Author Archives: Maine Lodging and Hotel Guide

Top 10 Reasons To Fall For Maine

Fall is here, our favorite time of year in Maine – where we really earn the moniker “Vacationland”. Nowhere is it more beautiful, stunningly scenic, with perfect daytime temps and crisp cool evenings. There’s a myriad of reasons to come to Maine in fall y’all:

A Photographers Dream! A burst of brilliant colors paint the already pretty Maine landscape. The Pine Tree state is decorated with bright red maples, yellow elms, awesome orange oaks, and gorgeous gold birch leaves. On the coast, the waters provide stark contrast with a deep dark blue. In Maine’s lakes and mountains, hillsides glow with autumnal fiery colors amidst the evergreens. Brign your camera, or your smart phone and capture it all to the envy of your friends and followers.

Un-crowded Maine – this year Maine is especially wide-open and far less busy, picture no cruise ships or bus tours due to Covid. That makes your exploration of coastal towns that much more enjoyable. Hotels and inns have vacancies, and restaurants are happy to seat and serve you, inside or out. Maine was closed to visitors in the spring, as a result – its one of the safest states.

Sebago Lake in fall

Sweatah Weathah – You can’t ask for a more sublime climate than September and early October days in Maine. Day time temps are mid-70s, ideal for hiking, biking, walking. Evenings, coo crisp air invites you to don a shawl or sweater, snuggle by an outdoor firepit or indoor fireplace. It’s the best of both worlds, warm sunshine and the smell of campfire.

Maine Harvest is happening! Go pick apples in an orchard, then enjoy a hot apple cider toddy or warm dish of apple crisp! Visit a Farmers’ Market for the freshest veggies, squash, and root vegetables. Pick your own Pumpkin from a patch, ready to carve come Halloween, don’t forget to roast the seeds with sea salt and pepper!

Paddle through the Pretty! Kayak on a quiet river in Kennebunk, or a river in Bethel. Its peaceful and so scenic being on the water, watching the birds and the beautiful leaves surround you. A Maine lobster roll lunch never tasted so good after a workout on the water.

Whale Watch! Falls an ideal time to board a whale watch and head out to sea to see whales. Whales can be reliably spotted on Maine tour boats into late October, when these magnificent mammals begin to migrate south. Dress warm for your boat ride, pack a thermos of hot drinks and snacks, as it’s typically a four hour tour.

Set Sail! A schooner or sailboat charter is splendid in fall, seeing the dramatic leaves on the shore from aboard a boat powered by the wind is magical. The wind tends to pick up in fall too, so you should have a mighty nice haul, or reach (naughty terms for ye sailors).

Hike Acadia, Camden, Moosehead or the Mahoosucs. Fall offers the perfect dry cool weather for a hike. While spring is often still damp on the trailheads, fall bring beautiful arid air and well-maintained trails in Maine’s mountains. Do a small hike like Pleasant Mountain fire tower or Mt Battie, or go big in Moosehead, or Mount Desert’s plethora of Acadia National Park hiking paths, or the king of hikes … Mount Katahdin. Dress in layers, the summit is often much cooler, breezier, and you’ll want to stay for a bit as your reward for your climb!

Shop! Fall is a fantastic time to shop, when post summer sales, and pre-holiday finds abound in Kittery, Freeport- home of LL Bean, and in the quaint boutiques of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Portland and Boothbay! Maine’s Art Galleries are especially vibrant, welcoming and loaded with unique local talent this time of year.

Taste Maine! Fall brings a bounty of Maine food to chef’s tables and top restaurants. Lobster is till plentiful on the menu, along with fresh swordfish, tuna, salmon and scallops. The autumn culinary scene is as Gorde and pumpkin displaycolorful as it is close to the source and delicious. Savory squash, crisp kale, Maine potatoes and broccoli, melons and fruits all come to ripeness and local Maine chefs create delicious dishes with these garden goodies.

So if you’ve been cooped up, its time to come visit Maine, and explore Vacationland – The Way Life Should Be! See our guide to Maine Inns, Resorts and BnBs, where to stay and play in Maine’s prettiest coastal towns, lakes and mountains.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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Top Things to Do in Camden

Camden Maine Mountain ViewCamden is by far one of Maine’s prettiest seaside villages, with a bustling but well-protected boat harbor, and a delightful downtown for browsing, shopping and dining. Surrounding you are majestic Maine mountains, Camden State Park, lovely Inns and Bnbs and some upscale harbor hotels. The waterfront offers wonderful restaurants and a few swank rooftop or dock and dine decks.

Here are our favorite things to “sea” and do and eat in Camden

Camden Maine, Mt BattieVisit Camden State Park and Mt Battie, you can drive the auto road to the top for fabulous views of the Camden Harbor and often see as far as Cadillac Mt on Mt Desert Island. This Maine State Park of Camden is over 5,000 acres, with 30 miles of trails. There’s a 1.5 mile loop hike. Or simply pack a picnic, get your selfie at the summit by the fortified tower, and enjoy splendid Atlantic scenes.

A Camden harbor cruise is a fun way to see the beautiful boats and schooners that port here, and venture out to a few lighthouse and beautiful Penobscot Bay – one of our favorite places to sail in all of Maine! Lively Lady offers harbor cruises from Camden’s docks daily.

Enjoy a Schooner tour in Camden aboard Schooner Surprise – we suggest a sunset cruise. As sails are raised, the wind is in your hair, and you see wildlife, and the coastline, with only the power of the wind on this authentic 1918 race ship.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorCamden Harbor Park by the beautiful Camden Public Library is a lovely setting for a stroll or a picnic with a picturesque view of all the sailboat masts in the harbor. There’s an Amphitheater here for Camden’s frequent outdoor concerts .

Downton Camden’s best shops, pop in to Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe, The Smiling Cow, French & Brawn Market Place for the perfect picnic provisions and Maine made yummies, explore Owl and Turtle Bookshop, Ducktrap Bay Trading Co and the Cashmere Goat. Reny’s is a Maine shopping adventure in Camden… you won’t know you need it till you find it here!

Allagash Brewery freezerWine tasting at Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville – Bettina the propreitor departed Wall Street to pursue a passion in wine and elegant entertaining, she’s spent beaucoup bucks on harvesting Maine wines, which are perhaps not legendary – but fun & fruity, with a great tale & tour.

Visit  Rockland’s Breakwater made of gleaming granite harvested locally, and then browse the Farnsworth Museum – home to Andrew Wyeth and his family’s artwork. All of Rockland has an artsy cool vibe and several exceptional galleries – like the newer Center for Maine Contemporary Art across the street!

Fun fact, Camden is home to the only ocean-view ski arae on the Eastern Seaboard – Camden Snow Bowl! Here the annual National Toboggan Championships are held every February!

Top Places to Dine in Camden
Natalies at Camden Harbor Inn
Waterfront
Fresh & Co
Peter Ott’s on the Water
Long Grain
Primo in Rockland

Best Spots for a Cocktail and a view
Rhumb Line
16 Bayview Rooftop Bar
40 Paper

For the Best in Coffee in Camden
Franny’s
Owl & Turtle
Zoot’s

Camden Harbor ViewTop Places to Stay in Camden
Blue Harbor House Inn  
for classic BnB
Hawthorn Inn  steps from downtown in an 1894 Vicortian mansion
Whitehall  a fun mod Inn – part of the Lark Hotel portfolio
Cedar Crest Inn – for family lodging wtih a pool, casual and freindly a short walk to town

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorMore on our Top Towns to Visit in Maine as you Tour the Coast.

Enjoy your stay in Camden and tell ‘em VisitMaine.net steered you here.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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Top Things To Do in Boothbay

Boothbay Harbor is a classic seaside Maine town – coastal, compact, cute with a cluster of great shops, fun cafes, beautiful inns, 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, Boothbay lodging is often 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.

Our Top 10 Things to Do In Boothbay !

Walk this way in Boothbay! Boothbay is a great walking town, with a dozen cool Maine craft shops in close vicinity, mostly along the harbor waterfront. The village of Boothbay Harbor is both historic and hilly, with charming streets lined with flower boxes, Inns and Bnbs, jewelry and art stores, candy and ice cream stands.

Cross the Boothbay Footbridge that spans 1,000’ across the inner harbor, this historic wooden walkway was built in 1901 (costing $1,500!), taking you out to the 1902 Bridge House located mid wharf where you can read about its fascinating history. The view of the harbor and the many boats moored and docked from Footbridge is special. Interesting fact, Boothbay is considering a $2.8 mill bridge redesign.

Boat Boothbay! The best way to see Boothbay is by boat. If you can’t BYOB – bring your own boat, then rent a kayak or paddleboard from Maine Kayak or Tidal Transet and paddle around the bay, passing lobster boats and magnificent pleasure yachts in the harbor, around McFarland Island and out to Tumbler Island. Boothbay is considered the best kayaking in Maine, you’ll soon “sea” why!

Sail or charter from Piers 8-1 (let us know if you find Piers 5-2?). Departing daily from these docks are Balmy Days cruises, Schooners East Wind or Lazy Jack, and more, all offering harbor cruises,  daily tours and sunset excursions out to see Boothbay’s three lighthousesBurnt Island Light, Ram Island Light and the Cuckholds Light. You will also likely glimpse harbor seals, dolphin and Maine birds on your boat tour.  A trip to Monhegan Island via Ferry is an unforgettable experience, but a long day, 90 minutes cruise out to sea, and back, to this remote rustic dramatic isle, which resembles Ireland as much as Maine, enjoy the perimeter hiking and prominent 1824 Monhegan Lighthouse.

Shop BBH! Don’t miss Boothbay’s most unique Maine shops and art galleries … Enchantments is otherworldly, a magical mystical tour through levels and layers in a spirited old red barn. It’s like Halloween meets holistic healing, with wizards and witchcraft, wind chimes and crystals, dragons amidst Buddhist fountains and tarot cards. Across Boothbay House Hill Road, you’ll find Sue – a lively Maine gal selling jams, jellies and pickled yummies, with a helping of her local commentary.  Finest Kind in town is another gem- a veritable museum of fabulous retro costumey clothes and décor for sale with Brenda Lee happy to assist. Too many great BBH shops to name – Sweet Bay, Smiling Cow, Tidepools, Eventide, Dirty Bird Pottery, Coastal Maine Popcorn are a few

Drink in the Bar-muda Triangle – The place to chill with a cocktail is at the end of Wharf Street, where 3 of Boothbay’s best bars meet, and where the locals do too. Mine Oyster, Pier Pub and McSeagulls make up the social circuit. Take your pick, or pub crawl ’em all, maybe even take your picture with Bartender and former Maine Governor Paul Le Page at McSeagulls while enjoying waterfront views, fresh lobster and cool drinks, with boat passing by.

Seafood & eat it! Boothbay has lots of great dining, featuring fresh local lobster, scallops, fresh haddock, calamari, clams, oysters, shrimp – you name it! There’s often live entertainment at one of Boothbay’s lively spots. Boathouse Bistro Tapas has wonderful top deck dining. Coastal Prime across the Footbridge, at Boothbay Harbor Oceanside Golf Resort, offers the freshest local seafood – artfully prepared and Prime Steak for landlubbers, served with a side of harbor views an sunsets –whether you dine in or outside – its chic but casual, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Stay in Boothbay! The best location in town is Tugboat Inn or sister property Fisherman’s Wharf, both perfectly perched over the Harbor with their own marina – if you arrive by boat and want a  great dock slip. Not fancy, Fishermen’s and Tugboat’s location are prime and most rooms have scenic balconies with views of Boothbay’s magnificent church steeple – Our Lady Queen of Peace, and the boats filling the bustling harbor, and your steps to town for shopping, dining, cafes, and boat trips.

Wanna get away? The quietest most picturesque place to stay is Ocean Point Inn, just 7 miles from town out on Linekin Bay. This historic oceanfront resort has a commanding view out to sea, and pretty cottages and rooms offering ocean breezes and THE BEST sunsets. Go to Ocean Point at the very least for a seaview sunset dinner with delicious seafood, the lobster bisque is outstanding, so is the Chicken Atlantis and most everything on the menu. You can even arrive by boat on their docks with a quick cruise across the harbor.

Nightcap at Top Deck at the Tugboat. The best way to end an amazing Boothbay Day is with a cocktail atop the town, at Tugboat’s Top Deck. Sit in the comfy couches, hi tops or by the fire table and reflect on your Boothbay day of adventures in this super fun friendly seaside town.

Boothbay Breakfast at Blue Moon Café or the Red Cup – both popular morning spots, so popular there is often a queue out onto Commercial Street. Leave your matey in line while you poke into nearby pirate shops till your table is ready. For coffee drinks, Brisetto’s Second Cup makes amazing lattes.

Stop & smell the flowers! Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is 250-acres of amazing flora and fauna, rock gardens, water features a sculpture gardens. These beautiful bountiful gardens are open year-round, including holiday light displays, classes and narrated walking tours. This is a great stop on your way out of Boothbay.

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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Staycation in Vacationland

These are “unprecedented” times for Maine’s tourism industry. Ayuh, you’ve heard that one, but “we’re here for you.” Heard that one too – LOL. Seriously though, Maine Innkeepers, BnB owners were forced to close for months. Now we are in-season when they typically make 80% of their business, with 98% out-of-state visitors. Enter the Governor and her executive orders making travel to Maine challenging,  with testing requirements or quarantine demands, see our Maine Covid update page. The upside is for those who come, Maine is your private playground for the summer, no cruise ships, no bus tours, and far fewer visitors!

So while the thousands of tourism businesses are in grave jeopardy, facing a frightening lack of summer visitors, you have a great opportunity to grab a lime for your Corona & staycation or to get tested and come…

Time for you to discover Vacationland! Enjoy Maine with NO CROWDS at “unprecedented” rates, and help out  Maine small biz owners! It’s a win win, they desperately need your lodging reservations right now – all they’ve gotten is cancellations lately. And YOU NEED to get out of the damn house! Winner winner lobster dinner!

How ‘bout a June vacation directly on the beach in Kennebunk for a mere $99 a night!? And your 3rd night is just $50! The Seaside Inn is a charming 9th generation beachfront property, the oldest continually operating Inn in the US! If you haven’t even heard of it yet, it’ll be a getaway you’ll never forget! Beach walks, breakfast is included, along with free bike use. Many Kennebunk and Kennebunkport restaurants are offering outside dining this summer!

Affordable and family friendly fun in Kennebunkport, Rhumb Line Resort has Two Great Deals in One for Mainers! Stay 2-Nights Midweek for only $149, or $199 for 2-Nights weekends in June. A 5-night vacation is just $399, or $549 for an entire 7-Nights! These great rates include a FREE upgrade to one of a Poolside Rooms while they last! Enjoy free WiFi, daily Continental breakfast, and use of swimming pools indoor and out!

1802 House in Kennebunkport has a 2020 deal, 20% off for two-nights with $20 to Old Vines Wine Bar – who, btw, has a fabulous outdoor patio for distancing drinks and delish small plates! Enjoy walking the beautiful beach, strolling to Kennebunkport’s delightful Dock Square for outdoor dining, take a boat ride, rent a kayak, ride the Seashore Trolley, there’s so much to do! And it’s waiting for you – exclusive to Mainers!

82 Ocean House Rental – is a LUXURY waterfront home in Kennebunkport with water on 3 sides. Offering a stunning waterfront location on world famous Ocean Ave just .5 mile walk to Dock Square in one direction and .5 mile to Colony Beach in the other direction. This is a 4,250 sq foot gem, with 4 Bedrooms including 2 master suites, 6 Baths, 4 Fireplaces, an outdoor firepit, a tidal dock perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding or canoeing. Sleeps up to 8 in absolute comfort.  June, July and August weeks from $10,000.  Just 2 weeks available but you get to choose them.

Wells Beach, MaineVillage by the Sea in Wells has a Maine Resident Two Night Package for $198 in condo-style lodging, and $50 for your 3rd Night, Add $40 for a weekend stay. Or stay 7 nights for $535! Suite lodging at sweet rates near Wells Beach at a beautiful family friendly resort, yes please!

Blind Tiger Inn in Portland offers a weekly Inn exclusive, 9 bedrooms for $15,000 in June, with “contactless concierge”! This beautiful inn has a lounge, fireplaces, a billiard room that was a Speakeasy, bar and kitchen. Part of the trendy Lark Hotels portfolio – its very chic with thoughtful amenities and service.

Ever explored Boothbay Harbor? Here’s your embossed invite! Ocean Point Inn has a Maine residents deal, starting June 12 – stay oceanfront for Two Nights as low as $99 a night and your 3rd night is $49. Ocean Point is a spectacular seaside peninsula, with lighthouse views and lobster served nightly in their waterview restaurant.

You tore through TigerKing. You’ve cooked, cleaned, organized your closets. Enough! Time to leave #LockDown for some fun in the sun! You can catch up on Bob Marley’s funny #CronaWatch2020 later. Start your own reality mini-series National Lampoon’s Maine Staycation 2020!

Boothbay Harbor, MaineThese are some wicked good local lodging deals. See Maine, shop local, save money, save our economy too! You won’t be trippin’ ovah cruise shippahs eithah this summah. You can even dress like a tourist if you like?

Enjoy your vast beautiful exclusive Vacationland. Stay tuned to VisitMaine.net on the Facebook for more… Sea ya out there Mainers!

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Maine BnBs, Inns and Hotels are essential too

VisitMaine.net – Maine’s Unofficial State Web Site Since 1998

Maine welcomes 37 million people a year. 2/3 of those visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Maine’s tourism contributes over $6 billion annually, more than 10% of our State’s entire economy. Tourism supports 110,000 jobs—that’s 1 in 6 JOBS in our state. These jobs, in turn, support thousands of other year-round businesses, from independant shops to the fishermen and farmers,  to web marketing companies like VisitMaine.net. Our small business as Maine’s #1 Hotel and Lodging Guide since 1998 does not exist without you!

Ever since Governor Mills’ shocking April 28 “re-open” plan (that didn’t really allow you to open properly or sustainably this summer), we have been hard at work …writing letters the Governor, Heather Johnson at DECD (heather.johnson@maine.gov), Editors, State and Local Legislators, Senators, and our advocates at Hospitality Maine and Maine Office of Tourism, . We’ve been shouting out to National and Local Media (with significant success) to bring attention to our concerns for the future of tourism in Maine and the struggles of your small businesses and the Maine Tourism economy.

We are working for you, tuning up our dynamic responsive Maine Lodging Guide to bring visitors to you now – virtually for the moment– and live and in person as soon as State and Local representative allow you to welcome your guests back.

We trust  Small Business Owners will do all the right things to provide a safe wonderful experience to their guests, from in and out of state. Please trust us that we are fighting for your business rights, and will continue to be vocal on behalf of the Maine Tourism industry – small hospitality businesses like yours that have been overlooked, considered “not essential.”

Like you, we want to save our precious summer commerce in Maine. Please reach out to us with questions or concerns, tag us on your social media if you’d like to share your story!

Social Media @ VisitMaine.net 
Facebook  VisitMaine.net – 2,857followers
Twitter  @MaineHotelGuide – 3,460 followers
Instagram @VisitMainenet – 1,284 followers
Pinterest @VisitMaine – 1,228 followers
YouTube – VisitME

VisitMaine.net has been here, locally, reaching globally, since 1998. We plan to be here as long as you are…. contact us with questions, concerns or to be on our popular lodging site, Email Visitmaine.net or c all us at 207-967-6446 in Kennebunkport Maine.

VisitMaine.net 2019 Stats:
Unique Visitors: 1,440,769 Up +25%
Page Views: 40,856,492 Up+ 39%.

Together for Maine Tourism.

Sincerely,

Heather & Greg Burke
VisitMaine.net – Maine’s Unofficial State Web Site Since 1998
marketing@VisitMaine.net

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Why we love Maine Lobster

Maine Lobster ShackMaine Lobster – how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…
Lobster is a delicious nutritious seafood. And Maine’s lobster is the best…

Why? Maine Lobster is the most tender, not tough, not too salty… or chewy…
Because Maine Lobster comes from our cold Atlantic waters, it makes the Maine lobster meat taste sweeter than warm water lobster – spiny tail lobster tends to be chewier. Also cold Maine water keeps the meat from absorbing the salt from the ocean.

Maine Lobster can be enjoyed year round! Lobster fishermen haul lobster in all seasons…
Maine Lobster is called Homarus Americanus, you can’t get much more American than that!
Maine Lobster can be shipped live and fresh, or frozen!
Maine Lobster is sold on the docks in Maine fishing villages like Kennebunkport, in Maine markets, online and in stores all over the US.
Maine Lobster can fly, purchase it at Portland International Airport to be packed to fly home with you.
You can haul a Lobster trap when in Maine! See Lobster Boat Tours in Maine!

More reasons to love Maine Lobster:

Lobster is low-cal and packed with protein!
Lobster is a source of copper, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids.
Lobster contains vitamin B12, vitamin E and magnesium.
Lobster  has 100 calories per 3 ounce serving (beware the butter)
Lobster has only 1 gram of fat
Lobster has zero carbs
Lobster has 10 grams of protein
Lobster is and always has been gluten free!
More Maine Lobster Fun Facts!

Maine Lobster can be prepared in a myriad of ways:
Steamed Lobster
Baked Stuffed Lobster
Lobster Rolls
Lobster Bisque
Lobster Mac n’cheese
Lobster Chowder
Lobster Tails Grilled
Lobster Salad
Lobster Stew
Lobster Scampi
Lobster Newburg
Lobster Risotto
Monhegan Island MaineLobster Quesadilla
Lobster Fettuccine Alfredo
Lobster Nachos
Lobster Dip
Lobster Poutine
Lobster Thermidor
Deep Fried Lobster
Lazy Man’s Lobster

We’re “shore” there’s many more ways to prepare Maine Lobster
See How To Cook a Maine Lobster

Eat a Maine Lobster today, its good for you, good for Maine fishermen, lobster improves your mood and makes for a great DownEast Feast, makes for fun photos too! Share on our Maine Facebook or Visit Maine Instagram! Buy some local Maine lobster or ship yourself some fresh Maine Lobsters today!

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Maine Trivia

Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state. Maine also borders one country – Canada

Maine is the only one-syllable state in the US.

Maine looks good for 200 years old. Birthdate March 15, 1820.

Maine is the northeastern most state, Eastport is the most eastern city, West Quoddy Head is the most eastern point in the US – the first place to see the morning sun rise.

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamersMaine lobster is 90 percent of lobster in the US, with a lobster yield annually of over 100 million pounds, Maine lobster  is a $1 billion industry generating 4,000 jobs.

Maine Lobster is healthy for you!

Maine produces 90% of US blueberries. Broccoli and potatoes are top Maine crops too…

Maine is the top producer of US toothpicks, over 90%!

Most people think of the White Mountains as New Hampshire, but Maine is home to a portion of the 800,000 acres White Mountain National Forest – the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland was originally Maine’s state capital, in 1832 the capital moved to centrally located Augusta.

Maine’s 16th county – Aroostook County  is bigger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined!

Maine is bigger than the five other New England states combined at 33,215 square miles, though Maine’s population is among the lowest at 1.3 million

Cadillac Mountain viewMaine contains 542,629 acres of state and national parks.

Acadia National Park is over 100 years old, established in 1916, with mountains, beaches, islands, the only fjord in the eastern US – Somes Sound, miles of Atlantic shorelands, 125-miles of hiking paths, 50-miles of carriage roads for biking.

Maine’s state flower is actually a Pine Cone… hence the nickname Pine Tree state.

Bi Plane Tour Acadia

Maine’s official insect is the honey bee.

Maine’s highest point is Mount Katahdin at 5,268 feet above sea level. Maine’s lowest point is sea-level- that’s a joke people …

Maine’s largest lake is Moosehead at 117 square miles, 39 miles long, with 350 miles of shore.

Maine was first colonized in 1620, York was America’s first chartered city in 1641, but Maine didn’t become the 23rd  state until 1820.

L.L. Bean in Freeport Maine is open 24/7/365, a company over 100-years-old founded on the principle of guaranteed hunting and fishing attire.

Maine has 65 lighthouses. Maine has over 4,600 islands in the Atlantic and bays, lakes and ponds.

Maine food is world-famous. Bon Appetit named Portland Maine the Top Restaurant City 2018

Pemaquid Maine Lighthouse

Maine is “Vacationland” and boasts the slogan “The Way Life Should Be”

Maine should be on your Vacation Travel Bucket List…see our Guide to Visiting Maine!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Maine’s Top 10 Best Festivals

Maine is the Way Life Should Be, its #Vacationland – and home of the homarus – the best crustacean to eat on vacation – Maine Lobster. The best of Maine can be summed in Lighthouses, Lobsters and a Love of the great outdoors, from lakes, to beaches, mountains to rocky coastlines. So what are the best times to come explore? We suggest its best during a fest. Maine is home to some top events and festivals, when locals and visitors come out to celebrate, with fun, food, music, art and drinks!

Camden Maine Mountain View#1 Maine Boating Festivals
Maine is “sea centric” with a deep seafaring and boating history, so boat festivals are “shore” to be historical, engaging and entertaining on the waterfront. Stonington has Lobster Boat Races in July on Deer Isle, supped-up fishing boats fly around the busy harbor. Boothbay parades its tallships in the harbor during the Maine Windjammer Days in June. Camden and Rockland have their own Schooner Parade and fest mid-July. Kennebunkport has its Launch Festival – a Maritime celebration mid-June with a River Lights Boat Parade, Rock the Boat Party and Blessing of the Fleet.

#2 Best Maine Festivals!
The Kennebunkport Festival and Harvest on the Harbor in Portland are the best all-round festivals – capturing the new spirit of Maine – with plentiful Maine-made food, craft cocktails, beer and wine from native distilleries, brought to you by Maine’s talented locals chefs, served in a spectacular seaside setting with live Maine bands. Maine is a foodie scene now, and these culinary-infused fests bring out the best in a party-charged atmosphere.

#3 Maine Music Fests
Maine’s North Atlantic Blues Festival  in Rockland jams with live bands, blues and jazz, in July on Rockland’s waterfront – which is an up-and-coming commercial fishing village going kinda cosmopolitan. Reggaefest at Sugarloaf brings tropical island music to the mountain mid-April, complementing amazing spring corn-snow skiing at Maine’s biggest ski resort. Sunday River’s Spring Fest ski weekend celebrates spring skiing, pond skimming, and Jimmy Buffet style island music early April every season.

Gorde and pumpkin display#4 Maine Farm and Craft Fairs
The Fryeburg Fair is the granddaddy of Maine farm expos, held every fall since 1851. This huge outdoor fair brings a carnival atmosphere to a Yankee food, farm and craft fair with concerts, tractor pulls and pig scrambles. But there are countless other craft fairs like Wells Laudholm Nature Crafts Festival in September. Kennebunk, York and Ogunquit all have a Harvestfest in prime fall foliage season in October.

Owls Head Light Maine

#5 Maine Lighthouse Day in September is the best day to view Maine’s iconic head lights – for free! See our Guide to the many Maine lighthouses open for tours. Maine has over 65 lighthouse stations dotting the coastline from Kittery to Lubec, each on unique with an awesome ocean view of course. The spectacular headlights must be “scene” up close to be appreciated – bring your camera.

#6 Maine Lobster Fests
Maine’s food is world-famous, from its Maine lobsters, to steamed clams, to maple syrup, strawberries,  and blueberry pies. Rockland’s Lobster Festival in August is a must! Yarmouth’s Clam Fest in July is a shuckin’ good time. Big Blueberry Festivals in Rangeley, Machais and Berwick are delicious days. Maine’s Maple Sundays in March bring open houses at Maine sugar shacks with samplings. Taste of Bar Harbor in May is another delicious Maine food fest.

#7 Maine’s Most Romantic Events
Ok, so Maine isn’t pink like Bermuda or exotic like Paris or Florence, but we have sand, sun, surf and some very cozy inns, history and happy hours. A weekend in Maine can be very romantic, especially February in Kennebunkport when they “Paint the Town Red” with hearts, red lights, red tag sales and red plate special at every restaurant, plus ice bars and cocktail parties. Stay in a bed & breakfast like Captain Lord Mansion in a fireplace suite, Breakwater Inn & Spa, or at Seaside Inn directly on Kennebunk Beach with its own ocean view hot tub. Camden Winterfest is a wonderful weekend with ice-carvings, bonfires and a toboggan race – perfect outdoor fun between snuggling at a romantic Camden bnb, like Whitehall Inn, Hawthorne Inn, or Blue Harbor House.

Carriage Road, Acadia#8 Maine’s best biking events
Maine is a beautiful state to explore by bike, with some big fundraising bike tour events, like Tour De Cure and The Dempsey Challenge.  Tour De Cure is a June fund-raiser for Diabetes, from Wells Reserve Laudholm Farm, following scenic routes (25k, 50- 100) along the Southern Maine Coast. Trek Across Maine is a 180-mile cycle from Sunday River to the sea at Belfast held in June benefiting American Lung Association. Freeport’s Lobsterman Triathlon in September features fisherman biking, running and swimming Casco Bay in mid-September. The Dempsey Challenge, yes Grey’s Dr McDreamy Patrick Dempsey owns a home in Kennebunkport, is an annual Cancer fundraiser ride around Maine’s lakes and mountains, each fall.

Nubble Lighthouse Lights#9 Christmas in Maine
The holidays in Maine are magical, as seaside villages decorate with bought of holly and are very jolly. The best Christmas fest are Kennebunkport’s Christmas Prelude, Ogunquit’s Christmas by the Sea, Lighting of the Nubble Light in York, and Freeport’s Sparkle Weekend.  All of these Christmas holiday event in early December at ideal for a holiday shopping getaway.

#10 Polar Plunges New Year’s Day
A dip in the Atlantic on January 1 is a very chill way to welcome the New Year, and a shore cure for a New Year’s Eve hangover. Maine’s Polar Plunges take place on the 1st of the year at Kennebunk Beach –and Old Orchard Beach and Portland  – all of these icy dips are frozen fundraisers, dubbed “Freezin’ for a Reason” and “the Lobster Dip” benefit various Maine charities.

Enjoy Vacationland, be social – tag your Maine event photos with #VisitMaine  and share with us @VisitMaine.net

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Best Islands in Casco Bay

“If once you’ve slept on an island…you’ll never be quite the same.” So goes the idyllic book by Rachel Field… Nowhere is that more true than on an island in Maine…in summer…

It’s magical being surrounded by water, your arrival and departure solely reliant on a boat, far removed from the traffic, hustle and bustle of mainland living… it’s surprising how life slows, how so-called “necessities” melt away and life’s real “niceties” emerge… quiet, calm, natural, just the sound and smell of the sea.

Casco Bay in Portland is dotted with beautiful islands, over 200, some more inhabited than others… like Peaks and Long Island being the most populated, and easily reached by Casco Bay Lines ferry system from Portland.

Here are three special Maine islands that come to mind, very unique from one another, well worth discovering …

Chebeague Island is a step back in time, although its Maine’s newest town – Chebeague became independent from Cumberland in 2007. This beautiful wooded island with several sand beaches is home to a hearty community of 350 islanders, year-rounders.

Chebeague – pronounced “sha-beeg”, is the largest island of the Calendar Islands… a reference to the number of islands equaling the days in the year in this region (slight hyperbole but a fun anecdote). Chebeague is actually comprised of 17 islands, the “Big” island is 3 mile long by 1 mile wide. Settlers in the 1740’s farmed and lived here, lobsters were so abundant they used them for fertilizer, not food. By the 1900’s Great Chebeague had five hotels, now there’s just one – the lovely 1880 Chebeague Island Inn atop a sweeping lawn that leads to the western shore and view of mainland, and Yankee power plant.

Spend the night at Chebeague Island Inn, you owe your soul the experience! Arrive by ferry or your own boat and be whisked up the hill in the courtesy van to this historic charming hotel. The cozy fireplace living rooms lead to a gracious veranda with sea views. Take bikes to the East Shore beach, or explore the two roads – North & South – past the Historical Society and Maritime Museum, the Slow Bell Café, the island grocery store, community center and school.

Back at Chebeague Inn, cocktails are served on the easy breezy porch, followed by the acclaimed Chef’s delicious dinner – lobster, local mussels, duck, in the classic dining room or out on the lawn – our preference. Sunsets do not dissapoint here from the west-facing hillcrest overlooking the bay. Sleeping at the Inn -with your ocean view windows open, the light white drapes fluttering in the sea breeze – is perfection.

Great Diamond Island is a gem in the heart of Casco Bay, just a mile from Portland. This historic island has remnants of 1890’s Fort McKinley – the country’s coastal defense system built to protect Portland’s Harbor. The Inn at Diamond Cove is in the beautifully renovated old brick army barracks.

Casco Bay Ferry delivers you to Diamond Island’s protected “Cocktail Cove” and you check in at Diamonds’ Edge restaurant before being carted up the hill to the Inn – golf carts and bikes are the preferred transpo around the 1.3 acres island – which is mostly private for the 100 residents and hotel guests. We  rode the elevator from the airy lobby to our modern room with a lovely balcony, note: views from the hotel are of the beautiful “parade grounds” but not the ocean from the  high forested point.

As guests of Inn at Diamond Cove, we could hop on a complimentary bike or stroll to the old artillery spots – from the Spanish American War, visit the beach or sit by the hotel pool, hot tub and Cabana bar. There’s croquet, tennis, even indoor bowling and basketball. After a day boating Casco Bay and exploring the island, our balcony was a delightful spot to rest and relax before walking down to the Cove and waterfront for a wonderful seafood dinner at Diamond’s Edge. We passed the Crown Jewel, another popular spot for diners that came by ferry or more fortunate like us spending the night. Our ideal island-hopping day concluded with a dip in the cool pool back at the Hotel, then nightcaps by the fire pit.

Eagle Island is for the explorer, truly. This dramatic island in Harpswell, eastern Casco Bay, is a Maine historic site, and former home to Admiral Robert E. Perry who ventured to the North Pole in 1909. You can tour his family’s 1904 summer home, complete with artifacts from his bold expedition, even a Polar Bear. Bring a picnic, and enjoy the ocean views from this prominent point, admission is $5-6, plus your sightseeing ferry ride to the island. Overnights on Eagle Island are not permitted, so allow yourself at least an hour to tour the island, home and museum.

If you love Casco Bay, and sleeping on islands, surrounded by the sea, continue your tour of the Maine coast onwards, down east, towards Sebasco, or picturesque Boothbay Harbor – staying out on the dramatic peninsula at Ocean Point Inn, on Southport Island at Newagen Inn or the classic summer campy-style Linekin Bay Resort.

Monhegan Inn view in MaineFor real remote island life, venture out to sea to rustic Monhegan Island and lodge at the rustic Charles House or Trailing Yew. Hiking around the impressive ocean cliffs, seeing Monhegan Lightouse, the weathered granite shores and sand beaches is exhilarating. Witnessing how the islanders live, so humble and resourceful, is a lesson in independance, minimalism, and heartiness. Visiting Monhegan, even for a day by ferry, must be on your Maine Bucket List! Better to stay the night and feel the freedom, the solitude and the sea.

Cadillac Mountain viewPenobscot Bay – midcoast Maine – is loaded with beautiful islands and the scenic sailboat loaded harbors of Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, and Rockland.

Finally, Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor is Maine’s most magnificent island for touring, hiking, biking, boat rides to lighthouses, and seeing the sunrise first in the country atop Cadillac Mountain.

See our Guide to Touring the Coast, and Boating in Maineplan your vacation in #Vacationland… The way life should be…see our Guide to Visiting Maine!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Maine Lighthouse Day

Maine’s Annual Open Lighthouse Day is Saturday, September 12, 2020 with lighthouses open for free tours. This annual Maine event, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, allows you to see the centuries old tradition of protecting our shores and boats up close.

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Open Lighthouse Day in Maine is a US Coast Guard, Maine Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation collaboration designed to celebrate Maine’s maritime heritage and rich history of its lighthouses and lightkeepers. Most of the listed Maine lighthouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for free.

Maine is known as “The Lighthouse State” with the most coastal light houses in the US. Since 1791, lighthouses have been built to help mariners navigate the dangerous waters and coastline, islands and ledges. In the 20th Century, more than 70 lighthouses guarded Maine’s seacoast, Today, 65 Maine lighthouses still stand. See our guide to Maine Lighthouses and their locations.

bass-harbor-light (24)Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Mount Desert Island, Coordinates: 44°13′ 19″ N 68°20′ 14″ W
Bass Harbor lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation and contains a beautiful fourth order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are cared for by the USCG.

Burnt Cove Harbor Lighthouse,  Swan’s Island, Coordinates: 44°08′ 03″ N 68°26′ 50″ W
Reached via Maine State Ferry from Bass Harbor to Swan’s Island.
Burnt Cove Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation.

Burnt Island Lighthouse, Boothbay Harbor, Coordinates: 43°49′ 31″ N 69°38′ 27″ W
Burnt Island is reached from Pier 8 via Balmy Days Cruises, call (207) 633-2284
Burnt Island Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, managed by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Curtis Island Lighthouse, Camden Harbor, Coordinates: 44°12′ 06″ N 69°02′ 54″ W
Curtis Island Light can be  reached via Kayak from Camden Harbor.

Doubling Point Lighthouse, Arrowsic, Kennebec River Coordinates: 43°52′ 57″ N 69°48′ 25″ W
Doubling Point Lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, owned and managed by the Friends of Doubling Point Lighthouse. The light station’s historic buildings are privately owned (please respect the owners privacy).

Owls Head LighthouseDyce Head Lighthouse Castine, Coordinates: 44°22′ 57″ N 68°49′ 07″ W
Dyce Head is an active lighthouse for navigation. The light station’s historic buildings are owned and managed by the Town of Castine. The keeper’s house is a private residence (please respect the tenant’s privacy).

Fort Point Lighthouse, Stockton Springs ,Coordinates: 44°28′ 02″ N 68°48′ 42″ W
For Point lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation with  a beautiful fourth order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are owned by the State of Maine and managed by the Fort Point State Historic Site. The keeper’s house is the residence of the Park Ranger and his family (please respect their privacy).

Goat Island Lighthouse, Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport Coordinates: 43°21′ 30″ N 70°25′ 30″ W
Boat tour to Goat Island LighthouseGoat Island Light is active, owned by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, reached by kayak or boat from Cape Porpoise Pier,  a walking museum in the covered walkway between the keeper’s house and lighthouse shows old photos of lightkeepers, island life and a home video from the Worrell’s, who were keepers at Goat Island from 1968 to 1972.

Grindle Point Lighthouse, Islesboro Coordinates: 44°16′ 56″ N 68°56′ 34″ W
Reached via Maine State Ferry from Lincolnville to the island of Islesboro. see schedule and fees at: www.maine.gov/mdot/msfs/islesboro.htm or call (207) 633-2284.
Grindle Point Light is in active Coast Guard navigation, managed by the Town of Islesboro.

Kennebec River Range Front & Rear Lights in Arrowsic Coordinates: 43°53′ 00″ N 69°47′ 42″ W
Front & Rear Lights are two historic light towers (front and rear range) owned and managed by The Range Light Keepers.

Little River Lighthouse, Cutler Harbor Coordinates: 44° 39′ 03″N 67° 11′ 32″W
Reached by boat provided by the Friends of Little River Lighthouse from the Town Landing in Cutler. Little River Lighthouse is owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde Coordinates: 43°55′ 03″ N 69°15′ 41″ W
www.marshallpoint.org

Monhegan Island Lighthouse

Monhegan Island Lighthouse, Monhegan Island Coordinates: 43°45′ 54″ N 69°18′ 54″ W
Monhegan light has a light tower and keeper’s house with a museum inside, and art exhibit. Reach monhegan via boats from Port Clyde, New Harbor and Boothbay Harbor.
Monhegan Boat Line
Hardy Boat Cruises
Balmy Days Cruises

York Maine LighthouseNubble Light on Cape Neddick York Coordinates 43.1652° N 70.5911° W
The Nubble is not open for tours – it is on small island yard from shore, it is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine, built in 1874.

Owls Head Lighthouse, Owls Head Coordinates: 44°05′ 33″ N 69°02′ 39″ W
Owls Head Light is an active US Coast Guard navigational location owned by ALF, with a Fresnel lens, and a special exhibit to Author Angeli Perrow of popular children’s book “Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue”

egg-rock-lighthousePemaquid Point Lighthouse, Pemaquid Point, Bristol Coordinates: 43°50′ 12″ N 69°30′ 21″ W
Pemaquid lighthouse tower is cared for by the Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (also called Bug Light) in South Portland Coordinates: 43°39′ 20″ N 70°14′ 06″ W
Bug Light is a private aid to navigation and is owned by the City of South Portland.

copy-portland-headlight.jpgPortland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth Coordinates: 43°37′ 24″ N 70°12′ 30″ W
Portland Head Light is the oldest in Maine. Home to The light station’s historic buildings and museum, in Fort Williams, owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland on the breakwater, Coordinates: 44°06′ 15″ N 69°04′ 39″ W
Rockland lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid, the light station’s historic buildings are owned by the City of Rockland and cared for by the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

thrumbcap-lighthouse6Seguin Island Lighthouse, Off Popham Beach, Coordinates: 43°42′ 30″ N 69°45′ 30″ W
Seguin Island Light is reached by Seguin Island Ferry

Spring Point Lighthouse, South Portland at the breakwater of Southern Maine Community College,  Spring Point Coordinates: 43°39′ 07″ N 70°13′ 26″ W
Spring Point Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, owned and managed by the Spring Point Ledge Light Trust.

Pemaquid Maine LighthouseWest Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec Coordinates: 44°48′ 55″ N 66°57′ 04″ W
West Quoddy Lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation with a third order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are owned and maintained by the Maine Department of Parks and Lands, with a museum inside the keeper’s house.

Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford Pool  Coordinates: 43°27′ 25″ N 70°19′ 45″ W
Wood Island lighthouse is reached by boat the “Light Runner,” operated by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. its an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, with light cared for by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Maine LighthouseFinally, The Maine Lighthouse Museum is in Rockland, hosting the largest collection of Fresnel lenses on display in the nation. Other exhibits pay tribute to our lighthouse history and the U.S. Coast Guard.

So plan a weekend or a week visiting Maine and Maine’s beautiful lighthouses as you tour the Maine coast.

Nubble Lighthouse LightsSee more Maine lighthouse facts, a Maine lighthouse poem, and photos of Maine lighthouses see our Maine lighthouse guide,

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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