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Many places along the shore before Portland is a great destination. I even went to Orchard beach and drove along route 9 and found many hideaways along the shore before Portland. All picturesque and could be great stop over. In Saco, there are little bungelows for rent, but the area reminds me of a carnival. Crescent Beach State park is a great area for beach and nature. They have several campgrounds in the area of Old Orchard beach as well as motels where I met many Canadians on vacation there. Hope this helps a little.
Cheers tommy x
Written Jun 7, 2012
10 miles off the coast is a great island called Monhegan. Populated in the summer by artists and in the winter by a hardy group of locals, it is not to be missed. There are no cars on the island and it is filled with amazing sights, like fairy houses in cathedral woods, old shopwrecks and breathtaking cliffs!
You can take a ferry from Booth Bay or New Harbor. We took the Hardy Boat out of New Harbor and I definately recommend it!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Off the Beaten Path of Maine are the numerous back roads and by-ways, that host so many of the original unique Maine farmhouses.
Maine's farmhouses have the nick name of "Front house, Middle house, Back house and Barn"...................and they are all connected together in a long row. Thus, the New England ingenuity of not having to go out in the storm or snow to do your winter chores.
I believe this is a custom that is not demonstrated in any other rural farm area around the country.
Below is a good example of that construction which happens to belong to my brother who lives in Somersville, Maine in Lincoln County near Union, Windsor, and Jefferson. Quite near the coast, Rockland area.
Also, below is the website for a Maine Museum that demonstrates the early settlements and archives of early life styles. Maine is one of the first states to receive settlers and pioneers in the establishment of the new country, America.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
This is a wonderful little park with picnic areas (wheelchair access also!) and some very windy, pretty walks that follow the coastline, and a few expanses perfect for frisbee or other running around games. It's on about 200 acres, and a great stop to get away from the Freeport insanity!
There are islands off the coast where ospreys breed. We saw some when we were there, but it was a bit past season. Beautiful views of Casco Bay.
Directions: Take exit 19 or 20 from Interstate 95, or follow Route 1, to the center of Freeport. In front of LL Bean, turn onto Bow Street and follow for 2.3 miles to Wolf Neck Road on your right. Follow Wolf Neck Road for 2.1 miles to the park on your left.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: 207 865 4465
About 40 miles from Portland in Richmond, Maine, you will find Richmond Sauna bed and breakfast. There are six wood fired sauna rooms - each with it's own changing room. Most people understand that saunas are best experienced nude and they can be very social places so mixed nudity is the norm. For those who prefer to retain some modesty, a private sauna room can be used. There is also a wonderful pool and hot tub to relax in afterwards.
The house is an eclectic collection of books and artwork - if you want your stay to be organised and sterile - don't come here. This is homely - euphemism for cluttered - but welcoming and hosts Richard and Ginny are terrificly interesting people. Clothing is optional in the guest house. If you have an open mind, come and relax.
Updated Jan 15, 2011
If you've ever wondered what it's like to sail silently between Maine islands and head out to sea, this is the perfect experience. Take a ride on a 151-foot, four-masted schooner. The crew is friendly and informative. We even had a park ranger on board tell us all about Bar Harbor, and I mean it when I say that there was no question she could not answer. If you care to participate, you can help man the sails. Of course, I wanted to help! The kids had a blast. I can't wait until they read Moby Dick in school now. This should add some flavor to their reading. If you're lucky, it's a real wildlife fieldtrip. Whales, dolphins, marine birds, sea life. The scenery is incredible. Lobster boats, open sea, rocky cliffs and beaches. A bit of a financial burden for the head of the family, but go ahead! This is what you work for. What great memories you're making.
Updated Dec 21, 2007
Phone: (207) 288-4585
Wow. Whether for a day, a week or a summer, Vinalhaven Island is well worth the visit.
After spending a wonderful week and a half hopping from New York, to Vermont, and into Maine, and after the pretty large crowds encountered throughout much of Acadia National Park, a week of solitude on Vinalhaven Island was perfect for the soul.
If you are looking for a beautiful, quiet, authentic, (did I say beautiful?) place to vacation you can't beat Vinalhaven. My wife and I rented an oceanfront house on the island and spent our days kayaking, hiking, biking, fishing, sunning, and naturewatching.
There was always something stunningly beautiful or completely captivating to behold. Sunrise over the Atlantic. Numerous different types of sea birds. Lobstermen tending to their traps right in front of our house. Over a dozen stunning hiking trails to explore and a loop bicycle route, though no dedicated bike only trails. Countless small islands to explore off the coast, many uninhabited (frequently it felt as if I were the first person setting foot on some even if it were just my imagination).
There were enough restaurants to provide a sufficient diversity, but not too many to divert from the authenticness of the island. Fresh lobster can be bought from the coop, fresh fish from the sole grocery store.
Updated Nov 29, 2006
McLaughlin Gardens, located at 97 Main Street (Route 26) in South Paris, is for the nature/garden lovers out there. In 1936 Bernard McLaughlin began planting what would become one of Maine's most beautiful gardens, on his property. A century-old Maine home with stone walls and huge barn is the background for his collection of trees, woody shrubs, and perennials.
Bernard welcomed visitors to the garden whenever the gate was open. With no formal horticultural training, and tending the garden single-handedly for most his life, he eventually became known as the "Dean of Maine Gardeners." Mr. McLaughlin died at age 98 in 1995.
Now almost seventy years old, the two acre garden is cared for by a nonprofit organization that is preserving the home, barn and garden for the public.
The formal garden contains mature collections of hostas, daylilies, astilbes, iris, phlox, sedum, cimicifuga, sempervivums, and over 200 lilacs beneath a canopy of trees. A large collection of Maine wildflowers and ferns border an old lane which rises up the wooded hill behind the barn.
There is a Garden Gift Shop and Garden Café in the house for you to enjoy before or after walking the gardens.
The Lilac Festival is held in June. Walking among the paths you can smell all of the lilacs and that's one smell I absolutely love. To find out exactly what dates it'll be held in 2007, check the website next year.
Garden: Open daily May through October
Gift Shop: Open daily 10–5 pm
Garden Café: Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day
Updated Oct 8, 2006
This is off the beaten path, alright. In fact, the 2+ hour trip to the West Quoddy Head Light, the easternmost point in the US was an interesting experience. But I can say I've been there, and the lighthouse was pretty cool. It's the only red and white striped lighthouse in ?? I don't know... Maine, the US?? who knows. I just know that it was a big deal.
Updated May 28, 2006
Cliff Island is 2 miles long and a 1/4 mile wide. It is home to about 90 residents including lobster fishermen and women. It has about 300 summer residents.....and it is a little piece of heaven. My little Jewel.
It is the last island that the Casco Bay Lines Ferries accomodate. About an hour and a half from Portland, Maine by ferry, 20-25 minutes by regular boat.
There is no public facilities here, no hotels, B&B's, etc. Just a summer colony and residents. There is a snack bar by the ferry landing.
There are a few cars for those who live here in the winter. Golf carts and bicycles are the main transportation besides walking. Cliff Island is like going back in time. Slow, quiet, removed from the hustle bustle.
In our cottage that we rent in July, there is no phone or television. So we are forced to entertain ourselves. Mostly fishing, walking, card playing and reading.
My favorite thing is just sitting on the wrap around porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, watching sailboats and lobster boats go there merry way. The horizon is the vast blue water.....and on the other side is my other favorite place, Ireland.
Written Jan 7, 2006
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