Category Archives: Maine Towns

Top 10 Reasons To Fall For Maine

Fall is here, our favorite time of year in Maine – where we really earn the moniker “Vacationland”. Nowhere is it more beautiful, stunningly scenic, with perfect daytime temps and crisp cool evenings. There’s a myriad of reasons to come to Maine in fall y’all:

A Photographers Dream! A burst of brilliant colors paint the already pretty Maine landscape. The Pine Tree state is decorated with bright red maples, yellow elms, awesome orange oaks, and gorgeous gold birch leaves. On the coast, the waters provide stark contrast with a deep dark blue. In Maine’s lakes and mountains, hillsides glow with autumnal fiery colors amidst the evergreens. Brign your camera, or your smart phone and capture it all to the envy of your friends and followers.

Un-crowded Maine – this year Maine is especially wide-open and far less busy, picture no cruise ships or bus tours due to Covid. That makes your exploration of coastal towns that much more enjoyable. Hotels and inns have vacancies, and restaurants are happy to seat and serve you, inside or out. Maine was closed to visitors in the spring, as a result – its one of the safest states.

Sebago Lake in fall

Sweatah Weathah – You can’t ask for a more sublime climate than September and early October days in Maine. Day time temps are mid-70s, ideal for hiking, biking, walking. Evenings, coo crisp air invites you to don a shawl or sweater, snuggle by an outdoor firepit or indoor fireplace. It’s the best of both worlds, warm sunshine and the smell of campfire.

Maine Harvest is happening! Go pick apples in an orchard, then enjoy a hot apple cider toddy or warm dish of apple crisp! Visit a Farmers’ Market for the freshest veggies, squash, and root vegetables. Pick your own Pumpkin from a patch, ready to carve come Halloween, don’t forget to roast the seeds with sea salt and pepper!

Paddle through the Pretty! Kayak on a quiet river in Kennebunk, or a river in Bethel. Its peaceful and so scenic being on the water, watching the birds and the beautiful leaves surround you. A Maine lobster roll lunch never tasted so good after a workout on the water.

Whale Watch! Falls an ideal time to board a whale watch and head out to sea to see whales. Whales can be reliably spotted on Maine tour boats into late October, when these magnificent mammals begin to migrate south. Dress warm for your boat ride, pack a thermos of hot drinks and snacks, as it’s typically a four hour tour.

Set Sail! A schooner or sailboat charter is splendid in fall, seeing the dramatic leaves on the shore from aboard a boat powered by the wind is magical. The wind tends to pick up in fall too, so you should have a mighty nice haul, or reach (naughty terms for ye sailors).

Hike Acadia, Camden, Moosehead or the Mahoosucs. Fall offers the perfect dry cool weather for a hike. While spring is often still damp on the trailheads, fall bring beautiful arid air and well-maintained trails in Maine’s mountains. Do a small hike like Pleasant Mountain fire tower or Mt Battie, or go big in Moosehead, or Mount Desert’s plethora of Acadia National Park hiking paths, or the king of hikes … Mount Katahdin. Dress in layers, the summit is often much cooler, breezier, and you’ll want to stay for a bit as your reward for your climb!

Shop! Fall is a fantastic time to shop, when post summer sales, and pre-holiday finds abound in Kittery, Freeport- home of LL Bean, and in the quaint boutiques of Kennebunkport, Ogunquit, Portland and Boothbay! Maine’s Art Galleries are especially vibrant, welcoming and loaded with unique local talent this time of year.

Taste Maine! Fall brings a bounty of Maine food to chef’s tables and top restaurants. Lobster is till plentiful on the menu, along with fresh swordfish, tuna, salmon and scallops. The autumn culinary scene is as Gorde and pumpkin displaycolorful as it is close to the source and delicious. Savory squash, crisp kale, Maine potatoes and broccoli, melons and fruits all come to ripeness and local Maine chefs create delicious dishes with these garden goodies.

So if you’ve been cooped up, its time to come visit Maine, and explore Vacationland – The Way Life Should Be! See our guide to Maine Inns, Resorts and BnBs, where to stay and play in Maine’s prettiest coastal towns, lakes and mountains.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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Top Things to Do in Camden

Camden Maine Mountain ViewCamden is by far one of Maine’s prettiest seaside villages, with a bustling but well-protected boat harbor, and a delightful downtown for browsing, shopping and dining. Surrounding you are majestic Maine mountains, Camden State Park, lovely Inns and Bnbs and some upscale harbor hotels. The waterfront offers wonderful restaurants and a few swank rooftop or dock and dine decks.

Here are our favorite things to “sea” and do and eat in Camden

Camden Maine, Mt BattieVisit Camden State Park and Mt Battie, you can drive the auto road to the top for fabulous views of the Camden Harbor and often see as far as Cadillac Mt on Mt Desert Island. This Maine State Park of Camden is over 5,000 acres, with 30 miles of trails. There’s a 1.5 mile loop hike. Or simply pack a picnic, get your selfie at the summit by the fortified tower, and enjoy splendid Atlantic scenes.

A Camden harbor cruise is a fun way to see the beautiful boats and schooners that port here, and venture out to a few lighthouse and beautiful Penobscot Bay – one of our favorite places to sail in all of Maine! Lively Lady offers harbor cruises from Camden’s docks daily.

Enjoy a Schooner tour in Camden aboard Schooner Surprise – we suggest a sunset cruise. As sails are raised, the wind is in your hair, and you see wildlife, and the coastline, with only the power of the wind on this authentic 1918 race ship.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorCamden Harbor Park by the beautiful Camden Public Library is a lovely setting for a stroll or a picnic with a picturesque view of all the sailboat masts in the harbor. There’s an Amphitheater here for Camden’s frequent outdoor concerts .

Downton Camden’s best shops, pop in to Uncle Willy’s Candy Shoppe, The Smiling Cow, French & Brawn Market Place for the perfect picnic provisions and Maine made yummies, explore Owl and Turtle Bookshop, Ducktrap Bay Trading Co and the Cashmere Goat. Reny’s is a Maine shopping adventure in Camden… you won’t know you need it till you find it here!

Allagash Brewery freezerWine tasting at Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville – Bettina the propreitor departed Wall Street to pursue a passion in wine and elegant entertaining, she’s spent beaucoup bucks on harvesting Maine wines, which are perhaps not legendary – but fun & fruity, with a great tale & tour.

Visit  Rockland’s Breakwater made of gleaming granite harvested locally, and then browse the Farnsworth Museum – home to Andrew Wyeth and his family’s artwork. All of Rockland has an artsy cool vibe and several exceptional galleries – like the newer Center for Maine Contemporary Art across the street!

Fun fact, Camden is home to the only ocean-view ski arae on the Eastern Seaboard – Camden Snow Bowl! Here the annual National Toboggan Championships are held every February!

Top Places to Dine in Camden
Natalies at Camden Harbor Inn
Waterfront
Fresh & Co
Peter Ott’s on the Water
Long Grain
Primo in Rockland

Best Spots for a Cocktail and a view
Rhumb Line
16 Bayview Rooftop Bar
40 Paper

For the Best in Coffee in Camden
Franny’s
Owl & Turtle
Zoot’s

Camden Harbor ViewTop Places to Stay in Camden
Blue Harbor House Inn  
for classic BnB
Hawthorn Inn  steps from downtown in an 1894 Vicortian mansion
Whitehall  a fun mod Inn – part of the Lark Hotel portfolio
Cedar Crest Inn – for family lodging wtih a pool, casual and freindly a short walk to town

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decorMore on our Top Towns to Visit in Maine as you Tour the Coast.

Enjoy your stay in Camden and tell ‘em VisitMaine.net steered you here.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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Maine 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 looks good for 200 years old. Birthdate March 15, 1820.

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 Lobster is healthy for you!

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, islands, the only fjord in the eastern US – Somes Sound, 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!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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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!

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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Top 10 Things to Sea and Do In Ogunquit Maine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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Things to do in Portland, Maine

You don’t find many cities like Portland, Maine. It’s truly a gem and not only a great place to live, but to visit as well. Its just the right size, but full of fun, sights and bites! Situated on the mouth of the Casco Bay, visitors can find lodgings in Portland with ocean views, walking distance to so much, even ferry boats to explore the islands, or just indulge in city life and some of the best restaurants in New England.

There are many things to do in Portland, Maine that only include the typical city scene checking out new boutiques, concerts, bars and restaurants, but there’s tons of outdoor experiences too.Casco Bay Ferry

Embark on Casco Bay Ferries and tour the islands of Casco Bay. Some islands also have bike rentals – like Peaks and Long Island – to tour around the island or reach a nearby beach. The ferry ride itself can also be an adventure as the Casco Bay Lines often have events or sunset cruises to enjoy. Summertime, take the ferry to Peaks Island for Reggae Fest on Sundays.

Ride your bike or walk the Back Bay loop. Here, you can also play tennis at the nearby tennis court or pick up some snacks at the Hannaford across the street for a picnic at the park. From the walkway on the I-295 bridge section, you get a great view of the Back Bay area.

Visit Cape Elizabeth for picnicking in Fort Williams park. Here, you can take a walk around the large park estate and visit the Portland Headlight as well.

Go to Munjoy Hill to climb Portland Observatory, have lunch or dinner at great local cafes, then walk along the Eastern Promenade. Nearby, you could visit the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum which has affordable ticket rates.

See a Sea Dogs game at Hadlock Field. Players like Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Kevin Millar have played at Hadlock Field, a Minor League team for the Boston Red Sox, so you’re likely to see some sluggers at the Sea Dogs

Walk the Old Port and Art District areas in Portland to shop boutiques, antique shops, comic book stores, and craft shops between Commercial and Congress Street.

Portland’s First Friday Art Walk is a must for art lovers.

Night life? Portland Maine has a thriving club scene in the Old Port along Wharf Street for those who want to dance the night away. You can also check out plays or concerts at the State Theater or Port City Music Hall.

Maine Brew Bus tours take you around the Portland breweries, a fun way to let someone else drive while you drink in the scene and local craft brews. See our Guide to Maine Breweries.

What sets Portland Maine apart from most cities like nearby Boston or Manchester  is that it still retains a small town atmosphere, quite walkable and friendly,  reminding you that you’re not in a place surrounded by strangers, but friends you haven’t met yet. You even feel a sense of safety walking the streets at night. Don’t be surprised if you happen upon a friendly conversation while dining out at one of Portland’s restaurants.

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

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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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Lobster boat in Riggs Cove Maine

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

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

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

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

    Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net

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