Category Archives: Maine lighthouses

Best Islands in Casco Bay

“If once you’ve slept on an island…you’ll never be quite the same.” So goes the idyllic book by Rachel Field… Nowhere is that more true than on an island in Maine…in summer…

It’s magical being surrounded by water, your arrival and departure solely reliant on a boat, far removed from the traffic, hustle and bustle of mainland living… it’s surprising how life slows, how so-called “necessities” melt away and life’s real “niceties” emerge… quiet, calm, natural, just the sound and smell of the sea.

Casco Bay in Portland is dotted with beautiful islands, over 200, some more inhabited than others… like Peaks and Long Island being the most populated, and easily reached by Casco Bay Lines ferry system from Portland.

Here are three special Maine islands that come to mind, very unique from one another, well worth discovering …

Chebeague Island is a step back in time, although its Maine’s newest town – Chebeague became independent from Cumberland in 2007. This beautiful wooded island with several sand beaches is home to a hearty community of 350 islanders, year-rounders.

Chebeague – pronounced “sha-beeg”, is the largest island of the Calendar Islands… a reference to the number of islands equaling the days in the year in this region (slight hyperbole but a fun anecdote). Chebeague is actually comprised of 17 islands, the “Big” island is 3 mile long by 1 mile wide. Settlers in the 1740’s farmed and lived here, lobsters were so abundant they used them for fertilizer, not food. By the 1900’s Great Chebeague had five hotels, now there’s just one – the lovely 1880 Chebeague Island Inn atop a sweeping lawn that leads to the western shore and view of mainland, and Yankee power plant.

Spend the night at Chebeague Island Inn, you owe your soul the experience! Arrive by ferry or your own boat and be whisked up the hill in the courtesy van to this historic charming hotel. The cozy fireplace living rooms lead to a gracious veranda with sea views. Take bikes to the East Shore beach, or explore the two roads – North & South – past the Historical Society and Maritime Museum, the Slow Bell Café, the island grocery store, community center and school.

Back at Chebeague Inn, cocktails are served on the easy breezy porch, followed by the acclaimed Chef’s delicious dinner – lobster, local mussels, duck, in the classic dining room or out on the lawn – our preference. Sunsets do not dissapoint here from the west-facing hillcrest overlooking the bay. Sleeping at the Inn -with your ocean view windows open, the light white drapes fluttering in the sea breeze – is perfection.

Great Diamond Island is a gem in the heart of Casco Bay, just a mile from Portland. This historic island has remnants of 1890’s Fort McKinley – the country’s coastal defense system built to protect Portland’s Harbor. The Inn at Diamond Cove is in the beautifully renovated old brick army barracks.

Casco Bay Ferry delivers you to Diamond Island’s protected “Cocktail Cove” and you check in at Diamonds’ Edge restaurant before being carted up the hill to the Inn – golf carts and bikes are the preferred transpo around the 1.3 acres island – which is mostly private for the 100 residents and hotel guests. We  rode the elevator from the airy lobby to our modern room with a lovely balcony, note: views from the hotel are of the beautiful “parade grounds” but not the ocean from the  high forested point.

As guests of Inn at Diamond Cove, we could hop on a complimentary bike or stroll to the old artillery spots – from the Spanish American War, visit the beach or sit by the hotel pool, hot tub and Cabana bar. There’s croquet, tennis, even indoor bowling and basketball. After a day boating Casco Bay and exploring the island, our balcony was a delightful spot to rest and relax before walking down to the Cove and waterfront for a wonderful seafood dinner at Diamond’s Edge. We passed the Crown Jewel, another popular spot for diners that came by ferry or more fortunate like us spending the night. Our ideal island-hopping day concluded with a dip in the cool pool back at the Hotel, then nightcaps by the fire pit.

Eagle Island is for the explorer, truly. This dramatic island in Harpswell, eastern Casco Bay, is a Maine historic site, and former home to Admiral Robert E. Perry who ventured to the North Pole in 1909. You can tour his family’s 1904 summer home, complete with artifacts from his bold expedition, even a Polar Bear. Bring a picnic, and enjoy the ocean views from this prominent point, admission is $5-6, plus your sightseeing ferry ride to the island. Overnights on Eagle Island are not permitted, so allow yourself at least an hour to tour the island, home and museum.

If you love Casco Bay, and sleeping on islands, surrounded by the sea, continue your tour of the Maine coast onwards, down east, towards Sebasco, or picturesque Boothbay Harbor – staying out on the dramatic peninsula at Ocean Point Inn, on Southport Island at Newagen Inn or the classic summer campy-style Linekin Bay Resort.

Monhegan Inn view in MaineFor real remote island life, venture out to sea to rustic Monhegan Island and lodge at the rustic Charles House or Trailing Yew. Hiking around the impressive ocean cliffs, seeing Monhegan Lightouse, the weathered granite shores and sand beaches is exhilarating. Witnessing how the islanders live, so humble and resourceful, is a lesson in independance, minimalism, and heartiness. Visiting Monhegan, even for a day by ferry, must be on your Maine Bucket List! Better to stay the night and feel the freedom, the solitude and the sea.

Cadillac Mountain viewPenobscot Bay – midcoast Maine – is loaded with beautiful islands and the scenic sailboat loaded harbors of Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, and Rockland.

Finally, Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor is Maine’s most magnificent island for touring, hiking, biking, boat rides to lighthouses, and seeing the sunrise first in the country atop Cadillac Mountain.

See our Guide to Touring the Coast, and Boating in Maineplan your vacation in #Vacationland… The way life should be…see our Guide to Visiting Maine!

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Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2019

Maine Trivia

Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state. Maine also borders one country – Canada

Maine is the only one-syllable state in the US.

Maine is the northeastern most state, Eastport is the most eastern city, West Quoddy Head is the most eastern point in the US – the first place to see the morning sun rise.

Fresh lobster dinner served with steamersMaine lobster is 90 percent of lobster in the US, with a lobster yield annually of over 100 million pounds, Maine lobster  is a $1 billion industry generating 4,000 jobs.

Maine produces 90% of US blueberries. Broccoli and potatoes are top Maine crops too…

Maine is the top producer of US toothpicks, over 90%!

Most people think of the White Mountains as New Hampshire, but Maine is home to a portion of the 800,000 acres White Mountain National Forest – the largest alpine area east of the Rocky Mountains.

Maine Lighthouse

Portland was originally Maine’s state capital, in 1832 the capital moved to centrally located Augusta.

Maine’s 16th county – Aroostook County  is bigger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined!

Maine is bigger than the five other New England states combined at 33,215 square miles, though Maine’s population is among the lowest at 1.3 million

Cadillac Mountain viewMaine contains 542,629 acres of state and national parks.

Acadia National Park is over 100 years old, established in 1916, with mountains, beaches, the only fjord in the eastern US – Somes Sound, islands, miles of Atlantic shorelands, 125-miles of hiking paths, 50-miles of carriage roads for biking.

Maine’s state flower is actually a Pine Cone… hence the nickname Pine Tree state.

Bi Plane Tour Acadia

Maine’s official insect is the honey bee.

Maine’s highest point is Mount Katahdin at 5,268 feet above sea level. Maine’s lowest point is sea-level- that’s a joke people …

Maine’s largest lake is Moosehead at 117 square miles, 39 miles long, with 350 miles of shore.

Maine was first colonized in 1620, York was America’s first chartered city in 1641, but Maine didn’t become the 23rd  state until 1820.

L.L. Bean in Freeport Maine is open 24/7/365, a company over 100-years-old founded on the principle of guaranteed hunting and fishing attire.

Maine has 65 lighthouses. Maine has over 4,600 islands in the Atlantic and bays, lakes and ponds.

Maine food is world-famous. Bon Appetit named Portland Maine the Top Restaurant City 2018

Pemaquid Maine Lighthouse

Maine is “Vacationland” and boasts the slogan “The Way Life Should Be”

Maine should be on your Vacation Travel Bucket List…see our Guide to Visiting Maine!

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Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2019

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, 2019

Lobster boat in Riggs Cove Maine

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

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

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

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

Top 10 Things to Sea and Do In Ogunquit Maine

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

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

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

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

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

Stay at Ogunquit Resort Motel for affordable lodging near the heart of Ogunquit Village, and a half mile to the beach. Ogunquit Resort Motel is family friendly, clean and neat, and the price is right with free Continental breakfast included daily. Did we mention the giant outdoor pool and hot tub, and distant ocean views from their balcony suites?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright & 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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Maine Lighthouse Day

Maine’s Annual Open Lighthouse Day is Saturday, September 8, 2018 with lighthouses open for free tours. This annual Maine event, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation, allows you to see the centuries old tradition of protecting our shores and boats up close.

Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Open Lighthouse Day in Maine is a US Coast Guard, Maine Tourism and American Lighthouse Foundation collaboration designed to celebrate Maine’s maritime heritage and rich history of its lighthouses and lightkeepers. Most of the listed Maine lighthouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for free.

Maine is known as “The Lighthouse State” with the most coastal light houses in the US. Since 1791, lighthouses have been built to help mariners navigate the dangerous waters and coastline, islands and ledges. In the 20th Century, more than 70 lighthouses guarded Maine’s seacoast, Today, 65 Maine lighthouses still stand. See our guide to Maine Lighthouses and their locations.

bass-harbor-light (24)Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, Mount Desert Island, Coordinates: 44°13′ 19″ N 68°20′ 14″ W
Bass Harbor lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation and contains a beautiful fourth order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are cared for by the USCG.

Burnt Cove Harbor Lighthouse,  Swan’s Island, Coordinates: 44°08′ 03″ N 68°26′ 50″ W
Reached via Maine State Ferry from Bass Harbor to Swan’s Island.
Burnt Cove Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation.

Burnt Island Lighthouse, Boothbay Harbor, Coordinates: 43°49′ 31″ N 69°38′ 27″ W
Burnt Island is reached from Pier 8 via Balmy Days Cruises, call (207) 633-2284
Burnt Island Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, managed by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

Curtis Island Lighthouse, Camden Harbor, Coordinates: 44°12′ 06″ N 69°02′ 54″ W
Curtis Island Light can be  reached via Kayak from Camden Harbor.

Doubling Point Lighthouse, Arrowsic, Kennebec River Coordinates: 43°52′ 57″ N 69°48′ 25″ W
Doubling Point Lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, owned and managed by the Friends of Doubling Point Lighthouse. The light station’s historic buildings are privately owned (please respect the owners privacy).

Owls Head LighthouseDyce Head Lighthouse Castine, Coordinates: 44°22′ 57″ N 68°49′ 07″ W
Dyce Head is an active lighthouse for navigation. The light station’s historic buildings are owned and managed by the Town of Castine. The keeper’s house is a private residence (please respect the tenant’s privacy).

Fort Point Lighthouse, Stockton Springs ,Coordinates: 44°28′ 02″ N 68°48′ 42″ W
For Point lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation with  a beautiful fourth order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are owned by the State of Maine and managed by the Fort Point State Historic Site. The keeper’s house is the residence of the Park Ranger and his family (please respect their privacy).

Goat Island Lighthouse, Cape Porpoise, Kennebunkport Coordinates: 43°21′ 30″ N 70°25′ 30″ W
Boat tour to Goat Island LighthouseGoat Island Light is active, owned by the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust, reached by kayak or boat from Cape Porpoise Pier,  a walking museum in the covered walkway between the keeper’s house and lighthouse shows old photos of lightkeepers, island life and a home video from the Worrell’s, who were keepers at Goat Island from 1968 to 1972.

Grindle Point Lighthouse, Islesboro Coordinates: 44°16′ 56″ N 68°56′ 34″ W
Reached via Maine State Ferry from Lincolnville to the island of Islesboro. see schedule and fees at: www.maine.gov/mdot/msfs/islesboro.htm or call (207) 633-2284.
Grindle Point Light is in active Coast Guard navigation, managed by the Town of Islesboro.

Kennebec River Range Front & Rear Lights in Arrowsic Coordinates: 43°53′ 00″ N 69°47′ 42″ W
Front & Rear Lights are two historic light towers (front and rear range) owned and managed by The Range Light Keepers.

Little River Lighthouse, Cutler Harbor Coordinates: 44° 39′ 03″N 67° 11′ 32″W
Reached by boat provided by the Friends of Little River Lighthouse from the Town Landing in Cutler. Little River Lighthouse is owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation

Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde Coordinates: 43°55′ 03″ N 69°15′ 41″ W
www.marshallpoint.org

Monhegan Island Lighthouse

Monhegan Island Lighthouse, Monhegan Island Coordinates: 43°45′ 54″ N 69°18′ 54″ W
Monhegan light has a light tower and keeper’s house with a museum inside, and art exhibit. Reach monhegan via boats from Port Clyde, New Harbor and Boothbay Harbor.
Monhegan Boat Line
Hardy Boat Cruises
Balmy Days Cruises

York Maine LighthouseNubble Light on Cape Neddick York Coordinates 43.1652° N 70.5911° W
The Nubble is not open for tours – it is on small island yard from shore, it is the most photographed lighthouse in Maine, built in 1874.

Owls Head Lighthouse, Owls Head Coordinates: 44°05′ 33″ N 69°02′ 39″ W
Owls Head Light is an active US Coast Guard navigational location owned by ALF, with a Fresnel lens, and a special exhibit to Author Angeli Perrow of popular children’s book “Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue”

egg-rock-lighthousePemaquid Point Lighthouse, Pemaquid Point, Bristol Coordinates: 43°50′ 12″ N 69°30′ 21″ W
Pemaquid lighthouse tower is cared for by the Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse (also called Bug Light) in South Portland Coordinates: 43°39′ 20″ N 70°14′ 06″ W
Bug Light is a private aid to navigation and is owned by the City of South Portland.

copy-portland-headlight.jpgPortland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth Coordinates: 43°37′ 24″ N 70°12′ 30″ W
Portland Head Light is the oldest in Maine. Home to The light station’s historic buildings and museum, in Fort Williams, owned and managed by the Town of Cape Elizabeth.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Rockland on the breakwater, Coordinates: 44°06′ 15″ N 69°04′ 39″ W
Rockland lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid, the light station’s historic buildings are owned by the City of Rockland and cared for by the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

thrumbcap-lighthouse6Seguin Island Lighthouse, Off Popham Beach, Coordinates: 43°42′ 30″ N 69°45′ 30″ W
Seguin Island Light is reached by Seguin Island Ferry

Spring Point Lighthouse, South Portland at the breakwater of Southern Maine Community College,  Spring Point Coordinates: 43°39′ 07″ N 70°13′ 26″ W
Spring Point Light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, owned and managed by the Spring Point Ledge Light Trust.

Pemaquid Maine LighthouseWest Quoddy Head Lighthouse, Lubec Coordinates: 44°48′ 55″ N 66°57′ 04″ W
West Quoddy Lighthouse is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation with a third order Fresnel lens. The light station’s historic buildings are owned and maintained by the Maine Department of Parks and Lands, with a museum inside the keeper’s house.

Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford Pool  Coordinates: 43°27′ 25″ N 70°19′ 45″ W
Wood Island lighthouse is reached by boat the “Light Runner,” operated by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. its an active Coast Guard aid to navigation, with light cared for by the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Maine LighthouseFinally, The Maine Lighthouse Museum is in Rockland, hosting the largest collection of Fresnel lenses on display in the nation. Other exhibits pay tribute to our lighthouse history and the U.S. Coast Guard.

So plan a weekend or a week visiting Maine and Maine’s beautiful lighthouses as you tour the Maine coast.

Nubble Lighthouse LightsSee more Maine lighthouse facts, a Maine lighthouse poem, and photos of Maine lighthouses see our Maine lighthouse guide,

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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All Aboard! Maine Lighthouse Boat Tours

Lighthouses are an iconic symbol of Maine, part of the seafaring history and culture. Today, lighthouses are the more popular attractions for Maine visitors touring the coast. Few lighthouses in Maine are stationed with lighthouse keepers, many are now automated, but they continue to serve as beacons to guide boaters, sailors, fishermen and pleasure yachts safely back to their Maine harbors. Read on for coastal boat tours offering lighthouse sightseeing. Continue reading

Top 10 Things You Must Do In Maine

Your Vacationland Bucket List
Cuckolds Lighthouse in Maine1. Visit a Maine lighthouse. These scenic and historic beacons to sailors and sea captains are iconic and legendary. You must visit at least one, over 60 lighthouses guard the Maine coast grandly from Kittery to Kennebunkport, Portland to Bar Harbor and beyond. See our Maine lighthouse guide.

Colorful bouys in Maine2. Take a Maine selfie to make your friends at home jealy. Pick one of Maine’s many photogenic scenic settings, you know – on the beach, in front of a lighthouse, on a sailboat, with a sunset over a bay, and post it to Facebook and Instagram to make the folks at home green with envy.

3. Shop Maine – at one of the classics like LL Bean – open 24/7 and Kittery Outlet for the outdoorsy, Marden’s, Big Al’s or Reny’s for bargain lovers. You never know what you will find. See our Maine shopping suggestions.

Lobster bake dinner with steamers and corn4. Eat a Maine lobster. You decide if you want a casual lobster roll from a road side clam shack, or a baked stuffed or steamed crustacean served at a waterfront restaurant… but you must enjoy fresh lobster, the best the world over, close to the source – with butter – while in Maine. Some Maine lobster facts including how to cook & eat  a lobster!

Bucks Harbor dog ride5. Meet some Mainahs. Ayuh, a trip to Maine ain’t the same till you have had a Down East dialogue with the real deal – a local! You may have to stop at a dinah, like Becky’s or the Maine Diner, to find authentic Maine folks. See our Maine slang for guidance on typical Maine colloquialisms and catch phrases. And be prepared for humah….Mainers are pretty wicked sarcastic, specially with them tourists from away.

Schooner Mary Day, Maine6. Get on a boat. The best way to see Maine is from the sea. Whether you choose to kayak around pretty coves, sail aboard a schooner, take a narrated tour on a lobster boat, or go fishing, you will love view of the coast from aboard a boat. See our guide to Maine boat charters and tours.

Acadia Sign at Scoodic Point7. Explore a Maine State or National Park. Maine has 70,00 acres of beautiful state parks on lakes, the coast, beaches, plus 2 million acres of public land and historic sites. Baxter, Two Light, Scarborough and Popham Beach, plus Camden Hills are just a few of the stunning Maine State Parks. Cadillac Mountain viewAs for National Parks in Maine, the big daddy is Acadia National Park, celebrating 100 years old in 2016. Acadia and LL Bean are two of the most popular attractions to Maine, and interestingly they are four years apart. The Appalachian Trail is a National Trailway that ends in Maine at Mt Katahdin on Maine’s highest peak at 5,268’ in Baxter State Park, the AT stretches 2,200-miles to Maine from Georgia.

Nubble Light York, Maine8. Beach It ! We lost count of how many Maine beaches there are … The southern Maine coast has beautiful beaches in York, Ogunquit, Wells and Kennebunk, Casco Bay has lots of sandy havens like Higgins, Popham and Scarborough Beach. Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island is part of Acadia National Park – the water’s cold but the view is incredible. If waves and salt aren’t your things, then visit Maine’s vast network of lakes and rivers for fresh water beach time and boating. See our guide to Maine’s best beaches.

Restaurant in Southwest Harbor, Maine9. Have fried clams, or fresh clams and oyster on the half shell from a raw bar. Maine’s seafood is best – the lobster gets all the fame – but Maine clams, scallops, crab, and mussels are a must. And for dessert, Maine maple syrup and Maine wild blueberries are delicious and nutritious. See our favorite restaurants in Maine.

Monhegan Inn view in Maine

10. Stay at a Maine inn, a cozy B&B, or an oceanfront resort hotel. Maine hospitality is unlike any other place, that why our license says “the way life should be.” Come see why…

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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