Category Archives: Maine events and festivals

Maine Polar Plunges on New Years 2018

Looking for a “cool” way to start 2019? 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 2019

Kennebunk’s 18th Annual Atlantic Plunge – Freezin’ For A Reason will actually take place on Saturday January 5, 2018, 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 5 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 1/3/2019.

Lobster Dip 2019 at Old Orchard Beach

OOB Pier January 1, 2019 is the date for Old Orchard Beach’s 18th 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, 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!

Portland 2018 Polar Dip & Dash New Year’s Eve!

Maine LighthousePortland Maine hosts its 2018 11th annual Portland Polar Dip and Dash on New Year’s Eve Day, Dec 31, 2018 at 12 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 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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The Portland Dining Scene – Fall Foodies in Maine

copy-copy-portland-headlight.jpgCalling all Maine foodies for the Harvest on the Harbor

Fall in Portland Maine is a great time to check out new restaurants. The crunch of crisp fall leaves under your feet on the Old Port’s cobblestone streets as you search out delicious new food offerings in Portland’s best restaurants. Portland has become quite a hub for top chefs, definitely the epicenter of the Maine cuisine scene, with Kennebunkport, Camden, Ogunquit, York and Kittery raising the bar in Maine with great dining spots.

Gorde and pumpkin displayA highlight to fall in Portland is the Harvest on the Harbor, an annual event of toasting Maine’s best culinary chefs, and flaunting the best Maine beers, wines and food.

Every year, Portland‘s Harvest on the Harbor benefits local charities, food banks and provides scholarships, so it’s an eat well, feel good deal. The mission of Harvest on the Harbor is “to promote Maine as a top culinary tourism destination to food-savvy travelers from Maine and around the world, and extend the traditional tourism season while increasing the economic impact for Maine businesses.” Sounds brilliant right, we can all raise a glass and a fork to that!

Allagash Brewery freezerHarvest on the Harbor takes place Oct 18-21, and the signature event is Market on the Harbor, the Grand Finale where guests have an opportunity to taste dishes from Maine’s best restaurants and meet the chef owners while sampling and sipping local Maine beers, wines and spirits with each chef creation. Eat, Sip and shop at Portland Yacht Services. Other fun foodie events include the Pig Roast and Bloody Mary Brunch and Maine Oyster Fest on Saturday.

The Harvest of the Harbor venue is a big top tent at Portland Yacht Services, overlooking Portland harbor and the passing ships, ferries, even a view of Bug Light!

Another big draw is the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition since every Maine chef worth his or her salt wants to prepare the best lobster dish, especially in front of their peers! 2018 Avery Richter, executive chef of The Black Tie Co. won Lobster Chef of the year with her Maine Lobster seaweed salad cone!

Previous years’ Lobster Dinner Winners:
2017 Boothbay Harbor Country Club executive sous chef Nathaniel Adam was Maine Lobster Chef of the Year for his Lobster in Foliage creation.
2016 Union Chef Josh Berry won Maine Chef – Union is in the Press Hotel in Portland.
2015 Nonantum Resort of Kennebunkport won Maine Chef .
2014 Chef Stephen Richards -The World is Mine Oyster Boothbay Harbor was top Lobster Chef.
2013 Chef Chris Long, Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn won last, beating out his boss.
2012 Kerry Altiero from Café Miranda with esteemed lobster award.

Many of the Grand Tasting and Entertainment events sell out before the festival even starts. If you don’t get ticket to Harvest on the Harbor, then go enjoy dinner out at one of Portland’s amazing restaurants.

lobsterMaine top chefs participating in the Harvest on the Harbor Top Maine Lobster Chef Competitors are:

Bite Into Maine
Congress Squared
DiMillo’s on the Water
Fisherman’s Wharf Inn
Portland Lobster Company
RiRa Portland
Seadog Brewing Company
Union Kitchen
2018 Boothbay Harbor Claw Down Winner Dana Moos

Plan you Maine foodie vacation and come to the coast to sample lobster, walk the beach and enjoy “the way life should be.”

See our Maine Lodging Guide and the Maine’s Top Restaurants

Copyright 2018 VisitMaine.net

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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!

Here are some 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, Brussels 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 MaineBrian Boru – the Irish Pub has 4-7 Happy Hour Monday – Friday with $4 well drinks, house wine and Geary’s Pale Ale drafts.

Little 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 4 – 7pm. Beer specials are $4, a daily wine is $5, and a select cocktail is $7, plus half off their app menu.

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.

Grace, in an 1856 church, has Happy Hour Wednesday 5-6:30pm with $5 wine and cocktail specials, and small plate deals.

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

Tomasos Canteen has 7 hours of happiness, 11-6 daily, with all kinds of drink and food deals from $2.50 beers to $6 sausage, 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 compellation 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

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

Fall for Maine Food

Fall in Maine means beautiful foliage and harvest of this humble state’s best. Orchards are ripe with fresh apples, farm pastures are loaded with pumpkin and squash that brightly dot the fields, awaiting picking for someone’s table or jack o’lantern carving.

Fall in Maine delivers farmers markets and fairs, like the Fryeburg Fair, where farmers show off their summer’s worth of work, their pride in produce, meat and cheese. Yes Please! Read on about Maine’s best produce and prize harvests, and few recipes from from Vacationland. Fall is a wonderful time to vacation, in Vacationland, a Maine foodie tour with bonus foliage!

Maine is famed for the following food:

Apple Picking in MaineApples
Maine’s apples are best picked from late August through early October. Maine is home to 84 apples orchards farms, responsible for producing about one million bushels of apples each year on 2000 acres. Most common varieties of Maine apples grown are McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun and now Honeycrisp Two lesser-known varieties, Black Oxford and Brock.

Maine has an “apple day”. Great Maine Apple Day is a festival October 14, 2018 in Unity Maine that celebrates the apple harvest with cider making, apple pie contests, showcasing the many tasty apple varieties grown in Maine’s orchards.

Maine’s best apple recipes include Apple Crisp, Apple Pie, Apple Chutney, Apple Cider, and Apple Sauce.

Broccoli is abundant in Maine. Despite Kennebunkport’s favorite former-president’s disdain for the bright green veggie (President George H W Bush said he hates broccoli), Maine is a top producer of this cruciferous green vegetable in “The County” – with 6,500 acres in Aroostook county. Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant with numerous health benefits, a big source of vitamins K and C, folate (folic acid), also high in potassium and fiber. Besides,  its fun to  dip broccoli in ranch or cheese – and pretend their little trees and you’re the Jolly Green Giant.

Potatoes
Maine’s Aroostook county has potatoes aplenty. Maine is a top producer of spuds, not as much as Idaho, but still – over 70,000 acres of land in northern Maine is proliferated with potato farms. 25 percent of Maine’s potato production supplies the East coast, 45 percent is used for frozen French fries- like McCain, 20 percent for (my personal favorite) potato chips – Humpty Dumpty, Frito-Lays, Utz, and 10 percent go to fresh market for Maine’s best restaurants and local consumption. Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield in July is a 70+ year tradition to celebrate the spud! The Maine Potato Board, yes that’s a  thing, has pages of potato recipes from mashed to home fries to Shepard’s pie! Oh, and Cold River Vodka is made from Maine potatoes- gluten free!

Pumpkins
Gorde and pumpkin displayWith all eyes on pie and Halloween jack o’lanterns, Maine’s pumpkin patches are prolific. A fun family activity is to go to a Maine pumpkin patch and PYOP: pick your own pumpkin. Pumpkins are a fun, feel good, do good squash plant, most popular from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Traditions aside, Pumpkins have high nutritional value: high in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. Even pumpkin seeds carry nutrition, like protein, potassium, magnesium and fiber. So pick your own Maine pumpkin, carve your trick-or-treat face, keep the inside for pie, and roast the seeds with Maine sea-salt for a powerful tasty treat.

Kennebunk River MaineMore on Maine Lobster, Maine’s wineries and Maine’s best beer & micro-breweries.

See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore fall in Maine!

Copyright & Photos 2018 VisitMaine.net

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Best fall foliage in Maine

Maine is world famous for its fall foliage. The brilliant display of colored leaves from bright red maples to orange oaks and golden birch, is generally peak late September to mid October with Columbus Day Weekend being prime (and a holiday weekend – hint hint). But the kaleidoscope of colors starts in September and continues through the month of October. Visiting anytime in fall, you will surely fall for autumn in Maine – Vacationland!
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There are certain must see’s in Maine during fall foliage season, see our list of activities and attractions for your Maine fall trip and enjoy your autumn activities in the Pine Tree State.

1. Bring your camera, you will want to capture the colors of Maine’s foliage, for facebook and instagram posts, or for your friends back home… or to frame! fall-foliage-14-maine72.  Discover the simple pleasure of a bike ride down an old dirt road with the crisp autumn leaves crunching under your bicycle tires.

fall-colors-path33. Get out on the water, with a Maine charter boat, sail boat cruise or lobster boat tour, to see the contrast of the brilliant blue water with the autumn leaves.

fall-wells-boat4. Keep off the grass, but enjoy a nature walk, Maine is resplendent with state parks, reserve and conservation trust land that is open to the public for the perfect fall foliage walk.  Remember, take only pictures, leave only your footprints!  keep-off-grass-fall5. Enjoy the last Maine Lobster of the season…  see our favorite Maine waterfront restaurants for seafood, clams, or a fresh Maine lobster!

6. Paddle a canoe or kayak on a calm cool Maine river…

mousam-river-fall27. Shop for Maine made products and crafts at the many Maine fairs and festivals in fall

fall-foliage-14-me98. Reserve a room at a romantic bed and breakfast or waterfront inn in Maine… fall is for falling in love in Maine!  You will love the scenery and serene B&Bs in Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Camden and Boothbay Harbor for starts… Bed and Breakfast

9. Pick the perfect Maine apples, pumpkin, and mums, to bring home as a reminder of your time in Maine! Gorde and pumpkin display10. Just enjoy the subtle serene surroundings of fall in Maine, you’ll be glad you came.  great-heron-fall-flightSee our Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore in Maine!

Copyright 2018 VisitMaine.net

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

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great-heron-fall-flight

What’s the most beautiful time of year in Maine? We love Fall on the southern Maine coast and in the Lakes & Mountains. You can still walk the beaches along the southern Maine Coast, kayak, bike and hike, golf, and explore. The summer beach crowds have diminished and the temperatures are ideal. Fall brings cool crisp evenings, while you still have warm sunny summer-like days. The temperatures in Maine in fall are splendid, 70-s by day and 50’s at night – perfect for sitting by a fireplace and sleeping under a down duvet at a cozy bed and breakfast.

Autumn gourd and pumpkin display in Maine

Fall in Maine

Fall in Maine brings a bounty of festival and events – and of course a harvest of delicious fresh Maine foods. Apple picking is a Maine tradition not to be missed. Farmer’s markets are abundant with squash, kale, pumpkins, and corn stalks for your Halloween decor.

Red maple leaves in Maine

Maine fairs are among the best in the world with the big daddy being The Fryeburg Fair now in its 167th year. This agricultural, carnival, farm, food, craft and music festival is early October, peak foliage. Don’t miss the hilarious Pig Scramble, Harness Racing, Tractor Pulls and and the Skillet Throw.

fall-sky-trees4Columbus Day Weekend is typically the height of fall foliage colors in Maine. Its also the Fall Festival at Sunday River, a great time to peep leaves as you ride the Chairlift. This weekend at Sunday River also marks the 19th annual Wife Carrying Championships. See couples compete, as husbands carry their wives over obstacles, under logs, through the mud, to win their wife’s weight in beer! Yup, its down and dirty and a sure road to divorce or a full fridge or Budweiser. Sunday of Columbus Weekend is Sunday River’s 5th Annual New England Corn Hole Championship and a Blue Mountain Craft Fair plus Chondola Rides.

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

Boothbay Harbor celebrates its Fall Foliage Festival October 7-8. That same Columbus Weekend Sugarloaf hosts its Homecoming Weekend when skiers can get their season pass, see their ski buddies, buy ski gear at the CVA Used Ski Equipment Sale and compete in the Infamous Uphill Climb race, then enjoy the Maine Outdoor Film Festival.

York Maine LighthouseOctober 14 in York is Harvestfest at York Beach with games, crafts, music and prime foliage near Nubble Light.

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

Hay Roll CatCamp Sunshine’s Maine Pumpkin Festival is October 21, a tradition that started in Maine in 2003, takes place at LL Bean in Freeport with over 10,000 jack o lanterns illuminated for this important Maine charity provides sick children and their families a respite and vacation in Maine at Point Sebago Resort.

Portland’s best food and wine fest is Harvest on the Harbor October 17-22 where Maine’s best chefs compete for the top title and Maine wineries and breweries tap their best vintages for foodies at avenue overlooking Portland Harbor.

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamers

Of course shopping in Maine’s Freeport, Portland and Kennebunkport are great fall pastimes as you prepare for the upcoming holidays. Fall brings post-summer sales to Kittery Outlets and The Boothbay Harbor boutiques. What could be better than poking around the shops then lunching on Maine clam chowder or a Lobster Roll.

So plan your fall visit to Maine, and you are sure to fall in love with Vacationland and the beautiful foliage that blesses this beautiful state each season.

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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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 (yes both #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 sun dress or 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, Mast Cove Gallery 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, Alisson’s and Mabel’s! 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 News (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 taking 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!

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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 food, drinks & fun fests!
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 Buffest 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 Food 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 benefitting 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

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Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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

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Maine’s 10th Restaurant Week March 1-12, 2018

Maine has become a hot foodie destination in recent years. Portland, Camden and Kennebunkport have attracted top chefs and top dining reviews. Maine has also become a place for food fests, like Harvest to the Harbor each fall, the Kennebunkport Festival each spring, and Maine Restaurant Week in March – now in Year 10. Here’s your invitation to see and taste the best plates of the Pine Tree State with special multi-course price-fixed menus at Maine’s best dining spots. This fun food fest is sponsored by our friends at Maine mag, they also put on the Kennebunkport Festival June 5-10, 2018 – these artistic & editorial folks are passionate about promoting Maine cuisine!

Prices for Maine Restaurant Week are typically $25, $35 and up to $45 for three courses, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. What’s fun about Restaurant Week, besides the delicious cuisine at Maine’s best restaurants, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You can dine out nightly and meet new people who share your passion for fine food and wine, also to try new venues like Cliff House Nubb’s and Tiller, and the usually too-pricey White Barn Inn.

Maine Restaurant Week is March 1-12, 2018 with creative menus focused on Maine sourced, locally grown and farm raised food, fresh Maine lobster and seafood and artisan cheeses, and often local wine and beer pairings suggestions. Maine has lots more than just blueberries and potatoes as native food to rave about. So eat, drink and be merry during Restaurant Week in Maine at these great dining spots:

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorKennebunkport & Kennebunk Restaurants:
Stripers Waterfront at the Breakwater Inn & Spa – Kennebunkport
The White Barn Bistro at the White Barn Inn

Ogunquit and Cape Neddick Restaurants:
Nubb’s Lobster Shack & The Tiller – at the Cliff House – Cape Neddick– Ogunquit

Casco Bay FerryPortland & Cape Elizabeth Restaurants:
Back Bay Grill – Portland
Boone’s Fish & Oyster Room, and the Grill Room and Corner Room – Portland
Bonobo Pizza – Portland
Cumberland Club – Portland
Davids Davids 388 and Davids Opus – Portland
DiMillos On the Water – Portland
El Rayo Cantina & El Rayo Taqueria Portland
Eve’s at the Garden Portland
Evo Kitchen & bar – Portland
Five Fifty-Five – Portland
Good Table Restaurant – Cape Elizabeth
Hot Suppa – Portland
Liquid Riot – Portland
Little Tap House – Portland
Local 188 – Portland
Petite Jacqueline – Portland
Portland Meatball Co – Portland
Portland Pie Company – Portland
Ri Ra Irish Pub – Portland
Ribollita – Portland
Sea Glass Restaurant – Inn by the Sea- Cape Elizabeth
Solo Italiano – Portland
Sonnys – PortlandSur Lie Restaurant Portland
Twenty Milk Street Portland
Union at the Press Hotel – Portland
Vignola Cinque Terre – Portland
Walters – Portland
Zapoteca Restaurante Y Tequileria – Portland

Freeport, Falmouth & Yarmouth:
1912 Café – Freeport Bueno Loco -Falmouth
Gather – Yarmouth
Royal River Grillhouse – Yarmouth
Tuscan Brick Oven Bistro Freeport

Cuckholds LighthouseBrunswick, Lewiston & Camden Dining:
Brunswick Tavern – Brunswick
Natalies at Camden Harbour Inn – Camden
Francine Bistro – Camden
Hartstone Inn – Camden
DaVincis Eatery – Lewiston
Fish Bones American Grill – Lewiston
Fuel Restaurant – Lewiston

Lakes & Mountains:
Forks in the Air Mountain Bistro – Rangeley
El El Frijoles- Sargentville

See our Maine Lodging Guide for overnight hotels and Maine’s best BnB’s to stay at during your Foodies Tour of Maine

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Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018