Telling people you go to college in Maine is almost universally met with a stock set of responses. There is, of course, the crustacean-crazed relative who can only assume that Bowdoin Dining doles out lobster for not one, but every single meal. There is probably that friend from home who imagines your life as a rustic adventure among cottage classrooms and log-cabin dorms. 

These friends and loved ones are unfortunately misinformed, and I do not doubt that many of you, like me, realized the faults of your inaccurate expectations after first arriving on campus. I would like to assure you, however, that those dreams are alive and well, hiding in plain sight. Where can one find this Maine of myth? So glad you asked! 

All the excitement of Vacationland lies just off the highways and byways surrounding our beloved campus; you just have to venture out of the bubble. With the spirit of adventure and an empty stomach fueling my journeys, I will be a devoted guinea pig for any and all culinary quests that the area has to offer.

Whether you’re reading a menu, perusing the grocery store, or shopping for outerwear, everyone knows that Maine is synonymous with quality. Though lobster, blueberries and L.L. Bean are usually the Maine exports that spring to mind, the state we all call home has another trick up its flannelled sleeve: oysters. 

The Damariscotta River, just east of Brunswick, is home to a particularly sought-after variety of oyster, known for its distinctive briny flavor and full body. Now, if this description is already unappealing, then you’re clearly not an oyster person. 

Unlike most foods, which I would argue one can develop a taste for, there is a chance you may simply never feel mollusk mania, and that’s okay. For those who either haven’t tried oysters or already love the blessed bivalves, this oyster farm is the place to get the freshest oysters you’ll ever taste. Their littleneck clams aren’t too shabby either.

Located in the town of Edgecomb, the Glidden Point Oyster Farm is just that; a legitimate oyster harvesting operation that ships to numerous fancy raw bars across the country every day. 

The property itself consists of three modest sheds near the Damariscotta River where oysters, clams and lobsters are stored and sold at wholesale prices. 

In addition to a selection of shellfish, Glidden Point also sells the necessary tools for shucking your own mollusks—knives and protective gloves (strongly recommended)—as well as some branded merchandise to instantly enhance your Mainer credibility. If they’re not too busy packaging orders for shipping, the oyster farmers themselves will even take the time to teach you the art of shucking, which is really not as difficult as people tend to believe. 

After a short tutorial, you can shuck to your heart’s content and throw back oysters and clams at an outdoor picnic table. From eating on the coastline to the owners’ thick Maine accents, the atmosphere at Glidden Point is a lot like the no-frills, all-quality lobster roll experience that we Polar Bears know and love at Libby’s Market. 

If Maine living is “the way life should be,” then Glidden Point is the way oysters should be eaten. After you try it, you’ll understand that raw bars are just overpriced imitations of the ultimate oyster experience available in Midcoast Maine. 

If you’re lucky enough to have a car, oyster heaven-on-earth is just a 40-minute drive away (east on Route 1). For vehicle-deprived students like myself, recruiting a ride shouldn’t be too difficult when the driver’s compensation comes fresh on the half-shell. 

On Sunday, September 28 the town of Damariscotta is hosting the Pemaquid Oyster Festival from noon to dusk, featuring live music, river cruises and every preparation of oysters imaginable. Should you choose to attend this Sunday, keep an eye out for me. I’ll be the guy sitting by a mound of empty shells with a goofy grin on his face.