July 2017 – It’s the heart of a Maine summer and the very best time of the year to enjoy the lakes, ocean and mountains of this amazing state. It’s a month when visitors flock to the ocean beaches and book early tee times at the state’s many golf courses. This summer, they can visit a world-class exhibit of paintings of the state of Maine by one of its most famous native sons, Marsden Hartley. There’s extraordinary music on the horizon, as well, such as the American Folk Festival in Bangor. The middle of summer is also a good time to look ahead and make fall plans for distinctive farm-field-to-farm-table suppers or plan a trip to one of the state’s many agricultural fairs.
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Marsden Hartley’s Maine opens at Colby College
After a highly acclaimed three-month run at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Breuer Galleries in New York City, Marsden Hartley’s Maine is coming home. The exhibition moves to the Colby College Museum of Art from July 8 – November 12, 2017. Marsden Hartley was one of Maine’s best-loved painters and the exhibition celebrates his work and highlights the American artist’s lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine. It is a landmark show that is inspiring visitors to experience Maine this summer and retrace Hartley’s footsteps for themselves. At VisitMaine.com, they can find a map tracing the locations throughout the state that inspired Hartley along with suggested itineraries and sightseeing, lodging and dining recommendations.
Five Amazing Maine Beaches
Maine is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and by mid-summer, they’ve warmed up enough to beckon swimmers off the sand and into the waves. Here are five of the best. Start with Old Orchard Beach, a seven-mile strand with a classic pier and a waterfront amusement park, arcades and fireworks. For those seeking a little more tranquility, Scarborough Beach State Park has waves that attract local surfers and a wide beach that’s ideal for families. Ogunquit Beach is ranked among the top beaches in the United States, thanks to three and a half miles of sand and grassy dunes, with great swimming, bodysurfing and shelling. Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport has three miles of soft sand and moderate surf, ideal for a family day out at the beach. Finally, Popham Beach is a wilder beach in Midcoast Maine in Phippsburg, a beach with offshore islands, such as Fox Island, that can be explored at low tide. Look for more beaches at Visit Maine.
Maine’s Challenging Golf Courses
Maine has more than 100 golf courses, ranging from mountain courses and island courses to stunning seaside courses. Impressive oceanside courses include Sebasco Harbor Resort Golf Club and Samoset Resort Golf Course, overlooking Penobscot Bay. The Bar Harbor Golf Club is a links-style course while the Belgrade Lakes Golf Club is known for its scenic beauty. Among notable designers, Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the Sunday River Golf Club while the Sugarloaf Golf Club in Carrabassett Valley is routinely singled out by GolfDigest as one of the best in the state. The Maine Golf Trail can help visitors plan their vacation around some of the state’s most famous links. Visit Maine has more info.
Farm to table? It got its start in Maine more than half a century ago at Helen and Scott Nearing’s Harborside Farm. But its purest form is Farm-Field-to-Farm-Table. Across the state, you’ll find farms serving creative fare harvested just hours before from the fields around you. They include Flanagan’s Table, at The Barn at Flanagan Farm, Buxton, a monthly dinner held to benefit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. There’s also Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, a working organic farm, and The Well at Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth. Then there’s Nebo Lodge, on North Haven Island in Penobscot Bay, which hosts monthly barn suppers at nearby Turner Farm, which provides all of the lodge’s produce. Go to Visit Maine for more farms participating in this movement.
American Folk Festival Bangor
From C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band to blues guitarist Selwyn Birchwood and the Afro-Mexican beats of the L.A. based Las Cafeteras, the American Folk Festival is a true cross-section of folk traditions from across the United States. This year’s festival, from August 25–27, also includes gospel singer Cora Harvey Armstrong and the Québécois group, Les Poules à Colin, appearing on stages along the Bangor Waterfront. The festival also offers traditional craft demonstrations and exhibits, a children's area, and dozens of food vendors with ethnic food and regional specialties. The marketplace has unique, handcrafted items and “Taste of Maine” treats for sale. Visit American Folk Festival for more info.
Agricultural Fairs: The Fryeburg Fair and The Common Ground Fair County Fair
Maine’s county fairs are multi-day events that showcase the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine. The Common Ground Country Fair, from September 23–24 in Unity, is affiliated with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Started in 1977, during the back-to-the-land movement, it has become a beacon for forward-thinking organic farming techniques and a showcase for rural crafts, attracting upwards of 60,000 visitors. There are demos of spinning and carding wool, stonework, tree identification and raising animals. Anyone curious about sustainable beekeeping or how to purchase a used tractor will learn a great deal at the Common Ground Fair. On the far western side of the state, the Fryeburg Fair from October 1–8 is a classic county fair with team-pulling, 4H awards and the ever-popular pig scramble. A full arcade with classic carnival rides, harness racing, a sheepdog trial and tractor pulling are among the highlights of this fair that dates back to 1851. It’s Maine’s largest fair and attracts more than 170,000 visitors during its run. Go to Visit Maine for information on these and other agricultural fairs.
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