Boat tour to Goat Island Lighthouse

Maine Staycation at Cliff House Ogunquit

It felt familiar but fanciful driving through the vacation town of Ogunquit, just minutes from our home. Day one of our “staycation plan”, we packed up our car, with bikes and our bags, and in just 10 miles (less than a gallon of gas, no TSA hassles) we were tourists in a neighboring town. We passed brightly painted boutiques and cafes with a new appreciation, admiring beautiful gardens spilling onto the sidewalks along famous Shore Road on our way to The Cliff House – our desirable destination for a few nights.

The Cliff House, in Cape Neddick, is a top resort hotel in York, Maine, on the Ogunquit border. The Cliff House has undergone a complete posh renovation, now Destination Hotels, who also manage such luxe properties as Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont.

Sitting by the vanishing edge pool, which is perched on the Resort’s spectacular Bald Head Cliff, we had drink in hand, watching lobster boats ply the Atlantic below the dramatic rocky cliffs. Spa appointments had been arranged, ocean view dinner reservations were made (all part of the Spa package). This was easy, breezy.

While downtown Ogunquit and Perkins Cove had seemed absolutely bursting with beach attired tourists, The Cliff House was removed from the crowds and quiet. After some sun and a soak in the incredibly scenic outdoor whirlpool, we returned to our spacious room in the Cliff Spa building, which offered us a sunset, and distant views of Ogunquit Beach (other rooms of the 166 total orient toward the cliffs and York).

The Cliff House’s dining options are The Tiller and Nubb’s Lobster Shack – so Maine, and certainly so scenic. Enjoy delicious Maine cuisine from a waterfront window table or the contemporary bar. The Chef’s locally inspired lobster rolls or lobster bisque are eclipsed only by the Maine raw bar, enjoy as you watch the waves crash into the cliffs, which are illuminated come nightfall.

Riding bikes from Cliff House, we took a coastal ride to Nubble Light in Cape Neddick. Shore Road is hilly and narrow in spots – warning to bikers. A bountiful buffet breakfast back at the Cliff House tasted all the better after touring the salt-aired shoreline.

The Cliff House Resort’s 70-acre grounds reveals several lodges of different vintages, the Cliff Spa being extensive with a 75-foot indoor lap pool. The resort was in The Weare family from 1872 when train service started bringing summer guests from the City. A room with 3 meals a day was $6 a week per person, and the family formula was motto was: “clean rooms, fine food, fresh air, personable hospitality, all in an incomparable scenic location atop Bald Head Cliff.” Fourth generation Kathryn Weare operated the Cliff House for decades with the same mantra before selling out in 2014, to Destination Hotels, and while the rates have multiplied (try $500+/night), and guests now drive Mercedes and Maseratis, the incredible views from every spot on the property have not changed.

The trolley will take you the 3-miles to town for shopping, or drop you at Perkin’s Cove to catch a tour boat or to walk the mile-long Marginal Way. You should also ride to Ogunquit Beach (parking is tight prime summer in this town – so the trolley or a bike makes tons of sense).

Being local, we knew low tide was the time to walk the three miles of wide, flat sandy beach all the way to famous Footbridge Beach, and back to the sand bar where the Ogunquit River flows into the sea. We wished we’d brought a boogie board or an inner tube to float along this fresh water lazy raft ride, those that did were having a blast on this balmy beach day.

Shopping Perkin’s Cove, a little boutique browsing, a walk out Marginal Way, followed by a fried clams and lobster rolls with Rum Punch at Barnacle Billy’s was perfect. There are ice cream shops and seafood take-out windows, as well as sit down restaurants – all waterfront, whatever suits your mood. We passed so many oceanfront resorts, motels and bed & breakfasts in Ogunquit that we had not noticed before. We need to staycation (or vacation in Southern Maine) more often I thought. You can splurge on lodging and dining when you don’t have to buy airfare or pay for parking.

Spa time at the Cliff House, following a refreshing dip in the dramatic oceanside pool,  we donned our fluffy robes, and waited in the serenely lit, candle scented spa reception room. Choosing a treatment from the “Wild and Free” spa menu was mind boggling, did I want a sea salt massage, an Atlantic antioxidant, or a blueberry body wrap? Greg needed to be kneaded, he decided on the deep tissue massage.

I am a reluctant spa-go’er, not entirely comfortable with poking, prodding and peeling. The Spa Director assured me the Cliff House Facial would be ideal. Right on she was – it was ideal, enjoyable and downright decadent – as the aesthetician dimmed the lights, wrapped me in warm towels and proceeded to massage my face, neck and décolleté with aromatic tangerine and blueberry creams, ending with a warm seashell massage. And my skin looked clear, and bright like a berry on the vine in July. Okay, that may be a stretch – but the spa personnel were pros, the 9,000 sq ft Cliff Spa facility and all natural Maine-inspired products are top shelf and top priority at the Cliff House.

It was a perfect Maine coast touring day (being local we know the scale from perfect to pathetic), from biking, to beaching, and being pampered. A seaside dinner with candlelight overlooking the cliffs was all we required, and sleeping to the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore.

The Fitness Room at Cliff House was our firs stop next morning, we worked out in the fitness room, which rivals a first rate cruise ship with a wall of ocean view windows and top of the line Nautilus equipment. Each treadmill has its own TV, and every work out station imaginable awaits (no lines, no waiting) in the bright spacious atrium.

A last leisurely breakfast overlooking the Atlantic  had us both wanting to stay longer. In the distance we could see Boone Island, a sunset cruise around the spooky secluded ledge would be entertaining, or a sail aboard that schooner would be dreamy. But our mini getaway was concluding. In 20 minutes we’d be home, but happy for our time hanging out at The Cliff. Nice to know that just a short drive away, and again we could find ourselves worlds away for a few days. Consider a mini-vacation to Maine!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitter

Boothbay – a great Maine place to stay!

Boothbay Harbor BoatBoothbay Harbor is a great Maine town – coastal, compact, cute with a cluster of great shops, fun cafes, and a bunch of boat excursions leaving from the waterfront Piers. Boothbay Harbor is an ideal destination by car or by boat – and its a better bargain than say Kennebunkport or Bar Harbor, lodging is plentiful typically without the big price tag. The locals are friendly and the opportunities for shopping, sailing, and exploring are as abundant as lobsters in summah upta Maine.

Boothbay Harbor StoresBoothbay is a great walking town, with a dozen cool Maine craft shops in close vicinity. The village of Boothbay Harbor is both historic and hilly, with charming streets lined with jewelry and art stores, candy and ice cream stands, plus just enough good restaurants serving fresh Maine seafood – several offer views of the harbor. Interestingly Ports of Italy is most popular, twin sister restaurant to Ports of Italy in Kennebunk.

Ramshead Lighthouse in Boothbay MaineAs you are out walking, visit the Boothbay Opera House, see what’s playing, and then cross the historic wooden footbridge that spans the upper end of the harbor. Definitely walk down to the waterfront Piers 8-1 (let us know if you find Piers 5-2?) and inquire about boat excursions that cruise out of Boothbay’s pretty harbor, to see Squirrel Island, Ram Island Light and the Cuckholds Light by lobster tour boat or sailboat. You may also glimpse harbor seals and Maine birds on your boat tour.

Tugboat Restaurant in MaineFor lodging in Boothbay, The Topside on the top of the hill has been beautifully redecorated, the rooms are fresh and modern but still cozy, the Main House has a few rooms, and offers a lavish full breakfast to all guests, along with common space with a living room and fireplace for cocktails, games and socializing.

For a more traditional stay right on the waterfront amid the hubbub of Boothbay, the Tugboat Inn is old fashioned with an ideal location steps to the shops, pubs and boating excursions that leave the working harbor. Tugboat even has its own marina on property if you arrive by boat.

Lobster boat in MaineWe have stayed at Tugboat Inn both by land and by seas. Tugboat’s Marina has nice docks which include power, cable and fresh water, an easy walk to downtown Boothbay. The rooms at Tugboat for land lubbers are casual, modest but comfy – ask for a Harborview deck.  Tugboat Inn has its own restaurant where breakfast is served to guests complimentary, they also serve lunch in dinner in the actual Tugboat, now grounded, with Maine comfort food and water views from the Upper Deck dining room. The Lower Deck Lounge has entertainment many summer nights and outside seating overlooking the marina.

Boothbay Harbor ShoppingThe Bar-muda Triangle is what locals dub the drinking circuit of Boothbay’s best bars along the waterfront. Mine Oyster is a great place to start your Boothbay bar crawl, with a cocktail and oysters from the Maine raw bar, then head upstairs to the casual as it sounds McSeagulls where there is often live music and great upper floor views of the harbor town. Herringbones is another waterhole on the Pier, along with the appropriately named Pier Pub which was loaded with locals on the warm July Saturday afternoon we visited.

Boothbay Harbor view in Adirondack chairsFor a quieter place to stay near Boothbay, we recommend East Boothbay – out on a spectacular peninsula just 10 minutes from town. Here, the Ocean Point Inn is a great old resort property with cottages and waterview rooms plus a nice restaurant featuring fresh seafood and fantastic sunsets over the water that are to die for. This setting on Ocean Point Drive is one of the prettiest in Maine.

Lobster dinner in Boothbay Maine

Enjoy your stay at Boothbay and tell ‘em VisitMaine.net steered you here.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitter

 

Summer Events in Maine

Though we love our splendid winter season, when the warm weather graces us, we don’t waste it. Summertime in Maine means the best annual events from lobster boat races, boat parades, fireworks, lobster feasts, top musical performances and more. Summer events in Maine are a unique experience, worth traveling for. Listed here are the most popular annual summer events in Maine. Continue reading

How to Pack for Summer Vacation in Maine?

Ramshead Lighthouse in Boothbay MaineThere’s a reason Maine is called Vacationland… there is so much to sea and do in the northeastern most state. It’s also nicknamed “the way life should be.” So a Maine vacation is a must, and Maine’s best weather is in summer. The only remaining question is, what to pack for summer vacation in Maine? Here is our guide to packing for a Maine vacation:

1. Pack layers. They say in Maine “if you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute.” Summer in Maine, temps can vary from 40’s at night to high 80’s in the day – see our weather and tides page. Sun, rain and fog can brighten and dampen your spirits, often all in one day. Especially on the Maine coast, fog banks can roll in bringing cool raw air (we call that “chowdah weatha”), but the sun can beam in making for a perfect beach day. The only question is “whether” you are prepared? Dress in layers, have a waterproof shell, and a fleece.

2. Comfy shoes are key, as you visit rugged lighthouses, walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Port in Portland, and walk beaches that range from sandy stretches like Old Orchard Beach and Ogunquit, to rocky beaches of Colony Beach in Kennebunkport and the midcoast.

3. Bring sunscreen. Just because Maine is far north, 43-degrees latitude, doesn’t mean the UV index doesn’t come after you. You don’t want to look like a cooked Maine lobster on vacation. Particular on the water, the refraction from of the sun’s rays is intense – but you might not sense it with the cool sea breeze in your face. Cover up or you could get burned to a crisp.

4. “Sweatah weathah” is a Maine expression for the cool summer evenings when the sun sets and the air cools. You’ll want to be reaching for a “sweatah”, a shall y’all, or even bettah – a fleece from the aforementioned LL Beanah. See our guide to Maine expression and slang so you can sound “local.”

5. Outfits don’t need to be matchy matchy like in The City. Maine has its own sense of style, or lack thereof. If you look to fancy, that might freak the local folks out. Prepare yourself for the Maine culture with these fun Maine facts instead.

6. Or buy a tacky t-shirt to flaunt that you “aint from around here”. A Bah Harbah t-shirt or a “Vacation like a President” Bush #41 or #43 from Kennebunkport are perfect identifiers. This way locals will know they should treat you “special.” Now you can pay extra for that lobster roll, or private fishing chartah.

7. Swimsuits… you may not have the courage to stick your toe in the Atlantic, never mind actually “swim” in the ocean – but bring a swimsuit along anyways. You may encounter a nice ocean view hot tub like the one overlooking Kennebunk Beach at the Seaside Inn, or at the Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit perched over picturesque Bald Head Cliff.

8. Shop– If you didn’t pack properly, no worries – just make a trip to the Beaner… LL Bean is open 24/7/365 and sells everything you could possibly need for hunting, fishing, boating, the beach, biking, kayaking or just looking casual and crisp in the Signature wear Maine style. LL Bean is in Freeport, a century old staple, along with other factory outlets stores. In Kittery you have the Kittery Trading Post loaded with similar outdoor wear.

Camden Harbor View9. Backpacks and duffle luggage are better than rollie suitcases. You look like a city slicker rolling in with your black carryon bag with wheels, bumping along the salty old streets of Portland or Boothbay.

10. A Camera, iphone – whatever. Take lots of Maine selfies to make your friends at home jealy. Maine has so many gorgeously scenic settings, hundreds of beaches, seventy lighthouses, over 3,000 miles of coastline, beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains. Post pictures on Facebook – feasting on Maine lobster with clams and butter, or sunset from a charter sailboat, on Instagram to make the folks at home instantly envious.

See our Maine Lodging Guide hotels for places to stay during your Summer vacation in Maine

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

Maine’s Game of Thrones – Winter is always coming

acadia-mic-me (5)If Maine has its 16 counties from Sagadahoc to Piscataquis to Aroostook, Game of Thrones has it equally perplexing 7 kingdoms. Maine has pompous powerful Governor Le Page who speaks to his Maine Kingdom without filter from his iron throne in Augusta, not quite Kings Landing of Westeros. The North is like Maine’s Aroostook Country, then there’s the Vale and the Iron Islands – resembling Maine’s rocky coast and islands, Westerland – our lakes and mountains, The Reach, Stormlands, and Dorne – our south coast…maybe Ogunquit.

Fall2Binge watching Game of Thrones is a great Maine winter hibernation strategy. Only by viewing back to back episodes of the complex plot of murder, conquest, incest, and dragons, can you possibly understand this society while  surviving Maine’s longest least-social season. The Targaryens, Baratheons, Greyjoys, Lannisters and Stark families have drama galore to cure cabin fever.

Here’s this Maine Girl’s Summary of Game of Thrones, the “wicked” plot – Mainers say wicked:

Gotta love the Stark kids: Arya, Sansa, half brother Jon Snow – who is thankfully still alive because of Red Woman Melisandre (also love Jon Snow’s love of gingers), Bran &  Rickon Stark (RIP: Robb Stark). And there’s looney aunt Lyanna. The Stark kids, children of Caitlyn & Eddard Stark), are outdoorsy, resilient, good marksmen and hunters, and they don’t mind the cold at Winterfell, just like Maine kids. Ya know, they also aren’t phased by incest, half-brothers, crazy cousins, domestic violence, nor shotgun weddings (knives and swords in this case) – these are staples at every Maine family reunion.

Bran Stark is crippled, but honing his warg powers in the mountains with Lyanna Stark (whom King Robert Baratheon loved but never got to marry – hence Cersei hated her King husband) Old Nan, and Roderik Cassel along with the now inarticulate Hodor, the previously amiable stable boy who later had to “hold the door”.

Boon IslandThanks to Theon Greyjoy, escaped from rebel Ramsey Bolton (who removed his manhood – ouch), Sansa Stark is back in the protection of bold blonde Lady Brienn of Tarth. And there’s Little Finger aka – Peter Baelish still twisting in the wind. Sansa learns sister Arya is alive. Arya is a warg and a warrior – literally from her first days of fighting with her needle sword – a gift from Jon Snow. Arya is on a vengeful hunt with a hit list, including massive dudes, Gregor & The Hound (RIP), Cersei and Joffrey, to name a few. Arya overcomes most anything, there’s that Maine resilience, including her blind dueling days when she was held captive by the Faceless Men in the House of Black & White which is anything but black/white with the cloudy milky fountain of eye poison & death.

Ramsey Bolton is so awful, he murdered his father then fed his new brother to the dogs. In Maine we take bad dudes like this him a one-way hunting trip. Theon Greyjoy, Ramsey’s escapee, has left Sansa safely in Lady Brienn’s protection, returning home to the Iron Islands to help sister Yara become queen, versus crazy uncle Euron, replacing Balon whom he tossed off the bridge at Pyke. Such nice families….

Back in Kings Landing, now King Tommen keeps asking Queen mother Cersei, once married to King Robert Baratheon, to help him become a real Lannister, after his sisters Myrcella’s death in the hands of Dorne, Cersei’s hatchetman looms large protecting his previously imprisoned queen. Now Tommen’s wife Marjorie Tyrell is imprisoned, this is Marj’s second marriage to a Lannister, she previously wed Prince Joffrey Baratheon, grandson of Tyrwin Lannister who was poisoned to his death on their wedding day – oh happy days.

The Stark family doesn’t get along so well with the Lannister family, like most Maine families. This is an issue because Cersei Lannister is the queen; and her twin incestuous brother Jaime is a powerful knight. But the third brother, my other favorite is Tyrion Tarrgaryon Lannister, who recently freed Daenery’s dragons while hanging out with Jorah Mormont and Varys the eunuch in Dorne. Tyrion is hilarious and brutally honest about his incestuous brother & sister, he’d fit in anywhere in Maine (not a small person joke). As Tyrion says, drinking and thinking is what he does best. Wonder if he’d like Maine coffee brandy? Sure he would.

Meanwhile Daenerys misses her dragons, but she’s survived much, fallen from the royal family,  she matured on another continent when brother Viserys married (ok- sold) his sister to Khal Drogo, creepy leader of a Dothraki barbarian tribe, whom she sees killed. When the women  Dothraki reluctantly accept her into the moon tent – they call her the silver haired window – can you say jealous?! Happens in Maine to pretty girls too. But Daenerys escapes thanks to Jorah ( l like him too, he needs to be loved before he turns to stone), and the Mother of Dragons emerges naked from the burning embers and wins over her people again.

Lyanna Stark we now suspect may have been captured and raped by Raegar Targaryan, Danerys’ brother,  in the Tower. Her resulting illegitimate son may be Jon Snow….not Eddard Stark. Again, not unlike Maine families. Stay tuned for more from revived bastard Jon Snow – head of the Night’s Watch, and his dedication to protecting the 7 Kingdoms from the dangers beyond the Wall (akin to Maine’s border with Canada? probs not). Snow’s friend –the pudgy, cowardly Samwell Tarly will surely pop up again with Gilly and their baby out of wedlock (yup, we got that in Maine too).

Well it’s summer in Maine now, so time to take a break from binge watching Game of Thrones and go boating …but remember GOT fans and Mainers – Winter IS Coming!

Heather Burke, Copyright, Photography property of VisitMaine.net, 2017

Spring Break in Maine

It’s spring time in Maine…. After a long snowy winter – its time to shed a few layers, put down the snow shovels and get outside. Birds are returning, and chirping… April in Maine brings May flowers, right?!

Mind you, spring time in Maine is weird – ok – we admit it. You can hike, bike, beach, boat, golf and ski ! Weird right?! Or a perfect world…

Maine SkiingSunday River and Sugarloaf are both open with amazing snow conditions and the best parties still to come. The first weekend in April is Spring Festival at Sunday River – formerly known as Parrot Head – this weekend includes a Friday night Beach Party Rave, live bands and Jimmy Buffet music all day Saturday at White Cap, a Margarita Mix Off, spring skiing and the hilarious Slip ‘n Flip event. Sunday River’s Pond A Palooza is April 8 at the River. At Sugarloaf – the king of spring for Maine skiing, the 29th annual Reggaefest is April 6-9 with spring skiing, live island music and Rastafarian mayhem Maine-style. Sunday River plans to ski free on May 1- their last day and a tradition called Ski Maynia. Sugarloaf will keep spinning till it’s a wrap…or the conditions turn to crap- lol.

Beach walkersMeanwhile spring on the southern Maine coast means beach walks, biking, golfing and launching boats for the season. Gardens come into color in beautiful coast towns of Kennebunkport and York, and Portland hosts the Maine Flower Show for inspiration to budding talent and wanna be gardeners – wink!

Bar Harbor Maine

Waterfront restaurants from Kittery to Ogunquit to Camden opening their ocean view decks from drinks and seafood with a sea view. Happy Hours are still great deals since its not yet “high season”.

April and May is a great time to plan a “spring break” in Maine – not only do you have a choice of outdoor activities, you will also find great lodging rates – since its still the ”slow season”. It’s far cheaper and easier than a spring break trip to Florida – no flights, fewer people, fresh air! Did we mention Fresh Maine Lobster – thought that might grab ya?!

You can get great package rates on lodging and dining in seaside towns like Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Wells Beach Maine, even Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor. Bring a jacket and sweater – its still “sweatah weathah” as we say in Maine. See our Maine lingo so you can speak native with the Mainahs, ayuh! Pack a t-shirt and shorts too – you never know for its in store by the shore for Maine weather.  Be sure to Visit Maine.

See our Maine Lodging Guide hotels and Maine’s best BnB’s to stay at during your Spring Break in Maine

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

Maine’s 9th Restaurant Week March 1-12, 2017

Maine has become a hot foodie destination in recent years. Portland, Camden and Kennebunkport have attracted top chefs and top dining reviews. Maine has also become a place for food fests, like Harvest to the Harbor each fall, the Kennebunkport Festival each spring, and Maine Restaurant Week in March – now in Year 9. Here’s your invitation to see and taste the best plates of the Pine Tree State with special multi-course price-fixed menus at Maine’s best dining spots. This fun food fest is sponsored by our friends at Maine mag, they also put on the Kennebunkport Festival June 5-10, 2017 – these artistic & editorial folks are passionate about promoting Maine cuisine!

Prices for Maine Restaurant Week are typically $25, $35 and up to $45 for three courses, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. What’s fun about Restaurant Week, besides the delicious cuisine at Maine’s best restaurants, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You can dine out nightly and meet new people who share your passion for fine food and wine, also to try new venues like Cliff House Nubb’s and Tiller, Toroso in Kennebunk and the usually too-pricey White Barn Inn.

Maine Restaurant Week is March 1-12, 2017 with creative menus focused on Maine sourced, locally grown and farm raised food, fresh Maine lobster and seafood and artisan cheeses, and often local wine and beer pairings suggestions. Maine has lots more than just blueberries and potatoes as native food to rave about. So eat, drink and be merry during Restaurant Week in Maine at these great dining spots:

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorKennebunkport & Kennebunk Restaurants:
Toroso – Kennebunk
Stripers Waterfront at the Breakwater Inn & Spa – Kennebunkport
The White Barn Bistro at the White Barn Inn

Ogunquit and Cape Neddick Restaurants:
Nubb’s Lobster Shack & The Tiller – at the Cliff House – Cape Neddick– Ogunquit

Casco Bay FerryPortland & Cape Elizabeth Restaurants:
Back Bay Grill – Portland
Boone’s Fish & Oyster Room, and the Grill Room and Corner Room – Portland
Bonobo Pizza – Portland
Cumberland Club – Portland
Davids Davids 388 and Davids Opus – Portland
DiMillos On the Water – Portland
El Rayo Cantina & El Rayo Taqueria Portland
Eve’s at the Garden Portland
Evo Kitchen & bar – Portland
Five Fifty-Five – Portland
Good Table Restaurant – Cape Elizabeth
Hot Suppa – Portland
Liquid Riot – Portland
Little Tap House – Portland
Local 188 – Portland
Petite Jacqueline – Portland
Portland Meatball Co – Portland
Portland Pie Company – Portland
Ri Ra Irish Pub – Portland
Ribollita – Portland
Sea Glass Restaurant – Inn by the Sea- Cape Elizabeth
Solo Italiano – Portland
Sonnys – PortlandSur Lie Restaurant Portland
Twenty Milk Street Portland
Union at the Press Hotel – Portland
Vignola Cinque Terre – Portland
Walters – Portland
Zapoteca Restaurante Y Tequileria – Portland

Freeport, Falmouth & Yarmouth:
1912 Café – Freeport Bueno Loco -Falmouth
Gather – Yarmouth
Royal River Grillhouse – Yarmouth
Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro Freeport

Cuckholds LighthouseBrunswick, Lewiston & Camden Dining:
Brunswick Tavern – Brunswick
Natalies at Camden Harbour Inn – Camden
Francine Bistro – Camden
Hartstone Inn – Camden
DaVincis Eatery – Lewiston
Fish Bones American Grill – Lewiston
Fuel Restaurant – Lewiston

Lakes & Mountains:
Forks in the Air Mountain Bistro – Rangeley
El El Frijoles- Sargentville

See our Maine Lodging Guide for overnight hotels and Maine’s best BnB’s to stay at during your Foodies Tour of Maine

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

Top Romantic Things to Do in Kennebunkport in Winter

lobster-bouy-heartKennebunkport is Maine’s most romantic town – especially in February when locals Paint the Town Red! Innkeepers and shop owners decorate with sparkling red and white lights, heart shaped everything. Kennebunkport’s best restaurants and pubs offer happy hours with craft cocktails and love potions, and red plates dining specials. Inns offer romantic lodging deals with champagne, chocolates, spa treatments, lavish breakfasts, even late check outs!

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do in Kennebunkport Maine
1. Have your picture taken by the big heart made of lobster buoys in Dock Square.
2. Visit the heart adorned boutiques and shops for “Red Tag’ specials inside.

winter-beach-morn3. Walk the quiet beautiful beach. Watch the cool surfers riding the winter waves (brrr). Love the beach so much you don’t want to leave? Stay beachfront at The Seaside Inn, you ‘ll fall in love with the ocean view outdoor hot tub.

4. Go on a skate date -ice skating on Kennebunks Waterhouse Pavilion, a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk.

5. Cross country ski or snowshoe at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails.

old-vines-bar-table6. Get happy at happy hours in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk and ask about “Red Plate” dining deals
and seductive cocktails specials at Alisson’s Restaurant, David’s KPT, Kennebunkport Inn, Old Vines Wine Bar, Toroso, Ports of Italy, Salt & Honey, and Striper’s Restaurant.

6. Reserve a romantic room overlooking the Kennebunk River at Breakwater Inn and Spa. Their Winter Their Valentine’s package includes lodging for two, Chocolates and a split of Prosecco in your room, Continental breakfast, afternoon Tea and snacks, and a romantic dinner at Striper’s Restaurant for $225. Check out their Breakwater Spa package too.

7. Indulge in  “February is for Lovers” with Cacaptain-lord-mansion-kennebunkportptain Lord Mansion’s special mid-week package, your third night is free and you receive a split of sparkling wine, chocolate-covered popcorn and frequent visitor credits. Captain Lord Mansion lodging rates start at $199 per night including a delicious multi-course breakfast.

love-kbpt-davids8. The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has a “Love KPT” package with two-nights stay for two people starting at $373 through March 30, 2017, arrival goodies of red wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a three course dinner for two at David’s KPT downstairs, and a late check-out at noon.

9. Can’t escape without the kids? Rhumb Line Resort, Kennebunkport’s affordable family resort, has the solution. Book a Romance Red Tag Package for you and your restaurant-lobster-dinnersweetheart, starting at $199, including two nights, breakfast, flowers & chocolates, and you can get an extra room for the kids for just $20. Rhumb Line Resort has an indoor pool and
hot tub, plus an outdoor hot tub, a fitness room, free WiFi and Continental breakfast, and you’re just a few miles for Dock Square and the beach.

10. Be social – tag your romantic, fun or funny photos with #LoveKPT and share with us @VisitMaine.net Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

10 reasons to Visit Maine for the Holidays!

Plobster-trap-treeicture snow covered fields, a cozy inns with a fireplace by the ocean, Christmas trees and holiday decorations in seaside villages, fireworks and bonfires by the beach. That’s happening right now in Maine, from York to Kennebunkport to Boothbay and beyond.

Here are our Top 10 Reasons to Visit Maine before Christmas:

Maine is home to two of the Top Christmas Towns in the US. Ogunquit and Kennebunkport Maine are both heralded as the best holiday fests. Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude Dec 1-11 is a fantastic festival of tree lighting, caroling at the Monastery, craft fairs and cookie crawls, Historic Inns tour by Candlelight, Blueberry pancake breakfasts and Lobster chowder luncheons, Santa arrives by Lobster boats, Fire & Ice events at Nonantum Resort by the River, a Pooch Parade and Hat Parade to cap it off.

Christmas tree in Dock Square Kennebunkport, Maine
Ogunquit celebrates Christmas by the Sea Dec 9-11 with Candy Cane hunts, wine tastings, a parade, parties and fireworks at the beach, plus concerts and a live manger nativity and the grand finale Polar Plunge into the Ocean… brrrr – illiant.

Maine SkiingSKI! Sunday River and Sugarloaf are opening for skiing. Get out your skis, make tracks on these beautiful Maine ski resorts before the Christmas and New Year’s crowds arrive. Sunday River’s Winterfest Dec 16-18 includes fireworks and a visit from Santa on the snow.

Christmas lights at Maine store during the holidays

Get a fresh cut Maine Christmas Tree and wreath to bring home. You will save money versus the pricey pruned trees that were pre-cut in November (read: dry by mid-December). Your home will smell like the Maine pine forest, and you will long remember the joy of cutting your own tree in the Pine Tree state.

Christmas horse sleigh in Maine Christmas paradeWells host the 31st annual SOUTHERN MAINE CHRISTMAS PARADE Sunday Dec 11 at 2pm with the theme “Christmas fun for everyone”!

Santa Con in Portland is a holiday pub crawl dressed in red. Wear your best Santa, Mrs Claus or Elf outfit and jingle while you mingle from pub to pub in the Old Port Dec 4.

Santa in MainePortland Merry Madness is Dec. 8, the annual event starts with drinks at Portland House of Music from 4 to 6:30 p.m. where you get your official Merry Madness wine mug to take with you for free wine tastings as you shop your way around town, stores stay open till 10 pm.

Christmas tree in Kennebunk Maine

Portland Harbor Boat Parade of Lights is Dec 17, watch from Maine State Pier or aboard a Casco Bay Ferry as decorated boats parade through the harbor starting at 4:45pm.

Lobster Christmas tree topper in MaineShop Freeport and enjoy LL Bean’s classic Christmas decorations. Get your holiday to do list done, and enjoy the fun of Freeport, tree lighting and Sparkle Weekend take place Dec 4 with a Christmas lights show.

Christmas at LL Bean in Freeport

Hit the Kittery Outlets on you way home for the last on your list.

Christmas Shopping in Maine

Be sure to reserve your Maine lodging during your visit to Maine with our Maine lodging guide.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr

Christmas Tree in Kennebunkport Maine

Fall in Maine, the best festivals, foliage and fun!

great-heron-fall-flight

What’s the most beautiful time of year in Maine? Most say summer…but Fall is magical on the southern Maine coast and in the Lakes & Mountains. You can still walk the beaches along the southern Maine Coast, kayak, bike and hike, golf, and explore. The summer beach crowds have diminished and the temperatures are ideal. Fall brings cool crisp evenings, while you still have warm sunny summer-like days. The temperatures in Maine in fall are splendid, 70-s by day and 50’s at night – perfect for sitting by a fireplace and sleeping under a down duvet at a cozy bed and breakfast.

Autumn gourd and pumpkin display in Maine

Fall in Maine

Fall in Maine brings a bounty of festival and events – and of course a harvest of delicious fresh Maine foods. Apple picking is a Maine tradition not to be missed. Farmer’s markets are abundant with squash, kale, pumpkins, and corn stalks for your Halloween decor.

Red maple leaves in Maine

Maine fairs are among the best in the world with the big daddy being The Fryeburg Fair now in its 165th year. This agricultural, carnival, farm, food, craft and music festival is October 2 – 9, 2016. Don’t miss the hilarious Pig Scramble, Harness Racing, Tractor Pulls and and the Skillet Throw.

fall-sky-trees4Columbus Day Weekend is typically the height of fall foliage colors in Maine. Its also the Fall Festival at Sunday River, a great time to peep leaves as you ride the Chairlift. This weekend at Sunday River also marks the 17th annual Wife Carrying Championships. See couples compete, as husbands carry their wives over obstacles, under logs, through the mud, to win their wife’s weight in beer! Yup, its down and dirty and a sure road to divorce or a full fridge or Budweiser. Sunday of Columbus Weekend is Sunday River’s 3rd Annual New England Corn Hole Championship and a Blue Mountain Craft Fair plus Chondola Rides.

Cadillac Mountain viewAcadia’s Oktoberfest October 7-8 includes a a Wine & Cheese Festival and a Brewfest, coinciding with Acadia National Park’s centennial this season.

Boothbay Harbor celebrates its Fall Foliage Festival October 8-9. That same Columbus Weekend Sugarloaf hosts its Homecoming Weekend when skiers can get their season pass, see their ski buddies, buy ski gear at the CVA Used Ski Equipment Sale and compete in the Infamous Uphill Climb race, then enjoy the Maine Outdoor Film Festival.

York Maine LighthouseOctober 15 in York is Harvestfest at York Beach with games, crafts, music and prime foliage near Nubble Light. The following weekend October 21-23 is Ogunquitfest with the funny high heel race, pumpkin decorating, craft shows, wagon rides, and a classic car display.

Hay Roll CatCamp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival is October 22, a tradition that started in Maine in 2003, takes place at LL Bean in Freeport with over 10,000 jack o lanterns illuminated for this important Maine charity provides sick children and their families a respite and vacation in Maine at Point Sebago Resort.

Portland’s best food and wine fest is Harvest on the Harbor October 20-23 where Maine’s best chefs compete for the top title and Maine wineries and breweries tap their best vintages for foodies at avenue overlooking Portland Harbor.

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamers

Of course shopping in Maine’s Freeport, Portland and Kennebunkport are great fall pastimes as you prepare for the upcoming holidays. Fall brings post-summer sales to Kittery Outlets and The Boothbay Harbor boutiques. What could be better than poking around the shops then lunching on Maine clam chowder or a Lobster Roll.

So plan your fall visit to Maine, and you are sure to fall in love with Vacationland and the beautiful foliage that blesses this beautiful state each season.

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

Blog MaineGoogle PlusFacebookPinterestTwitterFlickr