February 2018 — For those of a cultural bent, the Maine Museum Trail offers an incredible feast for the eyes and a ready-made itinerary. Looking ahead, Maine Restaurant Week is on the horizon, as is the Maine Flower Show. The first of Maine’s heralded film festivals starts in March, as well. For writers, editors and bloggers looking for short-lead news, you’ll find immediate details under Happening Now. Those in search of longer lead news can scroll down to the Looking Ahead section.
Dogsledding in Maine
There’s no winter experience that can compare with dogsledding, a thrilling ride through the woods being pulled by a well-trained pack of sled dogs. A variety of Maine outfitters can get you into the wilds on a sled dog adventure, including Mahoosuc Guide Service, Song in the Woods, New England Dogsledding, Maine Dogsledding Adventures and Mornington Crescent Sled Dogs. While many offer short excursions, companies like Mahoosuc and Song of the Woods offer multi-night trips into the Maine woods via dogsled. It’s a rare chance to experience the mushing lifestyle firsthand. Go to Visit Maine for more information.
The Maine Art Museum Trail
One of the best long weekend pursuits in Maine during midwinter is to see art masterworks by American artists inspired by the Maine landscape, from Frederic Edwin Church and Fitz Henry Lane to Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Marguerite Zorach and three generations of the Wyeth family. Or maybe your tastes run to Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, or perhaps early American silver and furniture? You can see all of this and so much more thanks to The Maine Art Museum Trail, an association of eight of the finest museums in the state, including the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum, the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, the Bates College Museum of Art, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the University of Maine Museum of Art and the Monhegan Museum of Art and History. That’s a 200-mile loop for art lovers and terrific way to get into the heart of Maine. All museums, except Ogunquit and Monhegan, are open year-round. Visit The Maine Art Museum Trail.
Maine Restaurant Week
The annual Maine Restaurant Week, from March 1–12, will showcase great restaurants and culinary artisans in a state where fine dining is now a given. Participating restaurants are offering multi-course meals at fixed prices, ranging from $25, $35, $45 and $55 per person, depending on the establishment. Some will even serve prix fixe lunches for $15. Restaurants are still getting onboard, but even now, you can count on reduced price dining at Hot Suppa and Evo Kitchen + Bar in Portland, Sea Glass in Cape Elizabeth, The White Barn Bistro in Kennebunk and Sea Dog Brewing in Bangor. Participating restaurants can be found in Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Camden, Kennebunk, Yarmouth, Eliot, Bangor, Topsham, Scarborough, Lewiston and Falmouth. For more information, visit Maine Restaurant Week.
The Maine Flower Show
While spring technically begins in March, it takes its sweet time to arrive in Maine. That’s why locals and visitors look forward to the annual Maine Flower Show, which takes the sting out of old man winter. A welcome breath of warmer weather and incredible blossoms, the Portland-based show runs from March 22–25, with an array of displays from landscapers, exhibitors, designers, and horticulturists. There are display gardens by Maine’s best garden and landscape companies, speakers from the horticultural industry, creative-planting showcases and outdoor-living displays. For those who can’t wait, they can get a sneak peek at the 2018 “Rooted in Maine” theme of this year’s show on March 21 at Premiere Night, a first look at the Maine-themed work by masters in floral design, horticulture and yardscaping. For more info, visit The Maine Flower Show.
Maine Film Festivals
Maine has a growing and vital roster of film festivals all across the state. Next month, the Maine Jewish Film Festival kicks off in Portland, one of the best-attended and most highly anticipated cultural events in the area. “Bye Bye Germany” will open the festival this year. The Emerge Film Festival is held every April in Lewiston/Auburn, which aims to build awareness of independent films and support a diverse cross-section of filmmakers. Each July for nearly 20 years, the Maine International Film Festival has brought independent and international films to Waterville, with more than 100 films shown each year. In September, cinema buffs head to The International Maritime Film Festival in Bucksport and to the Camden International Film Festival, which is now recognized as one of the top international documentary festivals in the world. Learn more at Visit Maine.
Maine’s leaf bearing trees will show off their array of fall colors in the upcoming weeks.