Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

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?

Summer Fun in Lubec

City or Town: 
Lubec
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Lubec is lovely and lively in the summer, a top spot for a short or long vacation. We’ve been “summering” there for – well, for our entire lives. We often get “down” to Lubec in June and always for a week in August.

Lubec has astonishing scenery, the “Bold Coast” with some of our best conservation lands, the tastiest chocolates in the state, great birding and whale watching, history and hiking, fabulous saltwater fishing and kayaking, and the prettiest lighthouse you’ll ever see.

We started to build you a list of “don’t miss” places and activities in and around Lubec, but it got too long for this column!

First Settlers Lodge in Weston Worth the Drive

City or Town: 
Danforth
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The stunning view from First Settlers Lodge in Weston unites the old and the new Maine. From the huge windows that run all across the front of the lodge, you look left and see, across a wide forested valley, First Wind’s towers across the tops of two distant hills. To the right you see the magnificent mastiff of Mount Katahdin.

 The lodge is on a section of Route 1 designated as a scenic highway and there’s actually a turnout right across the road so travelers can enjoy the spectacular view.

 This has been our favorite northern Maine lodge for many years. We returned in March to make sure the new owners, Susan and Steve Mine, who purchased the lodge last December, are maintaining the high level of hospitality, comfort, and food provided by our friends Elbridge and Judy Cleaves, the former owners. The good news is simply this. Yes they are!

 Linda

Stone Mountain Arts Center - Noble House Inn

City or Town: 
Bridgton
Brownfield
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 It’s the best place to listen to music in the state. Stone Mountain Arts Center is more than an experience – it is THE experience for music lovers. Combined with a stay at Bridgton’s elegant Noble House Inn, a concert at Stone Mountain is a spectacular Maine get-a-way.

George

We’ve enjoyed three distinctly different experiences at Stone Mountain: a reading by author and public radio commentator Sarah Vowell, concerts by Pam Tillis and Marc Cohn, and a concert/dance with Steve Riley and the Mamou boys, a Louisianan Cajun band that kept us on the dance floor for much of the evening a few weeks ago.

Greenville Inn - a Special Place in a Special Place

City or Town: 
Greenville
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Quick. How long does it take to get to Greenville from Augusta or Waterville? Three hours? Four hours? Five hours?

It takes less than 2 hours, a quick run up I 95 to Newport, then a straight shot north to the foot of Maine’s largest lake. That’s right. You can get to Greenville in about the same time it takes to drive to Bangor. So why don’t you?

When you get to Indian Hill, poised to enter the town, the stunning view of Moosehead will take your breath away.

We spent a recent weekend in Greenville to attend the annual Chocolate Festival on February 20, and discovered – here in the heart of Maine’s outdoor playground – the elegant, formal, friendly and distinctive Greenville Inn.

To All the Inns We've Loved Before

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We enjoy short get-a-ways to some of Maine’s outstanding inns in stunning settings where we’re pampered, fed well, and untethered from our every-day lives, chores, phones, computers, and television. And while we search for new places to tell you about in this column, we don’t want to ignore our old favorites. This column is dedicated to all the inns we’ve loved before (with apologies to Willy Nelson).

 

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