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. All of these 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 town…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 A
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

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Maine marijuana friendly state

lighthouse_burnt_island2Pot friendly Potland… South Portland Maine voted to be pot friendly. In the 2014 election, South Portland approved a citizen-initiated referendum declaring it legal for adults over 21 years old to possess small amounts of marijuana for private, recreational use. In 2016, Maine medicinal marijuana is legalized, but leaves the jurisdiction, distribution and ordinances to the local level. What does this mean for Maine tourism? Can you toke on your trip to Maine? Light up at Maine lighthouses? Enjoy weed on Maine’s waterfront? Stay tuned…

Marijuana possession remains illegal under keep-off-grass-fall federal law, and local police say enforcement won’t change. But Maine’s marijuana friendly initiative provides leniency in Portland for recreational pot use in private. It also serve as an intro to a future state change, and indicates Maine citizen’s appetite for a more liberal view of cannabis consumption.

Portland Maine’s 2013 marijuana referendum was the first East Coast city vote for pot use. Colorado and Washington have embraced new marijuana tolerant laws statewide, and Colorado has capitalized on cannabis tourism. 420 Tours and pot bakeries are popping up all over Colorado. In Colorado ski towns and tourist destination there are weed-cafes, hemp stores and baked-bakeries. Tourism is up in Colorado because of their weed-leniency. Colorado has brought in $34.8 million in marijuana taxes in just one year with its pot-friendly policy.

Maine Maple SundayImagine the pot possibilities in Maine, a state already high on taxes, getting more tax revenue from those getting high. Wouldn’t blueberry baked pot brownies be a hot item? How about Maine marijuana-laced maple syrup? Pot stuffed twice baked potatoes from the County?

Will Maine’s marijuana tolerance change the landscape of Vacationland? Can you get baked at Maine beaches? Can you light up at Portland Headlight? #Lol. No. Recreational Maine marijuana use needs to be done in the privacy of your resident in Portland. There are not pot friendly hotels like Maine has pet friendly hotels. Whether we will see Maine 420 tours and Maine marijuana bakeries and pot infused food products in the future remains to be seen and voted by the folks of Maine.

Allagash Brewery freezerSince the majority of voters in Portland and South Portland and Portland chose to stop punishing adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana, this sets a precedence for pot tolerance to come in other places in Maine. However Lewiston voted down their pot-friendly proposal in 2014.  Regardless, these Maine marijuana initiatives bring forth the public dialogue about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol, booze is already regulated and taxed lucratively for the state of Maine, along with tobacco and other “sin taxes.”

Pot proponents in Maine want to bring the question of taxing and regulating marijuana to voters statewide in 2016. So put that in your hot box, I mean ballot box for 2016, the pot and presidential election. Maine, the way life should be…pot friendly?

See our Maine Lodging Guide

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Winter is Coming: 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

Haunted Places in Maine

Hay Roll CatHappy Halloween…nothing like a spooky holiday to bring to mind ghosts, goblins, spirits and hauntings. Maine is home to many legendary landmarks, inns and lighthouses – and with history comes hauntings. Often older homes have spirits, those still roaming the earth for unrequited reasons. Some folks are freaked by ghost stories, while others are intrigued and want to know more, want to stay in spirited inns and participate in the paranormal. Others just don’t believe, to quote the Ghost Buster movie, “I ain’t scared of no ghosts.”

Nubble Lighthouse LightsFor those who love a spooky story, and want to lurk in a lighthouse that’s haunted or hope to stay in a spirited bed and breakfast in Maine, here is our list of some allegedly haunted places in Maine… pack your toothbrush, your flashlight and you big boy pants. Check in and check out the spirits as some of these Maine Inns! Boo!

Maine’s Haunted Inns, Landmarks and Lighthouses

wedding-cake-house3The Kennebunk Inn
Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport
Tides Inn on Goose Rocks Beach
The Shawmut Inn in Kennebunkport
Poland Spring Resort
Admiral Peary Inn in Fryeburg
1794 Watchtide by the Sea
Captain Lindsey House Inn
The 1898 Berry Manor Inn
LimeRock Inn
Fort William Henry in Colonial Pemaquid in Bristol
The East Wind Inn copy-portland-headlight.jpg
The 1804 Coach Stop Inn
The Lucerne Inn
Greenville Inn at Moosehead Lake

Happy Halloween from VisitMaine.net

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Corn Maze-ing in Maine

The fall season is at its peak at Halloween. For visitors coming to Maine in autumn, here is an a-maze-ing activity, aside from leaf peeping and harvest festivals. Corn mazes! Too corny for you?

Gorde and pumpkin displayTake  your family to a corn maze in Maine. Every year, corn maze designs are different, and every farmers corn maze is unique. Most mazers can spend close to an hour navigating through the stalks! No worries though, mazes are designed in two phases for an early exit halfway. And in all honesty, if you think you’re going to freak out, then just walk straight through the stalks until you find the end. No one has ever been lost in a corn maze in Maine.

Late fall is perfect for a weekend tour of Maine with off season pricing at most Maine hotels, inns and resorts.

The Portland Dining Scene – Fall Foodies in Maine

copy-copy-portland-headlight.jpgCalling all Maine foodies for the Harvest on the Harbor

Fall in Portland Maine is a great time to check out new restaurants. The crunch of crisp fall leaves under your feet on the Old Port’s cobblestone streets as you search out delicious new food offerings in Portland’s best restaurants. Portland has become quite a hub for top chefs, definitely the epicenter of the Maine cuisine scene, with Kennebunkport, Camden, Ogunquit, York and Kittery raising the bar in Maine with great dining spots.

Gorde and pumpkin displayA highlight to fall in Portland is the Harvest on the Harbor, an annual event of toasting Maine’s best culinary chefs, and flaunting the best Maine beers, wines and food.

Every year, Portland‘s Harvest on the Harbor benefits local charities, food banks and provides scholarships, so it’s an eat well, feel good deal. The mission of Harvest on the Harbor is “to promote Maine as a top culinary tourism destination to food-savvy travelers from Maine and around the world, and extend the traditional tourism season while increasing the economic impact for Maine businesses.” Sounds brilliant right, we can all raise a glass and a fork to that!

Allagash Brewery freezerHarvest on the Harbor takes place Oct 22-25, and the signature event is the Grand Tasting on the Harbor where guests have an opportunity to taste dishes from Maine’s best restaurants and meet the chef owners while sampling and sipping local Maine beers, wines and spirits with each chef creation. The venue is the very scenic Ocean Gateway building overlooking Portland harbor and the passing ships, ferries, even a view of Bug Light!

Another big draw is the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition since every Maine chef worth his or her salt wants to prepare the best lobster dish, especially in front of their peers! Union Chef Josh Berry won Maine Chef in 2016. Nonantum Resort of Kennebunkport won Maine Chef in 2015. Chef Stephen Richards of The World is Mine Oyster in Boothbay Harbor was named Maine Lobster Chef 2014. In 2013 Chef Chris Long, line cook at Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn won last, beating out his boss, and exec chef Jon Gaboric. Chef Chris Long made a winning dish of lobster poached in butter, served with grilled maitake and oyster mushrooms and a corn-and-parsnip ragout. Kerry Altiero from Café Miranda won in 2012.

Many of the Grand Tasting and Entertainment events sell out before the festival even starts. If you don’t get ticket to Harvest on the Harbor, then go enjoy dinner out at one of Portland’s amazing restaurants.

lobsterMaine top chefs participating in the Harvest on the Harbor Top Maine Lobster Chef Competitors are:

Alysia Zoidis -East End Cupcakes
Abby Freethy -Northwoods Gourmet Girl
Brandon Blethen, Robert’s Maine Grill
Brandon Hicks, Prentice Hospitality Group
Dwayne Whitelocke, Rocktide Inn & Restaurant
Chris Long, Natalie’s at The Camden Harbour Inn, 2013 winner
Chef Isaac Aldrich, Sebasco Harbor Resort
Lindsay Bradeen, The Phat Boys Café
Luke Cordes, The Porthole Restaurant & Pub
Margaret Salt Mclellan
Steve Richards, The World is Mine Oyster, 2014 winner

Plan you Maine foodie vacation and come to the coast to sample lobster, walk the beach and enjoy “the way life should be.”

See our Maine Lodging Guide and the Maine’s Top Restaurants

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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 in mid October around Columbus Day Weekend, but the kaleidoscope of colors starts in September and continues through the month of October. There are certain musts 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 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 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… 

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!  Bed and Breakfast

9. Pick the perfect Maine 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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Maine’s newest National Park?

Kayaking Penobscot Bay in Maine

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service, which includes Acadia National Park. What better birthday present than an expansion, and a new landmark in Maine?!  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis supported President Obama’s designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the first national monument to preserve the landscape and honor the history and culture of Maine’s North Woods. President Obama used the Antiquities Act to establish 87,500 acres of Acadia National Park Sign in Mainelands donated to the National Park Service by the Elliottsville Plantation, Inc., (EPI), including the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, one of the most pristine watersheds in the Northeast, according to the National Park Service.

Pond Island in Penobscot BayUS Secretary Jewell visited the national monument lands in Penobscot County, Maine, in August to celebrate the designation with state and local officials and members of the public. National Park Service staff will be on site to assist with the first steps to open the park.

“As the National Park Service begins a second century of conservation this week, the President’s designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument serves as an View at the top of Acadia National Parkinspiration to reflect on America’s iconic landscapes and historical and cultural treasures,” said Secretary Jewell. “Through this incredibly generous private gift for conservation, these lands will remain accessible to current and future generations of Americans, ensuring the rich history of Mainers’ hunting, fishing and recreation heritage will forever be preserved.”

EPI is the nonprofit foundation established by Roxanne Quimby and run by her son Lucas St. Clair. Their gift of land is accompanied by anendowment of $20 million to supplement federal funds for initial park operational needs and infrastructure development at the new monument, and a pledge of another $20 million in future philanthropic support.

Cape Roisier, MaineMaine’s new national monument  will be managed by the National Park Service as the 413th park unit in the National Park System. The monument parcel is east of the 209,644-acre Baxter State Park and Mt. Katahdin -Maine’s highest peak at 5,267′ and the end of the Appalachian Trail.

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument designation is the result of a extensive effort by Quimby and her son St Clair. Quimby purchased the lands with her wealth from Burt’s Bees.

Tidal Salt Marsh, MaineThe new national monument includes the East Branch of the Penobscot River and some of Maine’s North Woods known for its world-class recreational opportunities to hike, canoe, hunt, fish, snowmobile, snowshoe and cross-country ski. These and other traditional activities will continue to be available in the new national monument.

In addition to protecting spectacular geology, biodiversity, wildlife and recreational opportunities, the new monument will help support climate resiliency in the region. The protected area – together with the neighboring Baxter State Park to the west – will ensure that this large landscape remains intact, bolstering the forest’s resilience against the impacts of climate change. – Thank to the National Park Service for this new release.

Fawn spotted in Acadia National Park

For Maine lodging in the Katahdin region, in Baxter, Millinocket, and Greenville & Moosehead, see our Highland Maine Lodging Guide.

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2017

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What a summah its been upta Maine!

Cormorant looking out over the marina in Boothbay, Maine.Mainahs, that’s Maine locals, love to talk about the weathah… they complain in wintah about havin’ to get out their snow blowah, and they lament that the summah goes by some wicked quick.

Summer lobster bake in Maine

This summer in Maine has been “pretty awful nice” according to folks around Maine, which is high praise. Long stretches of sunny days, not a lot of rain, has been fantastic for them tourists from away that come in with their money and leave with our lobstah, though I suppose farmahs could complain about havin to watah their crops so often. Ayuh. See our guide to Maine slang.

Cape Porpoise bouys used for nautical decor

But seriously, its been a hum dingah summer in Maine, perfect warm breezy days to go fishin, paddleboard, kayak around the hahrbahs (see our guide to boating in Maine) ,
go upta camp, dance at a rustic Maine barn wedding, host a lobster clam bake, stay all day at the beach playing volleyball or doin’ nothin’ atall.

Ramshead Lighthouse in Maine

From the southern Maine coast to Down East, the summer temperatures have been spot on, with only a few scorchas (when the heat index goes over 90). Inland the lakes and rivers have been calm, clear and perfect for a Maine vacation – living up to the legendary license plate promise “vacationland”.

Sebago Lake in fall

Best of all, soon it will be fall y’all. Fall foliage in Maine is among the most brilliant and splendid the world over. With maples, birch, oak and elm turning fiery reds, orange and yellow contrasting the bold evergreen of this Pine Tree State.

Cuckolds Lighthouse on Maine coast

Then comes Maine wintah, and the Mainahs can go back to complainin’ about how frigin cold it is, bout damn freeze your digits off lobsterin in that nippy weathah. No mattah, whether or not, weather or not, Maine is still the way life should be.

Footbridge Sign in Maine

Plan your Maine vacation and learn to talk like a Mainah about the weathah, visit Maine lighthouses, and eat lobstah! See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay and where to chartah a boat!

Copyright and photography – VisitMaine.net, 2016

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