Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

Rangeley's Farmhouse Restaurant - Small Place, Big Flavors

City or Town: 
Rangeley
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The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant in Rangeley is exactly the kind of place we hoped to find for you when we started writing this column: small, unique, with exceptional food, superb service, comfortable atmosphere, and wonderful hosts.

And it’s only a short drive away. We often travel 60 to 90 minutes to dine in Brunswick, Portland, Rockland, or Bangor, but seldom think about Rangeley, just an hour away from our home in Mt. Vernon.

Well, we’re thinking of it now, and the dinner we enjoyed in the Farmhouse’s cozy downstairs tavern is the reason. Wow!

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Mainely Brews. Great Pub. Great Grub.

City or Town: 
Waterville
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If Luke Duplessis could turn every Post Office location that is closing into a Mainely Brews, people would happily forget about the mail.

After several friends and readers of this column told us how much they like Mainely Brews Tavern, located in Waterville’s old post office, we scheduled a visit last week. This is a fun place with a  great pub atmosphere, superb micro-brews, and a surprising (and enticing) menu.

Nothing Fine-ah than the China Dine-ah!

City or Town: 
China
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The China Dine-ah will surprise you. It’s a lot more than a diner, from food to atmosphere.

And it’s a true reflection of owner Norm Elvin, who modeled some of the restaurant on his Palermo camp, and who puts his personal stamp on every aspect from service (excellent) to the menu (huge) to the restrooms (immaculate). And the food is exceptional.

Who would have thought that the longtime owner of G&E Roofing would become a foodie!

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Photo at top of column: Norm Elvin (center) shares a laugh with Linda Smith, Cate and Ed Pineau (left to right).

Best Experiences of 2011

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Our first year as the Travelin Maine(rs) delivered great experiences, fabulous hospitality, and interesting lessons. Looking back, we marvel at the number of wonderful restaurants, inns, and events our state offers – and the people responsible for them.

In the 50 columns published this year, we told you about some of them. Today, we share our favorites of 2011.

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Dining in Good Company is Always a Delight

City or Town: 
Rockland
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We’re the fast food nation, grabbing what we can at the drive-through and eating in the car. Even many sit-down restaurants count on getting us in and out in a mere 60 minutes.

 A leisurely dinner in a comfortable relaxing setting in good company is worth savoring. And that’s just what we did at Rockland’s aptly named Main Street restaurant, In Good Company, where chef/owner Melody Wolfhertz delivers a unique and flavorful dining experience to her hometown friends, fans and visitors.

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Here's a Toast to Geaghan's Pub and the Fireside Inn

City or Town: 
Bangor
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Bangor is an impressive and vibrant city, with a gorgeous riverfront, many good restaurants, and lots to do. This year we expanded beyond our traditional “go-to” eatery, the Sea Dog Tavern, to try other restaurants, including Geaghan’s Pub.

And when we travel in Maine, we always look for lodging from Bangor’s Lafayette family. They offer a range of accommodations featuring great service, plenty of amenities, and real comfort.

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Treat Yourself to a Shaker Village Christmas

City or Town: 
New Gloucester
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What do people from Georgia, Rhode Island, Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey know that you don’t?

They know that Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester is an amazing place. There were people at Shaker Village from each of those states, as well as England, on the October morning we visited.

Shaker Village includes a store with many interesting products, a fascinating museum, a craft store with locally made crafts from lamps to baskets to cheese balls, a farm with sheep and goats, and several historical buildings.

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