April 10, 2023

Breeze Airways Arrives in Portland

Breeze Airways will begin service to Portland on May 17, 2023. The low-cost airline, created in 2021 by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, currently has 22 nonstop routes throughout its network. The carrier will fly nonstop to four cities from Portland: Charleston, Tampa, Norfolk, and Pittsburgh. According to the airline, Breeze will also add nearly two dozen new routes, bringing its total network to 143 nonstop routes between 35 cities in 21 states. Visit Breeze Airways.

Nezinscott Farm Wins a James Beard Award

Nezinscot-FarmNezinscott Farm in Turner is a family-run farm with a cafe, bakery, fromagerie, and charcuterie. It also happens to be the state’s first organic dairy farm. Now it has another honor: it won a James Beard America’s Classics Award, which singled out the farm’s landmark status in Maine. This special award singles out local restaurants with “timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community,” according to the James Beard Foundation. Located in Turner, Maine, Nezinscott Farm has been in the Varney family for over 100 years and is a central fixture in the community. When Gloria and Gregg Varney took over the farm in 1987, they added a café, coffee shop, and eventually a bakery, cheese shop, and charcuterie. Visit the James Beard America’s Classics Awards.

Earth Day News: From Golf Course to Coastal Wetlands

Just in time for Earth Day, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $1 million grant to Frenchman Bay Conservancy and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to acquire 216 acres of coastal wetlands adjacent upland habitat in Trenton. The property was previously the location of the Bar Harbor Golf Course. It has more than one mile of undeveloped shoreline, a tidal salt marsh, tidal wading bird and waterfowl habitat, and offshore mudflats, which Maine’s Department of Marine Resources maps as a seed mussel conservation area. Jordan River Bay includes over 1,200 acres of productive softshell clam and blue mussel beds. The plan is to restore the property’s natural landscape, focusing on marsh migration and protecting native plant and animal species that are rare, threatened, or endangered. The preserve is intended to be a resource for wildlife and the local community. Frenchman Bay Conservancy hopes to close on the property later this year but still needs $1 million to make up the remaining balance of acquisition cost and funds for the restoration of the property. The project is one of 21 selected in eight coastal states to protect, restore or enhance nearly 14,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

 Makers on Main

Freeport is well-known as the home of L.L.Bean and dozens of outlets from some of the biggest retail names in the country. But for insight into Maine’s grassroots arts and crafts movement, head to Freeport on the first Saturday of every month between May and September. That’s when Makers on Main will take place, a pop-up gathering of artists, makers, and food trucks along Main Street that offers a delightful array of local products for sale. Held from 10 am to 4 pm, it’s a chance to explore the work of some of the best artisans in the state, including jewelers, quilters, and glassblowers, along with a great selection of food and drink. Visit Makers on Main for more information.

The Maine Art Museum Trail

One of the best summer pursuits in Maine 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. The Maine Art Museum Trail is an association of nine of the finest collecting museums in the state. With more than 80,000 works of art, they showcase an impressive diversity of artists, subjects, and media. The museums includes 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 Zillman Art Museum – University of Maine, the Abbe Museum, and the Monhegan Museum of Art and History.  Visit The Maine Art Museum Trail.

Maine Summer Camps

Thanks to its lakes, forests, mountains, and miles of shoreline, Maine is synonymous with summer camps. Dating back more than a century in some cases, these venerable camps can be found all over the state. Many campers are following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, spending a month or more in rustic cabins or tents along the shores of a beautiful lake, learning skills that range from canoeing to swimming and hiking to environmental awareness and wilderness skills. Camaraderie, sharing, and respect also loom large in a summer filled with fun and learning. Here are two sites that are good resources for finding the perfect camp for a unique and unforgettable summer experience: The Maine Camp Experience and Maine Camps.

It’s Time to Plan a Maine Getaway

April is the perfect month to plan a summer trip to Maine. Whether you’re into visiting the fabled coastline, exploring the Western lakes and mountains, or spending time in the state’s lively cities, get a jump by booking lodging and flights now. Thanks to 6,000 lakes and ponds, Maine is the place for kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing, not to mention fishing, water skiing, and canoeing. Factor in the state’s 3,500 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. The state has a great variety of lodging options for all tastes and budgets. From the 19th-century Rangeley Inn in the Western Mountains to Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth and Aloft on Commercial Street in Portland,  there are century-old inns and bed& breakfasts, beachside hotels and motels, classic resorts, and lakeside vacation cottages.  Maine is also known for camping, with many state park campgrounds, from Bradbury State Park in southern Maine to Cobscook State Park at the edge of Downeast Maine. There are prized campgrounds within Acadia National Park, wilderness campsites scattered throughout northern Maine, and nearly 200 licensed private campgrounds that accommodate everything from tent camping to RV camping. The continued popularity of glamping has welcomed brands such as Tent’r, Terramor Outdoor Resort, and Huttopia. Go to Visit Maine for more details.

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