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

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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

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Top 10 Things You Must Do In Maine

Here’s your Vacationland Bucket List
Cuckolds Lighthouse in Maine1. Visit a Maine lighthouse. These scenic and historic beacons to sailors and sea captains are iconic and legendary. You must visit at least one, over 60 lighthouses guard the Maine coast grandly from Kittery to Kennebunkport, Portland to Bar Harbor and beyond. See our Maine lighthouse guide.

Colorful bouys in Maine2. Take a Maine selfie to make your friends at home jealy. Pick one of Maine’s many photogenic scenic settings, you know – on the beach, in front of a lighthouse, on a sailboat, with a sunset over a bay, and post it to Facebook and Instagram to make the folks at home green with envy.

3. Shop at one of the following Maine institutions: LL Bean – open 24/7 and Kittery Outlet for the outdoorsy, Marden’s, Big Al’s or Reny’s for bargain lovers. You never know what you will find. See our Maine shopping suggestions.

Lobster bake dinner with steamers and corn4. Eat a Maine lobster. You decide if you want a casual lobster roll from a road side clam shack, or a baked stuffed or steamed crustacean served at a waterfront restaurant… but you must enjoy fresh lobster, the best the world over, close to the source – with butter – while in Maine. learn some Maine lobster facts including how to cook & eat  a lobster!

Bucks Harbor dog ride5. Meet sum Mainahs. Ayuh, a trip to Maine ain’t the same till you have had a Down East dialogue with the real deal. You may to stop at a dinah, like Becky’s diner, to find authentic Maine folks. See our Maine slang for guidance on typical Maine colloquialisms and catch phrases. And be prepared for humah….Mainers are pretty wicked sarcastic, specially with them tourists from away.

Schooner Mary Day, Maine6. Get on a boat. The best way to see Maine is from the sea. Whether you choose to kayak around pretty coves, sail aboard a schooner, take a narrated tour on a lobster boat, or go fishing, you will love view of the coast from aboard a boat. See our guide to Maine boat charters and tours.

Acadia Sign at Scoodic Point7. Explore a Maine State or National Park. Maine has 70,00 acres of beautiful state parks on lakes, the coast, beaches, plus 2 million acres of public land and historic sites. Baxter, Two Light, Scarborough and Popham Beach, plus Camden Hills are just a few of the stunning Maine State Parks. Cadillac Mountain viewAs for National Parks in Maine, the big daddy is Acadia National Park, celebrating 100 years old in 2016. Acadia and LL Bean are two of the most popular attractions to Maine, and interestingly they are four years apart. The Appalachian Trail is a National Trailway that ends in Maine at Mt Katahdin on Maine’s highest peak at 5,268’ in Baxter State Park, the AT stretches 2,200-miles to Maine from Georgia.

Nubble Light York, Maine8. Beach It ! We lost count of how many Maine beaches there are … The southern Maine coast has beautiful beaches in York, Ogunquit, Wells and Kennebunk, Casco Bay has lots of sandy havens like Higgins, Popham and Scarborough Beach. Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island is part of Acadia National Park – the water’s cold but the view is incredible. If waves and salt aren’t your things, then visit Maine’s vast network of lakes and rivers for fresh water beach time and boating. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.

Restaurant in Southwest Harbor, Maine9. Have fried clams, or fresh from a raw bar. Maine’s seafood is best – the lobster gets all the fame – but Maine clams, scallops, crab, and for fruit – blueberry are well-worth savoring. See our favorite restaurants in Maine.

Monhegan Inn view in Maine

10. Stay at a Maine inn, a cozy B&B, or an oceanfront resort hotel. Maine hospitality is unlike any other place, that why our license says “the way life should be.” Come see why…

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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Maine’s newest National Park?

Kayaking Penobscot Bay in Maine

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which includes Acadia National Park. What better birthday present than an expansion, and a new landmark in Maine?!  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis support President Obama’s designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the first national monument to preserve the landscape and honor the history and culture of Maine’s North Woods. President Obama used the Antiquities Act to establish 87,500 acres of Acadia National Park Sign in Mainelands donated to the National Park Service by the Elliottsville Plantation, Inc., (EPI), including the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, one of the most pristine watersheds in the Northeast, according to the National Park Service.

Pond Island in Penobscot BayUS Secretary Jewell will visit the national monument lands in Penobscot County, Maine, in August to celebrate the designation with state and local officials and members of the public. National Park Service staff will be on site to assist with the first steps to open the park.

“As the National Park Service begins a second century of conservation this week, the President’s designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument serves as an View at the top of Acadia National Parkinspiration to reflect on America’s iconic landscapes and historical and cultural treasures,” said Secretary Jewell. “Through this incredibly generous private gift for conservation, these lands will remain accessible to current and future generations of Americans, ensuring the rich history of Mainers’ hunting, fishing and recreation heritage will forever be preserved.”

EPI is the nonprofit foundation established by Roxanne Quimby and run by her son Lucas St. Clair. Their gift of land is accompanied by anendowment of $20 million to supplement federal funds for initial park operational needs and infrastructure development at the new monument, and a pledge of another $20 million in future philanthropic support.

Cape Roisier, MaineMaine’s new national monument  will be managed by the National Park Service as the 413th park unit in the National Park System. The monument parcel is east of the 209,644-acre Baxter State Park and Mt. Katahdin -Maine’s highest peak at 5,267′ and the end of the Appalachian Trail.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation is the result of a extensive effort by Quimby and her son St Clair. Quimby purchased the lands with her wealth from Burt’s Bees.

Tidal Salt Marsh, MaineThe new national monument includes the East Branch of the Penobscot River and some of Maine’s North Woods known for its world-class recreational opportunities to hike, canoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, snowshoe and cross-country ski. These and other traditional activities will continue to be available in the new national monument.

In addition to protecting spectacular geology, biodiversity, wildlife and recreational opportunities, the new monument will help support climate resiliency in the region. The protected area – together with the neighboring Baxter State Park to the west – will ensure that this large landscape remains intact, bolstering the forest’s resilience against the impacts of climate change. – Thank to the National Park Service for this new release.

Fawn spotted in Acadia National Park

For Maine lodging in the Katahdin region, in Baxter, Millinocket, and Greenville & Moosehead, see our Highland Maine Lodging Guide.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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What a summah its been upta Maine!

Cormorant looking out over the marina in Boothbay, Maine.Mainahs, that’s Maine locals, love to talk about the weather… they complain in wintah about havin’ to get out their snow blowah, and they lament that the summah goes by some wicked quick.

Summer lobster bake in Maine

Surprisingly this summer in Maine has been “pretty awful nice” according to folks around Maine, which is high praise. Long stretches of sunny days, not a lot of rain, has been
fantastic for them tourists from away that come in with their money and leave with our lobstah, though I suppose farmahs could complain about havin to watah their crops so often. Ayuh. See our guide to Maine slang.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decor

But seriously, its been a hum dingah summer in Maine, perfect warm breezy days to go fishin, paddleboard, kayak around the hahrbahs (see our guide to boating in Maine) ,
go upta camp, dance at a rustic Maine barn wedding, host a lobster clam bake, stay all day at the beach playing volleyball or doin’ nothin’ atall.

Ramshead Lighthouse in Maine

From the southern Maine coast to Down East, the summer temperatures have been spot on, with only a few scorchas (when the heat index goes over 90). Inland the lakes and rivers have been calm, clear and perfect for a Maine vacation – living up to the legendary license plate promise “vacationland”.

Sebago Lake in fall

And best of all, soon it will be fall y’all. Fall foliage in Maine is among the most brilliant and splendid the world over. With maples, birch, oak and elm turning fiery reds, orange and yellow contrasting the bold evergreen of this Pine Tree State.

Cuckolds Lighthouse on Maine coast

Then comes wintah, and the Mainahs can go back to complainin’ about how frigin cold it is,
bout damn freeze your digits off lobsterin in that nippy weathah. No mattah, whether or not, weather or not, Maine is still the way life should be.

Footbridge Sign in Maine

Plan your Maine vacation and learn to talk like a Mainah about the weathah, visit Maine lighthouses, and eat lobstah! See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay and where to chartah a boat!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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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 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 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 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, 2016

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Maine House Boats for a waterfront vacation

Robinhood Cove Houseboat in MaineImagine vacationing on a house boat in Maine, your own private yacht – without the stress of boat ownership or even boating. If this sounds ideal you should rent a house boat in beautiful Robinhood Cove near Boothbay Harbor Maine. You can live aboard a custom designed Island 40′ yacht on the mid-coast Maine with no big boat responsibilities, the house boat doesn’t even have an engine – so it’s a peaceful floating oasis, secured to a mooring just a short paddle or skiff ride from the shores of Riggs Cove on Georgetown island.

Robinhood Cove in MaineYou can rent a houseboat at Derecktor Robinhood Marina for a few nights or a relaxing week’s vacation. The marina crew greets you and takes you and your luggage out to your house boat. Choose from the Tessie Ann “floating island”, built by the marina in 2010, the Charles Andrew, or the Nancy Lou which is the newest with a spacious rooftop deck. All three house boats sleep 4, with a stateroom queen bed, a galley kitchen with fridge, DVD/TV, sound system, head with shower, and a dinette that transforms into a bed for sleeping. As part of your house boat rental, you get a 15′  9.9 hp skiff to motor from the marina dock to your boat, and cruise around Riggs Cove. The dockhands orient you on the dinghy operation, and your house boat systems. Also on board your house boat are two kayaks for your enjoyment. Back at the Marina is a fully rigged Cape Dorey day sailboat for your use as well, but sailing experience is highly recommended for that endeavor.

Robinhood Maine Riggs Cove Houseboat in Maine

We loved living on our house boat in beautiful Robinhood Cove. Mornings we went kayaking up the Sasanoa River, then went to shore to check email and read the complimentary newspaper in the cozy marina library and sail loft, then took the 18’ Typhoon sailboat for a delightful sail around the bay. Afternoons we relaxed aboard our yacht, enjoyed cocktails watching the Osprey nest, and swam off our houseboat swim platform – there’s a swim ladder provided. After a hot shower aboard, yes Maine’s swimming is chilly all summer long.

Dining at Osprey restaurantTaking our dinghy to shore, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the onsite Osprey Restaurant and Tavern – fresh seafood with a view of our boat and the seals bobbing about. Mind you, we could have bought lobsters locally and cooked them on the boat, there’s a rail-mounted propane barbecue grill and a full galley in the salon.

We loved our floating vacation, and the opportunity to kayak, sail and boat as well. Robinhood Cove is so peaceful and pristine, and sleeping aboard a yacht without the stress of actually navigating or moving the boat was magical. We recommend a Riggs Cove Rental at Derecktor Robinhood Marine for at least three nights… a week would be perfect.

Grey Haven Inn Georgetown MaineBut if bringing your luggage and coolers out to a house boat by dinghy sounds challenging to you, stay nearby at the gorgeous Grey Havens Inn on Georgetown Island. This spectacular 1904 inn perched high on a bluff overlooking Sheepscott River and the Ocean offers lovely rooms upstairs, we recommend the turret rooms or Sunrise Suite with its own private deck. Grey Haven’s living room features a grand stone fireplace, and the wrap around porch is perfect for morning coffee and evening cocktails. Dinner is served nightly at Blue – Grey Haven Inn’s chef is as exceptional as the view. Daily Continental breakfast is served here as well. The grounds are expansive, down to the waterfront. Grey Havens Inn is just two miles from Reid State Park – a must visit to see beautiful beaches, bold graniteshores and this gem of nature preserve. Five Island is another great stop a few miles away, a working fishing village with its own lobster coop where you can picnic on fresh-made lobster rolls.

Reid State ParkMaine’s mid-coast is so dramatic – stunning scenery at every turn, yet its peaceful – time moves slower here… as evidenced by the turtle crossing signs everywhere.

Enjoy your time in Vacationland. See more on Exploring the Maine coast, tips on planning a Maine vacation and our Maine regional lodging guide.

Lobster boat in Riggs Cove MaineSunset at Robinhood Marine Riggs Cove

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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Best Way to Eat a Fresh Maine Lobster

lobsterEveryone visiting Maine craves a fresh Maine lobster. It’s a #1 attraction in vacationland – to enjoy a bright red cooked lobster – ideally served by the sea! But many folks from away don’t know much about lobster, how to eat it, what to eat it with, how it is best served according to Mainers. So here is your guide to eating Maine lobster.

First – be sure the lobster is alive and fresh before its cooked. The best way to assure you have a quality lobster is to go to a busy restaurant, lobster pound or fish market – Maine Lobster Shackpreferably near the ocean, fresh off the dock is the best bet for a fresh bite.

Second – lobster needs to be steamed or boiled properly. There is some local debate about which is better: boiling or steaming your lobster. See our guide on Cooking Maine Lobster!

Third – Proper Lobster Accompaniments:

lobsterLobster is best with hot melted butter… it’s really that simple.

Lobster is traditionally served by Mainers with fresh corn on the cob, and a side of potato chips – or some old schoolers serve tater tots (yup, like you used to eat in grade-school)!

Steamers, native Maine clams – steamed, are often served beforehand or beside your lobster, with the broth in which they were steamed. The broth is used to give the clams a hot water bath before your eat them, after you remove the neck skin. Steamed clams are classic and delicious. Warning – don’t eat them if the shells don’t open after cooking. Them ain’t keepahs. See our guide to Maine slang.

If you want to get “real fancy” include a cup of New England clam chowder – the white cream base, not the modified Manhattan chowder in a tomato broth…that ain’t chowdah.

restaurant-sw-harbor3Fourth – Drinks with Lobster
The best beverage with a Maine lobster is a buttery Chardonnay. Or if your fancy and enjoy bubbly, Champagne, a sparkling wine or Rose is lovely. For beer drinkers, nothing too hoppy – just cold and clean is best with the buttery rich taste of lobster. Red wine lovers can pair a light crisp Pinot Noir – not too heavy – you don’t want to overpower the delicate taste of the lobster meat.

red-bell3Fifth – The best dessert after a good Down East Feast, also called a Clam Bake or Lobster Bake, if you have room in your tummy after all that seafood yummy – strawberry shortcake, homemade blueberry pie, or blueberry buckle are great choices – made from native Maine berries and topped with fresh whipped cream! Simple. Perfection!

Enjoy your Maine Lobster while in Vacationland. And be sure to order some Lobster to be delivered to your home too!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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Maine’s Best Fests and Summer Events!

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Maine’s motto is “the way life should be.” Well, here are some great Maine events coming up this spring & summer that celebrate life, the sea, Maine’s best food, art and fun on the coast.

Maine Art Walks occur in the Kennebunks, Biddeford and Portland on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Fridays of the Month, an evening of fine art, with open houses at art galleries in these great towns.

Kennebunkport Festival June 6-11
The 12th annual Kennebunkport Festival celebrates the spectacular creativity and hospitality of Kennebunkport’s artists, galleries, top chefs and fine restaurants. Award-winning chefs from around Maine prepare extraordinary dinners paired with wine and art at private estates. Before and After parties, concerts and boat tours are part of this great waterfront festival. Special lodging packages are available at Kennebunkport historic bed and breakfasts, inns and oceanfront resorts.

Kennebunkport, MaineGeorge H W Bush Celebrity Golf Classic,  Kennebunkport June 20-21 
Annual June golf tournament brings together past presidents, pros and celebrities for a golf game – followed by an evening gala at Kennebunkport’s Colony Hotel in a fundraiser for Gary’s House. The Celebrity Golf Classic is held at Cape Arundel Golf Club, River Road, Kennebunkport.

Tour de Cure,  Wells Reserve  June 12
Annual June fund-raising bicycle ride benefits the American Diabetes Association with five routes to meet varying participants, 5K, 25K, 50K, 100K, or 100 Mile. Routes follow the Maine’s scenic coastline, from sandy beaches to breath-taking rocky shores, along bicycle-friendly roads in the  communities of Southern Maine with the start and finish at Wells Reserve in Wells.

Casco Bay FerryOld Port Festival,  Portland June 12 
44th Annual Old Port Festival is on Sunday, June 12 11-5. This is Maine’s largest one-day event with several live rock, world, acoustic, blues and country bands, Maine crafts, activities and fun. Maine artists and craftspeople sell their fare and local food is on display in tents along Portland’s Old Port.  Portland’s Shoestring Theater Puppet Company presents an amazing 11am parade of huge puppets down Exchange Street.

Trek Across Maine June 17-19
Annual bike ride fundraiser across Maine from Sunday River to Portland to benefit the American Lung Association.

Maine kayakingWindjammer Days Boothbay Harbor
June 20-25
Fully rigged windjammers sail into Boothbay Harbor for the annual Windjammer Days. Events include pancake breakfast, craft fair, antique boat parade, shipyard tours, street parade, live musical entertainment and tours aboard the fleet of historic windjammers. Finale fireworks over Boothbay Harbor.

42nd Berwick’s Strawberry Festival, South Berwick June 25 2016
A great Maine tradition in late June with musical performances, children’s games, crafts and of course Strawberry desserts, jams, pies and delights in Berwick Maine.

Launch – A Maritime Festival in Kennebunkport  June
IMG_3802Visit the seaside towns of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and cape porpoise for this weekend that celebrates boating, ship building and fishing. Highlights include a Clam Jam cook-off with local chefs, Sirens & Sailors 5k, Pirate Party, River Lights Boat Parade, VIP Rock The Boat Party, and a Blessing of the Fleet.

Tallships Parade in Portland July
schooner-mary-day1
Portland Harbor hosts 8 historic tallships on their final stop of the 2015 Tallships Challenge beginning June 13 in Cape Charles, Virginia, sailing to Philadelphia, Camden, New Jersey, and Greenport, New York, ending in Portland. This is the first tall ships festival in Portland since OpSail Maine 2000. Tallships will Parade into Portland Harbor at 1pm July 18 – you will see the Eagle, the Oliver Hazard Perry, Picton Castle, El Galeon of Seville, Spain and the Bowdoin from Castine’s Maine Maritime Academy. The Tall Ships America, Iberdrola USA Tall Ships Portland Festival 2015 takes place on the Maine State Pier to Ocean Gateway and Moon Tide Park with tours of ships from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

July 29- Aug 2 Maine Lobster Festival Rockland
Celebrate all things lobster in this great Maine lobster fishing village. Parades, parties, crafts, and of course lobster in Rockland Maine.

Casco Bay FerryPortland Reggaefest on Maine State Pier August 7
Great line up of top reggae bands, tickets are $30

Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival August 15
Topsham Fairground becomes St Andrews of Maine with bagpipes, costumes, Scottish food like haggies and Scottish games.

Great Falls Balloon Fest Aguust 21-23
Lewiston Auburn skies fill with hot air balloons. Fair and free hot air balloon rides, music and Maine food.

Paddleboar JoustingPaddle Battle at Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport September 3
Annual race of canoes, paddleboards and kayaks on the Kennebunk River starting and ending at the beautiful Nonantum Resort with bbq and music on Father’s Day.

Camden Windjammer Fest September 4-6
Beautiful schooners and windjammers fill Camden harbor and parade.

Maine Lighthouse
Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth

 That’s just a sample of the great boating, biking, food and art events in Maine this summer. See our entire list of Maine events and see our Top Maine Towns for planning your next visit to Maine, and our suggestions on Touring the Coast of Maine.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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