Travelin’ Maine(rs)

A regular travel blog, written by George and Linda Smith, focused entirely on instate travel.

Cohill's Inn and Pub brings Ireland to Lubec Maine

City or Town: 
Lubec
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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.

 Downstairs they created an Irish Pub, authentic from the Smithwick and Guiness draft beers to the Shepards Pie.

Folk Festival Puts Exclamation Mark on End of Summer

City or Town: 
Bangor
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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 Sunday. This year we’ll be there for all three days, beginning Friday night, August 26 through Sunday August 28.

The Great Train Adventure - Brunswick to Rockland

City or Town: 
Rockland
Brunswick
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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 Festival and feasted at Rustica restaurant on Main Street.

 Arriving back in Brunswick at 8 pm, we hit the Sea Dog in Topsham on the way home for burgers and beer.

 It was 31 hours of fun.

Take a Hike on the Maine Beer Trail

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The best hikes in Maine are on the Maine Beer Trail. And you don’t need hiking boots!

Our state has gone from a wasteland to a wonderland of beer brewing. We’ve established an international reputation for finely crafted beers and many brew masters welcome you into their facilities for tours and tastings.

The Maine Brewers Guild provides maps and a list of brewery tours including days and hours. Some of the breweries include restaurants. Prizes are awarded if you visit 5, 10 or all 25 breweries on the trail. As if you needed any incentive.

Today’s column includes a piece by our son Joshua Smith, who works for My Brothers Keeper, serving the poor in Brockton Massachusetts. We’re very proud of Josh, especially for his commitment to public service.

Lilies and Lobster Make a Great Combination

City or Town: 
Boothbay Harbor
Wiscasset
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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

City or Town: 
The Forks
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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 very nice cabin, toured a brewery, got to know some great people, and learned a lot about this interesting region of Maine.

Vacationing at Augusta's Senator Inn & Spa

City or Town: 
Augusta
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You’ve probably eaten a meal or attended an event at Augusta’s Senator Inn & Spa, but have you ever vacationed there? We escaped to the Senator for a divine 24-hour weekend vacation not long ago.

Just 20-miles from home, we luxuriated in the Inn and Spa that manager Roger Bintleff calls “old fashioned,” in its focus on customer service. That it is, but the Senator is also on the cutting edge in comfort and technology.

 Linda

             Sometimes life just goes too fast. Before you know it one workweek blends into the next and you are trying to juggle household chores with your work life. Sound familiar?

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