For most of us our weeks here at UNE are full of stressful days followed by sleepless nights. We spend our time studying for what feels like forever, running across UNE to get to class, working one or more jobs on campus and trying our best to make it to the gym. As Friday rolls around most of us are exhausted and in need of a personal day. Instead of laying in bed all day eating your feelings while watching Netflix check out these top ten places to make a day trip out of with your friend. It's time to enjoy life again (even if it's just for a day).
Portland is probably the most popular place for UNE students to go to during their free time and I mean, hey, can you blame them? There is so much to do in this city and you will always find something new to do. Be sure to stop by Holy Donut to try a pomegranate glazed potato donut or go to Maine Popcorn Company to try buffalo chicken popcorn. There are plenty of other places to eat as well like Grittys, Flatbreads and Duckfat. You can spend your time here shopping in the numerous stores or just enjoying a warm coffee and people watching.
This quaint town is close to campus and has plenty to offer especially the abundance of small cafes and pastry shops. Be sure to stop by Mornings In Paris to grab a Nutella or red velvet latte as you walk the streets and shop for unique art pieces and Maine souvenirs.
3. Reid State Park
I recently discovered this park and instantly fell in love with it. I spent my entire day here exploring the rocky coast and hiking a bunch of trails that run through the woods all the while stay right on the coast itself which gives you plenty of amazing views. There are a bunch of places for you to relax and possibly bring your lunch/dinner to enjoy. The park also has a sandy beach for those of you who don't enjoy Maine's natural rocky coast.
4. Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the world. This one is about a forty-five minute drive from campus and offers plenty for you to do. You will get plenty of Instagram-worthy pictures along the coastal path that runs from the lighthouse itself to an old abandoned fort that you can explore. Trust me, its more than just a lighthouse even though you will spend most of your time looking at the lighthouse itself.
5. The Freeport Outlets
Shopaholics, I didn't forget about you. Only a short drive from campus is Freeport where you can shop till you drop. The stores range from L.L. Bean to American Eagle and Mexicali Blues (to name only a few of the at least forty stores at this location). I guarantee that there will be at least a few stores where you can find something that you like.
6.The Bird Sanctuary/Fortunes Rocks Beach
If you haven't gone to one of these two places do you even go to UNE? Fortunes Rocks and The Bird Sanctuary are the perfect places to go if you just need a break but don't feel like going far from campus. Walk around on the sandy beach at Fortunes while searching through tide pools or hike the rocky Maine cost down at the Bird Sanctuary. These two places are close to one another so you could even do both in one day.
7. Saco Heath Preserve
Saco Heath Preserve is a very different type of hiking. You walk on a colorful boardwalk through an open and very unique forest setting. If you go in season you can even find blueberries to snack on during your walk. You can spend a few good hours here after which you can stop at one of the many restaurants in Saco to fill up (AKA Portland Pie).
8. Popham Beach
Popham Beach is close to Reid State Park so it's a bit of a drive but still somewhere that makes a fun day trip. If I were you I would aim to get there for low tide so you can walk out on a sandbar to an island off the coast of the beach itself. When low tide comes you can find a bunch of sand dollars, something I haven't seen before on any other beach in Maine.
9. Old Orchard Beach
Old Orchard Beach is definitely somewhere you want to go towards the beginning of Fall semester or the end of Spring semester. The area itself is seasonal so you won't really find anything open during the winter. When you do go you can get your typical beach food, go to a mini amusement park, play mini golf or just be a beach bum for the day.
10. Acadia National Park
If you're feeling adventurous then this park is the place for you. Located all the way up by Bar Harbor, it is definitely a long haul (close to three hours from campus) but it is totally worth it. I would recommend waking up as early as possible to get here so you can take advantage of all the hiking, biking and driving trails and see as much as possible. Acadia is my favorite place in Maine so if you haven't been make it the next stop for a boring weekend.