Warm days, cool nights, and fewer visitors means that Vacationland is even more enjoyable to explore this month. There’s time to check out the new crop of restaurants statewide or get tickets for Harvest on the Harbor in Portland. There’s still time to book a foliage getaway at one of Maine’s classic inns. Looking ahead to next month, the state’s major crafts fair and an activities-packed Pumpkin Trail are on offer. For art lovers, the new N.C.  Wyeth exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art that opens this fall promises new insights into one of the masters of 20th century American art. 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.


New Maine Restaurants

The parade of new Maine restaurants continues with the opening of The Garrison in Yarmouth. Set inside the historic Sparhawk Mill, which sits atop the Royal River, the focus from chef/owner Christian Hayes is a seasonal menu with Mediterranean and Asian inspiration. In Stonington, Michelin-starred chef Ryan McCaskey of Acadia Restaurant in Chicago has opened his new restaurant, Acadia House Provisions. Located in the former Aragosta space at 27 Main Street on the waterfront, the restaurant serves lobster pot pie, Blue Hill mussels and Isle au Haut scallops. On Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Island Lobster Company is a trap-to-table restaurant that serves classic Maine coastal fare – steamers, lobsters and clams – and views to die for. In Portland, casual dining has gotten a boost from Coals, a NYC-based restaurant that serves grilled pizza, as well as Luke’s Lobster. Started in NYC by a Cape Elizabeth native, it now has a flagship location on the Portland Pier serving its signature lobster, crab and shrimp rolls.

The Claremont Hotel, Southwest Harbor
The Claremont Hotel, Southwest Harbor

Maine’s Classic Foliage Inns

There’s still time to book a classic inn for a foliage getaway this fall. Start in Southport at The Newagen Seaside Inn, close to Boothbay Harbor. On Mt. Desert Island in Southwest Harbor, The Claremont is a stately property overlooking Somes Sound. The castle-like Norumbega Inn in Camden is an 11-room boutique hotel. Much more rustic is The Rangeley Inn in the Western Maine town of the same name, at the heart of some of the state’s most scenic mountains and lakes. Over in Fryeburg is the Oxford House Inn, with breathtaking views of the White Mountains and one of the best restaurants in the state. Go to Visit Maine for more info.


Portland Museum of Art
Portland Museum of Art

N.C. Wyeth New Perspectives at the Portland Museum of Art

This October, the Portland Museum of Art will host N. C. Wyeth: New Perspectives, the first major compilation of N. C. Wyeth’s art in almost 50 years. Co-organized with the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the exhibition will contain approximately 45 paintings and drawings selected from museums and private collections across the United States. It promises to be a detailed, chronological exploration of Wyeth’s work and revealing the astonishing breadth of both his subject matter and style. The exhibition will include the iconic paintings that were widely reproduced in books and magazines and established his reputation as one of the period’s most popular illustrators, as well as a selection of landscapes and still lifes. The exhibition runs from October 4, 2019, to January 12, 2020.


Pottery from Edgecomb Potters
Pottery from Edgecomb Potters

Maine Craft Weekend

This annual statewide tour of Maine craft studios, breweries and businesses is held in conjunction with American Craft Week, a nationwide event promoting craft events each October; this two-day event runs October 5 and 6 this year. It’s a terrific opportunity to visit the home studios of potters and glass blowers, and check out craft galleries. It includes open studios, demonstrations, tastings, exhibitions and kids’ projects. Featured cities are Ellsworth, Bucksport, Waterville, Belfast and Hallowell. Plan a route to include a pottery wheel lesson and a glass blowing demonstration in the morning, swing by a brew pub for lunch, peruse a craft show in the afternoon, and stay in an artist-hosted Airbnb off the beaten path. Go to Maine Craft Weekend for more info.

Delicious lobster at Harvest on the Harbor
Delicious lobster at Harvest on the Harbor

Harvest on the Harbor

In a city lauded for its food culture, Harvest on the Harbor takes it one step further with this annual celebration of Portland’s culinary achievements. This year’s events, which run from October 17 to 20, includes a Chef + Farmer Harvest Dinner, Maine Lobster Chef of the Year, Oysterfest with the Maine Oyster Company, and Market on the Harbor. Visit Harvest on the Harbor for details.

Maine’s Pumpkin Trail

Just in time for Halloween, Maine’s Pumpkin Trail is open and welcoming families to 40 miles of Maine coastline. Featuring cruises, giant racing pumpkinboats, and parades, as well as fantastic gardens, not to mention flying and smashing pumpkins—there’s a big roster of activities to keep everyone happy. Maine’s Pumpkin Trail brings together events and activities from the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Visit Freeport and the Maine Maritime Museum. Visit the site to see the calendar of activities, which start on September 7 with the Lobsterman Triathalon in Freeport and continue through October with a pumpkinboat regatta, pumpkin catapult and giant-pumpkin parade. Visit Maine’s Pumpkin Trail for more info.

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