Adventure Length: Get A Room
Month We Adventured: June
Ideal Time for this Adventure: Summer
Bring: Bug spray, bathing suits, sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks & wine/beer for the cabin.
Adventure Begins: Attean Lake Lodge in Jackman, ME on Birch Island.
Portland -> Jackman: 3 Hours
Jackman -> Portland: 3 Hours
I couldn't tell you how I find this place. I was daydreaming and searching for a perfect getaway during COVID times, and somehow I stumbled upon this oasis on an island in Jackman, ME. A private cabin (with no electricity) on a private island with all meals included? We got our masks and we were off.
Attean Lake Lodge is a true family business and you can read about the history here. Brad and Andrea live on the island, along with Barrett (Brad's son) and Josie (and their two sweet kiddos.) They know every guest, and if they don't, you better believe they will all introduce themselves to you to make you feel like part of the family. We were greeted by the entire family within hours of being there.
So, it became clear right away we were one of the only newcomers - and I mean this in the best way. The first woman we chatted with had been coming to Attean since 2001. Once you go, you go again. And again.
But the website doesn't give you a whole lot of information, so it all feels a little mysterious. The address I found took you to a parking lot, and once you arrived, apparently a man named Karl would appear from his cabin, at the end of the parking lot, to greet you and get you on a boat to head to Attean.
And when we arrived, there was in fact a little cabin at the start of the lake that indeed, housed a sweet man named Karl. Karl amused us with the history of the island, told us to keep a look out for the dog that roamed the island who loved kids and that we may have a hard time sleeping at first because it is shockingly quiet.
We boarded a private boat that took us on a 5 minute boat ride to Attean. When we pulled up, we were shown to our private cabin. We had booked the Pound Ridge Cabin - a cabin at the farthest end of the island. I had prepped myself going in that the cabin would be pretty rustic considering there was no electricity, but it was honestly cleaner and better kept than most hotels I have stayed in. The bedrooms were simple, clean and perfect for the three of us and the hot water was much appreciated. Kerosene lamps helped light the rooms. If we didn't have our four year old running around us in circles, I would have said it was supremely romantic.
And once you are checked into your cabin....the rest of your adventure is up to you. We ran to put our bathing suits on and headed down to the beach.
Attean serves breakfast between 8AM-9AM and dinner between 6PM-7PM. For breakfast they offer two daily specials (our first day it was Blueberry Pancakes or a Ham & Cheese Omelet) AND pretty much anything under the sun that you could possibly want otherwise (I got scrambled eggs and toast both days - super cool and original, I know.) For dinner, they provide a choice of two appetizers (first night it was chowder or a green salad), a choice of an entree (first up was Salmon or Steak) and a choice of a dessert (first night we all got the Strawberry Shortcake.) Wine and beer available at dinner.
They provide a simple bagged lunch (in a cooler) with a canteen (filled with your choice of lemonade or iced tea) that they encourage you to take with you so you can adventure throughout the day. You can choose whichever type of sandwich you'd like with a handful of varied options each day. LOVED this. It helped remind us to get off a schedule, relax and just enjoy the day wherever it takes you.
I wasn't expecting to like the food as much as I did. In particular, the baked goods were insane. Each meal they provide a basket of freshly baked goodies directly upon sitting down - blueberry muffins, homemade biscuits, etc. Always hot and fresh.
Other than eating an insane amount of food, here are some other activities we did:
Hope to be one of those regulars. See you next Summer, Attean.
Adventure Length: 1/2 Day
Month We Adventured: June
Ideal Time for this Adventure: Lunch through to late afternoon.
Bring: Bug spray, sunscreen, lunch for the littles, water.
Adventure Begins: Ramonas in Portland.
Adventure Continues: Oven's Mouth in Boothbay. Free, limited parking.
Portland -> Boothbay: 1 Hour
Boothbay -> Portland: 1 Hour
Adventures during the time of COVID have certainly been a little different. I'm finding that I am more likely to pick a 1/2 adventure that requires a little bit longer of a drive even though my end destination is back at my house. I mean, what else do we have to do?
This adventure starts in Portland by picking up some legit, delicious hoagies from Ramonas. This new joint opened during COVID (we see you and we thank you for pulling through this!) and offered limited sandwiches each day for curbside pickup. I missed the boat each day and by the time I got to the site, they were sold out. So, the minute they announced they would be opening for real, I built it into our adventure for the weekend.
We picked up two Classical Italian Combos and with Harper's lunch already packed, we headed to Boothbay and planned to have a trunk lunch (something that has become sort of the norm these days.) Take a look at this beauty:
I mean, this place doesn't need any other press. Look above, look here and just go get a sandwich. If you can get it that is, they still sell out most days. We may or may not have ordered this twice in a three day stretch last week.
Once sandwiches were in tow, we took one of my (and well, everyone else's) favorite drives on Maine's Coastal Route 1. Antique shops adorned with colorful buoys, lobster shacks and seafood restaurants not just exist in every whimsical Maine book/television show you've read/seen, they actually live on Route 1. Driving through charming Wiscasset is a personal favorite.
We made our way to Oven's Mouth Preserve and after devouring our Ramona's lunch in the back of our Jeep, we got to it.
Oven's Mouth is bound by the Back and Cross Rivers which connects the two peninsulas that form the preserve, Oven's Mouth East and West. There is a stunning bridge that connects the East to the West that Harper was thrilled to run across once we stumbled upon it. The West peninsula is heavily wooded with great hiking trails, while the East peninsula is a little over 1.5 miles and is a collection of salt marshes, easier trails and views of quiet coves.
Harper handled the walk with ease (only asking to be picked up for the last small stretch) and I would say this is a perfect family hike to keep everyone entertained with plenty to take in. You can cut the walk short and still experience much of what this preserve has to offer.
Yes, the water really looks like that. This incredible blue/green water flows throughout and we were successfully able to convince Harper that 100% some magical fairies roamed these woods and controlled these waters. What else could explain it?