Category Archives: Maine events and festivals

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!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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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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Where to beach, eat, shop, stay & play in Kennebunkport Maine

The perfect day in Kennebunkport Maine
what to see, do, eat, where to play and stay in Maine’s seaside heaven…

Kennebunkport Maine just may be the perfect town – its oceanfront, everyone loves to be by the sea, right?! It’s quaint and historic. It’s happening with a great social atmosphere of bars, restaurants and live music venues, plus a fun fabulous calendar of events from the Kennebunkport Festival to Christmas Prelude. It’s artistic with lots of cool galleries and studios. Kennebunkport also has beaches (check), boating (check), celebs and ex-presidents (secret service- check, check), beautiful hotels, bnbs an inns, and last but not least – cool local people. So how do you tackle all there is to see and do in KPT as a tourist, or a tourist-in-your-own-town, in a day?
Let’s play “perfect day in Kennebunkport Maine!” Ready set go….

WALK KPT
Mornings in Maine, particularly Kennebunkport, should start with a brisk walk. The best walk in Kennebunkport is Ocean Ave on the sidewalk from Dock Square out toward the sea, passing magnificent seaside St Anne’s Church, Spouting Rock then Blowing Cave to Walker’s Point where you can wave to President Bush (home of former Pres. #41 & #43 plus Gov Jeb and the rest of the Bush family clan). Walker’s Point is the Bush family compound and summer residence, not to be confused with Cape Cod where the Kennedy’s cluster.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorCOFFEE KPT
Breakfast in Kennebunkport – why not go to Paris? Lol, seriously for a delightful sidewalk café, Mornings In Paris in Lower Village at Coopers Corner roasts and brews fantastic coffee, serves yummy pastries, in a charming setting inside, or out on the patio where you can watch the town begin to stir. Dock Square Coffee is another pro choice for a cup-a-jo – take it to go to a picnic bench in Dock Square or down to the beach. All Day Breakfast on Route 9 Western Ave heading south is where locals go for a more bountiful breakfast, be prepared for a wait – this classic diner-style joint jams.

KENNEBUNK BEACHES
Fueled up for sun & fun? Go get your sand time at Kennebunkport’s best beaches, which are actually on the Kennebunk side. Gooch’s, Middle Beach and Mothers Beach are each unique and spectacular, from sand, to stones, to tidal pools. Just follow Beach Ave and you will see all three.

SHOP KPT
Browse all the great local boutiques, in Dock Square, from Day Trip Society for trendy gifts, to Compliments, Minka and Abacus for locally made jewelry, crafts and candles, to Emporium for a local Ts, to Shoot the Moon, Dock Square Clothiers, Green Tangerine, Zen, Carla’s and PJ’s  for that must have Maine sweatah (that’s with a Mainah accent, like lobstah & chowdah) .

LAUNCH INTO LUNCH
For a cup of clam chowder or a lobster roll, we love Alisson’s in the heart of Dock Square. This the Cheers of Kpt, where the locals go and folks from away feel right at home. Great table service, or sit at the bar. You can get anything you want at Alisson’s Restaurant…as the Arlo Guthrie song goes…

BOAT
Get out on the water! The best way to see the Maine coast is from the sea! From Nonantum Resort, get on board your choice of a lobster boat, sailboat or fishing charter. The Rugsoa Lobster Boat Tour is an hour and half, on a classic red lobster boat, you’ll get a tour of the Kennebunk River, head out the Breakwater toward Walkers Point and Goat Island Lighthouse, even pull up a lobster trap. If you prefer sailing, The Pineapple Ketch offers a beautiful sail on a black hulled sailboat with dramatic red salis. Those who love to fish can be hooked up on a private charter with Captain Bruce aboard Libreti Rose!

HISTORY BUFFS BUFF UP ON YOUR HISTORY
Stroll back in time at White Columns, the 1853 Greek Revival sea captains’ home, now home to the Kennebunkport Historical Society and the First Family Museum – a tribute to President and Barbara Bush and their family time at the “summer white house” at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport. Drive to the Wedding Cake House on historic Summer Street to see Sea Captains’ mansions lining the Kennebunk River banks.

GALLERY HOP
Kennebunkport is not surprisingly an artist community, with its inspirational scenery everywhere. Visit local galleries and studios to view art, photography, even jewelry and kaleidoscopes created right here, to bring a Maine memory home with you. Check out Kennebunk and Kennebunkport’s best galleries at Maine Art, Landmark, Northern Lights, True North, Rusty Fly Gallery, Chris Becker Photographer, Sue Rioux Kaleidoscopes and many more…

Sunset at Robinhood Marine Riggs CoveHAPPY HOUR
After a day of exploring, its time for some celebrating. Kennebunkport has so many fun bars with great happy hours, Old Vines Wine Bar is a favorite, so is The Boathouse Bar, The Burleigh, and Stripers Waterside at Breakwater Inn– all three of these have beautiful water views. Enjoy a craft cocktail, local micro-brew or a house wine and small plate tapas, and some social time to tide you over til you dine!

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamersLOBSTAH FOR SUPPAH
The best places to eat in Kpt have lobster on the menu, 95 Ocean at Nonantum, Stripers at the Breakwater, and Alisson’s, Boathouse! Reserve a table, bring your appetite, and wear the bib if you love your lobster with hot drawn buttah! Save room for Maine blueberry pie.

KPORT ROCKS WITH LIVE MUSIC
Catch live music at The Burleigh at Kennebunkport Inn, Old Vines, Pilot House, Ryan’s Irish Corner House, Alisson’s, The Nonantum, or go to Vinegar Hill Music Theatre for a show. Pick up the free informative Tourist & Town (no stereotyping – the locals read it too) to find out who’s playing when and where, or just ask a local!

STAY IN KPT
Ready to rest your head with a whiff of fresh ocean air and the purr of lobster boats gliding by? The Nonantum Resort is a great place to stay in Kennebunkport, its waterfront, with its own marina and charter tour boats leaving daily, and the staff is the friendliest around, its like family. Nonantum’s Chef Steve is so talented, we’re talking Divers Scallops, Tuna Tacos, Lobster Risotto, at their on-site restaurants – 95 Ocean and Heckman’s Pub. Breakfast is included too when you book direct, and their pastry chef is amazing! There’s an outdoor pool overlooking The River, kayak and bikes available, nightly entertainment, and it’s a short walk to town  – to Dock Square or out to Colony Beach on Ocean Ave. Nonantum means “blessing” and you will feel blessed to have stayed at this classic 1884 resort on the Kennebunk River in Kennebunkport.

Make plans to come stay and play in Kennebunkport Maine soon!

See our Maine Lodging Guide and Best Tour of the Coast for your Maine Visit!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Maine marijuana friendly state

lighthouse_burnt_island2In 2019, Maine finally adopted the 2016 voters’ initiative to legalize marijuana, to include recreational use, home cultivation, retail sale and taxation of marijuana, however interpretation is up to each local municipality pursuant to the Marijuana Legalization Act.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999. Residents who have lived in Maine for 4+ years  can apply for a license until June 2021, when the state will begin to allow outside applications.

What does this mean for Maine tourism? Can you toke on your trip to Maine? Light up at Maine lighthouses? Enjoy weed on Maine’s waterfront?

Marijuana possession remains illegal under keep-off-grass-fall federal law, and local police say enforcement won’t change. But Maine’s marijuana friendly initiative provides leniency for recreational pot use in private. It also serve as an intro to a future state sales, dispensaries, and products, and indicates Maine’s appetite for a more liberal allowance of cannabis consumption.

Maine marijuana recreational allowance includes:
-Adults 21+ can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at a time. Penalties for possessing over 2.5 ounces to 8 ounces can result in up to $1,000 in fines and six months of incarceration. possession of up to and over 20 pounds gets 10 years, $20,000 in fines.
-Adults in Maine may cultivate up to 3 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature plants, and unlimited seedlings.

Portland was the 1st East Coast city vote for pot use in 2013. Colorado and Washington have embraced marijuana tolerant laws statewide. Colorado has truly capitalized on cannabis tourism , 420 shops and pot bakeries have popped up all over. Colorado ski towns and tourist destinations offer mj dispensaries, hemp stores and baked-bakeries. Tourism is up in Colorado because of their weed-leniency. Colorado brought in $34.8 million in marijuana taxes in year one of its pot-friendly policy.To the North Canada is also cannabis friendly, though its heavily texted and packaged in very small doses.

Maine Maple SundayImagine the pot possibilities in Maine? Our state is already high on taxes, big pot taxation would bring more tax revenue from those getting high. Wouldn’t blueberry baked pot brownies be a hit? How about Maine marijuana-laced maple syrup? Pot stuffed twice baked Maine potatoes from the County?

Will Vacationland change with Maine’s marijuana tolerance? Can you get baked at Maine beaches? Can you light up at Portland Headlight? #Lol. No. Recreational Maine marijuana use needs to be done in the privacy of your residence. There are not pot friendly hotels like Maine has pet friendly hotels. Whether we see Maine 420 tours, Maine marijuana bakeries and pot infused food products in the future remains to be seen and voted by the folks of Maine.

Allagash Brewery freezerRegardless, Maine marijuana initiatives have brought forth the public dialogue of health and healing benefits of THC and CBD, and about the relative harms of marijuana versus alcohol. Booze is already regulated and taxed lucratively for the state of Maine, along with tobacco and other “sin taxes.”

Maine, the way life should be…pot friendly?

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Portland Maine’s Best Happy Hours

Portland Maine has an amazing culinary scene, recently named a top foodie spot, and home to the best restaurants by Bon Appetit among others. But aside from sophisticated entrees and accomplished Chefs, there is also a fantastic happy hour scene in Portland. From the Old Port to the waterfront, and Portland’s best hotels, there is a lot to be happy about – especially midweek in Maine’s biggest city with drink deals and even $1.50 oysters and  free apps! Be sure to call ahead or check these restaurants’ websites & Facebook pages – as deals and happy hour specials change…

A few of Portland Maine’s best Happy Hours:

David’s in Monument Square has Happy Hour 3-6pm Monday-Friday $5 wines, and sangria, beers, and appetizer specials. We love David’s food and the city center setting is ideal for meeting friends.

DiMillo’s – this floating restaurant is a landmark on Portland’s waterfront, a bit touristy, but has Happy Hour with a view  Monday through Friday 4-7pm – appetizer and drinks specials. Parking is free – validated when you dine here.

Porthole – also right on the water – is casual but fun for Happy Hour deals Monday- Friday 3-6, and  Saturday –Sunday 1-4.

Old Port Sea Grill is  divey, but has daily Happy Hour 3 – 6pm with $5 Cosmos and Manhattans, $6 wines, $3 drafts, and $2.50 oysters. All day happy hour on Sunday means $5 Mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Portland Lobster Company by the water has Happy Hour Monday – Thursday 4- 7pm

Boone’s Fish House & Oyster Room on the waterfront has 4-6pm daily happy hour with
Oyster specials, $5 cocktails, $3  house wine, $2  beers and $5 food items like wings, nachos, Brussel sprouts and calamari.

The Corner Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour Monday-Friday with complimentary antipasto offered with drinks, $3 house  wines and prosecco, $3 draft beers.

The Grill Room has 4-6pm Happy Hour daily with draft beers, wines by the glass and bar snacks for $3.

Monhegan Island MaineLittle Tap House has Happy Hour 4-7 Monday – Friday – called Bar & Barrel – a petite appetizer paired with a local beer $5, plus $5 wines.

Bonfire Country Bar has “Bacon Happier Hour” with Free bacon, $1 tacos and whiskey, $2 beer & freis, $3 wien and burgers, 407 7 days a week!

Bull Feeney gets happy Sunday-Friday from 4-7pm with $4 draft beers and 20% off singe all malts, free snacks, plus other weekly treats.

Sur Lie has Happy Hour 4-6pm with $2 off drafts, $7 wines, and culinary $5 apps.

Northpoint has Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4-6pm with $5 Drafts, $6 Wines and a $7 Cocktail, and light bites for just $6 each! Sunday happy hour is 6-10.

C2 – Congress Square’d by the Westin, offers happy hour daily 3 – 7pm. $3 drink specials and bites.

Top of The East at the Westin has Happy Hour Sunday – Thursday 2-5pm with drinks specials, $6 wines, $4 beer, and an amazing rooftop view.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorDock Fore isn’t fancy but it gets happy every day from 3 -7pm, draft beers $2, wine are $1 off, free appetizer display.

MJ’s Wine Bar has a great outdoor patio, and Monday – Friday 4 – 6pm Happy Hour with $5 select wines and $4.50 20oz. drafts

Vignola Cinque Terre Happy Hour is just an hour, Monday to Friday 5- 6pm with $4 select wines, half-off beer, and $3.50-$9.50 appetizers.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland Hunt + Alpine Club has happy hour with select craft cocktails for $6 Monday to Friday 4 -6pm with popcorn.

Inkwell Bar and Lounge at Union, Press Hotel has “off the record “ happy hour with $5 house wine favorites, $5 well drinks, and $5 16oz local drafts Sunday- Thursday 4- 6pm.

Rosie’s has happy specials all the time – $1.50 Miller, $4 mixed well drinks, and Saturdays & Sundays $ 5Mimosas & Bloody Mary’s.

Taco Escobar offers happy hour 4-7pm Monday-Friday featuring $5 house margaritas, $3.50 select drafts, with free chips and salsa. Olé

Tomaso’s Canteen has 7 hours of happiness, 11-6 daily, with all kinds of drink and food deals from $2.50 beers to $6 wine & cocktails, plus nightly specials.

Bayside Bowl, on the Back Bay, has happy hour 4-6pm Monday-Thursday in summer on the rooftop deck, with half-price frozen cocktails, $2 Moosehead tall boy, and more.

Petite Jacqueline hosts
”apero” happy hour 5-6:30pm Monday-Friday at the bar and patio, with
$5 aperitifs, $4 draft beers, and $3 wine, plus $1.50 oysters, $5 small plates and $46 crepes. Mais oui!

El Rayo Taquiero gets happy 4-6 pm Monday-Friday with $5 house margaritas and sangria, $2 Sol Pacfico or Tecate.

Note: these happy hour offers are subject to change, this is just a compilation of current specials. If prices have changed or deals have been discounted – please let us know at sales@visitmaine.net, and please – don’t worry, be happy (every hour). See more Maine dining recommendations:

Portland’s Best Restaurants
Best Waterfront Dining
Top 10 Maine Restaurants

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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 for Lovers, and full of fun romantic events… The Igloo 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, 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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Maine Polar Plunges on New Years 2019

Looking for a “cool” way to start 2020? 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, 2020 but stay tuned as events have been known to be postponed for super cold like some years…

Kennebunk’s Polar Plunge 2020

Kennebunk’s 19th Annual Atlantic Plunge – Freezin’ For A Reason will actually take place on Saturday January 4, 2020, 11am Gooch’s Beach in Kennebunk. This chilly Polar Plunge event is lots fo fun, well attended and a great way to give a jump start to your  New Year., See you Saturday Jan 4 at 11am in front of Seaside Inn on Kennebunk Beach. This Atlantic Plunge benefits Caring Unlimited. Register for this refreshing swim, registration fee is $25, sign up by Noon on 1/3/2020.

Lobster Dip 2020at Old Orchard Beach

OOB Pier January 1, 2020 is the date for Old Orchard Beach’s 19th annual Lobster Dip. 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, with previous dips – $100,000 raised! All Lobster Dippers must raise a minimum of $100. Those who do, and register, will receive a commemorative Lobster Dip t-shirt!

Portland 2019 Polar Dip & Dash New Year’s Eve!

Maine LighthousePortland Maine hosts its 2019 12th annual Portland Polar Dip and Dash on New Year’s Eve Day, Dec 31, 2019 at 11 PM  at East End Beach, Portland Maine. This Polar Dip benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine. The annual fund raising goal is to raise in excess of $17,500.00. 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 New Year 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, 2020

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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  Dec 3 – Dec 13 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 the 2nd weekend in December 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 is the 2nd Sunday in December at 2pm up Route 1, with Santa, holiday floats and fun!

Maine Skiing#4 SKI! Sunday River and Sugarloaf are open 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 is the 2nd weekend in December with 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 early December, 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 the 2nd weekend of December, 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 takes place the first weekend of December 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.

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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 over three decades. The 34th annual Christmas Parade is Sunday December 15 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…

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