During a week of fielding ideas from all of you about where to go and what to do to find the "new" in New England, the much-ballyhooed lobster roll became a kind of poster child for all that is classic in New England. New is good; but with summer nearing its end, I'll turn it over to Andrew from Bath, Maine, who wrote with some serious local knowledge on lobster rolls, and more...
"Skip York County (aka Northern Mass.) and come to the mid-coast. Stay at a B&B in Bath, and use it as a jumping off point to get a lobster roll down in Cundy's Harbor in Harpswell, or head out to Georgetown and go to Five Islands for one of the best lobster rolls around. The fresh crab meat is fantastic.
While you are here, go for a swim at Popham beach -- a state park -- about 20 minutes from Bath. It is beautiful, but make sure you head off to the right from the parking lot, away from the fort for good swimming. At low tide you can walk to an island. You could also ask at the park entrance about the Morse Mountain hike to the beach, which is a nice way to get to a slightly more secluded spot.
For slightly warmer water, another option would be to go for a swim at Sewell Pond in Arrowsic while on your way to Five Islands (in Georgetown) for a lobster roll. It would also be worthwhile to drive 50 minutes north up Route 1 from Bath to Camden, and hike Megunticook. It shouldn't be more than 1.5 to 2 hours round trip. Beautiful views of the islands. On your way back to Bath, stop in at Edgecomb Pottery, in Edgecomb (on the Boothbay Harbor peninsula). If you want a couple of high-end meals in addition to the lobster rolls, check out Henry and Marty's in Brunswick, Solo Bistro in Bath, or Conundrum in Freeport. All are great."
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