Sailing from Ports in Rockland andCamden, ME, 04843Phone: Toll-Free: 800-807-9463
Windjammer cruises feature fun at sea for all ages, interests
The private owners and operators of the Maine Windjammer Association’s historic schooners want to provide cruise guests with a full slate of things to do, whether that means helping the crew ready the sails or sitting out on deck with a good book. So you can leap off the deck to go for a bay swim, help the cook with that night’s gourmet appetizers, row a small boat into a fishing village to explore, hike during a visit to Acadia National Park – or just sit by the wood stove and play backgammon with the kids or listen to stories told by lantern-light in the evening. Special cruises for photography buffs, lighthouse enthusiasts, yoga fans, kayakers, wine-lovers – and grandparents and grandkids! – are available.
Mid-coast Maine is chock full of great things to do and places to explore. Settle in at Point Lookout for a quick escape or a vacation getaway. This 387 acre retreat, overlooking Penobscot Bay has plenty of activities including hiking trails, a private beach, a pond perfect for kayaking, an expansive fitness center plus well appointed, fully outfitted one, two or three-bedroom cabins. Cabins have living rooms, kitchens/kitchenettes, screened in porches with Adirondack Chairs and complimentary WIFI. Visit the organic farm, seasonally enjoy tennis, biking, snowshoeing, the indoor bowling center, have breakfast or lunch at the Copper Pine Café and visit all of the attractions nearby in Camden, Lincolnville and Belfast.
Bath Is More Than Just a Piquant Name
The midcoast town of Bath is known for its giant shipyard, and, for lucky travelers, for its delightful, old-fashioned downtown. Shopping is much and revelatory here, at places like Markings Gallery, presenting fine art and carvings by local sculptor Wayne Robbins; The Mustard Seed Bookstore, with a wall of books by Maine authors and tea services for customers; Now You’re Cooking cookware store, filling a whole city block. And that’s just the start. Enjoy browsing for clothing, pet goods and hostess gifts. You might find some Maine coastal imagery to take home.
Create a Personalized Tour of Maine Breweries
Maine Brewers Guild, representing beer brewers statewide, wants beer drinking travelers to explore and enjoy the vast and varied beauties of the state. The guild has created an excellent site where you can build a self-guided tasting trip with a bit of targeted help. Go to the plan your route page and make some choice based on region, brewery offerings (tastings, tours, food, outdoor seating, family friendly) and then click to create a Google Map of your personalized Maine beer tour. Brace yourself for explorations of city pubs, hidden hideaways, restored mills and old barns. It’s a beautiful place.
Boothbay Welcomes Fans of the Railroads
Boothbay Railway Village on Wiscasset Road in Boothbay, Maine, has several exhibits, including a coal-fired steam train, antique fire trucks, and an antique automobile exhibit that includes Model T Fords, Stanley Steamers, and a Rolls Royce. The Village includes a restored 1847 Town Hall, the Spruce Point Chapel, and a historic fire house. The Village Green hosts many special events, like Antique Auto Days, Antique Tractor Pull, a craft fair, and holiday rides. Children love the 20-minute ride on Boothbay Central, a coal-fired narrow-gauge train. Open Memorial Day through mid-October. 207-633-4727.
Best Shopping Anywhere: Reny's!
It is hard to overstate how much Mainers and their out-of-state visitors love Reny’s a chain of family-owned dry good stores founded 62 years ago when the grandfather of the clan stepped out of his job as a department store clerk and founded a new store where everyone is always treated right. The stores, mostly found in the state’s small downtowns, are low in superficial glamour and packed full of useful goods, all priced as low as the store can manage. Merchandise ranges from tinned organic pumpkin meat to rubber boots and wedding dresses. Stores are located in Bath, Belfast, Bridgton, Camden, Damariscotta, Dexter, Ellsworth, Farmington, Gardiner, Madison, Newcastle, Pittsfield, Portland, Saco, and Topsham. Locations and hours. Open year-round. 207-563-3177
Gem from Old Seafaring Times
Castle Tucker, at 2 Lee Street atop a hill overlooking the Sheepscot River in Wiscasset, is a Federal-style dwelling built in the 18th century, when Wiscasset was at the peak of its prosperity as the busiest port east of Boston. The house was purchased and remodeled in the 1850s by Captain Richard Tucker, scion of a shipping family. Today the mansion is preserved much as it was in the late 19th century, and it presents a vivid record of Wiscasset history. Open Wednesday to Sunday, June 1 to October 15. 207-882-7169
Bath Builds Big Ships
Would you like to see a warship taking shape before your eyes? From May to October, the Maine Maritime Museum, at 243 Washington Street in Bath, Maine, offers a trolley tour of the Bath Iron Works.
The tour begins with an exhibit explaining the processes, and ships of Bath Iron Works. Then guests board the trolley for a narrated ride past the yard. The trolley will leave guests at the museum’s boat Merrymeeting for a one-hour cruise trip displaying views of modern shipbuilding construction and a close-up look at naval destroyers in the water. Also on view are the Percy and Small Shipyard and two of the Kennebec’s famed lighthouses.
Island of Quiet
Monhegan Island is a small, rocky land mass about ten miles eastward from Boothbay Harbor, is scarcely a square mile in area. It is accessible only by boat and there are no cars or paved roads on the island. For more than 100 years, Monhegan has been a summer haven for artists and others who appreciate its isolation, the beauty of its wilderness areas, and its unhurried pace. You will find restaurants, lodging, artists at work, and beautiful views. Boat transportation is offered by a couple of operations based in the town of Port Clyde. Boats to the island operate year-round, but schedule changes seasonally. Phone: 207-596-7003.
Discover the Trails of This Midcoast Audubon Sanctuary
A peninsula in the Sasanoa River in Georgetown is the location of the beautifuly Josephine Newman Audubon Sanctuary, a 119-acre preserve that is a naturalist’s window into some of the features of the Maine coast. Flanked on two sides by salt marsh, the sanctuary has miles of trails that cross meadows, coastline, forest, and ridges. To get to the sanctuary, from the junction of U.S. Route 1 and Route 127 in Woolwich, just east of the Woolwich-Bath bridge, head south on 127 for 9.1 miles to Georgetown. Turn right at the sanctuary sign and follow the entrance road to the parking area.
Trail finder.Trail guide.
Damariscotta River Cruises Explore River Culture
The back story of those marvelous inlets and coves and bays of Midcoast Maine is the rivers that carry inland water to the sea. The delightful town of Damariscotta is perched on the Damariscotta River, and this cruise company sends tours boats upriver, where you can enjoy river views and seals, and pass the operations of oyster farms. Damariscotta River Cruises at 40 Main Street in Damariscotta offer many themed cruises, like happy hourcruises; fall foliage trips; and oyster- and wine-tasting cruises. The Damariscotta River is the oyster capital of Maine and New England with eight commercial oyster farms on the River, producing over 10 million oysters a year. 207-315-5544. [photo by Nicole Laplante]
Bath Is Home to Graceful, Historic Neighborhoods
Nestled along the Kennebec River, the city of Bath is a small jewel of a city that embraces a seafaring tradition. Bath welcomes visitors with tree-lined historic avenues graced by stately mansions that were once home to shipyard owners and ship captains. You can take a guided walking tour of the Bath historic district or ride the Bath Trolley. Bath’s Front Street is home to antique stores, specialty shops, galleries and fine restaurants. Bath’s Farmers Market takes place from June to October and a summer concert series takes place on Friday evenings. This is also the home of the Maine Maritime Museum.
Hug a Goat; Eat Some Cheese
Midcoast Maine – that magical region of farms and fields and views – has a number cheese makers tucked among the towns of Appleton, Waldoboro, Whitefield, Union, and Owls Head.. The Midcoast Maine Cheese Trail (with some wineries and vineyards added) guides you from one cheese producer to the next. Taste the handmade cheeses; enjoy the farming spirit. Check with farms on your itinerary for open days and hours. Makers include Appleton Creamery, East Forty Farm, Fuzzy Udder Creamery, ME Water Buffalo Co., Copper Tail Farm, Sweetgrass Vineyard and Farm, Breakwater Vineyards and Farm, and Savage Oakes Vineyard and Winery.
Heroes in Brick and Stone: Maine Lighthouses
The Maine Lighthouse Museum at 1 Park Drive in Rockland is a first-rate place to indulge your love with and fascination for lighthouses. If you are a shopper, and want to acquire lighthouse gifts and memorabilia (models and miniatures, replicas, clothing, gifts, art, toys, posters) this is your gold mine. The museum, which also includes the collection of the former Museum of Lighthouse History of Wells, has the largest collection of Fresnel lighthouse lenses and the most important landmark collection of lighthouse artifacts and Coast Guard memorabilia in the United States. Open year-round but hours vary by season. Call ahead for hours Phone: 207-594-3301.