October 26, 2015 – October in Maine is an energetic month, thanks to the state’s booming dining scene, a groundbreaking biennial and the start of the holiday shopping season. For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, there are details under Happening Now. Those is search of longer lead news – such as coastal inns offering winter packages and a preview of the snowmobiling season – scroll down to Looking Ahead.
WHERE TO EAT NOW IN MAINE
The only thing that changes as fast as the weather in Maine is the state’s incredibly rich food scene. Have a look at Maine Eater’s “Eater 18” to stay up to date on what’s happening with local chefs, restaurants and trends. Right now, Maine Eater’s hot list includes Chef David Ross and Merrilee Paul’s 50 Local in Kennebunk, Central Provisions in Portland (a James Beard Best New Restaurants finalist) and Suzuki’s Sushi Bar in Rockland.
PORTLAND MUSEUM BIENNIAL
“You Can’t Get There From Here: The 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial” is an eclectic and carefully chosen exhibition of Maine’s multi-faceted artists. It includes the work of 32 established Maine artists who have created notable new bodies of work, as well as artists who have traveled outside of Maine and are becoming known outside its borders. Curated by Alison Ferris, it runs from October 8, 2015, to January 3, 2016. Exhibit link: You Can’t Get There from Here; Twitter: twitter.com/PtldMuseumofArt; Instagram: instagram.com/portlandartmuseum
ONE-STOP HOLIDAY SHOPPING
The epicenter for holiday shopping in Maine is the festively decorated town of Freeport, which lies on Casco Bay just north of Portland. It’s been home to L.L. Bean since the company’s founding in 1912 and the store famously is open around the clock 365 days a year. But there’s a lot more to Freeport, including more than 150 outlet stores and specialty shops offering high fashion, outdoor wear and Maine-made gifts. Thanks to a variety of classic inns and dozens of dining establishments, a weekend in Freeport has become a hallmark of the holiday season. visitmaine.com/things-to-do/shopping/
THE SEASON FOR SNOWMOBILING
The snow will soon be falling, and that’s reason for snowmobilers to get revved up. Snowmobiling is huge in Maine, which offers more than 14,000 miles of spectacular snowmobile trails. The best known is the well-groomed and well-marked Interconnected Trail System (ITS) that stretches more than 3,500 miles. It offers the ability to ride uninterrupted from region to region, with a full range of services available en route. Many of the trails are maintained by the more than 280 snowmobile clubs across the state. Numerous outfitters, camps and resorts will provide you with complete rentals, from helmets and sleds to parts and fuel. You can also take advantage of guided sled tours, ranging from half and full-day outings for families and groups to extended trips of a few days or more. Prime snowmobiling areas include Jackman-Moose River, Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lakes and Aroostook County.
WINTER WARMUP AT COASTAL INNS
Winter is when the Maine coast is at its most dramatic, and after a brisk walk on a quiet beach or an afternoon of cross-country skiing, nothing soothes the spirit more than curling up in a cozy room with a fireplace in a classic coastal inn. At inns such as Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport and the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, the Maine winter experience is turned into an occasion. Inns such as these offer a range of guest rooms with fireplaces. Go to Visit Maine for more suggestions.
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