For more than one hundred years, the coastline of Maine has been one of the most popular summer vacation destinations in the country. The coastline is an endless series of deeply-cut harbors, coves and peninsulas with more offshore islands than you could count. Along this route you’ll find dozens of quaint fishing villages, each with that unique New England character that makes this area so special.
Begin your northbound diversion by leaving I-95 at exit 22 (US 1, Brunswick, Bath) and traveling north a mile or two to Brunswick, where Harriet Beecher Stowe’s inspiration for “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was born from a sermon delivered at the First Parish Church on Maine Street.
Continue north on US Route 1 about 10 miles to Bath, to this day an active shipbuilding center since the early 1600’s. The Maine Maritime Museum (213 Washington Street), is a 20 acre attraction located on a 19th century shipyard, and a must visit!
Leave Bath and continue north on US Route 1 about 10 miles to Wiscasset, which at one time was Maine’s chief port. Visit The Musical Wonder House (18 High Street) home of antique Swiss, German, French and American music boxes.Leave Wiscasset and travel 32 miles north on US Route 1 to Rockland, one of Maine’s largest fishing ports and considered to be the “Lobster Capital of the World”. A nearly mile-long granite breakwater extends across Penobscot Bay to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, built around 1888. Rockland’s historic Main Street district is now a shopping area. Must stops include the Owls Head Light, Owls Head Transportation Museum and the Farnsworth Art Museum.Camden, about 8 miles north on Rockland on US Route 1 is a year-round vacation resort. Camden Hills State Park has a 1 mile road that leads to the summit of Mount Battie and scenic views of Camden village and the harbor.About 20 miles north of Camden on US Route 1 is Belfast, a once prosperous shipbuilding center and now a cultural center for artists, writers and craftsmen. Self-guided walking tours showcase Belfast’s restored Federal and early Victorian homes built by former sea merchantsContinue north on US Route 1 about 17 miles to Bucksport. Be sure to visit Northeast Historic Film Museum, located in a renovated 1916 cinema. In Bucksport, US Route 1 intersects with Maine Route 15. Take Route 15 north about 20 miles to Interstate 395. Then follow I-395 west over the Penobscot River to Bangor where you will join I-95 at exit 45.Before you continue up I-95 take some time to visit Bangor, the areas principal retail, cultural and commercial center. Maps for self-guided walking tours of Bangor’s historic sites are available at the Bangor Historical Society Museum (159 Union Street)This Maine Coastline diversion trip is approximately 115 miles. The I-95 distance between exit 22 (Brunswick) and exit 45 (Bangor) is 104 miles.
In Maine, take I-95 northbound to exit 22. Then US Route 1 north thru Bath, Wiscasset, New Castle, Thomaston and Rockland. From Rockland, continue on US Route 1 north thru Rockport, Camden and Belfast. Continue on US Route 1 north thru Searsport and Bucksport and ME Route 15. Travel north on ME Route 15 to Interstate 395, then I-395 west to I-95 (exit 45)
Sidetrip Miles: 115 miles
I-95 miles: 104 miles