[slickr-flickr tag="allmaine"]

We had only four days in Maine. It wasn’t enough.

Fortunately On the Water in Maine found us an amazing rental cottage, the Waterside Retreat, in downtown Rockland, Me., overlooking the bay. We walked to the Rock City Cafe for coffee and Sweets & Meats Market for terrific sandwiches.

When we visited Monhegan Island the following day, we lucked out with the weather. Mostly misty but not rainy. And we caught calm seas in both directions on the Monhegan Boat Line from nearby Port Clyde.

Lucky us. Conditions can get dicey out in the Atlantic, and I get seasick in a bathtub.

A word to the wise: pack everything you’ll need – including water. This is a very rustic island located far into the Atlantic with limited access to supplies.

And after your hiking, give yourself time to shop in the more than 24 art studios on the island.

The next day, we were visited by our friend Hilary Nangle, who as it turns out wrote the book on Maine. Well, actually, she’s the author of three Moon Handbooks: Maine, Coastal Maine and Acadia National Park. No wonder she’s known as the Maine Travel Maven!

On our last day we drove to Augusta to see the State Capitol. The kids met the state treasurer, Bruce Poliquin, while they toured the historic building.

If you go, be sure to look for the state butterfly exhibit and the Klir Beck dioramas of moose, deer, bear and beavers beneath the entrance. Also, if you have time, walk over to the Maine State Museum located across the complex in the library.

As we headed south to Massachusetts we stopped in Hallowell for lunch. Don’t leave too soon; just above the main thoroughfare, there’s an amazing historical district that you absolutely have to see.

I wish we had more time to drive around and step into some of the eclectic shops along the river.

Maine is a place of surprising natural beauty and rich history. We can’t wait to come back and continue our adventure.