Category Archives: Acadia National Park

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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Beach walkers

Maine Beaches

Planning a vacation near the Maine beaches, but don’t know where to start? A Google search on Maine beaches can populate an overwhelming amount of information. Enter: our Visit Maine lodging directory. We provide a guide to visitors all over Maine to plan their vacation.

Maine’s coast is abounding with long stretches of beautiful beaches, to rugged OOB Piercoastline, and marinas and transient moorings if you are coming to Maine by boat. Maine has so many beautiful beaches, it would be hard to see all of them in one trip. Whether you prefer sunbathing on a beach recliner, surfing or stand up paddleboard, crashing through the waves on horseback, or walking along the beach in search of shells and beach glass, Maine beaches have something for everyone.

Palace Playland view from OOB PierAmong the more popular beach attractions in Maine is Old Orchard Beach. What separates Old Orchard Beach from the rest of Maine’s beaches is not just the 7 mile stretch of sandy beach, but the pairing of The Pier that jetties out of Old Orchard Beaches resort town center and the seaside amusement park beseeching the youngsters.

For a more calm quiet beach setting, simply head to the northern stretch at Scarborough Beach or further south to Saco and Ferry Beach.

Wells Beach, MainePopham Beach State Park is located at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine’s Mid-Coast region. During low tides, kids can splash and play in tidal pools or take a walk on the sandbars. The grounds have picnic areas with grills. For those looking for hiking opportunities and wildlife watching, Popham is an ideal location. Truly, Popham Beach is one of Maine’s most elegant and unspoiled beaches.

Bi Plane Tour AcadiaAcadia National Park is Maine’s most visited attraction and here on Mt Desert Island you will find the bustling seaside village of Bar Harbor, and Sand Beach – one of the clearest coolest swimming spots along Maine’s long coastline.

Enjoy our beach directory to find lodging near your Maine beach vacation spot. We’ll direct you to a cozy bed and breakfast, an oceanfront hotel, cottages that are pet friendly, or campsites the kids will enjoy.

Be sure to stay tuned to our blogs to get more ideas on which Maine beach is the right match for your vacation in Maine. Our lodging guide will provide the rest.

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

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great-heron-fall-flight

What’s the most beautiful time of year in Maine? We love Fall 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 167th year. This agricultural, carnival, farm, food, craft and music festival is early October, peak foliage. 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 19th 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 5th Annual New England Corn Hole Championship and a Blue Mountain Craft Fair plus Chondola Rides.

Cadillac Mountain viewAcadia’s  Invitational Oktoberfest includes an  annual Wine tasting Festival and a Brewfest, part of a 10 day celebration in Southwest Harbor – the quiet side of Acadia National Park.

Boothbay Harbor celebrates its Fall Foliage Festival October 7-8. 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 14 in York is Harvestfest at York Beach with games, crafts, music and prime foliage near Nubble Light.

 Ogunquitfest is October 21-22 with the funny high heel race, pumpkin decorating, craft shows, wagon rides, culinary and wine tastings, and a classic car display.

Hay Roll CatCamp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival is October 21, 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 17-22 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, 2018

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Maine’s Acadia National Park History @100


acadia-sign-scoodic-point
2016 marked the 100th birthday of Acadia National Park, and also the National Park System’s centennial.

Acadia’s official birthday is July 8, 1916 when Sieur de acadia-mic-me (5)Monts National Monument was established on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Three years later, the name changed to Lafayette National Park, and finally in 1929, Acadia National Park became the title, the first National Park in the eastern United States. Acadia is also the first park established entirely through private land donations thanks to founders George B. Dorr, landscape architect Charles W. Eliot and John D. Rockefeller.

seal1cAcadia National Park oceanviewToday, over 2.5 million people visit Acadia National Park annually. Acadia’s celebrated natural beauty reaches from Maine’s Blue Hill Bay to Somes Sound, up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain overlooking Frenchman Bay, to Isle au Haut and the Schoodic Peninsula, covering 49,000 acres of mountains, main land, islands, ocean, lakes and ponds, forests and cliffs of sparkling granite.

The idea to establish Acadia came from landscape architect Charles Eliot, his father Charles W. Eliot was president of Harvard. Collaborator George B. Dorr was considered the “father of Acadia National Park,” for his land donations and his work on state and federal status with President Woodrow Wilson to create the National Park Service. It’s also great thanks to the uber wealthy John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who designed Trail Ride Parking Signthe park with 50 miles of carriage roads, 17 granite bridges, and two gate lodges, using granite quarried from the site from 1915 -1933. To this day, the granite guard rails are known as “Rockefeller’s Teeth” and also referred to as “coping stones” as these stones help visitors cope with the steep drop offs.

southwest-harbor-view1Of Acadia’s 49,000 acres, 30,300 are on Mount Desert Island, 2,728 acres are on Isle au Haut and 2,366 acres are on the Schoodic Peninsula. The National Park Service acquired the land on Schoodic Peninsula in 2012, this former naval base is on the mainland just north east of MDI, with stunning views looking back toward Cadillac Mountain across Frenchman Bay. The Schoodic Loop Drive is a beautiful drive, with gorgeous pink granite boulder shores for picnic’ing with incredible views out to sea.

Bi Plane Tour Acadia

The crowning glory of Acadia is Cadillac Mountain, named after the French explorer Sieur de Cadillac, Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, it stands over 1500’ above sea level, and it’s one of the first places in the United States to see the sunrise. Acadia National Park is a gem, a haven for hikers and bikers, nature lovers. Its also a natural habitat for over 40 species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, moose, beavers, porcupines, minks, muskrats, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and black bears, vast birds, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons, plus the many sea mammals, fish and crustacean that inhabit the oceans, lakes and ponds.

bass-harbor-light (24)Do yourself a favor and visit Maine’s Acadia National Park to help celebrate her 100th birthday. Stay in the bustling port town of Bar Harbor or quieter Southwest Harbor or Northeast harbor, the beautiful fishing village of Bass Harbor, or the nearby towns of Trenton, and Blue Hills. See our top things to do in Acadia National Park, and where to stay in Bar Harbor to help plan your trip to Mount Desert Island.

Copyright and Photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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Top 10 Things You Must Do In Maine

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 Maine – at one of the classics like 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. Some Maine lobster facts including how to cook & eat  a lobster!

Bucks Harbor dog ride5. Meet some Mainahs. Ayuh, a trip to Maine ain’t the same till you have had a Down East dialogue with the real deal – a local! You may have to stop at a dinah, like Becky’s or the Maine 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 clams and oyster on the half shell from a raw bar. Maine’s seafood is best – the lobster gets all the fame – but Maine clams, scallops, crab, and mussels are a must. And for dessert, Maine maple syrup and Maine wild blueberries are delicious and nutritious. 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, 2018

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Maine’s newest National Park?

Kayaking Penobscot Bay in Maine

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the US 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 supported 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 visited 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, 2017

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Maine Towns you Should Visit Before you Die

What’s up with the Vacationland idiom you see on Maine license plates? Maine is a place to stay and play, “the way life should be”. There’s a reason why Maine has received so much acclaim from the West Coast and internationally. Here are Maine destination you must visit in this lifetime, or before you die… your choice! Continue reading

Celebrate Summer Solstice on Cadillac Mountain

You don’t have to be spiritual, religious, or have any hippy dippy ideals to observe Summer Solstice. In fact, celebrating the Summer Solstice is a rather romantic notion – a celebration to welcome the summer season with your sweet heart, close friends or family. The best place to rejoice for the Summer Solstice in Maine is undoubtedly atop Cadillac Mountain on Mount Desert Island. If you’re thinking about doing something special for your partner, treating your loved on to a Summer Solstice getaway to Downeast Acadia is certainly a top romantic gesture.

Cadillac Mountain view

Ocean view from Cadillac Mountain summit

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Acadia National Park Camping

Acadia National Park oceanview

Cadillac Mountain Summit, Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is among the most popular national parks in the US. Stretching across a large expanse of Mount Desert Island, here the mountains greet the sea with breathtaking coastal vistas, making the region arguably the most beautiful landscape to behold on the entire east coast. Since its discovery by Samuell de Champlain in 1604, the Acadia National Park estate has remained relatively unchanged and unspoiled. It’s no surprise then that Acadia National Park camping is quite popular in the region.

Consisting of more than 47,000 acres, Acadia National Park is a worthy retreat for camping and exploration. Here, visitors are likely to observe wildlife from deer, puffins, beavers to moose. The drive to your campsite will promise beautiful scenery and set the tempo for your camping trip. Continue reading