October 4, 2021

Drive ME Historic Tours

Maine-curvy-road-fallMaine Preservation created Drive ME Historic Tours to celebrate Maine’s bicentennial in 2020 and they’re perfect itineraries for a fall drive. The tours feature pre-statehood places and the people who forged early Maine with conveniently mapped out trips. They offer a terrific way to explore Maine’s cultural and architectural roots as you travel by some of the state’s best examples of mid-18th- and early-19th-century architecture. There are 26 tours throughout the many unique regions in Maine. Some include homes built in the 1700s, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts and under British rule, such as the Thomas Perkins House in Kennebunkport and the McCobb-Hill-Minott House in Phippsburg. The tours are organized by region and range from 30 minutes to four hours of exploration. They include the Southern Maine Coastal Region tour from Cape Elizabeth to Biddeford including the iconic Portland Head Light, built circa 1790. On the Maine Highlands tour, a highlight is the Robert Carleton House, one of the oldest surviving buildings in Piscataquis County. Stay in a historic property like the General John Brewer House, a Greek Revival home that is now the Brewer House B&B in the DownEast and Acadia Region. Go to Visit Maine for more information.

The New Mid Mountain Lodge at Saddleback Mountain

Saddlback-logoSaddleback Mountain, which reopened in December 2020, has ambitious plans for the rest of 2021. The ski resort in Rangeley officially broke ground on its new Mid Mountain Lodge, which is planned to be finished this winter. The Mid Mountain Lodge is located in Bicknell’s Thrush habitat and the resort is working with the Maine Audubon Society to protect the bird’s habitat. They are also purchasing new snow equipment, building new mountain bike trails and adding a solar farm. Additional upgrades include three new lifts and two new eco-diesel groomers.

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art (OMAA) was founded by Lost Generation artist Henry Strater and opened in 1953. The museum and its three acres of sculpture gardens have a dramatic coastal setting, a short walk from Perkins Cove, overlooking Narrow Cove and the Atlantic Ocean. The OMAA today houses a permanent collection of important paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs from the late 1800s to the present. OMAA showcases modern and contemporary art with rotating exhibitions and a permanent collection of more than 3,000 works. Exhibits this fall include Light Southerly: Henry Strater in Verde Valley; The View From Narrow Cove; Celeste Roberge: In The Park; Life Streams: Alberto Rey, Cuban-American Artist; Art’s Ball: Wood Gaylor & American Modernism, 1913-1936; and Charles Woodbury: Open Studio, an exhibit of the work of the founder of the Ogunquit Summer School of Drawing and Painting. This month is the last chance to visit before next spring. The OMAA is open for the season until October 31, 2021. Visit OMAA.

Maine-Made Goods for the Holidays

Holiday shoppers should know that Maine has a variety of artisans, artists and shop owners who take great pride in making their goods in the state. From photographs to wood crafts, fiber arts to fly rods, there are dozens of products across the state that are handmade and perfect for one-of-a-kind gifts. Liberty Farm & Forge makes decorative metalwork while 33 by Hand in Portland is where to find handmade high fashion leather goods. Linden Longboards makes skateboards from vintage water skis while Maine Fly Company crafts fly rods. North Country Winds Bells is an audible gift of the sound of the Maine Coast, Lobster Buoy Birdhouses in Lisbon Falls sells colorful houses and feeders while The Angler’s Pint sells full-color designed fish glassware for anglers to use for “tall tales after a day on the water.” For more holiday ideas on Maine purveyors and goods, go to Maine Made.

Family-Friendly Fall Hiking

Maine-family-hiking-fallFall is the best time of the year to hike in Maine and the best time to introduce children to the outdoors. The state is fortunate to have a variety of easy, gentle hikes to introduce the little ones to the world of hiking. They include Waterboro Barrens Preserve in York County, which has 4.4 miles of trails to explore in the 2,475-acre preserve. Close to Portland is the Casco Bay Trail in Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, which is an easy half-mile hike through the coastal woods to Casco Bay, where many ospreys nest. In the Maine Lakes & Mountains, Jockey Cap is just 0.8 miles long but offers panoramic views of the peaks of the White Mountains and the Saco River Valley. In DownEast Maine, there’s an easy 1.5-mile hike through the Barred Island Preserve on Deer Isle that leads to panoramic bay views. Go to Visit Maine for more details.