Category Archives: Holidays

Top Romantic Things to Do in Maine in Winter

lobster-bouy-heartMaine is surrisingly romantic in winter, when #Vacationland resembes a #snowglobe and a vertiable #winterwonderland! Of all the pretty villages and serene settings, Kennebunkport is Maine’s most romantic town – especially in February when locals Paint the Town Red! Innkeepers and shop owners decorate with sparkling red and white lights, heart shaped everything. Kennebunkport’s best restaurants and pubs offer happy hours with craft cocktails and love potions, and red plates dining specials. Inns offer romantic lodging deals with champagne, chocolates, spa treatments, lavish breakfasts, even late check outs!

Top 10 Romantic Things To Do in Kennebunkport Maine
1. Have your picture taken by the big heart made of lobster buoys in Dock Square, then visit all the heart adorned boutiques and shop for “Red Tag” specials inside.

winter-beach-morn2. Walk the quiet beautiful beach. Watch the cool surfers riding the winter waves (brrr). Love the beach so much you don’t want to leave? Stay beachfront at The Seaside Inn, you ‘ll fall in love with their ocean view outdoor hot tub.

3.  February is full of fun romantic events… The Frozen Ice Bar Party at the Boathouse Bar and Avalanche at Old Vines Wine Bar. All month long, beer and wine tastings, cocktail classes and cooking demos take place at Alisson’s, Old Vines and Ports Of Italy!

4. Embrace the outdoors – Cross country ski or snowshoe at nearby Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm on their 7 mile of beautiful trails. Go on a skate date -ice skating on Kennebunks Waterhouse Pavilion, a free public covered ice rink in downtown Kennebunk. Date Skate is Feb 10 with a DJ on the ice, nice!

old-vines-bar-table5. Get happy at happy hours in Kennebunkport and Kennebunk and ask about “Red Plate” dining deals
and seductive cocktails specials at Alisson’s Restaurant, The Boathouse Bar, Kennebunkport Inn – Burleigh, Old Vines Wine Bar, Ports of Italy, Salt & Honey, and Striper’s Restaurant.

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

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

love-kbpt-davids8. The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has a “Love KPT” package with two-nights stay for two people with arrival goodies of wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, drinks for two at The Boathhouse Bar downstairs, and a late check-out at noon.

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

10. If Portland and the romantic city streets of the Old Port are more your speed, check in to The Pomegranate Inn, visit Portland’s best restaurants and shops, livley bars, theatres and the watefront. Their lodging package includes a book of love poems, bubbly, sweets and a sutie room will set the stage for #Vacationland romance in February~

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

Maine Polar Plunges on New Years 2018

Looking for a “cool” way to start 2018? How about a Lobster dip? Polar Plunge? Freezing for a Reason? Mainers love to start the New Year with a brisk swim in the Atlantic with other brave souls – and its all to raise funds for charitable causes. Call ’em crazy, but these icy events are big, attracting as many as 300 people to the beach in mid-winter to swim, celebrate and kick off the year with some serious cash raised.

These wild wet adventures are usually held on January 1, but 2018 is starting of well below zero so event coordinators have chosen to postpone to a bit less cold. As Follows:

Kennebunk’s Polar Plunge 2018

Kennebunk’s 17th Annual Atlantic Plunge – Freezin’ For A Reason will actually take place on Saturday January 6, 2018, 11am Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk. This chilly Polar Plunge event is typically held New Year’s Day, Jan 1, but due to an astronomical high tide predicted for New Year’s Day 2018, never mind the crazy cold temps, the event has been move to the following weekend. See you Saturday Jan 6 at 11am in front of Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach. This Atlantic Plunge benefits Caring Unlimited. Storm Date is Saturday, January 13. Register for this refreshing swim, registration fee is $25, sign up by Noon on 1/4/2018.

Lobster Dip 2018 at Old Orchard Beach

OOB Pier January 13, 2018 is the date for Old Orchard Beach’s annual Lobster Dip, postponed for the first time in its 30 years, due to the cold. So mark your calendar and be at Old Orchard Beach at noon for a brisk swim in the Atlantic by the Pier. This polar plunge is not just a cold Lobster Dip – it’s a daylong event. Post Dip party at the Brunswick Inn includes free buffet, live music, cash bar and fun!  As many as 300 swimmers have turned out and jumped in past Lobster Dips, which benefits Special Olympics Maine, and in 2017 – $100,000 was raised! All Lobster Dippers must raise a minimum of $100. Those who do, and register, will receive a commemorative Lobster Dip t-shirt!  Sat. Feb 3rd, 2018

Portland 2018 Polar Dip

Maine LighthousePortland Maine hosts its 2018 Portland Polar Dip Plunge at 1:00 PM of Saturdays Feb 3, at East End Beach, Portland Maine. This Polar Dip benefits Camp Sunshine at Point Sebago Resort on Sebago Lake. The annual fund raising goal is to raise in excess of $17,500.00, enough to send over 7 families to Camp Sunshine – a retreat for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. All Portland Polar Dip participants who register here, and raise at least $100 will receive a highly coveted “I DID IT” event t-shirt. If’ you’re too chicken to do the plunge, you can participate in the “Chicken Dip” – where you only need to dip your toes in – after all its for fun and for fundraising!

Happy 2018 Maine friends… see more Maine events, including some that aren’t quiet so chilly!

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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10 reasons to Visit Maine for the Holidays!

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

#1 Maine is home to the Top Christmas Towns in the US. Ogunquit and Kennebunkport Maine are both heralded as the best holiday fests. Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude  Nov 30 – Dec 10 is a fantastic festival of tree lighting, caroling at the Monastery, craft fairs and cookie crawls, Historic Inns tour by Candlelight, Blueberry pancake breakfasts and Lobster chowder luncheons, Santa arrives by Lobster boats, Fire & Ice events at Nonantum Resort by the River, a Pooch Parade and Hat Parade to cap it off.

Christmas tree in Dock Square Kennebunkport, Maine
#2 Ogunquit celebrates Christmas by the Sea Dec 9-10 with holiday shopping, wine tastings, a parade, parties and fireworks at the beach, plus concerts and the grand finale Polar Plunge into the Ocean… brrrr – illiant.

#3 Wells host the Annual SOUTHERN MAINE CHRISTMAS PARADE Sunday Dec 10 at 2pm up Route 1, with Santa, holiday floats and fun!

Maine Skiing#4 SKI! Sunday River and Sugarloaf are opening for skiing. Get out your skis, make tracks on these beautiful Maine ski resorts before the Christmas and New Year’s crowds arrive. Santa Sunday at Sunday River is the first Sunday in December. Sunday River’s Winterfest Dec 15-17 includes fireworks and a visit from Santa on the snow.

Christmas lights at Maine store during the holidays

#5 Fresh Maine Christmas Trees and wreaths are yours too bring home. You will save money versus the pricey pruned trees that were pre-cut in November (read: dry by mid-December). Your home will smell like the Maine pine forest, and you will long remember the joy of cutting your own tree in the Pine Tree state.

Christmas horse sleigh in Maine Christmas parade

#6 Santa Con in Portland is a holiday pub crawl dressed in red. Wear your best Santa, Mrs Claus or Elf outfit and jingle while you mingle from pub to pub in the Old Port, 1st Saturday in December.

Santa in Maine#7 Portland Merry Madness is Dec. 7, the annual event starts with drinks at Portland House of Music from 4 to 6:30 p.m. where you get your official Merry Madness shopping tote and wine mug to take with you for free wine tastings as you shop your way around town, stores stay open till 10 pm. Tickets are $20 for your tote, treats, glass, one pour, plus more at participating stores.

Christmas tree in Kennebunk Maine

#8 Portland Harbor Boat Parade is great – this Boat Parade of Holiday Lights is Dec 16, Saturday evening, watch from Maine State Pier or aboard a Casco Bay Ferry as decorated boats parade through the harbor starting at 4:45pm.

Lobster Christmas tree topper in Maine#9 Shop Freeport and enjoy LL Bean’s classic Christmas decorations. Get your holiday to do list done, and enjoy the fun of Freeport, tree lighting and Sparkle Weekend take place Dec 1-3 with a Christmas Parade of Lights show.

Christmas at LL Bean in Freeport

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

Christmas Shopping in Maine

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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Christmas Tree in Kennebunkport Maine

The best Southern Maine Christmas Parade

prelude-horse-carriageWe all love a parade… and a Maine Christmas Parade is perhaps the most festive of all. While not quite the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, the Southern Maine Christmas Parade is fun, family oriented, free and lodging in Wells Maine is a far better deal than New York City for the Macy’s Holiday Parade.

The Southern Maine Coast Christmas Parade is celebrating almost three decades. Now over 3 decades, the Christmas Parade is the 2nd Sunday in December at 2pm. The theme each year changes, past year’s parade include Superheroes, nature, and   “A Storybook Christmas.”  The parade follows its traditional Route 1 path,  beginning at the Wells Plaza parking lot and continuing north on U.S. Route 1 to the Wells Junior High School. Floats, fire trucks, costume characters, mascots and more are feature in this fun holiday parade.

Kids will love seeing Maine mascots like Oaky from Oakhurst, Slugger the Portland Sea Dog, Kenne Bear from Kennebunk Savings, Crusher the Maine Lobster from the Maine Red Claws, and Sprinkles the Cow from Sundaes at the Beach. Horse drawn sleighs, antique cars and tractors are a few of the fun additions. Like all holiday parades, there is an annual Grand Marshall, and Santa arrives at the end to the delight of kids watching on the side lines.
Kenne-bear
The parade is sponsored by Kennebunk Savings Bank, and the Wells Chamber, and floats right by Wells businesses and hotels, like Village by the Sea – which happens to be a great place to watch.

For those of you disappointed that last year’s Christmas Parade was cancelled, due to a snowstorm, this year should be great with the anticipation from a missed year. And the forecast looks clear after this week’s snowstorm – Sunday should be sunny with no snow falling.

This second weekend of December is great time to come to Maine, enjoy holiday shopping in Kittery and Freeport, Wells Ogunquit and Kennebunkport. Its also Ogunquit Christmas by the Sea and Kennebunkport Christmas Prelude – so there are lots of fun holiday events and festivities to enjoy. Suite lodging can be very affordable this time of year. If you are traveling with the family, you may want a suite or condo at Village by the Sea or Misty Harbor Resort. A  deluxe motel room can be a real deal, saving you money for dining out and shopping, for a couples or girls getaway at Ogunquit Resort Motel. See our Southern Maine lodging guide for your Christmas shopping getaway to Maine. Happy Holidays…

VisitMaine.net Copyright 2018

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Maine’s Best Fests and Summer Events!

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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

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

Kennebunkport Festival June 5-10
The 14th annual Kennebunkport Festival celebrates the spectacular creativity and hospitality of Kennebunkport’s artists, galleries, top chefs and fine restaurants. Award-winning chefs from around Maine prepare extraordinary dinners paired with wine and art at private estates. Before and After parties, concerts and boat tours are part of this great waterfront festival. Special lodging packages are available at Kennebunkport historic bed and breakfasts, inns and oceanfront resorts.

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

Tour de Cure,  Wells Reserve  June 10
Annual June fund-raising bicycle ride benefits the American Diabetes Association with five routes to meet varying participants, 5K, 25K, 50K, 100K, or 100 Mile. Routes follow the Maine’s scenic coastline, from sandy beaches to breath-taking rocky shores, along bicycle-friendly roads in the  communities of Southern Maine with the start and finish at Wells Reserve in Wells.

Casco Bay FerryOld Port Festival,  Portland June 10 
46th Annual Old Port Festival is on Sunday, June 10. This is Maine’s largest one-day event with several live rock, world, acoustic, blues and country bands, Maine crafts, activities and fun. Maine artists and craftspeople sell their fare and local food is on display in tents along Portland’s Old Port.  Portland’s Shoestring Theater Puppet Company presents an amazing 11am parade of huge puppets down Exchange Street.

Trek Across Maine June 15-17
Annual bike ride fundraiser across Maine from Sunday River to Portland to benefit the American Lung Association.

Maine kayakingWindjammer Days Boothbay Harbor
June 25- July 1
Fully rigged windjammers sail into Boothbay Harbor for the annual Windjammer Days. Events include pancake breakfast, craft fair, antique boat parade, shipyard tours, street parade, live musical entertainment and tours aboard the fleet of historic windjammers. Finale fireworks over Boothbay Harbor.

Annual Berwick’s Strawberry Festival, South Berwick June 30
A great Maine tradition in late June with musical performances, children’s games, crafts and of course Strawberry desserts, jams, pies and delights in Berwick Maine.

Launch – A Maritime Festival in Kennebunkport  June 13-17
IMG_3802Visit the seaside towns of Kennebunkport, Kennebunk and cape porpoise for this weekend that celebrates boating, ship building and fishing. Highlights include a Clam Jam cook-off with local chefs, Sirens & Sailors 5k, Pirate Party, River Lights Boat Parade, VIP Rock The Boat Party, and a Blessing of the Fleet.

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

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

Casco Bay FerryPortland Reggaefest on Maine State Pier Sept 8
Great line up of top reggae bands, Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse, tickets required

Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival August 18-19 
Topsham Fairground becomes St Andrews of Maine with bagpipes, costumes, Scottish food like haggies and Scottish games.

Great Falls Balloon Fest August 18
Lewiston Auburn skies fill with hot air balloons. Fair and free hot air balloon rides, music and Maine food.

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

Camden Windjammer Fest August 31 – September 9
Beautiful schooners and windjammers fill Camden harbor and parade.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Headlight, Cape Elizabeth

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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New Year’s in Maine – Clam Drops, Lobster Dips and Fireworks

Maine knows how to ring in the New Year with Champagne, lobster, even Clam Drops. and fireworks followed by Polar Plunge and Lobster Dips,  Here are some Top New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day Events in Maine.

fireworks_300In Kennebunkport, New Years is a party. David’s KPT at the Boathouse Waterfront Hotel has an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Bash with open bar, buffet dining and raw bar, music and dancing for one price of $160 per person. This event is a sell-out so don’t hesitate. You can find lodging in Kennebunkport Maine at the Waterfront Boathouse, The Breakwater Inn & Spa, Captain Lord Mansion, and Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach.

Winter Scene ColonyMisty Harbor Resort in Wells has a great stay and party package, with suite lodging, transportation and dinner at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit with live entertainment and champagne toast, plus the indoor pool at Misty stays open till 11pm for your own party pool fun.

prelude-horse-carriageMaine Street Ogunquit is a gay old time for New Year’s with 4 bars, 2 dance floors DJ AGA and DJ Ken. The party is $10 for advanced ticket purchase, or $15 at the door, and includes champagne toast at midnight, pizza and party favors. The MC for the Maine Street party is Nick Grey from Hot 104.7. Lodging is available nearby at Ogunquit Resort Motel, Misty Harbor Resort and Village by the Sea in Wells.

In Yarmouth, catch the Clam Drop on New Year’s Eve at 7 pm at the First Universalist Church, 97 Main Street. Yes, they actually drop a clam, his name is Steamer, the Yarmouth Clam Festival mascot, as he’s lowered from the church belfry (his lively smile never wavers, despite his precarious position). Music, hot cocoa and cookies are part of this silly but festive Maine tradition.

Nubble Lighthouse LightsIn York, The York Harbor Inn has an all-inclusive New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration Package with Two Nights Lodging, Cookies and Cocoa Reception, a Special Welcome Gift, Continental Breakfast daily, an Innkeepers Cocktail reception, Live Music and a Gourmet Five Course Dinner plus, Dancing, Party Favors and a Midnight Champagne Toast, and New Year’s Day Buffet Brunch. Many rooms have water views. This is fun Maine New Year’s getaway with most everything included.

Maine SkiingMaine ski resorts Sunday River Sugarloaf and Saddleback all celebrate New Year’s with fireworks. If you have never seen ski resort fireworks, you must. The shiny sparkly burst of light reflect on the white snow and light up the ski trails in a magnificent way.

New Year’s Day in Maine you can ski – lifts open bright and early! Or you can wake yourself up with a brisk swim in the Atlantic – a Polar Plunge to start the New Year. Kennebunk Beach, Old Orchard Beach and Portland Maine all host a polar plunge on the 1st day of the year.

Kennebunk Beach’s Polar Plunge is at Gooch’s Beach at 11am, register in advance for $25 and your donation goes to Caring Unlimited. This fun fundraiser is called “Freezin for a Reason” and will celebrate 16 years in 2016.

OOB PierOld Orchard Beach Lobster Dip is now in year 28. The Annual Lobster Dip at Old Orchard Beach is Maine’s original and largest ocean dip. As many as 300 participants dip into the chilly waters at noon on New Year’s Day, January 1, for fun and as a fundraiser to benefit Special Olympics Maine. Registration starts at 9:00am on the beach in front of the Brunswick Hotel. Sponsored by the Portland Rugby Club.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Maine has too many New years Eve parties to list, be sure you get lodging in town for a fun safe First Night in Portland.  Portland’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash on New Year’s Day is a Dash – 5k at 11am, and a Dip  at Noon. The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Polar Bear Dip and Dash hosts the 5K around Back Cove followed by a sprint into the icy water at East End Beach. A $35 entry fee includes your run entry and your chilly dip, but you can also do just one or the other. Proceeds benefit NRCM.

Happy Holidays!  Make the best of your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Maine!