March 2, 2022
Now is the time to begin planning a summer getaway to Maine. Hoteliers across the state are already reporting earlier bookings this year, especially for the prime months of July and August. Whether you’re into visiting the fabled coastline, exploring the Western lakes and mountains, or spending time in the state’s lively cities, this is the perfect time to secure lodging and plan activities on the water and in the mountains.
From the sleek new Aloft Hotel in downtown Portland’s waterfront to the venerable sea captain’s mansion that houses The Homeport Inn in Searsport, Maine has an incredible variety of lodging options. There are award-winning resorts like Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth and newly revived inns like The Claremont in Southwest Harbor. York has a range of beachside hotels and motels, there are venerable inns to be found in Bar Harbor, and a range of homey bed & breakfasts in Ogunquit. Inland are classic resorts like Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake, The Bethel Inn in the heart of the mountains, and lakeside vacation cottages scattered all across the state. Maine offers a wide range of accommodation for virtually all tastes and budgets. Go to Visit Maine for details.
Camping & Glamping
Start with Acadia National Park, move on to the 200,000 acres of Baxter State Park, and then look at state park campgrounds, from Bradbury State Park in southern Maine to Cobscook State Park at the edge of Downeast Maine. There are wilderness campsites throughout northern Maine and in the White Mountain National Forest. There’s also close to 200 licensed private campgrounds that welcome tents and RV s. For those looking for more creature comforts, glamping is more popular than ever, thanks to developments from Tentrr.com, Terramor, Huttopia, and Maine Forest Yurts. Go to Visit Maine for details on camping and glamping destinations.
From challenging wilderness hikes up Grafton Notch Loop to easy footpaths through Waterboro Barrens Preserve, Maine has endless possibilities for those who want to get outdoors. There’s mountain biking trails at the Bigelow Preserve while Sugarloaf Mountain has more than 80 miles of trails in the Carrabassett Valley, and Sunday River Resort is near the Mahoosuc Trails. Lakes, rivers and the ocean are also major attractions for a day outdoors in Maine. Thanks to 6,000 lakes and ponds, Maine is the place for kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing, not to mention water skiing and canoeing. Factor in the state’s 3,478 miles of undulating coastline and it’s clear that a day on the water is one of the highlights of a visit to the state. There are sea kayaking and sailing excursions up and down the coast, while whale watching and puffin tours are also activities made for an incredible day on the water. If a day behind the wheel exploring the wonders of the state sounds like a better option, check out Maine’s Scenic Byways and Maine Preservation, which created Drive ME Historic Tours to celebrate Maine’s bicentennial in 2020. The tours feature pre-statehood places and the people who forged early Maine with conveniently mapped out trips. Go to Visit Maine for details.
DINE & SHOP
It’s no secret that Portland is home to some of the most creative chefs and inspired restaurants in the country. From lauded high-end eateries such as Fore Street and Evo, to inventive places like Eventide Oyster and Duckfat, to the waterfront charms of Becky’s Diner, the city is filed with extraordinary dining options. Booking a table a month before your trip this summer is sound advice if you have your heart set on a certain place. The success found in Portland has led to other noteworthy restaurant openings throughout the state. In coastal towns, places like Elda in Biddeford and In Good Company in Rockland have redefined dining, and at inland locations, Front & Main in Waterville, DaVinci’s Eatery in Lewiston, and the A1 Diner in Gardiner serve creative fare. Visit Maine has the details. As for shopping, the Kittery and Freeport outlets, as well as L.L.Bean, command the attention of many shoppers. Yet it’s smart to look at Maine Made, which recognizes Maine products and their producers, smaller companies that offer Maine-made goods, from local food purveyors to artisans focused on crafts, sporting goods, gifts, fiber arts, clothing, and more.
The Cat Returns
The Cat, the international high-speed ferry service between Bar Harbor, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, is planning to resume service in May 2022 after a three-year hiatus. The trip between the two cities takes just 3.5 hours, shaving off many hours of driving time. The season is scheduled to commence on May 19 and conclude on October 10, 2022. Operating four days per week in the early season, service will increase to seven days per week from late June until the day after Labor Day. The fall will see departures six days per week from September 8 onward. Visit The Cat for more information.
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