Traveling Domestically During Covid-19

Posted on 11/11/2020 | About Maine, Maine

We can still safely get you to great destinations during Covid-19

My wife and I decided to take a socially distanced holiday during Covid-19 to see what it's like to travel out of our local area. To give you a little background, my wife has a compromised immune system, so we have been locked down since March, socially distancing in our home. Our ventures out have been limited to careful visits with parents and socially distanced hikes in French Creek State Park.
For this adventure, we decided on the small town of Corea, Maine; I reserved a cottage on Gouldsboro Bay that was the perfect escape for two.

The Fantastic:
The Outdoors; When you're ready to travel Maine, it's spectacular, from scenic coastal vistas, isolated lakes, and ponds, countless trails. If you like the outdoors, even just a little bit, you will love Maine.

The Food; Can you say Lobster! Boiled, grilled, rolls, salads, and benedicts, clams, mussels, oysters, and fish, and that's just the seafood.

The Pace of Life; in Down East Maine, life has a comfortable rhythm that I'm going to work hard to work into my life permanently.

Downsides of Covid-19 Effects:

Traveling to Maine from most of the US, you will need a negative Covid Test Result within 72 hours of arrival in Maine.

Many restaurants are only offering takeaway and outdoor dining; minimal indoor dining options are available, Resulting in many typical dining options not being available.
How we did it:
Picking our Retreat: I worked with one of our travel partners to secure the perfect cottage for us; the private waterfront location was an ideal accommodation for us.

Getting there: You could fly to Portland or Bangor and rent a car for your stay, but we choose to drive from the Philadelphia area. In perfect conditions, it's a 10-Hour drive. Due to my wife's work commitments, we were unable to depart for Maine until 3 PM on the Friday before Labor Day Weekend. Our schedule restrictions required us to break up the trip and spend a night in Portland, Maine, on Friday evening, making the final 3:45 drive Saturday morning.
We spent the night in a Courtyard Marriott; due to Covid-19, the hotel Bistro was closed, but the hotel was practicing excellent social distancing, and we felt safe during our brief stay.
Saturday morning, we set off for our cottage, but not before making one quick stop to see the Flagship LL Bean store in Freeport, Maine. LL Bean was a model on how to handle customers during Covid-19; we were very impressed.

After departing LL Bean, we decided to call a routing audible and take RT 1 along the coast instead of the faster I-95 routing. Since we weren't in a hurry, this turned into an excellent decision as we passed quaint town after town and resulting in the best Lobster Roll of the week at McLaughlin's Lobster Shack.
When we arrived at our cottage, we were immediately impressed by the location, views, and quality of accommodations. We quickly unpacked and headed to the beach and walked the coastline, relishing the seclusion and beauty.
We enjoyed our first meal in house this evening as we watched the 10 ft tide roll in, played cards, enjoyed some excellent wine, and planned to be up for the sunrise. Well, one of us was up for the sunrise,

and I'm so glad I did; this was the only morning we saw the sun before 11 AM as the rest of the weeks started with light to heavy fog, adding to the charm of the setting.
Every day we hiked up mountains, along spectacular beaches or into forests;

We even ventured into Bar Harbor one evening after exploring Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to enjoy a well-executed dining experience at the Side Street Café.

Our last night in Maine, we did the traditional Maine Lobster Boil at the Trenton Lobster Pound! If you're in the area, be sure to give it a try. Currently, limited outdoor seating is available, but most diners were getting to-go meals. Get to the Pound early to beat the rush; after six, the line was out the door with masked lobster lovers waiting there turn to pick the perfect Lobster from 1 ¼ to 4lbs.


Observations:
Inside use of Masks was universal, and outdoor mask-wearing was the norm when social distancing was not possible, even on Cadillac Mountain. It was refreshing to see a mask worn for the benefit of your fellow humans, even when it would have been easier not to wear a mask.
Was everything perfect? No, would I do it again during Covid-19? Absolutely.
Eventually, we will all need to reemerge from our Covid-19 encampments and get back out there, doing the human interactions without fear, returning to what makes us tick; Love, curiosity, joy, and humanity.
We will overcome these times of adversity; Follow the science, be kind, safe, and happy