Category Archives: Tours and Sightseeing

Maine awaits you!

Hey Maine, time to awaken from your Covid quarantine slumber and be #Vacationland once again.

If Maine is “the way life should be”, then let’s be open to our visitors again. Like all good things in life, Maine’s natural beauty is best when shared.

May Day May Day, that’s the plan – May 1, 2021, the date when residents of all states can travel to Maine without test or quarantine. However, the Maine CDC reserves the right to identify states that have a high prevalence of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, and exclude them. If your state has a spike in variant cases, Maine may apply its Keep Maine Safe Certificate of Compliance form. This will remain in effect through the summer.

Reasons to Visit Maine…

Maine is beautiful, from sandy beaches stretching out to be strolled, to unspoiled rocky coastlines of glimmer granite.

Maine’s inland fresh crystal clear lakes Sebago and Moosehead and countless others, and interesting swerving sparkling rivers, are ready to be paddled, navigated, explored.

Majestic mountains like Sugarloaf, Katahdin and Kineo await your cameras, packs and boot pack. Blueberry plains and pine tree forest blanket much of the pristine state.

Quaint coastal towns hug the hundreds of inlets and peninsulas that make Maine’s coastline so varied and vast. Kittery to Kennebunkport to Camden and beyond..

Lighthouses serve as landmarks to visit, and remain beacons to boaters at sea. With over 70 lighthouses in the state, Maine does not eclipse Michigan’s number, but Maine’s lights are dramatic, historic – and Portland Headlight is the oldest in the U.S. commissioned by President George Washington.

Lobster, clams, oysters, scallops, these are Maine’s seafood treats, plentiful and ready for you to eat. Maine’s world-famous shellfish and fresh fish can be savored in so many ways, however humbly – its always best with butter. Order Maine lobster here

Locals – Maine’s inhabitants, so called Mainahs, are characters, with their wicked accent, colorful if slightly inappropriate inane humor, and funny stories and expressions. There’s no place quite like Maine, and “you can’t get there for here”…

L.L. Bean boots, bags and hunting gear, and other ingenious Maine inventions, make this state resilient, not weary of bad weather, and creative. Visit Bean’s flagship store in Freeport, also Kittery Trading Post, Reny’s and Marden’s – all Maine originals, to sample a whole new way to shop, sample, stock up, and save.

First place to see the sunrise is Maine, the north-easternmost state in the nation. A drive up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park at dawn break is a remarkable experience.

Maine hospitality – Maine has so many unique inns, Bed & Breakfasts, lodges, camps and resorts, each with their own special setting, worth discovering, staying and exploring.

We hope to “sea” you in Maine soon. See why Maine is called Vacationland, and visit our tips on Touring the Coast.

Copyright & photos property of VisitMaine.net 2021

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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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, 2021

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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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Lobster boat in Riggs Cove Maine

How to spot a Maine tourist vs a local – Vacationers in Vacationland

Mainahs, natives, love to poke fun at “folks from away” that choose to vacation in Maine – land of “lobstah in summah.” Perhaps it makes wintahs in Maine more bearable knowing soon the weathah will get bettah (see our guide to Maine accents)– but then we have to share our beautiful state with othahs from down south… south being anywhere below Kittery and the big bridge over the Piscataqua (say that three times).

Here are our 7 summer tips on how to spot a Maine tourist versus a local… like you actually needed a clue – ayuh!

  1. The outfits: Tourists typically wear flashy, not so matchy clothes – as if they packed in a rush, eager to hit the road and start their trip to Maine. bright beachy colored T-shirts with anything Maine placarded on themselves are a super sleuth clue. Socks with sandals, cruise ship sea pass lanyards around their necks, and swimsuits in town and restaurants are also notable get-noticed tourist getups.
  2. Moody BeachThe walking red – sunburns are a “shore” sign of those from away. The cooked lobster look is like nature’s tattoo of a happy summer day at the beach or our on a boat, without proper SPF precautions. Nothing like a bright red sunburn to bring back to the office on Monday to show you were at the beach… but didn’t apply sunscreen cause you thought Maine was too far north for UVA UVB rays. Rookie move – but way to rock your Maine beach day without a care in the world.
  3. Fresh lobster dinner served with steamersIn Maine restaurants, anyone wearing a white plastic bib is likely a tourist about to crush into a crustacean. Locals don’t do the goofy lobster bibs, and don’t wear anything so fancy that it’s not going to survive a dribble of butter. See our guide – how to eat a Maine lobster.
  4. Cameras and Ipad photo taking is another certain tourist telltale. Mainers use their cell phones nowadays, yes technology has arrived at the north eastern most state even if it seems off the grid. We even have Wi-Fi and the world wide web, how bout them apples…
  5. Maine Lobster ShackWaiting in line for clams, lobster rolls, or ice cream…. that’s a tourist move. Mainers wait for no one and just don’t do the queue … after all you can walk right into those same businesses in spring, winter or fall without delay. And ice cream is still refreshing on below zero days. So if you see a line, that’s a sign that it’s a popular tourist spot – Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, great food, just gonna take a bit.
  6. Camden Maine, Mt BattieThe slow driver gawker stalkers…. If you drive out to The Nubble Light in York, Route 1, or Ocean Ave past Walkers Point in Kennebunkport – home to President George H W Bush in summer – you will likely encounter erratic slow swerving (ok- bad) driving. That’s a tourist taking pics, deciding whether it’s worth pulling over or debating his destination with the family like a scene from National Lampoon Vacation. Conversely, if you see an old pickup truck going wicked slow, that’s a local with no particular place to go or no rush in doing so.
  7. One exception to tourist spotting versus locals is shopping at the Beaner or the Trading Post – here you will see an equal blend of locals and vacationers. Yes, Mainers really do shop at LL Bean (its wicked good quality – guaranteed don’t you know), Kittery Trading Post (nice huntin’ stuff), also discount Maine outlets like Mardens and Reny’s… for wicked bahgains on everything from tarps to canned tomatoes, tools to tiki torches for summah pool pahties. You should definitely stop and shop these funny affordable entertaining unexpected stores. Don’t get caught sayin’  “ I should bought it when I say it at Mahden’s.”
    Enjoy your vacation in Maine, see our favorite tour of the Maine coast, and our guide to Maine slang if you want to try and fit in with the local folks.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 out-of-state- 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 beach vacation with lodging 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 and delivery/take out!

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!

Kennebunkport’s Captain Collection has inn takeovers at Cpatain Fairlfied, rent out the entire bed and breakfast with your family!   Enjoy the living room, 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!

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!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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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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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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Top 10 Things to Sea and Do In Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit Maine actually means beautiful place by the sea in Native American, Abenaki. It is truly one of the prettiest places on the Southern Maine Coast, with sandy beaches, dramatic rocky cliffs, quaint colonial architecture and gorgeous tree canopied streets. See how Ogunquit is a great place to stay, and play, explore and tour the coast, shop, wine and dine, at one the best coastal towns in Maine!

Marginal Way is a must, walk this 3-mile shorefront pedestrian walkway that connects Ogunquit village to Perkins Cove. There are promentories, picnic benches and a lighthouse along the way, more photo opps than you can count so keep the camera/phone handy.

Perkins Cove is about as cute a fishing village as you will find. Complete with a manually operated drawbridge, delightful little seaside shops, restaurants and ocean views, this a perfect place to spend the day. Ocean lovers can board a scenic boat tour from Perkins Cove too. Stroll the Marginal Way from here, then shop for locally made jewelry and crafts, before catching lunch at one of the waterfront bistros for a bowl of chowder or lobster roll.

Hit the Beach – Ogunquit has two long beautiful sand beaches including its namesake Ogunquit Beach, and Footbridge Beach. Ogunquit Beach is three miles long, with the Ogunquit River creating a peninsula, and the parking area off Beach Street as a social hub of this broad sandy beach. Footbridge Beach is a beautiful quieter stretch of sand, connected by a namesake “footbridge” or you can walk here continuing north east beyond the main part of Ogunquit Beach. Whether you like to stroll, sun bath, swim or surf, you will find your beach here.

Ogunquit Art! Ogunquit originated as a shipbuilding colony in 1641, and later flourished for its artistic community. The beautiful seaside setting inspires all mediums of art, and you can visit many studios and galleries. Ogunquit Museum of Art is small gallery with a fantastic oceanfront setting, founded in 1951, this art collection on Shore Road showcases over 3,000 paintings, ceramics and sculptures.

Soak in The Cliff House Resort – This spectacular property is worth a visit for a seaside cocktail, or a spa treatment, a splendid overnight stay of luxury – or more! Perched high on Bald Head Cliff, this incredible resort has fantastic views out to sea towards Boone Island Light and Nubble Light. The two story glass walled lounge is a lovely spot for a drink, or hit the heavenly 9,000 square foot spa for a massage and a dip in the ocean view oversized outdoor hot tub. For luxury lodging, stay at Cliff House in a chic ocean view balcony room.

Shop Ogunquit’s unique boutiques along Main Street in the historic village center. Browsing is both art and amusement in this great town full of fun shops like Sea Glass Jewelry Studio, Abacus and Whistling Oyster.

Taste Ogunquit with craft cocktails at cool bars like That Place and Beachfire! Enjoy fresh Maine seafood – lobster, oysters, clams, crab, at classic spots like Barnacle Billy’s, Lobster Shack and Bintliff’s. Ogunquit has many great restaurants, see our southern Maine dining reviews.

Take in a Play at Ogunquit Playhouses – one of the last, original authentic off Broadway summer theaters. Ogunquit’s Playhouse offers fantastic summer stock entertainment, top shelf entertainers, Broadway productions and musical theatre in a delightful 1933 barn.

Piano bar! The most happening place for nightlife in Ogunquit is The Front Porch. Go here, go upstairs and join in the live music as locals and folks from away gather around the grand piano bar for singalongs with Ogunquit’s best singers and entertainers, it’s a gay old time.

See our Ogunquit Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore for your Maine vacation!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2021

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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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