In our 30’s, we went to Bar Harbor for the first time and with wide eyes and in a state of awe, we said over and over to each other, “Why have we never been here before??”
We are true Mainers, after all, born and bred in Portland.
We should certainly know the most beautiful places in Maine.
And we certainly should have visited all of them!
It was Rangeley and Oquossoc in our 40’s.
It was York Harbor in our 50’s.
Last weekend, in fact.
On a sunny day in late April, we went in search of the Wiggly Bridge in York.
I was introduced to the Wiggly Bridge, one of the world’s smallest suspension bridges I’m told, from a photo in Down East Magazine that surprisingly listed my firm’s CEO identifying their photo. His write-in to the magazine said the Wiggly Bridge is where he had his first kiss.
My CEO is in his late 70’s, a proud entrepreneur who has led a wealth management firm known for its true client service (not fake news) for 40 years. His firm now manages over $4 billion of client assets. Big, serious, impressive.
So, for me….a 25-year veteran in his firm…to hear about first kisses….was fun, imagining him as a teenager, wondering maybe where life would lead him.
Ever-curious as I am, on a sunny spring day, we headed south.
York Harbor is breathtaking, historic, charming! I’d recommend going in late spring like we did or maybe late fall. I can imagine the throngs of tourists visiting in the height of summer. (I am an introvert after all.)
From the Maine Turnpike, we went south and got off in York, Exit 7. We turned right onto Route 1 at Stonewall Kitchen off the turnpike, and then left at Rt 1A, York Street. Very quickly, we took the right onto Lilac Lane (Rt 103) and parked along the road on a mid-Sunday morning, coffee in-hand.
Tide was out as we walked the Wiggly Bridge and Steedman Woods’ walking loop at the end of the bridge. As live-near-the-ocean-Mainers, the smell of low tide is part of our DNA. We breathed it all in that morning – fresh air, warming sunshine, clear blue skies.
Coming back across the bridge and the causeway, we discovered Fisherman’s Walk beginning at the Sayward Wheeler house, circa 1718. I couldn’t get over its New England look with 9-over-9-paned windows. I love these Colonial homes in Southern Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Just in front of the house is a gravel and cement walking path that meanders past more historic homes and then connects to the cliff walk where we pass mansions, daffodils, and secret doors in stone foundations.
Now, we’re not novices. We’ve walked cliff walks in Prout’s Neck and Ogunquit, Bar Harbor, and Newport, Rhode Island. We’re no longer easily impressed. But….oh, the Cliff Walk in York Harbor – was magnificent!
We looked down at every opportunity onto York Harbor Beach, sparsely populated of folks and dogs so early in the season. The gray sand beach didn’t have one rock. Waves undulated onto the sand in measured time and metered distance.
We passed the Private Reading Room Club across from the York Harbor Inn – a place I want to enter; cottages still boarded up awaiting their summer residents from away; and glorious mansions that luckily for me, I don’t live in them. Because if I did, you’d never see me. I’d never leave. Why would I?
Observing the southern coast of Maine, perched on the edge of this cliff, breathing in the clean scent of beach roses and the sea is a lovely way to spend a leisurely Sunday morning, exploring and observing so much beauty.