Local Attractions: Mid-Coast Maine

Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fun, Local Attractions, nature, tourism | 1 Comment »

Pemaquid Lighthouse Port Clyde 

Wild Flowers On The St. George River Schooner Steven Taber in the fog

Mount Megunticook LookoutIsle au Haut, Maine 019

View Mid-Coast Maine for visitors in a larger map

I wish I got to spend more time in Maine’s mid-coast area; it’s beautiful and filled with interesting stuff to do – nature, history, art, craft, food, museums, concerts and festivals, antiquing and flea-marketing, beaches and boating, hiking, rugged and remote stony coastlines and pretty little seaside towns filled with victorian mansions. Here’s a quick overview of the region from Downeast Magazine. The Maine coastline is a convoluted fractal landscape of fjords and islands and peninsulas, and a lot of the interesting stuff is way down at the end of peninsulas so it can sometimes take a long time to drive a short distance. Route 1 is the coastal route that heads from Portland all the way up towards the Canadian border; it passes by some gorgeous scenery, salt marshes and busy harbors as it hugs the contours of the coastline and passes through dozens of amazing little seaside towns and tourist stops, but it’s a two-lane road that tends to get brutally congested during summer weekends and basically for the entire month of august and anytime there’s some event going on, plus especially backed-up at all the bridges where it crosses from one peninsula to another – we’ve sat in some epic traffic jams on both sides of the bridge in Wiscasset. So either bring some snacks and good tunes and be ready to take it slowly, or else consider strategic use of 95 or 295 to get up to Augusta and then head east to the coast. You’ll miss some lovely scenery but in the busy season it’s often the faster way to go. If you do pass near Augusta, it’s seriously worth stopping for a meal at A1 Diner in Gardiner, a cute and colorful classic diner with excellent eats including some great sweet-potato fries.

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Local Attractions: White Mountains

Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fun, Local Attractions, nature, tourism | No Comments »

full sweep

Crawford Notch, New Hampshire misty lake chocorua

alpine zone trail signpost mossyrocks

Jackson, NH Barn Diana's Baths

Franconia Ridge / Crawford Depot / Lake Chocorua / Franconia Ridge / Imp Trail / Rattle River Trail / Jackson barn / Diana’s Baths

View White Mountains for visitors in a larger map

Limington is almost in the foothills of the beautiful White Mountains! North Conway, New Hampshire is only 40 minutes from our house, and while North Conway itself is basically just a big traffic jam with hundreds of strip malls and discount shopping outlets, it’s also the “gateway” to mountain fun and outdoor adventures in and around the White Mountain National Forest and Appalachian Trail. In early September the air should be crisp, the sunshine warm and clear and the earliest leaves will be starting to change color – really a perfect time for hiking and exploring in the White Mountains. Clear days will give glorious views of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast (6,288 feet), famous for some of the earth’s highest recorded wind speeds at its summit, which is accessible by the Mount Washington Auto Road as well as by (a tough) hiking trail. The Kancamagus Highway is a really famous pleasure-driving destination for fall visitors to see the bright fall leaves covering the mountainsides in autumn colors. It takes about an hour to drive the winding, twisty Kancamagus from one end in Conway, NH to the other end in Lincoln, NH, cutting through the remote White Mountain National Forest. It follows along the rocky Swift River bed up into the mountains and takes you over high passes with sweeping views of the white mountains all around and lots of pull-offs to admire the scenic vistas. In the fall the Kancamagus gets kind of busy with lots of sight-seers and leaf-peepers, but it shouldn’t be too filled with traffic, even in fall foliage season.

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Local Attractions: Portland and South Coast, Maine

Posted: January 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Local Attractions | No Comments »

Portland Head Light, Near Portland, Maine Up Exchange
crab Wildflowers Morning at Cape Neddick
crowded beach Deering Oaks Park Farmers' Market, Portland, Maine
Willard Beach PHL beach walkway
Sebago Mountains Sebago Cabins Sebago beach

Southern Maine is the most populous and diverse area of the state, as well as the most accessible area from out-of-state. There are busy cities and suburbs, beautiful sandy beaches, warmer waters, exclusive resort towns, historic ports and towns filled with sea captains’ mansions, crowded amusement parks, antique shops and flea markets, rolling hills and forests and quiet lush green farmland.


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