Category Archives: Maine Towns

The Legend of Boon Island, Maine Mutiny, Mystery, Cannibalism

Boon Island

Boon Island off the York, ME coast

Maine maritime history is as deep and filled with fish tales and folklore as any of the colonial states, just as sensational as Salem’s witches. Maine is home to horror story author Steven King, haunted houses on Summer Street in Kennebunk AND cannibalism!? Creepy stuff.

Boon Island may be the most fascinating and graphic of our State’s seafaring scariness because it’s not just hearsay–it’s true! Dun dun DUN! Here’s the story that continues to invite intrigue and inspired the Travel Channel to visit the remote Boon Island to film the freaky things that happened there back in 1710. Continue reading

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

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!

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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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Spring in Maine – ski, bike, boat, beach!

Southern Maine coastSpring in Maine means many things to many people. For some its the best part of a pretty fantastic ski season – ski resorts Sugarloaf, Sundy River, and Saddleback stay open into early May with phenomenal snow conditions.

Maine SkiingBut for others, completely tired of the snow and Maine’s long winter, spring means beach walks, biking, golf, and getting your boat ready for summer. The Maine whitewater rafting season should be epic this year too!

Carriage Road, AcadiaSpring is also a time to get outdoors and active, in the event you packed on a few pounds hibernating in January and February. As the roads are clearing, and snow banks are melting, road bikes and Maine cyclists are appearing. Trail riding and mountain biking would be premature, read: muddy,  still until the grounds thaws and dries out from the winter’s snow pack.

As tree blossoms bud, and the grass turns green, Maine becomes refreshed and beautiful. Spring is also a great time to escape to Maine and get a great deal on lodging and dining in seaside towns like Kennebunkport, Ogunquit and Wells Beach Maine.

Boothbay Harbor, MainePlan a spring getaway to the southern Maine Coast, Kennebunk has a wonderful Farmer’s Market every Saturday, Maine’s best waterfront restaurants are open with decks and patios – just bring a jacket. You can hit the greens at Maine’s golf courses, too – even though they may not be perfectly green yet. It’s a confusing time of year, anything goes –  bike, ski, walk the Maine beaches, or get your boat ready for Maine boating season…but be sure to Visit Maine.

See our Maine Lodging Guide

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Maine Reality TV – Maine Cabin Masters

We love all things Maine, that’s why we have this Maine website dedicated to guiding visitors, and locals too, on the best of Maine, and the latest news from Vacationland, the way life should be, land of lighthouses, lobsters and wicked laughs (Maine humah)…

Have you seen the latest Maine meme gone all HGTV? Maine Cabin Masters…it’s actually a home show on DIY & Great American Country Network – GAC. It’s hilarious, but homey, clever but constructive. So Maine…

North Country Rivers CabinsIts fix it and flip it gone backwoods, back roads, down east and down home Maine. This show features a Maine building crew that renovates cabins, cottags and camps in Maine… this group of genial guys are legit, lovable, working hard, logging long day with a strong work ethic, and they’re funny from their ayuh accents, to their Carhartts paired with crocs, LL Bean fleeces, and quirky Yankee work style. So Maine… and so are the cabin projects they tackle in each episode…

Northern Outdoors These Mainahs drive trucks, ATVS, snowmobiles, 4x4s, whatever it takes to get to remote cabins that need a redo, they bring supplies in on a skidder, or a Skidoo, they shop local for woods and goods, all the while chatting and cussing and cajoling each other with classic Maine colloquialisms.  Its worth watching just for the vernacular, but they manage some wicked cool cabin transformations too- on lakes, the coast, upta hunting camp.

Moosehead Hills CabinsThe premise, Chase Morrill, and his family, his sister Ashely Morrill, Ryan Eldridge, Lance Gatcomb, Jared “Jedi” Baker and Matt “Dixie” Dix take on funky old cabins in disrepair, or cottages and camps that need to be moved out of the way that they take away and repurpose. Chase resembles a Kris Kringle or a young ginger haired Grizzly Adams.

One Maine Cabin Masters episode they take an old potting shed cabin, shuffle it piece by piece off the property, including manually lifting and carrying away the roof, and remodeling it as a romantic Maine wedding gift…

Loon LodgeOur family’s camp on Little Sebago Lake would be perfect, love to see them redneck re-do, remodel this century old camp into something special… but it has its real challenges since its an island, connected only by a 50’ footbridge.  The property is spectacular, surrounded by water (duh, its an island) but the centerpiece camp is showing its age and needs some reno. Their mantra is “no cabin reno is too tough.” Together they rescue, revitalize treasured homes across the Pine Street State.

Catch a Maine Cabin Masters episode on DIY network Mondays at 10 EST, between Treehouse Guys and Love Yurts. Its like Extreme Home Makeover but without Hollywood actors, its hometown Maine locals doing the heavy lifting, bringing the laughs and love of building Down East style to this TV series.

See our Maine Lodging Guide and the best Maine Camps, Cabins and Cottages

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Boothbay – a great Maine place to stay!

Boothbay Harbor BoatBoothbay Harbor is a great Maine town – coastal, compact, cute with a cluster of great shops, fun cafes, and a bunch of boat excursions leaving from the waterfront Piers. Boothbay Harbor is an ideal destination by car or by boat – and its a better bargain than say Kennebunkport or Bar Harbor, lodging is plentiful typically without the big price tag. The locals are friendly and the opportunities for shopping, sailing, and exploring are as abundant as lobsters in summah upta Maine.

Boothbay Harbor StoresBoothbay is a great walking town, with a dozen cool Maine craft shops in close vicinity. The village of Boothbay Harbor is both historic and hilly, with charming streets lined with jewelry and art stores, candy and ice cream stands, plus just enough good restaurants serving fresh Maine seafood – several offer views of the harbor. Interestingly Ports of Italy is most popular, twin sister restaurant to Ports of Italy in Kennebunk.

Ramshead Lighthouse in Boothbay MaineAs you are out walking, visit the Boothbay Opera House, see what’s playing, and then cross the historic wooden footbridge that spans the upper end of the harbor. Definitely walk down to the waterfront Piers 8-1 (let us know if you find Piers 5-2?) and inquire about boat excursions that cruise out of Boothbay’s pretty harbor, to see Squirrel Island, Ram Island Light and the Cuckholds Light by lobster tour boat or sailboat. You may also glimpse harbor seals and Maine birds on your boat tour.

Tugboat Restaurant in MaineFor lodging in Boothbay, The Topside on the top of the hill has been beautifully redecorated, the rooms are fresh and modern but still cozy, the Main House has a few rooms, and offers a lavish full breakfast to all guests, along with common space with a living room and fireplace for cocktails, games and socializing.

For a more traditional stay right on the waterfront amid the hubbub of Boothbay, the Tugboat Inn is old fashioned with an ideal location steps to the shops, pubs and boating excursions that leave the working harbor. Tugboat even has its own marina on property if you arrive by boat.

Lobster boat in MaineWe have stayed at Tugboat Inn both by land and by seas. Tugboat’s Marina has nice docks which include power, cable and fresh water, an easy walk to downtown Boothbay. The rooms at Tugboat for land lubbers are casual, modest but comfy – ask for a Harborview deck.  Tugboat Inn has its own restaurant where breakfast is served to guests complimentary, they also serve lunch in dinner in the actual Tugboat, now grounded, with Maine comfort food and water views from the Upper Deck dining room. The Lower Deck Lounge has entertainment many summer nights and outside seating overlooking the marina.

Boothbay Harbor ShoppingThe Bar-muda Triangle is what locals dub the drinking circuit of Boothbay’s best bars along the waterfront. Mine Oyster is a great place to start your Boothbay bar crawl, with a cocktail and oysters from the Maine raw bar, then head upstairs to the casual as it sounds McSeagulls where there is often live music and great upper floor views of the harbor town. Herringbones is another waterhole on the Pier, along with the appropriately named Pier Pub which was loaded with locals on the warm July Saturday afternoon we visited.

Boothbay Harbor view in Adirondack chairsFor a quieter place to stay near Boothbay, we recommend East Boothbay – out on a spectacular peninsula just 10 minutes from town. Here, the Ocean Point Inn is a great old resort property with cottages and waterview rooms plus a nice restaurant featuring fresh seafood and fantastic sunsets over the water that are to die for. This setting on Ocean Point Drive is one of the prettiest in Maine.

Lobster dinner in Boothbay Maine

Enjoy your stay at Boothbay and tell ‘em VisitMaine.net steered you here.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2018

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Maine can be Fancy too!

There is more to Maine than camping – roughing it in the great outdoors in a remote campsite. And while we’re on the subject, let’s do away with the stereotype; most of us are not missing teeth. Maine is a large state with diverse lodging choices, rustic to luxury hotels and resorts. Browse luxury lodges in Maine, or continue reading to learn more about luxury lodges you’ll find here. Continue reading

Why we Love Old Orchard Beach

Top 10 Reasons to Love Old Orchard Beach

1. The Pier

OOB Pier

Old Orchard Beach Pier

Hosting celebrities including Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, the famous Old Orchard Beach Pier extending 500 feet into the Atlantic is lined by boutique shops, restaurants and even a night club.

2. The Beach

Beach walkers

Boasting 7 miles of beach, its little wonder why Old Orchard Beach along with its vacation amenities hug the sandy shoreline. Both the northern (known as Scarborough Beach)  and southern (known as Ferry Beach in Saco) ends of Old Orchard Beach away from the Pier epicenter, are quieter areas for vacationers offering peace and solitude despite the hub bub of the vibrant seaside town.

3. Palace Playland

Old Orchard Beach amusement parkPalace Playland makes Old Orchard Beach even more perfect for family vacations. You have the beach, nearby restaurants, ice cream shacks, arcade games, park rides so you won’t have to hear the kids exclaim that they’re hungry, or hot, or bored. And after you’re screaming in a combination of terror and delight on the tilt-a-whirl, you can also take pause in the scenic landscape of the coast.

4. Outdoor recreation

Tidal Salt MarshYup, in Old Orchard Beach, you can also revel in the great outdoors from coastal boat excursions or fishing along the beach. Just minutes away from town at the Scarborough Marsh, you can rent a kayak or canoe and leave behind the sights and sounds of town and hear nothing but the wind and the see nothing but wilderness.

5. Great Place to Stay and Play

Old Orchard Beach truly has something for everyone. Vacationers can choose to find lodging in Old Orchard Beach at a hotel near the beach, gain some independence in a vacation rental cottage, or even bring the RV or pitch a tent in the many campgrounds right in town. The only sad part of vacationing in Old Orchard is leaving… ah, love is heartache.

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright 2018 VisitMaine.net

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