There’s a lot to look forward to in Maine in 2017. Adding to the list of the tried and true that make Maine such a special place are a plethora of new places to dine, stay, play and explore.
FOOD & DRINK
Maine’s first organic distillery opened in 2016 and that fall, Split Rock Distillery opened a tasting room in Newcastle. Split Rock handcrafts their spirits using organic grains, fruits and sugars and draws waters from the purest and cleanest estuary in the Northeast—the Damariscotta River.
Nīna June opened in picturesque Rockport. After many years at the helm of her acclaimed New York City restaurants, Camden native Chef Sara Jenkins now brings her Mediterranean passion to the products from the bounty of Maine’s oceans and farms.
Situated on the shore of beautiful Camden Harbor, Rhumb Line is now open serving waterfront lunch and dinner using the freshest ingredients the local area offers.
Portland’s food scene gets even more noteworthy with additions like: Woodford Food & Beverage, a neighborhood bar area dining room serving upscale regional fare; Scales, two popular and well-known Portland chefs combined forces to create this over-the-waterfront restaurant featuring the freshest in local seafood; and Rhum, Portland’s only “tiki” bar. If the custom- made glasses and unbelievable cocktail menu doesn’t get you, Rhum boasts in an impressive featuring many raw bar options, salads and more.
Verona Wine & Design has opened in Bucksport offering tapas-style small plates, desserts and a carefully selected wine and beer menu, as well as wine and gifts for purchase. It’s an intimate, laid-back eatery that’s a welcome addition to the growing, diversifying Bucksport downtown.
Expanding their offerings year round, Maine Foodie Tours is working with art galleries for art tasting tours as well as local boat tours to present fare from the sea, and a customized Sherpa Tour that has visitors tasting the “best of the best” in Portland cuisine.
Through a new partnership with Maine restaurateur Chef Harding Lee Smith, Sunday River will transform space in its mid-mountain Peak Lodge on North Peak to house The Mountain Room at Sunday River. Phase one of The Mountain Room will include a 20-person bar where signature drinks like Smith's ode to Sunday River, the Happy Place Found served alongside an extensive menu of cocktails, craft brews, and a short menu of appetizers. Phase two of The Mountain Room, to be completed for the 2017-18 season, will include finalizing the restaurant space for lunch and dinner.
Flight Deck Brewery, a new brewery, tasting room and distribution center will open in 2017 at Brunswick Landing. Flight Deck will use an electric brewing system with a constantly changing lineup of beers made from ingredients as exotic as sumac and as New England as blueberries.
Happy Endings Martini & Dessert Bar, offering creative martinis and cocktails and house-made desserts recently opened on Main Street in Bangor. They boast an extensive list of martinis and specialty cocktails, a wine and Scotch list, and a selection of dessert wines and local wines. In addition to an array of desserts, Happy Endings will offer a small menu of tapas-style treats, such as fondue and vegetarian options.
Chef Kelly Farrin, formerly of highly-acclaimed Primo and a past Maine lobster chef of the year, has reopened the Carriage House restaurant in East Boothbay. Open year round, Carriage House will feature new twists on old favorites inspired by Chef Farrin’s creative flare with flavors.
Appalachian Mountain Club’s newest destination in their Maine wilderness lodges network will open the summer of 2017. Medawisla is the ideal spot for exploring the famed 100-Mile Wilderness with opportunities for hiking, paddling, fly fishing, canoe camping, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, steps away from private cabins.
Hikers are now able to access the Bigelow Preserve directly from the Stratton Brook Hut at Maine Huts & Trails. The 1.47-mile-long trail will traverse down into the preserve directly from Stratton Brook Hut, meeting up with the Esker Trail. Hikers will then have the opportunity to hike several trails in the Bigelow Preserve, including a section of the Appalachian Trail.
The Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit is a new six mountain hiking challenge in the Moosehead Lake region of Maine. The mountains include: Mount Kineo, Number Four Mountain, Whitecap Mountain, Eagle Rock, Big Moose Mountain, and Borestone Mountain. The newly launched website includes a trail guide with information on the hiking challenge, directions to find each location and maps.
The Boothbay Harbor Country Club completed their multimillion dollar redesign and renovation project bringing a concierge-style golf experience to mid-coast Maine along with a new clubhouse and restaurant.
L.L.Bean is now offering the Great Maine Adventure. This seven-day trip features kayaking, hiking, biking, exclusive guided tours and more.
Summer Feet Cycling is now offering weekend and week-long bicycle tours. Pedal to Paintings take cyclists on a journey of Maine’s Art Museum Trail, Sailboats & Summer Folk covers the mid-coast and Lobster Rolls & Locavores speaks for itself!
ARTS & HERITAGE
The Maine Maritime Museum broke ground on construction of a new gallery space that will house an immersive lighthouse exhibit, Into the
Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience. Opening in summer 2017, the exhibit will house the second-order Fresnel lens that that once guided ships into
Portland, Maine, from the East Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse tower.
To celebrate the 100th birthday of Andrew Wyeth, the Farnsworth Art Museum will be having multiple events throughout 2017. In addition, beginning in April, they will be presenting four separate exhibits under the umbrella of Andrew Wyeth at 100.
Portland Museum of Art will be opening the David E. Shaw & Family Sculpture Park in the summer of 2017. The park will be accessible to all, free to the public, and open year-round during museum hours. The museum is also undertaking a multiyear project called Your Museum, Reimagined. The project has included the construction of a new participatory space, the publication of the museum’s first-ever collection catalogue, the launch of The Collection Online, and the opening of the Peggy L. Osher Art Study and Collection Committee Conference Room. In February 2017, they will unveil their collection in stunning new ways—including new interpretive and educational materials, self-guided tours and multimedia stations.
Langlais Sculpture Preserve in Cushing will open in September 2017. This nature and sculpture park celebrates Bernard Langlais’s legacy and the natural resources of the Cushing peninsula. Established on a portion of Langlais’s homestead, the preserve retains several of the artist’s outdoor sculptures, including the thirteen-foot Horse, Langlais’s first monumental outdoor work and a landmark of Cushing’s River Road; and his sculptural homage to Christina Olson, the local woman featured in Andrew Wyeth’s 1948 masterpiece, Christina’s World.
Experience Maritime Maine will launch their maritime culture podcasts in early 2017. The downloadable story topics range from women who lobster, windjammer cruising and the fish monger of Portland.
Located in Cape Neddick, Cliff House Maine reopened 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.
Linekin Bay Resort in Boothbay Harbor has undergone a stunning revitalization project. This historic resort overlooking the ocean has new owners who have made extensive renovations, added more boats to their fleet and hired a new executive chef.
The new boutique hotel, 250 Main Hotel, has opened in downtown Rockland. Overlooking Rockland Harbor, the hotel is marketed as a luxury yacht on Main Street. The 26 rooms were designed for the modern traveler with unique, reclaimed and industrial décor with water views from most rooms.
The Rockland Harbor Hotel has opened along Main Street in Rockland across from the ferry terminal. The 82-room hotel has been completely renovated with a fresh, nautical look and is a short walk to the many amenities in Rockland.
The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport is near completion of their new L.L.Bean Guest House that is decorated and furnished by legendary outdoor outfitter, L.L.Bean. The accommodations are perfect for families or a group of friends…private, but with all inn’s amenities.
Maine’s leaf bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks.