A local shared this little secret with me. I was staying in Portland, ME and decided to take an evening off of work. The jaunt from Portland is longer than expected, but it was picturesque and lovely. Driving back roads with the windows down, breeze blowing, and Jimmy Buffet blasting was such a treat. The weather was perfection – high 70’s, an occasionally fluffy white cloud, crisply clean air, and the smell of the ocean with every gust of wind. As you drive along Rt 24 down to Bailey Island, you wind around gently sloping hills which frame little bays and rivers ringed with craggy rocks softened by tender patches of wildflowers and the greenest of green pines. It was one of the best drives I’ve taken in a long time. As you cross over the bridge onto Bailey Island you can see Cook’s Lobster House perched in the middle of the bay. True to the description the local gave me, it’s a watering hole for area lobstermen as well as a popular dinner spot for both residents and wayward tourists.
I came at just the right time, arriving at 6pm. There weren’t many people and I had my choice of spots on the Moby’s Deck (attached to Cook’s), perfect for watching the sun set over the water. I’d had a big lunch so I opted for lighter fare. The local Allagash brew was wonderfully crisp and cold and the locally harvested mussels were also quite good in a white wine butter broth. I deferred from much more but the guy sitting next to me insisted I try a bite of his lobster mac n’ cheese and it was divine (thank you handsome stranger guy who kept me company!).
If you find yourself in Maine, don’t miss Bailey Island and Cook’s Lobster. On island there are a number of small inns and cottages to rent but they’re hard to book in season so plan ahead.