Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 26, 2010

Visiting Southern Maine

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I have been visiting and loving the southern Maine area since I was a child.  I was very happy with the opportunity to share “my” place with you as the subject of Scott Thomas’s latest photo assignment, a travel photo essay.  I hope you enjoy your visit to the northernmost of the contiguous 48 states with me!

Piscataqua river bridge

The Piscataqua River Bridge connects the New Hampshire and Maine Turnpikes, both part of Interstate 95.  The bridge, which is 3/4 of a mile long and rises 135 feet above the river, first opened to traffic in 1972.  On summer weekends, the bridge carries over 100,000 cars a day between the two states. (pronounced: pis-CAT-ih-qwah)


A short distance past the bridge on Route 1 in Kittery, ME, you will find an absolute must of a stop! Members of this family have been genetically unable to pass by this sign without stopping in since the store‘s opening in 1986!

Hills Beach Mosiac

Hills Beach in Biddeford, ME is a quiet, private beach community.  Lined with condos, magnificent homes and beach cottages, it has been a family destination nearly every summer since I was a small child.  The waves are gentle at high tide, and at low tide the water virtually disappears beyond the small islands off shore, making for lots of exploration space and a sandbar that allows residents of Basket Island (square 5 above) to drive to shore!  The University of New England  makes its home on Hills Beach Road.  (All pictures here can be seen in a larger version on my Flickr page)

Wood Island Light

Wood Island is one of the islands easily visible from Hills Beach.  Located near the entrance to Biddeford Pool, Wood Island Light was built in 1839 and automated in 1986.  Its signal is alternating white and green light every 10 seconds.

Goat Island Light

Lighthouses are ubitquitous along the coast of Maine.  Not far from Hills Beach, in the village of Cape Porpoise, you will find Goat Island Light.  It was built in 1859 and automated in 1990.  Its signal is a white flash every 6 seconds.

Walker Point

Perhaps one of the most commonly photographed homes, Walker Point in Kennebunkport is the summer home of former President George H.W. Bush.  It was built in 1903 by George H. Walker.  George’s daughter, Dorothy, married Prescott Bush and Walker Point has remained in the Bush family ever since.  Dorothy and Prescott’s son, and then grandson, went on to become the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States.

Blowing Cave

In addition to the summer home of the former President, Kennebunkport also features a natural tourist attraction located across the little bay from Walker Point known as Blowing Cave.  When the right combination of tide level, cave fullness and wave speed combine, a beautful flume of water sprays out from this erosion-carved cave.  Obviously those factors were not coming together on the day I visited!

(This is a photo of the cave in action that I took back in 2006.  I have no idea what camera I was using at the time!)

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about one of my favorite places!  Maine has so much more to offer (and I still have so many more pictures to share!) This photo essay is but a tiny fraction of the treasures found in this magical place.  I’ve been as far north in Maine as Bar Harbor (home of Acadia National Park) and enjoyed beauty in many spots along the way, yet Hills Beach is the place I return to again and again.  I thank my parents for introducing this place to me and hope that I’m instilling a similar love in my own family.


  1. Thanks for taking us to Maine Karen.
    I learned about places unknown to me. -I had to look on google maps to see where in the world you were on your vacation. It might be cold up there, I think.

    Comment by Carsten — August 27, 2010 @ 7:43 am | Reply

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your little trip, Carsten! Maine can be very cold in the winter – like most of the northeastern United States, but it is quite beautiful in the summer. The ocean usually doesn’t get very warm; surface temperature while we were there was 63 degrees fahrenheit – I think that’s about 17 degrees celcius? Either way, quite chilly for a dip!

      Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  2. I have never been to Yummies! I had never even heard of it before this post! I’ll have to put it on the list. Plus, I had no idea about Blowing Cave. See, that’s what happens when you live in/near Portland and southern Maine is another world away. Thanks for this info.!

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 27, 2010 @ 8:12 am | Reply

    • Now we’ve both learned about a new place from each other – and me thinking I there was very little I could learn about Biddeford!

      Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  3. This is wonderful! There is nothing like visiting a place with someone who loves it. Maine is “the road not traveled” in my life, and has a special place in my imagination, in spite of all the salt in the water.

    Wait, wait–Yummies is hiring? Cowboy, Sadie, get in the car!

    Comment by Gerry — August 27, 2010 @ 8:58 am | Reply

    • I don’t know if you are subscribed to comments or not Gerry, but I sent a reply to you on the next comment! I hope you’ll come and take a look! I seem to miss the “reply” button now and then when I am responding to people!

      Comment by Karma — August 29, 2010 @ 11:34 am | Reply

  4. Thank you, Gerry! I’d love to hear your “road not traveled” story. Was it a job opportunity that you decided not to take?
    Funny, I can’t imagine being at the shore without all that salt in the water – I’ve been thinking that at least one of the Great Lakes should be on the short list of places to get to someday.

    Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  5. Thank you for sharing your trip and your love for a place with us. I really enjoyed it. It’s interesting to visit places through the eyes of another.

    I would love to see Blowing Cave. I’ll have to add that to my ever-growing list of places I want to visit.

    I really like your last shot. You all look like you’re having a blast. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — August 27, 2010 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Robin! Yes, Blowing Cave is pretty neat! I’m afraid that little shot I’ve got there doesn’t do it justice.

      Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  6. I never knew there was a University of New England! I’ve been to Maine several times and it is so breathtakingly beautiful. One summer my parents took us for a wonderful vacation at Acadia National Park. I bet your kids love it as much as you do!

    Comment by Barbara — August 27, 2010 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

    • Acadia National Park is stunning! I definitely want to go back there someday.
      Sometimes it is hard to tell with teenagers exactly what they like, isn’t it?

      Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 7:57 pm | Reply

  7. It sure does look like a real nice place to spend a relaxing week or two… Real nice k…

    Comment by FS Photography — August 27, 2010 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

    • Thank you, Brian. I suppose coming from someone who lives on an island, shots of beaches and rocks and waves aren’t all that different from what you see all the time?

      Comment by Karma — August 27, 2010 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

  8. What a beautifil place! MUST put it on my list of vacation destinations! Who knows, maybe it could be next summer’s road trip? Oh, and that cady store is right up my alley (wish it LITERALLY was right up my alley! 😉 LOL) and I would HAVE to stop there, too!

    Love the last pic!

    Comment by thedailyclick — August 28, 2010 @ 9:44 am | Reply

    • Thank you Michaela! I keep saying the northeast should be on your road trip list – then we could organize a blogger meet up! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — August 28, 2010 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  9. Great overview. As much as I love Peaks Island, you are making me jealous of your Hills Beach vacations! Such nostalgia!

    I have a framed picture of Blowing Cave very similar to that one hanging in my office that I took with my 35mm Rebel.

    Comment by JenniferA — August 29, 2010 @ 11:28 am | Reply

    • Maybe one of these years you can get Larry to take a trip to Hills Beach! If not, maybe you could come visit us for a bit on our vacation. The place we stay now is big enough for an overnight visitor or two.

      Comment by Karma — August 29, 2010 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  10. As you know, my neice is attending UNE (she is actually there now as she needed to go back early due to her being a member of the track & field team) so it is nice to ‘see’ the place where she is as I’ve never been. Looks wonderful! That last family pic is a hoot! One for the wall, for sure! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 30, 2010 @ 10:42 am | Reply

    • That’s right! I had forgotten that about your niece. The campus looks like it is doing some expansion, which is great. That family shot has turned out to be a favorite!

      Comment by Karma — August 30, 2010 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  11. Merci pour ce voyage magnifique dans le Maine 🙂 This is real vacation for me – and for you also obviously : the sea, the beach, the lighthouses, the high waves hitting the rocks, the boats, I love just about everything. Nice mosaic to present more pictures too, a good idea ! What candy did you chose 😉 ? A real wonderful travel essay. Tu veux que je continue en français ?

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — September 4, 2010 @ 3:03 am | Reply

    • J’aime lire vos commentaires dans le français! I am also happy to realize that I can still understand them! I’m glad you enjoyed this visit to Maine. For candy I chose Runts, butter toffee peanuts, raspberry cordials, and Lindt truffles!

      Comment by Karma — September 5, 2010 @ 9:19 am | Reply

  12. That looks like a very nice place you showed us here, Maine must be a great place to visit! It looks like the nature in Maine is much like the Scandinavian nature 🙂

    Comment by truels — September 6, 2010 @ 7:14 am | Reply

    • I imagine that Maine and the Scandinavian countries at least share very cold ocean temperatures!

      Comment by Karma — September 6, 2010 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  13. […] shows and tells us about her favorite place in Visiting Southern Maine.  From the Piscataqua River bridge to Kennebunkport, Karen shares with us the both the natural and […]

    Pingback by Assignment 8: Recap « Views Infinitum — September 10, 2010 @ 6:44 am | Reply

  14. I’ve heard from my sister that this is a beautiful place and can see that in your post here. I love the photo of Walker Point in Kennebunkport, must be a very nice view from there. 🙂

    Comment by Nye — September 11, 2010 @ 1:08 am | Reply

    • There are many beautiful places in Maine. Certainly worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Nye!

      Comment by Karma — September 12, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  15. Karma, finally getting over here to view YOUR photo essay. This was fun to read and admire the photos. The family shot is my all-time favorite here. You all look so exhuberant and happy! I’m smiling from ear to ear just catching your happiness.

    Comment by Kathy — September 11, 2010 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

    • My family needed a little surprise to get a fun reaction for this photo. It is NOT easy to get my family to smile all at once and pose for pictures, so I ran straight for them and threw myself in front of them after setting up the self-timer on the camera. That’s turned out to be one of my favorite shots from vacation this year!

      Comment by Karma — September 12, 2010 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  16. […] on our route north, we made our stops for supplies along the way. I’ve told you before about Yummies – this year was no exception for stopping at our favorite candy store. I also grabbed a pint […]

    Pingback by The Maine Thing – part 1 | Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — August 17, 2014 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

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