighthouse and right across from the outlets.
I almost stopped to have a parking lot party, the view from these Adirondack chairs was tempting.
However, request a seat up on the deck for a view of the water. Also – call in advance for a reservation and skip the line, this is a popular place! The food is great and the service is top notch. They started us off with an assortment of yummy crackers and some garlicky spread, kitschy. We ordered a little lobster slider (because, Maine), and crispy buffalo blue cheese oysters sounded too good to pass up.
Our mains were as good as our apps! My baked cod was incredible, delicate and flaky, with a flavorful lemon herb crumb. The asparagus and potatoes were a great accompaniment. Jeff got an east coast jambalaya with shrimp, mussels, chicken, sausage, and crispy fried local fish. It was a feast and a half! Couldn’t have asked for a better quick Maine experience.