Quantcast

Topic: Maine

Maine Attractions 2009

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

ATTRACTIONS

Best Store to Woof About:
PLANET DOG, Portland
Portland earns kudus as a dog-friendly town, and Planet Dog (motto: “Think globally. Act doggedly.”) earns raves for its environmentally friendly pet products (check out the Orbee-Tuff Ball), commitment to animal causes, and pet programs. 211 Marginal Way. 207-347-8606; planetdog.com

Best Chance to Land Dinner:
LUCKY CATCH LOBSTER TOUR, Portland
Captain Tom Martin shares everything you ever wanted to know about lobster and lets guests on board assist with setting and baiting traps, all while cruising through the island- and lighthouse-studded waters of Casco Bay. Any lobsters caught during the tour may be purchased for boat price, and cooking is available at a nearby restaurant for a reasonable rate. 170 Commercial St. 207-761-0941; luckycatch.com

Best Jaw-Dropping Interior:
VICTORIA MANSION, Portland
Widely considered the country’s most magnificently ornamented dwelling of its period and one of the finest house museums you’ll ever find, this National Historic Landmark drips with Gilded Age ornamentation and architectural embellishment. The home retains about 90 percent of its original Gustave Herter furnishings. 109 Danforth St. 207-772-4841; victoriamansion.org

Best Place to Park Your Camel:
DESERT OF MAINE, Freeport
Is this oasis of sand surrounded by forest a natural phenomenon, a manmade disaster, or something in between? You decide, after a safari-style tour that covers history, geology, and environmental science. Kids may dig for “gems” in the dunes. 95 Desert Road. 207-865-6962; desertofmaine.com

Best Seaside Fragrance:
COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDEN, Boothbay
You could spend the better part of a day meandering through more than a half-dozen spacious gardens spread over 250 shorefront acres, showcasing collections of roses, rhododendrons, ferns, kousa dogwoods, native plants, and more. Free tours, making it easier to discover the many hidden treasures. Here’s another plus: The cafe serves the area’s best lunch. Barter’s Island Road (off Route 27 South). 207-633-4333; mainegardens.org

Best Lighthouse Tour:
BURNT ISLAND, Boothbay Harbor
Experience time travel with a cruise to Burnt Island circa 1955, where interpreters portraying lighthouse keeper Joseph Muise and his family conduct tours of the keeper’s house and light tower; the Muise children often accompany visitors as they wander the island’s nature paths. Thurs. and Sun. evenings June 28-Aug. 30. 207-633-9559; maine.gov/dmr/burntisland/tour.htm. Balmy Days II Cruises; 800-298-2284, 207-633-2284; balmydayscruises.com

Best Place to Purchase a Beach Book:
STONE SOUP, Camden
Enjoy–books fill shelves and overflow into piles on the floor in Paul and Agnes Joy’s tiny two-room, second-floor shop. No fusty or pricey antiquarian tomes here–just plentiful good reads, with an especially fine fiction selection. 35 Main St. 207-763-3354; biblio.com/bookstores/stonesoup.html

Best Place to Stomp Your Feet:
CELLARDOOR WINERY, Lincolnville
Maine’s oldest vineyard grows six acres of grapes on rolling foothills just inland of Lincolnville Beach. Inside the barn are a tasting room and a retail shop, where you can pick up cheeses and crackers for a picnic on the deck. Return in October for the annual “Romp & Stomp” celebration. 367 Youngtown Road. 207-763-4478; mainewine.com

Best Place to Tool Around:
LIBERTY TOOL, Liberty
Every saw, plane, and screw is organized by size and type and priced individually at this three-story emporium, where antiques and other curiosities pepper the upper floors. Across the street are a power-tool annex and the Davistown Museum, where owner Skip Brack displays the best tools, artwork, and historical artifacts he’s discovered during his buying and salvage expeditions. 57 Main St. 207-589-4771; jonesport-wood.com/libertytool.html

Best Historical Detour:
FORT KNOX/PENOBSCOT NARROWS OBSERVATORY, Prospect
On a clear day, the head-swiveling views from the glass-walled observatory topping the Penobscot Narrows Bridge extend from Katahdin to Mount Desert. The building rises out of Fort Knox, a sprawling granite fort constructed in 1844 and named for America’s first secretary of war, Henry Knox. Among the fort’s many historical treasures are two complete Rodman canons. It’s a great place for a riverfront picnic, and the underground passageways are a big hit with kids. Route 174. 207-469-7719; fortknox.maineguide.com

Best Nontraditional Entertainment:
DIVE-IN THEATER BOAT CRUISE, Bar Harbor
When deep-sea diver Ed Monat plunges overboard, he takes a video camera and microphone so that he can communicate with visitors aboard the boat as he guides them around the depths of Frenchman Bay. When he resurfaces, he brings back a selection of sea critters that you can touch and examine, before returning them to the sea. Fascinating for the whole family. Opens mid- to late June this year. College of the Atlantic Pier. 207-288-3483; divered.com

Best Birdwatching Guide:
DOWN EAST NATURE TOURS, Bar Harbor
Biologist and Maine Guide Michael Good is simply batty about birds, and he shares his knowledge with avian addicts and neophytes alike. Whether you’re pining to see warblers, falcons, eagles, and hawks or seeking to add a Nelson’s sharptailed sparrow to your life list, Good’s your man. He supplies local transportation and a spotting scope. 150 Knox Road. 207-288-8128; downeastnaturetours.com

Best Island Tour:
ISLAND CRUISES, Bass Harbor
You won’t find a better source of local heritage and lore than Captain Kim Strauss, who’s not only been sailing the waters of Blue Hill Bay for nearly 60 years, but also built the R. L. Gott. During the three-and-a-half-hour lunch cruise to Frenchboro, he points out Bass Harbor Light, abandoned granite-quarrying sites, and wildlife–he even hauls a trap or two. On the island, order a lobster at Lunt’s Dockside Deli. Little Island Way (off Shore Road). 207-244-5785; bassharborcruises.com

Best Small-Town Celebration:
GRAND LAKE STREAM FOLK ART FESTIVAL, Grand Lake Stream
Way, way Down East, in a town renowned for fishing, this family favorite reels in shoppers with more than 50 talented artisans, as well as nonstop music, exhibitions of quilts and canoes, craft demonstrations, and food. Complementing it are lakeside lobster and chicken barbecues and a contra dance. July 25-26 this year, at the town basefall field. 207-796-8199; glsfaf.org

Best Nature Vacation:
MAINE SPORTING CAMPS, Millinocket Lake/Munsungan Lake
Suffering from nature deficit disorder? Take the waters at a traditional Maine sporting camp, such as Libby’s on Millinocket Lake or Bradford on Munsungan Lake. You’ll be lulled to sleep in a lakeside cabin by the lapping waters, dine on hearty homestyle meals, and in between have unlimited opportunities to reconnect and experience nature. Exhaust yourself hiking, boating, swimming, wildlife watching, and stargazing at night. No phones. No WiFi. No TV. Heaven! Libby Camps, 207-435-8274; libbycamps.com. Bradford Camps, 207-746-7777 summer, 207-439-6364 winter; bradfordcamps.com

Best Little Town in the Big Woods:
Monson
Don’t blink or you’ll miss this little lakeside treasure, south of Greenville, with a main street peppered with antiques and craft shops and a fabulous barbecue joint. It’s the last vestige of civilization before northbound Appalachian Trail hikers enter the 100-Mile Wilderness on the final push to Katahdin. Routes 6/15. kynd.com/~monson

Best Church Art:
SOUTH SOLON MEETING HOUSE, South Solon
The exterior is classic New England meeting house, but step inside this 1842 white-clapboard church, and wow: Practically all areas of the ceiling and walls are covered with colorful frescoes depicting interdenominational religious scenes. Saved from ruin in the 1930s by one of the founders of the nearby, nationally renowned Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, fresco artists competed in the early 1950s to have a go at the interior. Between 1952 and 1957, the winning artists strutted their stuff, and the results may still be seen today. Meeting House Road; 207-643-2555, 207-643-2721

Best One-Stop Shopping:
HUSSEY’S GENERAL STORE, Windsor
The sign in front sums up the merchandise range quite succinctly: “Guns, Wedding Gowns, Cold Beer.” Really, what more could you possibly need or want? Let the party begin. 510 Ridge Road. 207-445-2511; husseysgeneralstore.com

Best Indoor Playground:
ANTI-GRAVITY CENTER, Carrabassett Valley
When rain puts a damper on hiking or paddling plans, cure cabin fever at this partnership between Sugarloaf Resort, the town, and Carrabassett Valley Academy. Inside are an indoor skate park, full fitness center, gymnasium with track, and one of New England’s highest climbing walls. Route 27. 207-237-5566; carrabassettvalley.org/content/4022/Anti_Gravity_Complex

Best Walk in the Woods:
MAINE HUTS & TRAILS SYSTEM, Carrabasset Valley
When completed, this easygoing, 180-mile corridor through the wilderness will stretch from Newry to Rockwood, with 12 full-service huts along the way. So far, hikers, mountain bikers, and even paddlers (and in winter, skiers and snowshoers) can stay at two finished huts, Poplar Stream Falls and Flagstaff Lake, and savor hot meals, hot showers, and comfy bunks. 207-265-2400; mainehuts.org

Best Hidden Arts Center: STONE MOUNTAIN ARTS CENTER, Brownfield
What a find! Singer/songwriter Carol Noonan brings national talent, such as Paula Poundstone and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to a 200-seat performing-arts center on her hilltop farm. 695 Dug Way Road. 866-227-6523; stonemountainartscenter.com

Best Place to Meet the Natives:
MAINE WILDLIFE PARK, Gray
This state-operated refuge and education facility houses wildlife that are either being rehabilitated or are unable to return to the wild, including deer, moose, black bear, and bald eagle are among the 25 or so species on view. Interactive displays and exhibits, special programs, and nature trails round out the offerings. Route 26A. 207-657-4977; state.me.us/ifw/education/wildlifepark

Best Interplanetary Travel:
MAINE SOLAR SYSTEM MODEL, Aroostook County
University of Maine at Presque Isle geology professor Kevin McCartney is the genius behind this 3D 93-million-to-one scale model along Route 1, from Topsfield to Presque Isle. Originally it included the sun, nine planets, and seven moons, but with the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet, McCarty and students are adding others, such as Ceres and Eris. Northern Maine Museum of Science, 207-768-9482; umpi.maine.edu/info/nmms/solar

Comments

Leave a Comment

Enter Your Log In Credentials