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Boston to Portland: Coastal Route

28 May 2016

Trip Report: 28–30 May 2016

Ever since my previous tour from Boston to Portland, my other son wanted to experience it. Only this time, he would ride his own bicycle, for three days, on an extended route along the Atlantic coast.

Location: 43.341818°N, 70.563337°W

That gave us the chance to enjoy cold water dips, sights of lighthouses, & baked goods.


While it was still May with cool air & frigid ocean, we attempted a dip at beaches along the way at least once a day.

We started from Boston North Station on Commuter Rail at 09:30 arriving Newburyport at 10:31. We purchased tickets on the train using MBTA mTicket app.

Bicycle trail heading north started from the station, connected us with Beach Road (Route 1A) to reach Salisbury Beach & Hampton Beach:

Location: 42.913124°N, 70.808914°W

Roads were heavy with traffic, but with wide shoulders, side walks, or slow movement. We also took it easy as we passed by the beach, volleyball, shops, & loud music.

We stayed near the coast for the rest of our trip.

The route to Portsmouth meanders by the water, with open views of the horizon & beach mansions:

Rye Harbor State Park provided a good snack stop in the shade.

Once in Maine, the route turned into rolling hills along the rocky coast. Until we reached York beach, which gave us our first chance for a dip in the ocean.

Ogunquit was a small walking town with a harbor & several smalls shops for snacks, ice cream & candy.

On this trip, just like the previous one, it was difficult to make lodging reservation for one night only, except at Americas Best Value Inn. It is a very good place, except makes for a long first day. But we finally made it to Wells just as the sun set:

Location: 43.26523°N, 70.589745°W

The rocky coastal route & hills continued through Kennebunkport:

Location: 43.342297°N, 70.469017°W

Then the rocks disappeared for another opportunity to swim & play off of a sandy beach:

Location: 43.397758°N, 70.4133°W

Higgins Beach Inn was directly by the water:

Location: 43.561903°N, 70.281205°W

We had two opportunities to swim: as soon as we arrived & next day in early morning:

Location: 43.55988°N, 70.279328°W


Nubble light is a destination. We could not pass by the area without a visit:

Location: 43.1656°N, 70.592758°W

We approached it from narrow unassuming roads, only to find the parking lot full of tourists snapping pictures. We rested there while the kids jumped on the rocks.

It was really on our third day of the trip, as we approached Portland, when we had a crescendo of four lighthouses within short distance from one another.

After a hearty breakfast at Higgins Beach Inn, we make our way to Two Lights State Park for a view before taking a detour to view Cape Elizabeth light:

Location: 43.56497°N, 70.198713°W

The light is actually privately owned, so we could not get very close. Instead, we walked along the beach & enjoyed the views.

Next was a short trip to visit Portland Head light:

Location: 43.622637°N, 70.208603°W

It was under renovation, with most of the building covered & fenced. The rocky beach was still beautiful.

Rain was in the forecast that day. But it never did. Later the sun broke out as we arrived Spring Point Ledge light:

Location: 43.649967°N, 70.225472°W

Just outside of city center Portland, there is Bug light:

Location: 43.655333°N, 70.235475°W

Time for dessert & train back to Boston.


A feature on every bicycle ride is a bakery. This trip had many of them & other food stops.

While we started with some snacks, our first meal was in Ceres bakery in Portsmouth:

Location: 43.077018°N, 70.756063°W

They often have good selection of soups, salads, & fresh bread.

On the second day in Wells, just as we left the hotel, we stopped Borealis Bread to pack snacks for the road:

Location: 43.308853°N, 70.584038°W

Choices included challah rolls, macaroons, & walnut banana bread.

That was because we were still very hungry before the feast of Eggs Benedict at Maine Diner:

Location: 43.341964°N, 70.563177°W

Similarly the stack of waffles & pancakes was so large that even the hungry children could not finish them, no matter how much syrup & whip cream they put on them.

Near Nubble lighthouse were delights at Dunne’s: berry smoothie & cranberry ice cream:

Location: 43.167755°N, 70.595947°W

South of Portland is Scratch Baking:

Location: 43.639388°N, 70.230797°W

Ignoring the many bread choices, I went straight for the chocolate covered macaroons.

We attempted to reach Standard Baking, but it had just closed. Instead, late lunch was at Elevation Burger before cranberry Gorgeous Gelato:

Location: 43.656017°N, 70.254928°W

We arrived the station just in time to board the train. Actually, we had to wait until all other passengers boarded, moved the train so the bicycle car is near a high platform, loaded the bicycles, & then boarded the train. Nonetheless, grateful that Amtrak has bicycle roll-on service on this line.


Day Places Log
Saturday 28 May 2016 10:52
  • MBTA Commuter Rail
  • Hampton Beach
  • Rye Harbor State Park
  • Portsmouth
  • Ceres bakery
  • Nubble light
  • Dunne’s ice cream
  • Americas Best Value Inn
  • Map: download GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, & other file format for GPS track
  • Distance ➡️ 84.17km
  • Speed ⏩ 8.9km/h
  • Duration 🔄 9h:29m:00s
  • Ascent ⬆️ 429m
  • Temperature 📶 25.1ºC
  • Sunday 8:49
  • Borealis Bread
  • Goose Rocks beach
  • Maine Diner
  • Higgins Beach Inn
  • Map
  • ➡️ 74.47km
  • ⏩ 7.5km/h
  • 🔄 9:52:15
  • ⬆️ 381m
  • 📶 12.2ºC
  • Monday 9:26
  • Cape Elizabeth light
  • Portland Head light
  • Scratch Baking
  • Spring Point Ledge light
  • Bug light
  • Standard Baking
  • Elevation Burger
  • Gorgeous Gelato
  • Map
  • ➡️ 38.00km
  • ⏩ 8.5km/h
  • 🔄 4:28:15
  • ⬆️ 327m
  • 📶 16.7ºC
  • Total

  • ➡️ 196.6km
  • ⏩ 8.25km/h
  • 🔄 23:49:30
  • ⬆️ 1,137m
  • 📶 18.2ºC
  • Advertisements

    From → Bicycle

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