Maine Humah…conversations with locals

bass-harbor-maine (25)Mainers are funny people, not always funny like LOL – more like odd, peculiar, even perplexing. They aren’t typically wicked chatty, but they have their hilarious expressions, colorful colloquialisms, and their favorite topics – mostly the weathah, their lobstah boats, and their mothahs. See our Guide to Maine accents, slang and vernacular…

Boothbay Harbor viewYa mothah is usually your woman, your wife, your significant othah… not your actual mom. Mainers don’t share much, but when they do its typically laced with sarcasm – it’s wicked pissah – leaving you wondering if you got the straight scoop. It’s a mad Maine skill and treasured talent to confuse the folks from away.

Cape Porpoise Lighthouse MaineBitchin’ about the Maine weathah or their mothah is just an example of hot topics, that’s “hot” not Haut pronounced “ho” like in Isle au Haut upta Penobscot.

Mainahs are not, howevah, good at giving directions… “can’t get theya from heah” for example. We have all heard that joke. All humor is based in some reality. I have heard Mainers give directions such as, “go down the road a piece”…or “if you see Jake’s barn – you’ve gone too far and you bettah turn your cah ‘round.”

bucks-harbor-dog-ride4Ayuh, on a recent trip to Bucks Harbor, Bucks Hahbah… I was out for a stroll in the small (understatement) community just up the hill from the marina. I paused at the one intersection in town, no traffic light, to let the oncoming car go. He stopped, rolled own his window and asked “where you headin’?” I said “I’m just out exploring Bucks Harbor.” He said, “can I help you find something?” So I inquired, “what else is there to see here?” He replied, “well, this is pretty much it.”

bucks-jhjarobrmaine5My next local encounter was down on the waterfront. I told this Mainer my funny conversation from moments before. He said “yeah, not much happens here. Sometimes there’s a farmers market on Tuesday.” I replied that I’d seen the sign on the bulletin board at the general store in town. He replied “actually the market is every Tuesday, but I only go sometimes.” Guess that makes it a sometimes fahmahs mahket.

Enjoy your timMaine signse upta Maine. If you have to ask for directions, be ready for anything. Maine, the way life ought to be.

See our tips on Maine slang, vernacular and vocabulary, and more fun and funny facts about Maine.

For Maine lodging recommendations, see our Maine’s top hotels and Maine’s best resorts. For great places to eat in Maine, see our Top Maine restaurants page.

By Heather Burke  – Copyright by VisitMaine.net

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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

Maine’s Annual Restaurant Week March 1-12, 2020

Maine has become a hot foodie destination in recent years. In fact, Bon Appetit recognized Portland as a top culiary destination. Portland, Camden and Kennebunkport have attracted top chefs and top dining reviews. Maine has also become a place for food fests, like Harvest to the Harbor each fall, the Kennebunkport Festival each June, and the annual Maine Restaurant Week in March which started in 2008. Here’s your invitation to see and taste the best plates of the Pine Tree State with special multi-course price-fixed menus at Maine’s best dining spots and Maine top chefs who are passionate about creating Maine cuisine!

In additon to special prix fixe menus at particpating Maine restaurant, a few signture foodie events include an Incredible Breakfast Cook  Off in Portland – where one chef is award Champion of the Crave, and Spirit Quest – a progressive cocktail crawl with paired bites tour with a map of participating bars and dining spots in Portland. Prices for Maine Restaurant Week are typically $25, $35 and up to $45 for three courses, not including beverages, tax or gratuity. What’s fun about Restaurant Week, besides the delicious cuisine at Maine’s best restaurants, is meeting fellow foodies in your travels. You can dine out nightly and meet new people who share your passion for fine food and wine, also to try new venues like Cliff House Nubb’s and Tiller, and the usually too-pricey White Barn Inn.

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

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

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

Casco Bay FerryPortland & Cape Elizabeth Restaurants:
Back Bay Grill – Portland
Boone’s Fish & Oyster Room, and the Grill Room and Corner Room – Portland
Cumberland Club – Portland
Davids, Davids 388 and Davids Opus – Portland
El Rayo Cantina & El Rayo Taqueria Portland
Emilitsa – Portland
Eve’s at the Garden Portland
Evo Kitchen & bar – Portland
Five Fifty-Five – Portland
Gather – Yarmouth
Good Table Restaurant – Cape Elizabeth
Hartstone Inn – Camden
Hot Suppa – Portland
Hugos’ – Portland
Karafuto – Camden
Liquid Riot – Portland
Little Tap House – Portland
Local 188 – Portland
Natalie’s – Camden
North Point- Portland
Petite Jacqueline – Portland
Portland Meatball Co – Portland
Portland Pie Company – Portland
Ri Ra Irish Pub – Portland
Ribollita – Portland
Robert’s Maine Grill – Kittery
Sea Glass Restaurant – Inn by the Sea- Cape Elizabeth
Solo Italiano – Portland
Sur Lie Restaurant Portland
Timbers Steakhouse – Portland
Twenty Milk Street – Portland
Union at the Press Hotel – Portland
Vinland  – Portland
Vignola Cinque Terre – Portland
Waypoint – Portland
White Barn – Kennebunk Beach

Freeport, Falmouth & Yarmouth:
Bueno Loco -Falmouth
Gather – Yarmouth
Cuckholds LighthouseBrunswick, Lewiston & Camden Dining:
Brunswick Tavern – Brunswick
Natalies at Camden Harbour Inn – Camden
Hartstone Inn – Camden
Fish Bones American Grill – Lewiston
Lakes & Mountains:
Blaze- Bangor
Tarratine – Bangor
Timbers Bar- bangor

See our favorite happy hours in Portland,  Maine Lodging Guide for overnight hotels and Maine’s best BnB’s to stay at during your Foodies Tour of Maine

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Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2020

Fresh Cut Maine Christmas Trees

lobster-trap-treeWhat could possible look and smell more beautiful than a fresh cut Maine Christmas Tree in your home for the holidays?! After all, Maine is the Pine Tree State. All over our big wooded state are Christmas tree farms and wild fields full of beautiful White or Blue Spruce, Balsam, Fraser or Douglas fir, Norfolk Pine, and many more species of evergreen trees.

Maine pine trees are gorgeous and would make a great addition to your holiday decor. Driving around Maine in late November and early December, you will find fresh cut Christmas trees for sale in every town, at school yard for kids’ fundraisers, at fire departments and even at garden centers and grocery stores. These are local trees, relatively freshly cut. Many Maine trees are shipped to New York City, Florida and elsewhere given Maine’s pine tree abundance.

Did you know LL Bean provides all the wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery at Christmas time? Made in Maine!  Maine is a proud contributor to Wreaths Across America each holiday season.

kennebunk treeIf you want to assure you get a very fresh Maine tree that well stay healthy in your home through January, you may want to tromp through the forest and cut you own to assure its freshness. The weekend after Thanksgiving and the first Saturday of December are very popular times to get Christmas trees. You may even happen upon holidays festivals in Maine like the Lighting of the Nubble in York and Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport.

Be prepared when you go to cut your own tree down, usually you should bring your own saw, rope and strapping to tie it to your car roof securely, and gloves to handle the prickly boughs. Be sure to measure your ceiling height before you go chop down an 8 foot tree.
As a bonus, you can usually gain us some extra greens and boughs to use as swags after you have trimmed your tree to the right size. You can’t however just hack someone’s tree from their front year. You do need permission or to pay at a local cut your own tree farm.

prelude-horse-carriageSo we have compiled this list of Maine Christmas Tree Farms, all members of Maine Christmas Tree Association. Some of these Tree Farms are very festive around the holidays, like Holmes Tree Farm in Kennebunk, with horse drawn sleigh rides, serving candy canes and cocoa for the kids, and offering to wrap the tree in twine to make hauling it into your house easier for mom and dad.

Maine Christmas Tree Farms
Balsam Meadow Farm    Lincoln    207-794-2129
Balsam Ridge        Raymond    207-655-4474
Boiling Spring Tree Farm    Dayton    207-499-7919
Bond Mountain Acres    West Newfield    207-793-4658
Carpenter Tree Farm    Springvale    207-324-6869
Carpenter’s Tree Farm    Old Town Me    207-356-4862
Cheechako Farms    Buxton    207-929-3961
Christmas Tree Bazaar    Nobleboro    207-563-5700
Christmas Tree Ranch    Amherst    207-409-6488
Dalou Farms        St. Albans    207-938-2955
Davis Stream Tree Farm    Washington    207-845-2544
Evergreen Farms Choose And Cut    Waldoboro    207-832-5385
Fishers Christmas Tree Farm    Belfast    207-338-6098
Gooleys Christmas Tree Farm    Farmington    207-778-2368
Hanscome’s Tree Farm    North Yarmouth    207-831-2311
Heaven’s View Christmas Tree Farm    Brooks    207-548-2221
Holmes Tree Farm    Kennebunk    207-985-3778
Hummer Tree Farm    Bath    207-443-5944
Kings Mountain Christmas Trees        Orrington    207-852-6699
Mcclure’s Tree Nursery    Kingfield    207-265-4931
Merry Christmas Trees    Windham    207-318-2012
Mingo’s Evergreen Products Inc.    Calais    207-454-7411
Moose Hill Farm    Fayette    207-897-3093
Mystic Valley Farm    East Dixfield
North Parish Christmas Tree Farm    Turner    207-225-3382
Nutkin Knoll Farm    Newburgh    207-234-7268
Old Farm Christmas Place    Cape Elizabeth    207-799-0096
Oldfield Farm        Vassalboro    207-445-3023
Penobscot Evergreens    Bucksport    207-825-8729
Pinkham’s Tree Farm    Vassalboro    207-445-4827
Piper Mtn Christmas Trees    Newburgh    207-234-4300    Available
Pleasant View Tree Farm    Hodgdon    207-532-4769    Available
Rice Tree Farm        Durham    207-926-3622
Richards Christmas Tree Farm    Mapleton    207-764-6093    Available
Stadig’s Christmas Tree    Wallagrass    1-800-338-1587
Staples Christmas Trees    South Windham    207-892-7231
Trees To Please    Norridgewock    207-522-0545
Vining’s Christmas Trees    Cumberland    207-829-5723
Weir Tree Farms    Colebrook    603-237-5273

Consider making a fun weekend out of cutting your own Maine Christmas Tree. Stay in Kennebunk or Wells and enjoy the holiday decorations, before bringing your beautiful tree home. Some Maine lodging properties offer a free tree special with your night’s lodging –kennebunkport-christmas-tree  a certificate to cut your own tree at a local Christmas tree farm nearby. Remember that part of the joy is purveying the not-so-perfect pine tree then transforming into a your own personal thing of beauty with your family ornaments and traditions… just like Charlie Brown. Merry Christmas. Enjoy your Maine tree and may you and your family have a very joyful, pine-scented holiday! – VisitMaine.net

See our Maine Lodging Guide

Copyright 2019 VisitMaine.net

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Snowmobile Maine

“Winter is Coming” and it is time to be planning your snowmobile trip in Maine. Snowmobiling in this great state is vast, beautiful , exciting and fun! Maine has over 13,500 miles of snowmobile trails. The further you move away from the coast, toward the Lakes and Mountains of Maine, the more you’ll see snow and sledders. At the peak of winter, you’ll see an interesting ratio of cars to snowmobiles parked at restaurants, motels, and stores – leaning in favor of sleds or as Mainers call them – snowmachines.

If you’re not from Maine, it could be news to you that many companies in the North East take their corporate retreats during the “snowmobile season”. And why not? Maine has gorgeous log camps, lakeside resorts, and motels right on the trails, overlooking the immense snow tipped mountains and frozen lakes. Plenty of resorts also offer snowmobile rentals as well as tour guides. You can also hire guide that will escort you to your cabin. Continue reading

Three Dories and a scarecrow in Kennebunkport, ME

Fall for Maine Food

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

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

Maine is famed for the following food:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright & Photos 2019 VisitMaine.net

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Beach walkers

Maine Beaches

Planning a vacation near the Maine beaches, but don’t know where to start? A Google search on Maine beaches can populate an overwhelming amount of information. Enter: our Visit Maine lodging directory. We provide a guide to visitors all over Maine to plan their vacation.

Maine’s coast is abounding with long stretches of beautiful beaches, to rugged OOB Piercoastline, and marinas and transient moorings if you are coming to Maine by boat. Maine has so many beautiful beaches, it would be hard to see all of them in one trip. Whether you prefer sunbathing on a beach recliner, surfing or stand up paddleboard, crashing through the waves on horseback, or walking along the beach in search of shells and beach glass, Maine beaches have something for everyone.

Palace Playland view from OOB PierAmong the more popular beach attractions in Maine is Old Orchard Beach. What separates Old Orchard Beach from the rest of Maine’s beaches is not just the 7 mile stretch of sandy beach, but the pairing of The Pier that jetties out of Old Orchard Beaches resort town center and the seaside amusement park beseeching the youngsters.

For a more calm quiet beach setting, simply head to the northern stretch at Scarborough Beach or further south to Saco and Ferry Beach.

Wells Beach, MainePopham Beach State Park is located at the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine’s Mid-Coast region. During low tides, kids can splash and play in tidal pools or take a walk on the sandbars. The grounds have picnic areas with grills. For those looking for hiking opportunities and wildlife watching, Popham is an ideal location. Truly, Popham Beach is one of Maine’s most elegant and unspoiled beaches.

Bi Plane Tour AcadiaAcadia National Park is Maine’s most visited attraction and here on Mt Desert Island you will find the bustling seaside village of Bar Harbor, and Sand Beach – one of the clearest coolest swimming spots along Maine’s long coastline.

Enjoy our beach directory to find lodging near your Maine beach vacation spot. We’ll direct you to a cozy bed and breakfast, an oceanfront hotel, cottages that are pet friendly, or campsites the kids will enjoy.

Be sure to stay tuned to our blogs to get more ideas on which Maine beach is the right match for your vacation in Maine. Our lodging guide will provide the rest.

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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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