November 2016 — November is an ideal month to delve into the arts in Maine, the subject of this month's colorful Maine Thing Quarterly digital magazine. For holiday shoppers, it's the time to work out a strategy for a Black Friday visit to Freeport. This is a month when stalwart waterside dining spots and cozy country inns beckon us, even as the weather grows colder. Looking ahead, Maine's biggest ski mountains are primed for a serious winter and snowmobilers are ready to hit the trails.
For anyone looking for short-lead news, there are details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
The Art of Maine
Maine has a long and rich tradition in the arts and The Art of Maine is the latest interactive production from The Maine Thing Quarterly, a creative mash-up of text, still images and video that pushes the boundaries of digital storytelling. Profiling four contemporary Maine artists and their work, The Art of Maine delves deep into what makes Maine such a nurturing place for artists such as Connie Hayes, Jonathan Mess, Kate Mess and Alan Bray. It also explores museums and galleries, including the new Center for Maine Contemporary Art, as well as the curators and the creative communities like the Watershed Center and Running with Scissors that have made the state such an artists' haven.
Black Friday in Freeport
The brick sidewalks in the coastal village of Freeport will take on the energy of a small city on Black Friday, when the doors to many of its 200-plus shops will open at 6 a.m. That includes outlets such as J. Crew Factory, The North Face, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine West and Jones New York. L.L. Bean is, of course, open 24 hours a day, so early birds can head in at any time. Check out the schedule of events at Freeport USA.
Cozy Coastal Restaurants for a Maine Winter
Dining on the Maine coast takes on a different flavor in winter. Start at Sea Glass Restaurant at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, where chef Andrew Chadwick sources from local farms and uses day boat catch for his menus, served in a dining room with views of Crescent Beach. The Waterfront restaurant in Camden offers a full surf and turf menu with harbor views while David's KPT in Kennebunkport is where to head for a raw bar, chowder shooters and a serious lobster roll. Dennett's Wharf in Castine keeps the summer-feel alive, with steamers, mussels and clams, as well as baked haddock and lobster pot pie. In South Portland, the Saltwater Grille delivers fresh Maine seafood and harbor views, whatever the season. Go to Visit Maine for more info.
Sunday River & Sugarloaf: What's Happening at Maine's Biggest Ski Mountains this Winter
The first snow has already fallen, the snow guns are firing, and Sunday River and Sugarloaf are prepared for an epic 2016-2017 season. At Sunday River, there's new investment in snowmaking equipment and a new partnership with Maine restaurateur Chef Harding Lee Smith to open The Mountain Room, which will serve a full menu by next season. A Sunday River favorite, the Maine-ly Meatball food truck and the new Salt Box Café — Maine's only tiny house food truck on wheels — will deliver bites between runs. At Sugarloaf, the best ski racers in the country will hit the slopes for the 2017 U.S. Alpine Championships March 25-28, 2017, the sixth time Sugarloaf has hosted the event. The mountain is working on creating 650 acres of new glades, there will be more events this winter in the now pedestrian-only Main Street and further investment in state-of-the-art low-energy snow guns. Go to Visit Maine for more on both resorts.
Revving up for Snowmobile Season
Maine is synonymous with snowmobiling, a sport beloved by locals who take full advantage of the state's designated snowmobile trail system. It's a vast network of 4,000 miles of primary trail known as the Interconnected Trail System (ITS), which gives riders the chance to travel without interruption from region to region, with services available en route. That's beyond another 10,000 miles of groomed trails that hook up with the ITS. The state has dozens of outfitters, sporting camps and resorts that offer rentals, guided sled tours, and exploration of such incredible areas as Jackman-Moose River, Moosehead Lake, Rangeley Lakes, Millinocket and the Katahdin area and Aroostook County. Go to Visit Maine for more on snowmobiling.
Great Inns for Winter Vacations
Winter is the coziest time to spend a weekend at a classic Maine inn. Start up north at the Rangeley Inn, which has been welcoming visitors to explore Maine's Lakes and Mountains region for more than a century. Rangeley is the ideal base for snowmobiling, ice fishing, Nordic skiing or driving to nearby Sugarloaf. The Greenville Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and is perfect for exploring the Moosehead Lake area, with its dog sled races, ice fishing festival and miles of winter trails. The Maples Inn in Bar Harbor, which has been serving guests since 1903, is home base for a winter adventure in Acadia National Park. Finally, spend a night or a weekend in Portland Arts District at The Danforth Inn, which is famed for its Tempo Dulu restaurant. Go to Visit Maine for more winter inn suggestions.
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