Best of Maine

Rockland's Rustica Takes You All the Way To Italy

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 10/03/2011 - 09:28

Rockland continues to call us back, and not just because our daughter Rebekah, son-in-law Patrick, and grandsons Addison and Vishal, live nearby in Union (although that helps).

We like to browse in Readfield native Lacy Simon’s bookstore (Hello, Hello – yes, that’s the name of the store!). The Main Street is full of interesting art galleries and stores featuring clothes, cooking supplies, wine, toys, and more.

The Farnsworth Museum always has something of interest and we love the public walkway along the shore. This amazing coastal community is chock full of inns, B&Bs, and many of its two...

Sarah's Cafe - A Maine Gem

Submitted By George Smith on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 17:02

Sarah’s Café in Wiscasset would stop traffic even if the jam of cars in the summer didn’t. It’s a great place to get off Route One to discover a real Maine gem.

Sarah Heald opened her Wiscasset café in 1987. Ten years later she moved the café across the street to its wonderful waterfront location and added a pub. Sarah was honored in 2002 as the Maine Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year. Today her son Matt joins her in the kitchen.

Home this summer for a visit, daughter Hilary joined us at Sarah’s and offers her perspective in this column.

Read...

Great New Inn and Tavern At Brunswick Station

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 09/19/2011 - 09:01

There’s something to be said for trying a brand spanking new inn or restaurant, being among the first to enjoy a meal, an experience, putting yourself at the center of what’s happening when and where it’s happening.

The new Inn and Tavern at Brunswick Station is happening, and we felt unusually ahead of the curve when we visited in August, just weeks after it opened. We tend to favor historical inns and established restaurants.

So this was a bit of a gamble. It paid off.  The Inn is stylish and only one thing really surprised us at the Tavern: the high qualify of the food.

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Bethel Inn Resort and Harvest Fest

Submitted By George Smith on Sun, 09/11/2011 - 09:35

A resort should have beautiful buildings and grounds, nice rooms and suites, good eating opportunities, and lots of indoor and outdoor activities. Bethel Inn Resort fits the bill and is our go-to destination in western Maine.

Combine a visit to the Inn with Bethel’s annual Harvest Fest and you’ve got a weekend to remember.

Unable to attend the upcoming festival this year because of a family wedding on the same weekend, we visited Bethel a couple of weeks ago, staying at the Inn, enjoying two amazing dinners at 22 Broad Street and Sudbury Inn, and taking a drive on Route 113 through Evans Notch.

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Harraseeket Offers Maine's Most Elegant Brunch

Submitted By George Smith on Sun, 09/04/2011 - 08:50

The dictionary defines brunch as, “a meal usually taken late in the morning that combines a late breakfast and an early lunch.”

Here’s our definition of brunch: a room full of fabulous food, with unique and diverse dishes, where gluttony is encouraged. Posted over the door would be this quote from Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD), “Bear in mind that you should conduct yourself in life as in a feast.”

We got this quote from the top of the brunch section of the Harraseeket Inn’s website, where we also found an excellent description of what we look for in a great brunch, written...

Cohill's Inn and Pub brings Ireland to Lubec Maine

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/29/2011 - 12:40

We’ve always wanted to visit Ireland. We didn’t realize it was in Lubec, Maine.

Jack and Ellen Gearren, Irish to the core, left their law enforcement jobs in New Jersey to settle into the one place in the states that reminded them of Ireland.

 “It’s the fog, the environment, the houses, the people,” that convinced them they need not migrate all the way to Ireland to live, Ellen told us.

At the end of Lubec’s Main Street, the Gearren’s opened their inn five years ago, providing nine small rooms with big views of Quoddy Bay.

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Folk Festival Puts Exclamation Mark on End of Summer

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 13:03

The American Folk Festival on Bangor’s beautiful waterfront always puts an exclamation point at the end of our summer.

Friends Gary and Deb Dubord of Fayette introduced us to the folk festival four years ago. After that event, we were disappointed that we missed the first five festivals. This is a fantastic 3-day celebration full of music, dancing, arts and crafts, storytelling, and food.

We attended our first three festivals for a single day, then advanced last year to two days, traveling back and forth on Saturday and...

The Great Train Adventure - Brunswick to Rockland

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/22/2011 - 12:18

With a sense of adventure and romance, we signed up for the train trip from Brunswick to Rockland. While the train moved forward at about 45 miles per hour, we felt like we were moving back in time, combining nostalgia with stunning coastal views as we rode comfortably through backyards and over rivers.

And we discovered the elusive Wiscasset Route One by-pass. It’s the railroad!

The night before our round trip to Rockland, we stayed at the brand spanking new Inn at Brunswick Station and enjoyed dinner at the Inn’s tavern. During a splendid sunny afternoon in Rockland, we breezed through the Lobster...

Lilies and Lobster Make a Great Combination

Submitted By George Smith on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 16:55

Lilies and lobster are a great combination. At the end of July, with our youngest daughter Hilary who lives and works in Washington D.C., we headed for one of Maine’s most spectacular venues, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Enroute, we enjoyed a luncheon feast at one of our favorite restaurants, Sarah’s in Wiscasset.

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Rafting, Fishing, and More at Northern Outdoors

Submitted By George Smith on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 12:14

The Kennebec river that flows through Skowhegan, Waterville, Augusta, and Gardiner starts its journey just north of the Forks where it passes through an amazing gorge. You really must see it.

The journey to the Forks from anywhere in central Maine will take you no more than 1 ½ hours on a scenic highway and deliver you to Northern Outdoors, Maine’s first rafting company and now a sprawling resort of log buildings with all the amenities and luxuries you seek in a vacation.

In a two-day one-night adventure a few weeks ago, we spent a half day fishing, a whole day rafting, enjoyed delicious meals and a...

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