June 2016 – As summer arrives in the state, the road biking season is already in full swing, sailboats are gracing the state's lakes and and coastline, and local ice cream stands are busy. June offers a good opportunity to visit gems like The Abbe Museum or go "forest bathing." For those who want to get the jump on a foliage trip, it's the perfect time to plan a fall vacation and book a favorite inn.
Maine's Biking Trails
The good news for anyone who'd love to explore the state on two wheels is that Maine is part of the long-distance, interstate urban trail project known as the East Coast Greenway. When completed, this trail network will connect northernmost Maine to Florida with 3,000 miles of traffic-free shared-use trails. The East Coast Greenway and U.S. Bike Route One include the Eastern Trail in southern Maine and the Down East Sunrise Trail from Ellsworth to Calais. Plan your trip by checking out the Maine Department of Transportation guide to 33 self-guided road biking tours. The routes are statewide and are accompanied by maps, photos and turn-by-turn directions. Want someone else to organize your bike tour? Local companies like Summer Feet Cycling and Maine Coast Bicycle Tours can get you on two wheels and on the road.
"People of the First Light" at The Abbe Museum
The Abbe Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate in Bar Harbor, is the only museum in Maine dedicated to the history and culture of the Wabanaki peoples, which includes the four principal nations in Maine: the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot. The museum has just opened a new core exhibit, "People of the First Light," that brings together oral traditions, personal stories, cultural knowledge, language, and historical accounts with objects, photographs, multi-media, and digital interactives. The museum worked with nearly 30 Wabanaki curators, consultants and artists to create this extraordinary exhibition. Visit The Abbe Museum.
Sailing in Maine
Whether it's sailing a sloop among the islands of Penobscot Bay or tacking in a Sunfish across the waters of one of Maine's many lakes or ponds, sailing is a classic way to spend a summer's day on the water. Maine has a bevy of sailing schools, boatyards that rent small craft by the day or week, and plenty of anchorages for those who intend to visit the state under their own sail power. There are also dozens of opportunities for day sails and sunset cruises on vintage craft along the coast. Go to Visit Maine for more information.
Maine Ice Cream Stands
The classic summer day in Maine includes a stop at a local ice cream stand for some fresh-made small-batch ice cream, made with milk and cream from Maine's dairy farms. There are statewide brands such as Shain's, Giffords and Beal's but also individual ice cream stands that have been around for generations. These include 90-year-old Round Top Ice Cream in Damariscotta; Hodgman's Frozen Custard, which opened in New Gloucester in 1946; and Dorman's Dairy Dream in Thomaston, which has been around since 1951. Go to Maine Ice Cream Stands for more information.
In Japan, forest bathing or 'Shirin-yogu,' is a well-known relaxation and stress management activity. This isn't a hike, but a slow, contemplative stroll through a quiet and peaceful stretch of woods. The idea behind it is to reconnect with nature. Stopping to rest, read or just contemplate is part of the casual ritual. The benefits include decreased stress, natural mood elevation and a stronger immune system. To sample its benefits in Maine, turn off that cell phone and take a stroll through the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, which promotes forest bathing with its meditation garden. For those who'd like more structure to their forest bathing, there's a Fall Foliage Meditation Yoga Retreat in Denmark this September.
Cliff House Maine
Located in Cape Neddick, Cliff House Maine will be reopening in August 2016 following a $40 million renovation. Offering breathtaking views overlooking cliffs and the Atlantic, dining venues that include its own lobster shack, a luxurious spa and an array of activities for couples, friends, families or groups, Cliff House Maine promises to be a remarkable ideal new getaway. Visit Cliff House Maine.
Fall in Maine
It may be early summer, but it's also the perfect time to begin planning a fall foliage drive and getting a jump on booking some of the state's best lodging during one of its most beautiful seasons. Fall is ideal not only for leaf peeping but also for canoeing and kayaking, fly fishing, and hiking in Maine's state and national parks, including Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park. Now is the time for fall visitors to book one of Maine's resorts, seaside inns, lakeshore cabins or bed & breakfasts. Go to Fall in Maine for more information.
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