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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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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Best Time to Visit Maine

merchants-row-sailing (6)What’s the best month in Maine?

People ask when’s the best time to visit Maine? Well, there’s a reason and a season for everyone (some love the peace and solitude of January – lol)  but if you are looking for the best beach weather, it’s a  meteorological dice roll: June, July, August.

June has super long days and the summah Moody Beachfolk haven’t arrived en masse just yet. But July is jam-packed with Maine’s best festivals and fun from the 4th of July on, accompanied by great beach weather. August is a bit misunderstood, hard to pinpoint and predict. Some August days the mercury rises to the 90’s, but then the evening cools to a comfortable – even cold – 50-degrees which is just perfect for sleeping under the covers. End of August is awesome, as families go back to school sports and activities,  hotel and resort lodging frees up and beaches stretch open for anyone able to extend their summer late into the month prior to the perennially busy Labor Day.

great-heron-fall-flightThen there’s September, often subject to an “Indian summer”. Can we still say that? Its not P.C., politically correct, but its historical and hard to describe Maine in September in other words. Beautiful summer-like days in September you can have the whole beach to sun yourself, the ocean remains warm in temp, while the first hint of Maine’s spectacular foliage touches the trees. September can be stunning, sunny and fun.

Maine SkiingIf you love snow, and winter sports, then March is the month – as a season’s worth of snow meets sunshine, warmer temps and oft brilliant blue sky… beautiful for skiing, snow shoeing or snowmobiling. Ice fishing and cross-country skiing require sustained cold, so January and February are the chilliest months in Maine typically.

If you are a bargain hunter. November, January and May offer the best lodging deals –call it the shoulder season, the off-season, there’s a reason for that.

Beach walkersWe recognize we haven’t answered your question, “what’s the best time to come to Maine?” Its kinda like asking a Mainer for directions, “you can’t get there from here“. All the months in Maine, like a cull lobster (only one claw) or a chick (weighing between 1 pound to a pound and a quarter lobster) is better than no Maine lobster at all, ayuh.

The beauty of a Maine vacation is you don’t know exactly what you are going to get…

Boon Island

You may have sun, could be foggy,  a bit of rain or a rainbow – potentially all in one day. Check the forecast, pack a sweatshirt and jacket, hat, sunglasses and wet suit or swimsuit. And be prepared for a wicked good time!

See our Maine weather guide, and see our lodging guide as you plan your visit to Maine!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net
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How to Pack for Summer Vacation in Maine?

Ramshead Lighthouse in Boothbay MaineThere’s a reason Maine is called Vacationland… there is so much to sea and do in the northeastern most state. It’s also nicknamed “the way life should be.” So a Maine vacation is a must, and Maine’s best weather is in summer. The only remaining question is, what to pack for summer vacation in Maine? Here is our Guide to packing for a Maine vacation:

1. Pack layers. They say in Maine “if you don’t like the weather in Maine, wait a minute.” Summer in Maine, temps can vary from 40’s at night to high 80’s in the day – see our weather and tides page. Sun, rain and fog can brighten and dampen your spirits, often all in one day. Especially on the Maine coast, fog banks can roll in bringing cool raw air (we call that “chowdah weatha”), but the sun can beam in making for a perfect beach day. The only question is “whether” you are prepared? Dress in layers, have a waterproof shell, and a fleece.

2. Comfy shoes are key, as you visit rugged lighthouses, walk the cobblestone streets of the Old Port in Portland, and walk beaches that range from sandy stretches like Old Orchard Beach and Ogunquit, to rocky beaches of Colony Beach in Kennebunkport and the midcoast.

3. Bring sunscreen. Just because Maine is far north, 43-degrees latitude, doesn’t mean the UV index doesn’t come after you. You don’t want to look like a cooked Maine lobster on vacation. Particular on the water, the refraction from of the sun’s rays is intense – but you might not sense it with the cool sea breeze in your face. Cover up or you could get burned to a crisp.

4. “Sweatah weathah” is a Maine expression for the cool summer evenings when the sun sets and the air cools. You’ll want to be reaching for a “sweatah”, a shall y’all, or even bettah – a fleece from the aforementioned LL Beanah. See our guide to Maine expression and slang so you can sound “local.”

5. Outfits don’t need to be matchy matchy like in The City. Maine has its own sense of style, or lack thereof. If you look to fancy, that might freak the local folks out. Prepare yourself for the Maine culture with these fun Maine facts instead.

6. Or buy a tacky t-shirt to flaunt that you “aint from around here”. A Bah Harbah t-shirt or a “Vacation like a President” Bush #41 or #43 from Kennebunkport are perfect identifiers. This way locals will know they should treat you “special.” Now you can pay extra for that lobster roll, or private fishing chartah.

7. Swimsuits… you may not have the courage to stick your toe in the Atlantic, never mind actually “swim” in the ocean – but bring a swimsuit along anyways. You may encounter a nice ocean view hot tub like the one overlooking Kennebunk Beach at the Seaside Inn, or at the Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit perched over picturesque Bald Head Cliff.

8. Shop– If you didn’t pack properly, no worries – just make a trip to the Beaner… LL Bean is open 24/7/365 and sells everything you could possibly need for hunting, fishing, boating, the beach, biking, kayaking or just looking casual and crisp in the Signature wear Maine style. LL Bean is in Freeport, a century old staple, along with other factory outlets stores. In Kittery you have the Kittery Trading Post loaded with similar outdoor wear.

Camden Harbor View9. Backpacks and duffle luggage are better than rollie suitcases. You look like a city slicker rolling in with your black carryon bag with wheels, bumping along the salty old streets of Portland or Boothbay.

10. A Camera, iphone – whatever. Take lots of Maine selfies to make your friends at home jealous. Maine has so many gorgeously scenic settings, hundreds of beaches, seventy lighthouses, over 3,000 miles of coastline, beautiful lakes, rivers and mountains. Post pictures on Facebook – feasting on Maine lobster with clams and butter, or sunset from a charter sailboat, on Instagram to make the folks at home instantly envious.

See our Maine Lodging Guide hotels for places to stay during your Summer vacation in Maine

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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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Maine Maple Sunday

Maine Maple SundayMaine may be the pine tree state, but it also has its fair share of maple trees, which is why everyone knows Maine’s Maple Syrup is the top of the line, mouthwatering sugary treat. With the advent of Spring, everyone knows maple trees are ready to be tapped for syrup. Or as us Mainers like to call it: liquid gold. Maine Maple Sunday is an annually celebrated event throughout the state and marked on every Mainer’s calendar.

Maine Maple Sunday typically is held Sunday of March following the first day of Spring. Usually, you will find farms offering free syrup samples, treats, tours of the farm or sugar house where you’ll learn about the process of sugar-making. Many towns throughout Maine celebrate Maine Maple Sunday including Skowhegan in Kennebec Moose River Valley. The Maple Festival hosted in Skowhegan features a week-long event with talent shows, pub crawls, sap collection, concerts, and more; but most importantly: maple treats galore!

You’ll find most farms and towns celebrating the event are located largely in the Southern half of the state including Southern Maine, Mid Coast and the Western Lakes and Mountains region. Maple Sunday is a great time of year to visit Maine while the surge of summer tourists have yet to come… uncrowded and beautiful with the hint of the spring flora green.

Join us for Maine Maple Sunday–tap your own tree, or bring home some of Maine’s homemade maple syrup!

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Lobster Sexual? Maine Men trend setters & record breakers

COOLLOBSTERDown East Magazine  introduced the term –  LobsterSexual – a hot Maine guy who is causing a fashion stir when not catching crustacean from Maine’s icy cold waters.  That’s right, to top of the LumberSexual in his plaid shirt and woolies, Maine lobstermen are now the fashionista according to Maine’s leading magazine, wearing PVC bib pants, rubber deck boots and wool beanie.

Well, the Maine lobster industry deserve some props, though maybe not for fashion, but for their record season. Maine lobstermen had a record year in 2016, hauling 131 million pounds, $533 million worth of the popular crustacean.

lobsterThe Crustaceans biz is crushing it!

Maine’s lobster catch has never seen such heights as in recent years. In the 1960s, the annual catch hovered around 20 million pounds, according to the Department of Marine Resources. It wasn’t until 1991 when the fishery cracked the 30 million-pound mark, 40 million in 1997, then 50 million in 1999. In 2002, lobstermen hauled in 63.6 million pounds,  today’s lobster catch is typically just above 100 million.

So Maine lobstermen are hot, record breaking, on fire… trending #LobsterSexual! Have your fresh Maine lobster shipped by some hot lobsterman to your door today – the lobster – not the lobsterman…

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