Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States

MAINE

News
Bar Harbor
Camden
Carthage
Denmark
Freeport
Hermon
Kennebunkport
Monmouth
Madison
Ogunquit
Portland
Rockland
Rockwood
Scarsborough
Searsport
Stoneington
The Forks

NEWS (Towns and Cities follow after the News)

Relax and Renew at Nurture Through Nature Eco-Retreat 

Marsden Hartley's Maine opens at Colby College

After a highly acclaimed three-month run at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Met Breuer Galleries in New York City, Marsden Hartley's Maine is coming home. The exhibition moves to the Colby College Museum of Art through November 12, 2017. Marsden Hartley was one of Maine's best-loved painters and the exhibition celebrates his work and highlights the American artist's lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine. It is a landmark show that is inspiring visitors to experience Maine this summer and retrace Hartley's footsteps for themselves. At VisitMaine.com,find a map tracing the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley along with suggested itineraries and sightseeing, lodging and dining recommendations.

Five Amazing Maine Beaches

Maine is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and by mid-summer, they've warmed up enough to beckon swimmers off the sand and into the waves. Here are five of the best. Start with Old Orchard Beach, a seven-mile strand with a classic pier and a waterfront amusement park, arcades and fireworks. For those seeking a little more tranquility, Scarborough Beach State Park has waves that attract local surfers and a wide beach that's ideal for families. Ogunquit Beach is ranked among the top beaches in the United States, thanks to three and a half miles of sand and grassy dunes, with great swimming, bodysurfing and shelling. Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport has three miles of soft sand and moderate surf, ideal for a family day out at the beach. Finally, Popham Beach is a wilder beach in Midcoast Maine in Phippsburg, a beach with offshore islands, such as Fox Island, that can be explored at low tide. Look for more beaches at Visit Maine.

Maine's Challenging Golf Courses

Maine has more than 100 golf courses, ranging from mountain courses and island courses to stunning seaside courses. Impressive oceanside courses include Sebasco Harbor Resort Golf Club and Samoset Resort Golf Course, overlooking Penobscot Bay. The Bar Harbor Golf Club is a links-style course while the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club is known for its scenic beauty. Among notable designers, Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the Sunday River Golf Club while the Sugarloaf Golf Club in Carrabassett Valley is routinely singled out by GolfDigest as one of the best in the state. The Maine Golf Trail can help visitors plan their vacation around some of the state's most famous links. Visit Maine has more info.

Farm-Field-to-Farm-Table Dinners

Farm to table? It got its start in Maine more than half a century ago at Helen and Scott Nearing's Harborside Farm. But its purest form is Farm-Field-to-Farm-Table. Across the state, you'll find farms serving creative fare harvested just hours before from the fields around you. They include Flanagan's Table, at The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Buxton, a monthly dinner held to benefit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. There's also Wolfe's Neck Farm in Freeport, a working organic farm, and The Well at Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Then there's Nebo Lodge, on North Haven Island in Penobscot Bay, which hosts monthly barn suppers at nearby Turner Farm, which provides all of the lodge's produce. Go to Visit Maine for more farms participating in this movement.

American Folk Festival, Bangor

From C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band to blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood and the Afro-Mexican beats of the L.A. based Las Cafeteras, the American Folk Festival is a true cross-section of folk traditions from across the United States. This year's festival, from August 25-27, also includes gospel singer Cora Harvey Armstrong and the Québécois group, Les Poules à Colin, appearing on stages along the Bangor Waterfront. The festival also offers traditional craft demonstrations and exhibits, a children's area, and dozens of food vendors with ethnic food and regional specialties. The marketplace has unique, handcrafted items and "Taste of Maine" treats for sale. Visit American Folk Festival for more info.

Agricultural Fairs: The Fryeburg Fair and The Common Ground Country Fair

Maine's county fairs are multi-day events that showcase the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine. The Common Ground Country Fair, from September 23-24 in Unity, is affiliated with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Started in 1977, during the back-to-the-land movement, it has become a beacon for forward-thinking organic farming techniques and a showcase for rural crafts, attracting upwards of 60,000 visitors. There are demos of spinning and carding wool, stonework, tree identification and raising animals. Anyone curious about sustainable beekeeping or how to purchase a used tractor will learn a great deal at the Common Ground Fair. On the far western side of the state, the Fryeburg Fair from October 1-8 is a classic county fair with team-pulling, 4H awards and the ever-popular pig scramble. A full arcade with classic carnival rides, harness racing, a sheepdog trial and tractor pulling are among the highlights of this fair that dates back to 1851. It's Maine's largest fair and attracts more than 170,000 visitors during its run. Go to Visit Maine for information on these and other agricultural fairs.

For more information contact the Maine Office of Tourism, 59 State House Station, 11 Sewall Street 3rd Floor, Augusta, ME 04333

Maine Offers Great Activities for Everyone

Andrew Wyeth at 100 at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland

To mark the centennial of the birth of painter Andrew Wyeth, the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has opened the first two in a series of five exhibitions to mark the occasion. Andrew Wyeth at 100: Dr. Syn will be on display in the museum's Wyeth Study Center Gallery through September 9, and Andrew Wyeth at 100: Maine Drawings will be on view in the museum's Hadlock Gallery through December 31. Both shows feature rarely seen and privately held works. The final show in this series will feature the painting Her Room and associated studies which will open on September 20, 2017. For more information please visit the museum's website atwww.farnsworthmuseum.org.

New Maine Restaurants

The tide of new restaurant openings across the state shows no sign of abating. Recent openings in Portland include 2 LB Kitchen, which serves breakfast and lunch, with dishes ranging from gluten-free pancakes to wild boar served with rice and arugula. Trattoria Fanny is for homey Italian fare from a chef who opened Eataly in Boston, and serves a simple menu ranging from cured salt cod on toast to spaghetti alla carbonara. Izakaya Minato is where to satisfy udon and ramen cravings. Montreal-style bagels are on offer at The Purple House in North Yarmouth while Neighborhood in Belfast serves tortilla pizza, fish tacos and fries dusted with parmesan in a family-friendly spot. Go to Visit Maine for more info.

Maine's Oldest Schooner Sails Home

The historic schooner Mary E, believed to be the oldest Maine-built wooden fishing schooner still afloat, arrived at her new home, the Maine Maritime Museum in April 2017. Built in Bath in 1906, and restored in Bath in 1965 on the grounds of what is now Maine Maritime Museum, Mary E is a two-masted clipper schooner, and the oldest Bath-built wooden schooner still sailing. During the summer, restoration work that was started by her former owner will be completed on the museum's campus, giving the public the opportunity to witness historic shipbuilding techniques firsthand. The project will be overseen by shipwright Andros Kypragoras, who completed the restoration of the schooner Bowdoin in 2016. Mary E will be launched at the museum in spring 2018, and will offer public tours and cruises.

Whitewater Rafting

After a winter that brought heavy snowfall to the state, Maine is expecting an incredible spring rafting season. The Penobscot, Kennebec and Dead rivers all offer challenging and thrilling whitewater. Outfitters such as Northern Outdoors, Northeast Whitewater, North Country Rivers and Penobscot Adventures offer a variety of river trips, day long and multi day. Given the great snowpack that Maine has received, you can expect the whitewater season to run from early May all the way through October. Go to Visit Maine for more info.

The Cat Returns

Once again, Maine has a shortcut to the Maritimes. The Cat, which offers high-speed ferry service between Maine and Nova Scotia, resumed seasonal service in mid-June. The high-speed ferry, which will take just 51⁄2 hours to traverse between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, can hold up to 282 vehicles and 866 passengers. A preliminary schedule calls for the ferry to depart Yarmouth at 8 a.m. daily, with return service from Portland at 2:30 p.m., with the ferry arriving back in Nova Scotia by 9 p.m. For information and bookings, contact Bay Ferries.

For more information contact the Maine Office of Tourism, 59 State House Station, 11 Sewall Street 3rd Floor, Augusta, ME 04333

Re~Treat Your Precious Self at Nurture Through Nature

Bonding in Bar Harbor --The Perfect Multi-Generational Vacation

Dysart's -- A Classic Maine Diner Turns 50 -- in 2017

10 Reasons to Whitewater Raft in Maine

Check Out All The Things To Do at Bar Harbor

Check Out the Great Sailing Adventures & Events at the Maine Windjammer Association

Summer Adventures at Maine Huts & Trails

Now is the perfect time to start summer vacation planning. Maine Huts & Trails always has something happening for every age and skill level. From fly fishing to paddling, biking to hiking and everything in between, there is a guided or self-guided trip for you and your family.

Get out on the water with a Registered Maine Guide who will lead you on a 6-mile, flat-water paddle down the Dead River and then hike the remaining two miles to the Grand Falls Hut for a three-day, two-night stay. Grand Falls Hut is the most remote and secluded hut; close to Grand Falls waterfall, it features fabulous views and superb swimming, fishing, and paddling. The cost for members is $207 for adults and $126 for children under 17. Non-member costs are $230 for adults and $140 for children under 17. Trip costs include accommodations, all meals, guided activities, and equipment.

Let an experienced mountain biker introduce you to all the great trails in and around the Stratton Brook Hut and Poplar Hut, located in the Carrabassett Valley region. Bikers seeking a full-day adventure on 50 miles of trails should choose the Stratton Brook hut trip. Novice and day-trip seeking bikers looking for a great day-trip adventure should pick the Poplar Hut trip. Bikers start at the nearby Sugarloaf Outdoor Center and will see amazing views of Sugarloaf and the Bigelow Mountain Range. The cost for members is $81 for adults and $40.50 for children under 17. Non-member costs are $90 for adults and $45 for children under 17. All guided trips include accommodations, all meals and a guide for two hours.

Enjoy a family hike with Maine Huts & Trails
• Treat your family to some magnificent sights on the hike up Bigelow Mountain with a Registered Maine Guide. Bigelow Mountain is one of Maine's 4,000-foot peaks and you'll see stunning views from the summit, including Maine's fourth largest lake, Flagstaff.. The cost for members is $187 for adults and $106 for children. Non-member costs are $205 for adults and $115 for children. Fees include accommodations, all meals and guide for one day.

Trips are planned weekly throughout the summer. For more information and additional details on each of the guided trips, please visit www.MaineHuts.org.

Where to Stay

At Maine's favorite all-season adventure resort, the perfect basecamp to western Maine, you will feel right at home. The main lodge at The Forks Resort Center is a popular gathering place, graced with a floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace and huge timber beams, and adorned with historic photos of the pioneer rafting days.

Where to Eat

There is also a restaurant, giant hot tub, swimming pool, full-service pub-style restaurant and Maine's destination brewery, Kennebec River Brewery. Guests at Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort also have the opportunity to take in the beautiful surroundings on a four-wheeled adventure atop an ATV. Ride directly from a Northern Outdoors' cabin door to miles and miles of trails peppered with fantastic foliage views.

About Northern Outdoors

Located in the Katahdin region, Northern Outdoors' basecamp at Abol Bridge Campground is just steps from the Appalachian Trail and miles of fall hiking in Baxter State Park. Guests can choose from rustic bunkhouses or they can bring their own equipment and set up on a tent or RV campsite. There's also a full-service restaurant serving home-cooked meals and a tasty selection of microbrews.

For younger families, first-timers and those looking for a resort-style experience with a range of indoor accommodations, Northern Outdoors recommends staying at The Forks Resort Center and riding the Kennebec River. For older teens, more experienced adventurers and those looking for some serious hiking, Northern Outdoors recommends setting up your fall basecamp at the Abol Bridge Campground.

Northern Outdoors is the only rafting and adventure resort with its own brewery! After a day of fun and adventure, guests can relax and enjoy a specialty Maine beer in the casual comfort of The Kennebec River Brewery, located in the main lodge at The Forks Resort Center. The handcrafted beers on tap offer a unique (and tasty) addition to the adventure resort experience.

For more information call or visit web site www.northernoutdoors.com at 800-765-7238 to check out the fall pricing and book your adventure today.

Indulge Your Passion on a Maine Windjammer Association Specialty Cruise

Camping Destinations

Cutler Coast Public Lands has just three, primitive walk-in tent sites, but they are among the most dramatic in the state. Each cliff top site is along the two-mile Coastal Trail, part of one of the longest stretches of undeveloped oceanfront on the East Coast. Watch for passing whales, soaring bald eagles, and local lobstermen pulling up traps.

The Rangeley Lakes region has a great mix of private and state-owned campgrounds, and campsites that can only be reached by water. The Richardson Lakes and Mooselookmeguntic Lake are known for their reservable paddle-up campsites, while Cupsuptic Lake and Rangeley Lake are home to full service campgrounds.

The Allagash River is a favorite canoe-camping destination in northern Maine. It is the northernmost portion of the north flowing Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Waterway rangers keep spacious campsites in pristine condition and provide helpful camping and paddling tips to visitors.

For more information on camping, check out the Maine Campground Owners Association website at www.campmaine.com.

Clams For Free, If You Can Dig It

Campers at Cobscook Bay State Park in Edmunds can add free soft shell clams to their campsite dinner with a little effort. The park rents clam digging equipment for a small deposit (money back when you return the rentals) so that campers can dig for the mollusks during low tide. Hint: find clams by watching for bubbles or squirting water on the surface of the mud.

The central Maine city of Waterville is the departure point for a 49-mile loop tour to the China Lakes region. The trip through the charming and scenic villages of China Lake, Palermo, Windsor and Vassalboro has short but steep hills, and many possibilities for picnic spots. The route has 40- and 22-mile loop options.

Leaving the Coast for a Great Maine Lobster Roll

18,000 Facebook friends suggested delicious lobster rolls north of Route 1 and away from the coast. Here are five of their favorites:

Eagles Nest Restaurant (207-989-7635) on Route 9 in the eastern Maine city of Brewer serves a toasted hot dog roll smothered with big chunks of lobster mixed with mayo. Save room for the strawberry shortcake with real whipped cream and a fresh biscuit.

The Country Bakery (207-425-4140) on Route 1 in the Aroostook County town of Bridgewater is known for its fresh doughnuts, breads and pastries. And once a week (usually on Wednesday) during the summer, many customers also line up for the area's best lobster roll.

There's a good chance that a roll or two from Soup To Nuts (207-746-5499) on Route 11 in East Millinocket have made it to the summit of Mt. Katahdin. The sit-down restaurant near Baxter State Park is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Chicken baskets and mocha shakes draw crowds to Belanger's Drive-In & Dairy Bar (207-453-2447) on Route 201 in Fairfield, but it's also a favorite lobster roll destination in central Maine.

Sideline Variety in Norway is a convenient stop on the way to lakes and hiking trails in western Maine. The seasonal, large lobster roll here is just $9.99.

For more information about Maine's early summer events, go to www.visitmaine.com.

Diving to See a Lost Lighthouse

Tour boats give passengers close-up water views of Maine lighthouses, but the best view of Crabtree Ledge Light is under the water. The 37-foot tall cast iron light that once marked a dangerous ledge off Hancock Point in Sullivan was discontinued in 1933 and fell into the ocean in 1950. DiveDowneast leads dive trips to the wreckage site where the partially intact tower rests amid crabs, starfish, sea urchins and lobsters.

About Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway       
Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway, which is based in Bangor, Maine, is a premier entertainment destination. The gaming facility includes a luxurious seven-story hotel, star-style shopping, a full service buffet and indoor parking. For more information and reservations, visit the website at www.hollywoodslots.com, or call 877-779-7771.

BAR HARBOR

What to See & Do

Bar Harbor, Maine, is often synonymous with fresh lobster, outdoor adventure and breathtaking views... And, there are many reasons for that! Every year, 5,316,000 lobsters are eaten here in Bar Harbor, more than two million recreational visitors arrive to take advantage of the sites, trails and carriage roads in Acadia National Park, and there is a non-stop photoshoot of the island's natural landscape. But, there is more happening here than what the region is best known for. Bar Harbor has fun and inviting events all year long for those of all interests and ages, from dedicated shoppers and foodies to families and star-gazing aficionados. We promise there is an event for everyone to attend in 2016, and every year after that.

Bonding in Bar Harbor --The Perfect Multi-Generational Vacation

Spring is right around the corner and for many that means summer plans are starting to unfold. This year, start or continue a family tradition of vacationing in Bar Harbor. A family who travels together is a family who has memories to share around the dinner table during the holidays, as well as treasured photos to pass down from generation to generation. It all starts with a visit to Bar Harbor...

See Acadia National Park by bike!

The Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park region of Maine is renowned for its natural beauty. With pink granite cliffs along the coast and several mountain peaks, including Cadillac Mountain, the highest mountain on the east coast, hiking or biking may be one of the best ways to experience this one-of-a-kind landscape. For the family traveling together, there are many hikes in Acadia National Park and around town that everyone will enjoy from grandparents to grandkids.

Hike or go for a nature walk: 

Ship Harbor Trail - This is an easy figure-8 loop walk with wonderful views of the rocky shoreline and a popular trail for bird watching.  1.3 mile loop

Jesup Path and Hemlock Road Loop - Starting with a wooden footbridge, this path leads travelers through the white birch forest by a rustic boardwalk. 1.5 mile loop

Jordan Pond Nature Trail - In Acadia, this easy loop is through forests and along the pond. 1.0 mile loop/1.6 km loop.

Bar Island - At low tide, you can immediately see how Bar Harbor got its name - a large sand bar connects downtown Bar Harbor to Bar Island. Children love taking buckets and shovels onto the bar and exploring all the sea life uncovered at low tide. If you go, don't forget to check the local tide schedule and leave plenty of time to get back before the tide rolls in. Accessible 1-1/2 hours either side of low tide.

Head to the ocean for glimpses of marine wildlife or pedal through antique archways on the carriage roads:

If you want to rest your feet, hop aboard a sightseeing boat or trolley bus. Enjoy the jaw-dropping scenery and encounter marine wildlife on a whale-watching trip. From sunset cruises to old-fashioned sail rides and even lobster boat rides, Bar Harbor has it all.

Have a chance to see a whale and other wildlife up close!

Take a leisurely bike ride along the carriage trails in Acadia National Park or, if your family is looking for a bit of a challenge, pedal to the summit of Cadillac Mountain! Bikes for adults and children, and trailers are available to rent in town.

If your family wants to experience the Atlantic Ocean and not just observe it, there are several kayak, canoe and paddle board guided trips and outfitters. Looking for a more relaxing ocean experience? Sand Beach in Acadia National Park is perfect for playing in the waves or lying in the sun on the beach.

Dine and reminisce on a day spent exploring:

In Bar Harbor there are always sea-to-table options!

Hungry families will find no end to the delicious dining in Bar Harbor - don't worry, you don't have to like seafood, although if you do, you're in luck. Bar Harbor has some of Maine and New England's best restaurants that feature the freshest seafood, flavors from around the world and farm-fresh regional cuisine. There's a dish for everyone in the family; for options on where to eat, visit www.barharborinfo.com/Where-to-Eat.

The community of Bar Harbor is a lovely place to share some quality time with your loved ones. Every Wednesday evening in the summer, the town shows a free family movie in the park downtown with free popcorn.

For more information and ideas to help you start planning a great family vacation, please visit www.barharborinfo.com/Things-to-Do/Family-Activities.aspx.

Bar Harbor has something to offer for every age and interest. Weekly house rentals are popular for multi-generational travelers, to see more about vacation rentals call (207) 288-5103 or visit the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce website

Under the Radar Winter Destination: Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the country, but most of the visitation occurs during the summer or fall foliage season. Few people experience the park covered in a blanket of glistening snow with icicles hanging down the granite cliffs. Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, is an adventurous winter destination that too few people are aware of.

Winter brings numerous outdoor activities that allow guests to enjoy the snow-covered coastal and mountain views in the park. Here are five adventures guests can embark on this winter in Bar Harbor:

1. Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing:
Grab a pair of skis or snowshoes and head to the 45 miles of carriage roads (32 of which are groomed depending on conditions) and unplowed park roads for snowy views of the park. Experienced snowshoers can head out on the park's numerous hiking trails for additional views and adventure. Snowshoes and skis can be rented in Bar Harbor.

2. Snowmobiling: Rev your engine and drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain! Snowmobiling is another exciting way to explore the park and is allowed on the 27-mile Park Loop Road system, including the road up Cadillac Mountain, and on most fire roads.

3. Fat-Tire Biking: Jump on a fat-tire bike, the latest winter trend, and pedal along the park trails for a heart-pumping workout (fat-tire biking is permitted where snowmobile use is permitted).

4. Winter Camping: For those looking for the ultimate winter adventure, sleeping outside in a tent is a great option. From December through March, campsites are available at Blackwoods Campground for primitive camping.

After a day of snowshoeing on the carriage roads or cruising up Cadillac Mountain via snowmobile, guests can warm up with a cup of homemade lobster stew or a fresh lobster dinner. Yes, guests can still eat fresh Maine lobster in the winter--many local lobstermen fish year-round. Cozy up in one of the area's bed and breakfasts or hotels in front of a crackling fire or rough it in a tent.

For additional information on Bar Harbor, please visit visitbarharbor.com.

5 Essential Items for Your Bar Harbor Winter Adventure

The charming coastal town of Bar Harbor is a peaceful winter wonderland when the snow begins to fall. The hustle and bustle of summertime winds down, and visitors feel like they have the town and Acadia National Park to themselves. To fully enjoy this true winter wonderland, be sure to pack these five essential items.

1. Insulated water bottles for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing: You never know what Maine weather will bring. Insulated water bottles and hydration systems keep drinking water from freezing. You will surely be thirsty as you ski or snowshoe on the 45 miles of carriage roads (32 miles are groomed) and unplowed park roads.

Experienced snowshoers can head out on the park's numerous trails for some real winter solitude. Introduce your family to these winter sports in one of Maine's most beautiful settings. Snowshoes and cross-country skis can be rented in Bar Harbor.

2. Balaclavas, or neck warmers, for snowmobiling: Travel through Acadia National Park a bit faster on a snowmobile. As you cruise through the park, you will want a balaclava to keep the wind from blowing in between your jacket and helmet. Snowmobiling is allowed on the park's unplowed fire roads and the 27-mile Park Loop Road, including the road up Cadillac Mountain.

3. Sunscreen for fat-tire biking: Sunscreen in the winter in Maine? YES! The higher altitudes combined with the UV rays reflected by the snow can put snow-sport enthusiasts at an increased risk for overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Fat-tire biking is one of the newest winter activities in Acadia National Park and provides bikers with the ultimate views and workout. All trails open for snowmobile use are also open for fat-tire biking. Bring on the challenge!

4. Headlamp or flashlight for winter camping: Days in the winter are much shorter, which increases the need for illumination. Finding that dropped glove is very difficult in the dark. Headlamps and flashlights are obligatory even if you plan to start a fire. Winter camping is available for free on several primitive campsites from December to March for visitors who want to have an authentic Maine winter camping adventure.

5. Hand warmers for the Acadia Winter Festival: Hands and toes are always the first body parts to feel the chill, unless you are well prepared with these small heat packs that can easily be placed in your gloves, boots or anyplace that might get cold! You will surely want your hands to be warm enough to take out your camera to snap pictures as you glide along freshly groomed trails in Acadia National Park or as you mush a team of sled dogs. Winter is a beautiful time of year to start celebrating the Acadia Centennial.

After a day of fully prepared outdoor play, make reservations to relax in one of the area B&Bs or hotels. The rates are great and most are within an easy walk to shops and restaurants. For more info on Bar Harbor, visit www.visitbarharbor.com.

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with these Action-Packed Outdoor Activities in Bar Harbor

As one of the top places to visit in New England, Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island feature some of the most exceptional and thrilling outdoor activities available. Whether you enjoy testing your abilities on a sheer rock face or executing the perfect downward dog while floating on a lake, Bar Harbor has the terrain to mentally and physically challenge you.

Come see what you're capable of. 

Angling to get more than the traditional tourist experience when visiting Bar Harbor? Deep sea fishing excursions are exhilarating fun for the experienced fisherman. Off the shores of Mount Desert Island you may catch black sea bass mackerel, redfish, and cod, and maybe even a variety of shark or wolf fish. Local charters are available and recommended. By using a guide, you're guaranteeing yourself a safe, memorable and educational trip. 

• Check an item off your bucket list with rock climbing at Acadia National Park. All ability levels are welcome at the park and guides are recommended. Climbers can conquer South Bubble, one of the most popular spots, or test expert level abilities with Great Head, which features an overhang. Equipment rental is also available on the island.

Stand-up paddle board yoga session. by Amy Young

• Getting bored with your stationary yoga mat? Switch up your routine with a stand-up paddle board yoga session. Classes are offered in the morning and evening several times a week on Echo Lake. All ability levels are welcome and no previous experience is necessary. This session will be harder than most yoga workouts because you'll be engaging muscles that will help you keep your balance on the lake's surface. Getting wet and having fun is all part of this unique yoga class.

See the island on two wheels. Acadia National Park has 50+ miles of hard-packed carriage roads looping around the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. One of the most challenging trips is pedaling up Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in Acadia. This is a four-mile auto road and it is recommended to ride during low traffic times. No way to transport your bike? No problem, there are plenty of bike rentals available on the island.

Tandem kayaking around Mount Desert Island. by Coastal Kayaking Tours

• Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island feature some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on the east coast. While paddling your sea kayak, you may catch a glimpse of seals, porpoises, osprey, and a variety of sea life. All ability levels are welcome and some outfitters give you the choice of having a solo or tandem kayak. Tours range from a couple of hours to full day excursions.

For more information on any of these outdoor activities, rental locations, or guides, call (207) 288-5103 or visit www.barharborinfo.com.

Where to Stay

Bar Harbor's Bluenose Inn 

Just minutes from Acadia National Park, "Good Morning America's" 2014 "America's Favorite Place," the Bluenose Inn has cultivated a loyal following of repeat guests thanks to its personalized service and distinctive amenities.
 
Guests enjoy a manager reception at the Bluenose Inn in Bar Harbor.
General Manager Jim Ash, who says a great percentage of inn guests return for another stay, adds, "We work hard to provide our guests with a memorable experience that will make them want to come back again and again. Having traveled extensively myself for years, I believe we know what satisfies most guests. It is all the little things, a lot of caring and personal touches."
 
Upon check-in, every guest receives a handwritten note from Ash thanking them for their stay. Guests staying five nights or more are also treated to locally made chocolates or Maine made Fiore olive oils and balsamic vinegars as a special thank you for their extended stay.
 
Special amenities at the AAA, four-diamond inn include gourmet box lunches to go for guests who plan to spend the day exploring. There is also an onsite, locked storage area designated for bicycles, an added convenience for guests who rent or bring their own bikes to cycle the park's 45 miles of bike-friendly trails.
 
The inn's restaurant, The Looking Glass, which serves breakfast and dinner, is a short walk from the inn's guest buildings, but guests may opt to be chauffeured to and from their meals on the Bluenose golf cart, adding comfort and fun to their dining experience, which also includes a panoramic view of the ocean.
 
Each night in the Great Room, noted pianist Bill Trowell, now in his 18th season, plays music on the inn's grand piano and is always happy to take special requests from guests. The inn also welcomes other special requests for birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones.
 
Evening manager receptions featuring complimentary wine and hors d'oeuvres are held twice weekly. House-baked cookies are served in the lobby every afternoon and locally roasted Wicked Joe's gourmet coffee is available 24 hours a day. There is also a 24-hour business center and a 24-hour gift shop on site.
 
For people who like to travel with their pets, sister property Wonder View Inn, located next to the Bluenose, welcomes dogs and cats. Each pet guest receives a bowl and a gourmet treat from Bar Harbor pet boutique Bark Harbor. The property's 14 acres also provide plenty of room for pet walking and playing fetch. Pets are also welcome to join their humans on the deck area of The Looking Glass for breakfast and dinner.
  
About the Bluenose Inn
The AAA, four-diamond Bluenose Inn is situated on a bluff overlooking Frenchman Bay. The property features two guest buildings. The luxury 52-room Mizzentop also houses the inn's registration office, business center, Great Room piano lounge, gift shop and Vista Room meeting facility. Stenna Nordica features 45 well-appointed rooms and a glass-front elevator. A third building houses the Eden Spa, an indoor heated pool, hot tub, steam room, and fitness center. The inn's grounds feature an outdoor heated pool. The original building on the site of the Bluenose Inn was constructed in 1884 as a summer estate of Mrs. William Morris Hunt, an artist's widow. The stonework from this palatial "cottage," which she named Mizzentop, remains beneath the building that bears its name. The inn is located at 90 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine. To learn more, visit www.barharborhotel.com.

Bar Harbor’s Balance Rock Inn Opened On Frenchman’s Bay

Balance Rock Inn (circa 1903) is open to guests who enjoy the privacy and serenity of Frenchman’s Bay and the opulence of days gone by. Built as a family ‘cottage’ 109 years ago, when wealthy tycoons selected the most desirable locations along the rocky, island-studded Maine coast for their summer season mansions, the Balance Rock Inn today presents romantic ambience and luxurious amenities to new and returning guests through the end of October.

The Inn celebrates the “balance rock”, a precariously positioned boulder and a huge remnant from an ice age. On the Inn’s sloping lawn down to the shoreline, guests can gaze from the veranda past the glistening swimming pool, flower gardens and nearly three acres of sweeping lawns framed with stately trees to where the property connects with the historic Shore Path walk along the water’s edge.

The Balance Rock’s 21 rooms and suites and 3 apartment-style luxury suites are tastefully outfitted in harmonious colors, handsome wall coverings and handcrafted furnishings. Each accommodation is unique with features such as ocean views, fireplaces, whirlpool baths, saunas and private porches. Guests have been returning season after season to pamper themselves in the luxury and amenities that set the Balance Rock Inn apart from the expected!

A lavish Breakfast buffet is prepared for guests daily where they can dine and relive the splendor of the Gilded Age in the dining room, sundeck or verandah ~ featuring impeccable service and a full hot and cold menu. The well-stocked Verandah Bar is a popular spot to relax and meet other guests throughout the day with cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres presented nightly.

Only a block from the restaurants, shops, galleries, museums and outdoor activities that define Bar Harbor, The Balance Rock Inn is a perfect getaway to experience scenic bike riding, granite peak hiking, sightseeing boat tours to view whales or seals or to indulge your taste for lobster within steps of the front door.
For generations, the shingle-style building has been an icon of comfort, grace and style. As guests walk the historic Shore Path, winding from the seaport’s pier along the ocean’s edge and past many glorious mansions built over a century ago, it’s obvious why visitors recognize the Balance Rock Inn as a gem of hospitality, spectacular scenery and innate charm.

For more information or reservations contact: Balance Rock Inn, Bar Harbor – Maine
21 Albert Meadow, 04609 USA
800-753-0494 or 207-288-2610
www.BalanceRockInns.com

CAMDEN

What to Do and See

The Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville region

offers visitors majestic views of the autumn foliage. Hikers can ascend the summit of Mt. Battie, Ragged, Hatchet, Bald or Young's Mountains, and enjoy an awe-inspiring, panoramic view of the entire region. Another popular way to view the change of seasons is from the water. For those who wish to make their own way, canoe and kayak rentals are available throughout the CRL region. Pack a picnic lunch from one of the area's markets and make your way along the coastline, around Megunticook Lake and Hosmer Pond, or travel up and down our rivers, brooks, and streams for a closer look at the region's unspoiled beauty. If you want someone else to navigate, take in the autumn coastline from the deck of a windjammer. Have someone else make lunch, take a turn at the helm, or just relax and absorb the season's colorful splendor.

The region's diverse geography treats visitors to colorful sightlines from virtually every vantage point.. Browse local shops as leaves drift from trees and swirl about your feet. Take a walking or bicycle tour of historical communities. Explore by Land and Sea Hike to a mountaintop for a spectacular panorama of the changing colors, lakes, sea and islands, or test your technical climbing skills on rugged stone cliffs. Come aboard one of the historic windjammers for a multi-day cruise - or an afternoon tour of Penobscot Bay and the islands. For those who want a closer look, kayak rentals, tours and lessons are also available for exploring our harbors and lakes.

Arts Abound during autumn, including arts and craft shows, arts and artisans tours, live theater, and musical performances. Visit the Bay Chamber Concerts web site for their fall schedule of events, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art web site to see their schedule of events, and check out the Camden Opera House schedule for a variety of great live performances. Pack a picnic lunch and take a two-wheeled tour of the countryside. Bring your own bikes or rent them locally, where you'll also get tips on the best routes to explore. Visit a local farm to say hello to the livestock or pick your own apples.

Are you into shopping. If so, you'll find finely crafted Maine-made products, books both used and new, unique toy shops, amazing antiques, and clothing for everyone in the family. If you love dining out, the area has really good seafood, steaks, and the freshest produce from local gaden harvests.

For more information, contact the Camden/Rockport/Lincolnville Chambes of Commers, P.O. box 919, Camden, ME 04843; 207-236-4404, or check web site www.camdenme.org or web site www.VisitCamden.com.

CARTHAGE

Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center --

The performance stage, step dancing stage and piper's perch at the Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in Carthage, Maine. This is the only venue in New England built specifically for Celtic music. The 250-seat concert hall has a warm maple and oak wood interior with a Celtic cross made of timbers built into the wall behind the performance stage. There is also a step dance stage and a piper's perch for bagpipers. World class and emerging artists from Ireland, Scotland, the Canadian provinces and the U.S. play, sing and dance at Skye, which is also the home of New England Celtic Arts.

DENMARK

Relax and Renew at Nurture Through Nature Eco-Retreat 

"Nurture Through Nature...a beautiful, earth~friendly retreat in the heart of the mountains and lakes of Western Maine. Eco-retreats and getaways for individuals, couples & groups. Experience how to live more simply, peacefully and sustainably
while retreating in a beautiful setting.

Bathe yourself in Maine's magical fall foliage season. Practice simple and powerful tools for lasting peace. Have fun, sing, explore, connect. Be who You really are. Join the circle on our annual Harvest Your Soul Retreat. 100% guarantee you will walk away on Sunday feeling significantly lighter and more free. 

Super Sauna Saturday is back! Join us any Saturday between 4-6pm Oct-March for our special community sauna experience!

Reserve your cabin or yurt & SAVE 10%

Create your own personal retreat in a private cabin or yurt at Nurture Through Nature  unplug and enjoy the nature's beauty. Do you remember who you are without your phone?

Offer Expires Nov  1, 2017.

Location: Nurture Through Nature, 77 Warren Rd, Denmark, ME 04022

FREEPORT

What to Do & See

L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools

L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools make it easy to start the summer outdoors with exciting and fun-filled 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 hour Walk-On Adventures offered at all L.L.Bean retail stores that cost just $15 per person.

Continuing through fall, visitors to L.L.Bean’s retail locations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region can take part in a fun, new activity. The Marlton, New Jersey store at the Promenade at Sagemore offers kayaking, fly-casting, and GPS Techno Treasure Hunt adventures.

Participants simply sign up at the store on the day they wish to participate (no advance registration needed!) and L.L.Bean provides all of the equipment needed and transportation to the activity site. The true value of this program, however, is the expert instruction provided. Experienced instructors at L.L.Bean offer hands-on coaching and guidance in a relaxed and fun setting. Enjoying a new activity doesn’t have to be intimidating, and L.L.Bean makes exploring the outdoors easy with these Walk-On Adventures.

Walk-On Adventures make it easy to get together with friends or family members, because L.L.Bean’s guides do all of the planning and provide all the necessary equipment. And since no advanced reservations are required, groups can come into the store on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and be out on the water, on the range, or just outdoors that same afternoon.

Since 1979, the guiding principles of L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools have remained the same: To promote the enjoyment of the outdoors and to foster an appreciation and respect for our natural environment. These foundations are inherent in every program offered — whether it is a two-hour Walk-On Adventure or a three-day trip. L.L.Bean retail stores are conveniently located along the eastern seaboard, making it easy, affordable, and convenient to try out a new activity or to get better at a familiar one.

Walk-On Adventures program schedules are available by phone at 800-559-0747, ext. 37222 or online at www.llbean.com/ods.

HERMON

Dysart's Truck Stop celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017

Dysart's Truck Stop, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, is a breed apart. A bona fide truck stop in Hermon, near Bangor, it offers fuel, a full-service garage, a car wash, truckers' showers and a store where you can get snacks or a new CB radio. The truckers came to fuel up and the restaurant quickly followed. Today, it's open 24/7 and serves breakfast all day, as well as a bevy of Maine classics. Those include Yankee pot roast, chicken pot pie, fried whole belly clams, liver and bacon, a hot Thanksgiving sandwich, and beans and red franks, with blueberry pie to finish. Go to Visit Maine for a list of other classic diners.

KENNEBUNKPORT

Where to Stay

Village Cove Inn

Tom and Angela Murphy purchased the Village Cove Inn in the heart of Kennebunkport back in 1996 Continuing to make improvements each year, the Murphys have recently remodeled the on site restaurant The Changing Tide.

Featuring elegant dining for guests and residents in the Kennebunkport area, the restaurant serves fresh Maine seafood and offers specialty holiday dining packages throughout the year. "Tom and I are in the midst of planning a ten-year anniversary celebration for our guests," says Murphy. More casual dining is available in Jaxon's poolside pub and children's menus are always available in both restaurants. The restaurant is Chef owned and very popular with the locals.

The outdoor pool patio was another renovation, which took place last spring. Charming with all the amenities of a larger facility, the Inn features outdoor dining on the patio, indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools, and a fully equipped fitness facility. With close proximity to area beaches and other outdoor activities, such as boating and tennis, the Village Cove Inn is a popular family retreat in the summer. The Family Fun Package is always a big hit every summer, tailored with kids in mind . Most popular for couples in off-season are our Getaway Packages or Spa Packages with breakfast and dinner included.

The Village Cove Inn is unique in its style and location. It is a small property, not quite a hotel and not quite a motel. It is hidden away on a small tidal cove but only a mile from the town of Kennebunkport, a 15-minute walk is all it takes to get back to tranquility after a days shopping in town. "We have recently added a fitness centre and a Spa Therapy Room for treatments, which we offer as part of our Spa Packages", says Angela, "we work with 4 therapists who all specialize in several Therapies such as Swedish massage, Hot Stones, Deep Tissue and Pregnancy massages. We will soon be adding body wraps and facials to our list of Spa Therapy Services. We are looking to make these services affordable for everyone".

Tom and Angela have been in the hotel and restaurant business for years, running a Vermont hotel for four years before deciding to purchase the Village Cove Inn.
Today, Tom and Angela are proud proprietors of the lovely Village Cove Inn in the heart of Kennebunkport. The Inn's secluded location on Chick's Cove is off the beaten path but only minutes from famous Walker's Point, home of the Bush family, and within walking distance to world-renowned Dock Square.

For more information, call 207-967-3993 or toll free (800) 879-5778 or visit web site villagecoveinn.com.

What to See & Do

Ride the Rails & Visit the Seashore Trolley Museum

Experience history in motion as you enjoy a scenic 25-minute ride through the Maine woods; visit the exhibit barns to see more of the world-famous collection; see magic happen in the Town house Restoration Project; and plan on stopping at the Museum Store for a unique selection of books, collectibles and souvenirs.

Open rain or shine from Memorial Day to Columbus Day and weekends only in early May and late October. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last ride is at 4:15 p.m.). Also offered are sunset/icecream rides on Wednesdays & Thursdays during July & August at 7 p.m.

For information call l207-967-2800 and check web site www.trolleymuseum.org for special events. The Seashore Trolley Museum is at 195 Log Cabin Road, P.O. Box A, Kennebunkport, ME 94046; 207-967-2800.

MONMOUTH

Theatre at Monmouth

The Romanesque and Queen Anne-style architecture of Cumston Hall, home to the Theater at Monmouth, is a striking sight in rural Monmouth, Maine. Cumston Hall is a striking sight when driving down Main Street in the rural town of Monmouth. The cream-colored building, built in 1900, mixes Romanesque and Queen Anne-style architecture and is dominated by a soaring tower on its right front corner. The staircase up the tower leads to the theater, originally an opera hall that features elaborate plaster carvings and a fresco mural ceiling. Plays are performed in rotating repertory from early July through September by a cast of professional and local actors. In 1975 the Theater at Monmouth was designated by the Maine Legislature as "The Shakespearean Theater of Maine," and at least one work of William Shakespeare is performed each summer.

MADISON

Lakewood Theatre

The oldest summer theater in the United States sits beside a lake in central Maine, and has been in operation since 1901. Lakewood Theatre was once the top testing ground for plays hoping for success in New York's biggest theaters. That notoriety brought Groucho Marx, Betty White, Phyllis Diller, and John Travolta to the stage on the shore of Wesserunsett Lake. Today, Lakewood is known for its ambitious lineup of productions (18 plays and musicals during the past two summers), and a veteran group of actors and directors committed to providing top quality theater.

Wherever your summer journey to Maine takes you, there is a performing arts venue with a show that will take you back in time, tickle your funny bone, or get you swaying in your seat. Go to www.visitmaine.com to find a venue near your Maine destination.

OGUNQUIT

What to See & Do

Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit Playhouse has thrilled audiences with Broadway musicals since 1933. The 750-seat theater places emphasis on creating productions with all the glitz, glamour and intensity of their New York originals. From its beginnings, Ogunquit Playhouse and its nearby white sand beaches have attracted the best New York and Hollywood talent including Lloyd Bridges, Jessica Tandy, Steve Allen, Bette Davis, and Sally Struthers. The theater offers a series of five Main Stage shows each summer, and a children's theater program. USA Today has named the Playhouse "one of 10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway." The playhouse is located on Route 1 just south of the town center.

PORTLAND

more soon

ROCKLAND

Where to Stay

About the Historic Inns of Rockland

The Premier Historic Inns of Rockland represent an exquisite collection of significant local architecture from bygone eras. Captain Lindsey House is an 18th century Federal inn. Berry Manor Inn and LimeRock Inn are 19th century Victorian homes. Quietly, yet tenaciously, the Historic Inns of Rockland are working hard to reduce global warming in Maine. All three have been certified by the state of Maine as Certified Green Hospitality Leaders. The list of Historic Inns of Rockland’s environmentally-friendly practices is long, ranging from widespread use of compact fluorescent bulbs and solar lighting to donation and recycling of old towels, clothing, shampoo and soaps to local charities. The group has collectively negotiated a contract for use of bio-fuel for heating oil and used it exclusively throughout the 2007-08 winter, plus instituted creative recycling programs for inn and guest products ranging from bottles to office products. Yet still this group has taken the green scheme beyond changing light bulbs and recycling. Each of the inns  make a donation for every guest booking to eco-friendly local organizations as a means to offset their own carbon footprint and now offer the “No Fueling” package to teach guests how to save on gas.

Historic Inns of Rockland’s Five Drive Green Not Mean tips on efficient driving

Historic Inns of Rockland want to help guests save gas by driving efficiently. Here are some of the tips they share with guests which can result in 25-percent better fuel efficiency for the car.

1.) Before leaving, be sure to have specific directions on how to reach your vacation destination. Historic Inns of Rockland will send detailed directions to help avoid wasting fuel finding the way.

2) Drive with a soft foot. Avoid jack rabbit starts and stops, and make smooth and gradual lane changes.

3) Slow down – In Maine the motto is “life the way it should be”; while visiting Midcoast Maine obey the highway speed limit of 55 mph where most cars are the more fuel efficient. Gas efficiency is improved by 7-percent for every 5 mph slowed below 60 mph.

4) While driving in Maine, check www.511maine.gov or call "511" for up-to-the-minute travel information, road conditions, accidents or any major delays before they affect fuel consumption.

5) Travel light. The more weight carried, the more fuel burned. Rent bikes or kayaks locally to save on gas.

What to See & Do

Delightful Sailing on the Schooner Heritage

What a great experience you'll have on this fine sailing vessel as Captain Doug and his crew point out the sights along the trip. Best of all, you'll be invited to help the crew raise and lower the sails and much more. The food is great, including a lobster bake on a deserted island - so make plans now for when you can vacation.

All trips are for 6 days unless otherwise specified. You can choose from double cabins with heads (for 6-days add $180 pp); for 5 days add $250 pp; for 4 days add $120 pp; and for 3 days add $90 pp. Single cabins - for 6 days add $180; 5 days add $250; 4 days add $120 and 3 days add $90. Note: Prices are subject to change.

For more information contact Schooner Heritage, P.O. Box 482, Rockland, ME 04841; 800-648-4544 or check web site www.schoonerheritage.com or e-mail info@schoonerheritage.com

Pick your own adventure! The 2017 schedules have been posted on www.SailMaineCoast.com.

Ditty Bag: 2017 Season

A cruise aboard a Maine windjammer gives guests a different vantage point for viewing the familiar rocky coasts of Maine. With 360-degree views, guests have the ability to watch lobstermen pull traps into their boats, view wildlife in its natural habitat, and see a national treasure, Acadia National Park, all while sailing quietly on the deck of a windjammer.

Each Maine Windjammer Association captain serves as a personal tour guide, giving you the inside scoop on history, geology, who’s who on the coast, famous homes of early rusticators, and coastal communities, and sharing anecdotes about life on the sea.

Set your course: USS Constitution Museum Recognizes Captains of Maine Windjammer Association

Captains John Foss, Linda Lee and Douglas Lee were recently awarded the Don Turner Award by the USS Constitution Museum for their tireless work preserving Maine’s traditional schooner fleet.History buffs, take notice! Captains John Foss of the American Eagle and Linda Lee and Doug Lee of the Heritage, three longtime members of the Maine Windjammer Association, were recently recognized with the Don Turner Award, given by the USS Constitution Museum.

This award recognizes people and organizations that preserve important vessels and have made significant contributions to the knowledge and understanding of ship design and construction. “We’ve been sailing and maintaining working vessels for over 40 years,” says Captain John Foss of the schooner American Eagle. “It’s always nice to be recognized and for the entire fleet to be recognized for historic preservation. It’s important to underline that we’re interested in maintaining these forever. We’re not going to go out and get a new one.”

The Maine Windjammer Association is so proud of our captains for being recognized by the USS Constitution Museum, an interpretive center for the US Navy’s oldest active commissioned vessel. Make history with a cruise aboard one of these two ships or any ship in the Maine Windjammer fleet.

Indulge Your Passion on a Maine Windjammer Association Specialty Cruise

Each year, more and more people are discovering how truly unique and exciting a Maine windjammer vacation can be. Three to six-day themed cruises are designed to suit guests' passions and hobbies while they experience a sailing getaway along the scenic coast of Maine.

About the Maine Windjammer Association:
The Maine Windjammer Association represents the largest fleet of traditional sailing vessels in North America. From May to October, the windjammers offer three- to six-day sailing adventures to vacationers seeking an authentic sailing experience that includes great scenery, wildlife, delicious meals and plenty of time to go ashore and explore. For more information, please visit www.sailmainecoast.com.

Two “Discovery Coast Museum Passports” --

offering admission to six of Maine’s greatest cultural treasures including the Farnsworth Art Museum and Wyeth Center, Gen. Henry Knox Museum, Owls Head Transportation Museum and the Maine Lighthouse Museum.

Choose between two tickets to Captain Jack’s Lobster Adventure Cruises where the chance to pull lobster traps (and keep your haul) is just one of the highlights from this entertaining lobsterman filled with lobster lore OR two tickets on the Maine State Ferry to Vinalhaven Island, the largest inhabited island in Penobscot Bay. Stroll throughout this quintessential island fishing community offering scenic views and a glimpse into island life.

Special guided educational tours with expert docents of the Maine Lighthouse Museum offered twice weekly (Mon and Thurs) exclusively for guests of Historic Inns of Rockland, Maine.

A guided tour of Rockland’s Historic Breakwater Lighthouse offered exclusively to guests of Historic Inns of Rockland each Wednesday with Ted Panayotoff, author, historian and lighthouse aficionado, plus an autographed copy of Ted Panayotoff’s book The Lighthouse at Rockland Breakwater Then and Now.

A private walking tour of Rockland’s Historic District offered by members of the Rockland Historical Society Tuesday afternoons. Learn why Rockland was the fourth busiest harbor on the east coast at the turn of the century and view examples of an array of architecture preserved among the 145 buildings and homes listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

ROCKWOOD

Where to Stay

The Birches Resort Offers Great Deals for Winter Enthusiasts

Pricey airfares to the islands may ground many a traveler this winter but vacationers seeking escapes can embrace the cold weather and snowy landscape at The Birches Resort in Rockwood, ME.

Located on Moosehead Lake on 11,000 acres of wilderness, The Birches offers exhilarating activities and cozy accommodations. Winter enthusiasts will find miles of trails to explore on skis, snowmobiles and snowshoes. In addition, Moosehead Lake offers ice fishing and a landing strip for ski plane tours over Maine's winter wonderland. Accommodations include main lodge rooms and luxury vacation homes as well as rustic yurts and cabins. The lodge, complete with roaring fire in the stone hearth, serves three hearty meals per day.

For more information go to web site www.birches.com or call 1-800-825-WILD (9453)

The Birches winter menu of activities includes:

- Up, Up and Away - A tour of the Maine wilderness in winter in a ski plane which takes off and lands on the frozen lake. ($90 per person for an hour ride)

- Guided Yurt to Yurt Cross Country Ski adventure - Ski from The Birches on our well-maintained trails to a Yurt for lunch, then ski to a different yurt and enjoy a dinner of your choice (steak, chicken or fish) prepared by our guide. After a good night's sleep, we ski back to the lodge for a hearty breakfast. Includes all equipment (bring your own sleeping bag), guide and three meals. ($139 per person)

- Trailblazers - The Birches offers some of the best snowmobile trails in the Northeast. Hop on one of the resorts top of the line Arctic Cat sleds to explore the 100-mile Moosehead Trail loop that circles the lake. (Rentals range from $185-235 per day, guided tours available)

- Go Fish - Catch landlocked salmon, trout and brook trout in an ice shack on Moosehead Lake. Guided full day trips with rental gear and snowmobile ride to fishing area can be arranged ($320 per day).

For more information go to web site www.birches.com or call 1-800-825-WILD (9453)

SCARSBOROUGH

Where to Stay

Maine's Historic Black Point Inn Is Open for the Season With Lodging Deals, Special Events and Green Updates

Black Point Inn (www.blackpointinn.com) has opened its doors to a season full of events, activities, and attractive lodging specials. With updated guest amenities and a continued investment in being “green,” Black Point Inn is committed to enhancing guests’ experiences while remaining faithful to the original, historic property's design and ambiance.

Enjoying its 132nd year of continuous operation, the Inn is the last remaining of the grand hotels which once called the scenic, oceanside area of southern Maine’s Prouts Neck home. Built in 1878 at the peak of America’s Gilded Age, the resort property’s colorful history includes patrons ranging from rail barons and political leaders to visiting celebrities and one of Maine’s most famous native sons – world-renowned artist Winslow Homer.

With breathtaking views, fabulous food, first-class accommodations, tennis, miles of sandy beaches, a private beach club and heated swimming pool, Black Point Inn provides an exceptional Maine getaway experience. Guests at the Inn are welcomed at the 18-hole, private golf club abutting the property, a walking-only course with five oceanside holes, and one widely regarded as the best example of a “links course” in the state of Maine.

Recently labeled “Best Seaside Resort” by New England Travel Guide, Black Point Inn has been included on the prestigious National Registry of Historic Hotels of America list, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Inn has been featured by the likes of Travel + Leisure, The New York Times, Fodor’s, and National Culinary Review. Additionally, the scenic property earned in 2008 a spot on National Geographic Traveler magazine’s inaugural “Stay List,” and recently was named an “Editor’s Pick” by Condé Nast Traveler’s concierge.com.

Dining at the Inn
Meals are a central component of a visit to any property, and the cuisine offered at Black Point Inn upholds the highest cuisine and hospitality standard. Trap Landry, executive chef at the Inn’s two onsite restaurants, The Point and the more casual Chart Room, has two decades of fine dining kitchen experience to his credit. Known for his focus on local and seasonal cooking, this Austin, Texas, native turns out first-rate American-European classics using Maine’s freshest ingredients from local farmers and suppliers.

Since the Inn’s relaunch in 2007, both The Point and Chart Room have earned excellent reviews from a persuasive variety of national, regional and local press. The open-air Chart Room bar, hand-crafted of mahogany, opens up onto the Inn's gorgeous, spacious decks overlooking the sea, and is an especially popular stop for guests looking for a relaxing summertime cocktail.

Nightly Specials and Activities

Sunday through Wednesday evenings, visitors will enjoy the Inn’s popular Social Hour from 4:30-6 p.m., featuring appetizer and drink specials each evening. Inn guests also will enjoy the complimentary General Manager’s cocktail party every Sunday evening from 5:30-6:30 pm. Wine Tasting Wednesdays at Black Point Inn, free to the public beginning Wednesday, will feature an array of wines and light hors d’oeuvres from 4-6 p.m.

Creature Comforts
Black Point Inn also features spa amenities for guests, including a sauna and outdoor swimming pool. As part of the Inn’s ongoing “green” commitment, the sauna and pool are heated by the Inn's new geothermal wells system.

Additionally, the Inn outfits every room with luxury linens and Aveda products, and private, in-room massages are available from on-call therapists at the Inn. Many of the Inn’s bathrooms have been renovated in time for the 2009 season, including the addition of all-new tiles, showers and appliances. Flat screen television sets are discreetly placed in all guest rooms. During work this past winter, Inn staff has faithfully retained the nuances, colors, and history of the spacious, dark-wood lobby, but has refreshed the wallpaper and original wood trim and furnishings.

Green Initiatives
When the Black Point Inn relaunched in 2007, the Inn’s owners took painstaking measures to make the Inn as environmentally friendly as possible, making important renovation decisions that greatly reduced the carbon footprint of the Inn, while being faithful to its characteristic New England charm and ambiance.

As a result, the Inn earned Green status/full certification as Environmental Leader in the lodging industry by the State of Maine's Department of Environmental Protection. In keeping with Maine’s connection to healthy living and unspoiled surroundings, the Inn achieved full certification as Environmental Leader in the lodging industry by the Department of Environmental Protection of the State of Maine.

This winter the team at Black Point Inn continued its green initiatives:

The Inn moved from fossil fuel to geothermal heating and cooling systems, reducing the property's carbon footprint. Today, there are four geothermal wells that create a fully closed loop system. The Inn also installed 90 new e-glass, double hung windows that help insulate the Inn from cold and heat, also reducing its environmental impact.
The Inn’s two restaurants also align well with environmental goals and mindset. The kitchen staff at the on-site restaurants purchases the bulk of meat, cheeses, sustainable fish and fresh produce – much of which is either organic or naturally grown – from local farmers and producers.

About Black Point Inn
Black Point Inn is a part of the Migis Hotel Group, which includes Migis Lodge in South Casco; The Inn at Camden Place in Camden; and the AAA Four-Diamond Award-winning Inn at Ocean’s Edge, along with its oceanside restaurant, The Edge (both located just 4 miles north of Camden in Lincolnville).

Call (207) 883-2500 to make reservations at Black Point Inn. For more information on rates and packages, visit www.blackpointinn.com.

What to See & Do

Cabela's opens on L.L. Bean's home turf

In Scarborough, Maine, a new Cabela's mega-store, located just down the road from the flagship L.L. Bean, which has stood as the town's chief retailer--and attraction--for generations, has opened..

SEARSPORT

75 years of Collecting at Penobscot Marine Museum  

The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport will celebrate three quarters of a century this year with the exhibit 75 for 75 - 75 Choice Items from 75 Years of Collecting. The exhibit will show the most important, valuable, beautiful and rare items from its permanent collection, including marine paintings, small craft, personal effects of ship captains, and the gifts they brought back to Penobscot Bay from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.MotionVR, LLC (www.motion-vr.com) has announced that Hollywood Slots Hotel & Raceway, a Penn National Gaming facility, located in Bangor, Maine, has become the first Maine-based property to debut revolutionary online “walk-through” MotionVR Tours. Maine’s premier entertainment destination, and the only state gaming facility, now offers prospective guests an online walk-through experience of the property’s offerings including guest rooms & suites, the gaming area, and much more.

STONINGTON

Stonington Opera House

Stonington: Drive south on Main Street, look up away from the water, and you can't miss the Opera House perched on a hill overlooking Stonington Harbor. The Opera House was built in 1912 as a dance hall and was later transformed as a space for music concerts, theater productions and movies. National jazz critic Larry Blumenfeld puts together the annual lineup for the Opera House's Deer Isle Jazz Festival, and Wednesday night "Live For $5" shows draw big summer crowds to see nationally touring musicians and plays.

THE FORKS

10 Reasons to Whitewater Raft in Maine

Riverside barbecues, moose sightings, and natural waterslides are just some of the reasons people travel from near and far to experience whitewater rafting in Maine.
Whitewater rafting has been growing in popularity throughout the United States. This season, Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort, located in Maine, is celebrating their 40th anniversary and was recently recognized as Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England" Editors' Choice for Best Adventure".

Here are ten reasons why Maine's whitewater rafting is the best in the country.

1. Pure Adrenaline-Pumping Adventure: Rafting is Mother Nature's perfect rollercoaster ride. With some of the highest class whitewater rivers, Maine will test any adventure-seeking guest. Whether a first-timer, family, or high-adventure enthusiast, guests will find the perfect rafting vacation in Maine. Already love whitewater action? Don't miss four special release trips. The Kennebec turbine test high release will be featuring 8,000CFS water flows, which is nearly double the normal release volume.

2. Affordability: Maine wants everyone to be able to experience rafting in this beautiful state. Many outfitters offer extensive discounts to help more families afford the experience, with many offering early booking and mid-week deals. Northern Outdoors even offers half-price rafting for kids on weekdays.

3. Wildlife Sightings: A highlight to any rafting trip is spotting moose, eagles, otters, and other wildlife in their natural habitats. A visit to the Maine woods is always a good idea for a chance to see some of these magnificent creatures.

4. Wicked Good Food: A whitewater rafting trip just isn't complete without a riverside barbecue. Northern Outdoors' full-day rafting trips take a short break around noon to pull over to a remote beach for lunch. Enjoy grilled steak, chicken, or salmon before setting off for the second half of the river adventure. Many outfitters are accommodating to dietary restrictions with advance notice.

5. Scenery: Raft the Penobscot River for incredible views of Maine's highest peak, Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, or travel through deep, rock-walled gorges on the Kennebec River before the landscape broadens out to carpets of forest. The Dead River features a wide open basin allowing for optimal views during the fall foliage season. Many rafts stop at natural waterslides to give guests opportunities to experience Maine's natural playgrounds and swim in the fresh pools of water.

6. Knowledgeable Guides: All guides are registered Maine rafting guides with safety as their #1 concern. After safety is taken care of, guides keep their rafters entertained with a lot of laughs and unique Maine history and wildlife lessons.

7. Daily Dam Releases: Daily dam releases from local hyrdo stations allow consistent conditions for rafting all summer long. Rafting trips are available from early May to mid-October. Raft in May to add excitement and adventure to the spring months, or save the trip for October to experience the fiery colors of the Maine fall foliage season. Wetsuits are available to keep guests warm all season long.

8. Trips for Ages 8 and Up: Maine has options for all over the age of eight. A lower Kennebec River float trip can be enjoyed by three generations. Younger families can opt for a half-day trip through calmer rapids while adventurous members of the family can embark on action packed, class V sections.

9. Three Rivers to Pick From: Maine has three unique whitewater rivers for rafting: the Kennebec, Penobscot, and Dead rivers. The Kennebec features consistent class II-IV rapids ideal for first-timers and younger families. The Penobscot River features class IV and V+ rapids perfect for experienced rafters and those looking for serious whitewater action. The Dead River offers a limited number of releases but has more continuous whitewater than any other eastern river, with class III, IV, and V rapids. Northern Outdoors' predecessor, Northern Whitewater Expeditions, pioneered rafting on the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers.

10. Unplug and Relax: Maine is an oasis filled with untouched natural landscapes and without hustle and bustle. A rafting trip in Maine rejuvenates guests and helps grow their relationships with friends, family, teammates, and coworkers.

Maine's beauty and adventure activities attract individuals and families from around the world. Whitewater rafting is one of the most thrilling ways to experience the natural beauty of this amazing vacationland.

For more information on Northern Outdoors and to book your rafting adventure, call 800-765-7238, or book online at www.northernoutdoors.com.

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