Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

Frank’s food is as good as the scenery

City or Town: 
Lubec
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 George

                We love Frank’s Dockside in Lubec for lots of reasons including the awesome views tables inside and on the outside deck, all overlooking the ocean channel and Mullholland Lighthouse on Campobello Island. Chef Frank cooks in the smallest kitchen we’ve ever seen in a restaurant, while his wife Wanda Corey, a Lubec native, keeps things flowing smoothly.

                And if you hope to have dinner here, you need to know that they close at 7 pm.  I really love the way so many guests stop near the entrance to speak to Frank, both coming and going. And he usually has something funny to say, no matter how busy he is. This is a very friendly place.

Bintliff's is the Best!

City or Town: 
Ogunquit
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                 Bintliff’s in Ogunquit surprised us. From the outside, the white-sided building looks fairly modest. Inside, it is stunning, with several rooms, all beautifully decorated. I felt underdressed in my shorts! Thankfully, the table cloth covered my legs. And actually, although this place is elegant, it doesn’t feel “fancy.” You can come as you are.

              Owner/Chef Norm Hebert is a very friendly guy, and he came out of the kitchen to greet us and give us a brief tour. We met Norm at the annual awards dinner of the Maine Restaurant Association, at the pre-dinner reception where he was preparing and offering a very tasty appetizer. It convinced us that we needed to dine at his restaurant. And sure enough, it turned out to be a very memorable meal.

There’s no better vacation spot than West Quoddy

City or Town: 
Lubec
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 George

                My family’s history can be seen from the window of our apartment at West Quoddy Station in Lubec. Just below us, on the bay, is the house my great grandfather and grandmother, Ephraim and Ada Johnson, moved into when he retired after 32 years as the keeper at West Quoddy Head Light, which is a ten minute walk from here. I remember visiting my great grandmother at that house, before she died when I was seven years old.

A mighty fine restaurant in Waterville

City or Town: 
Waterville
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                 The only bad thing about writing a weekly travel column is that we seldom get to enjoy a return visit to our favorite places. It’s been 3 years since we last wrote about 18 Below in Waterville, but thankfully, it is just as good as we remembered.

                Owner/Chef Travis Lajoy’s Mom, Donna, the very personable greeter, is still up front, and Steve Comfort is still the primary server. He’s an amazing guy, who even remembered what we’d eaten here three years ago! We started this dining adventure with a bottle of a Spanish Tempranillo ($22).

Let’s do lunch – and enjoy a great musical!

City or Town: 
Winthrop
Kennebunkport
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 George

                From Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk to Cafe@130 Main in Winthrop, we’ve enjoyed some great lunches lately. And we were also entertained by a terrific musical during our first visit of the summer to the Maine Summer Music Theater in Brunswick.

                Federal Jack’s is the birthplace of my favorite Shipyard beers, and its second-story restaurant offers great views of the Kennebunk River. Picture this: we’re sitting outside on the deck in the sunshine, the river flowing by below us, a cold beer in front of us, awaiting a great lunch. Heavenly!

Nonantum Resort is a WOW! kind of place

City or Town: 
Kennebunkport
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 George

                I must have said Wow a couple of dozen times at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. The first Wow came as the resort, built in 1884, came into view. It’s big and beautiful and right on the water. My second Wow came when we saw the beautiful fairy garden at the Resort’s entrance. Entering the main building to check in, we noted a staff meeting of a couple hundred or more people in the dining room. Wow again! And then we entered our stunning third floor room. Wow again! And the Wows just kept on coming.

History meets hospitality at Maine sporting camps

City or Town: 
Ashland
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                 History meets hospitality at Maine sporting camps, and no more so than at Bradford Camps on Munsungun Lake in the north woods. Guests from all over the northeastern United States once traveled five days to get to the camps, beginning on a train, transferring to a buckboard, and for the final two days, paddling canoes up river. Today many guests fly there in a float plane, or travel up to Ashland and take a leisurely drive through the north woods to the lakeside camps - paradise.

                As we drove into the yard, we stepped out of the vehicle and back in time. Log cabins dot the shoreline, made from logs that were floated across the lake more 100 years ago. In all that time, the camps have had only five owners. Igor and Karen Sikorsky knew immediately, after searching the state for years, that these were the camps for them, and they’ve been providing the age-old sporting camp experience for 20 years.

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