Hilary Nangle: Writer, Editor, Maine Travel Maven

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Maine Travel Maven (99% Maine)

Travtastic (the rest of the world—yes, I know, it needs to be updated, and I’m working on it)


I have three passions in life: Maine, traveling and skiing. Okay, four: chocolate. Maybe five, spa-ing (is there such a word?). I guess writing would be my sixth passion. And cheese, oh yeah, artisan-crafted and farmstead cheeses. What can I say, I’m a passionate kinda gal.

When I dropped out of grad school, I became a ski-and-whitewater bum, working at ski resort in winter, for a kayaking and whitewater rafting company in summer, and supplementing my wages year round by bartending and waitressing. So I’m pretty well versed in tourism and outdoor recreation.

When I got tired of hearing my parents ask: “When are you going to get a real job?” I became communications director of the U.S. Men’s Professional Ski Tour, responsible for a weekly newspaper and annual magazine, as well as editorial copy for an insert into Skiing magazine. That’s where I learned the difference between glamour and reality. Glamour=traveling the country with a bunch of hunky guys from around the globe and visiting ski resorts. Sign me up! Reality: 18-hour work days, driving back and forth across the country, and a $15 (no, there’s no digit missing) per diem. (I can work a buffet like no one, baby).

I put the writing experience to work a few years later as managing editor for Gourmet News, a trade tabloid for the gourmet foods industry. Twenty-five pounds later, I segued to a position as features editor responsible for arts and travel for a daily newspaper. Lost the weight, but not my taste for good food.

Now, I’m a full-time freelance writer and editor. I’ve written on assignment for for publications ranging alphabetically from AARP to Yankee, topically from Art & Antiques to National Geographic Adventure. I’ve

• kissed a codfish for SKI,

• cast a line for National Geographic Traveler,

• break-danced an Olympic downhill for VIA,

• bared my soul for Organic Spa,

• ski-jored for Snow,

• perused Mumbai’s markets for Life Refined,

• dished about the world’s best chocolates for Black Card/Luxury,

• savored truffles for Islands,

• slept around for Jetsetter and eFlyer News,

• stargazed at 44 below zero for Private Clubs,

• came within petting distance of a lion for Global Traveler,

• beach-bummed for The Guardian,

• snowshoed hut to hut for AAA,

• noodled byways for American Style, and

• learned to pronounce Passawassawamkeag while researching my three Moon guidebooks: Maine, Coastal Maine, and Acadia National Park.

My husband, Tom, and I split our year between coast and the western mountains, with frequent forays elsewhere in the state and beyond it. In this blog, I’m sharing my finds and thoughts, not only about Maine, but also about wherever else assignments take me.  And don’t be surprised to see occasional stories about pet travel featuring my dogs, Bernie and Cashel, both Leonbergers (no, not cheese, just a giant overly friendly, overly furry breed with an ancestry that includes St. Bernard, Great Pyrnees and Newfoundlander–but no drool!).


Disclosure:  I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when my editors have approved or requested it, but my writing always reflects my actual experiences. I will not knowingly lead you astray. Truth is, I prefer  to travel incognito (not always possible in Maine, a state where it seems you can connect to anyone else in two moves). I find it far easier in many ways, although it’s less kind to my budget.

33 responses to “Hilary Nangle: Writer, Editor, Maine Travel Maven”

  1. vincent maniaci

    Sounds like you really enjoy life! Have you ever been to The Cheese Iron? I think you’ll like what we have. Stop in sometime.

    Vince Maniaci

  2. Maureen Cosgrove

    I would just like to say that Vince is correct – I think that you would also enjoy The Cheese Iron!
    Next time you are on MDI please stop by our little place in Town Hill (Town Hill Bistro) – we are also opening a wine and cheese shop/art gallery in about 2 weeks time, also in Town Hill.
    Maureen Cosgrove

  3. hilarynangle

    Thanks for the heads-up on your new wine and cheese shop/art gallery. I’ll definitely look for that next time I’m on the island–late June. And thanks, too, for the reminder about your bistro. I’ve heard good things. Hope to sneak in next visit or so.


  4. lorraine mulligan ryan

    Good luck with the blog, Hilary. You’re THE Maine expert.

    Things have really picked up, gastronomically speaking, from our early shared meals at Kimball Dining Hall at Holy Cross!

    I look forward to reading all your entries – I have just jumped in and already I am hungry and ready to hit the road again.

    All the best,



  6. Kerry Altiero

    I like Hilary’s style and take on places. Next time in Rockland check out Cafe Miranda, the Restaurant that started (and still here!)the food trend in the mid coast.
    Yep< a cheap plug cuz I own the place! Kerry

  7. Hilary Nangle

    Thanks, Kerry. I love Cafe Miranda, and it’s in my books. Cafe Miranda was the first of what has become an increasingly interesting selection of restaurants in downtown Rockland. Last time I visited, we sat at the bar and watched you work your magic. Thanks for the reminder, it’s been a while since I’ve eaten there; must return.

  8. Lynn

    Hi, Hillary! So glad I chanced upon you as I was myself lamenting the closing of Port in a Storm bookstore, which is across the street from my house in Somesville. I share your passions for Maine, eating, and outdoor stuff, which I also blog about here as “A New Yorker Talks to Herself about Maine” – because my friends stopped listening to me. I publish a site about exploring, eating, and relaxing on Mount Desert Island, as well — http://www.ouracadia.com. Please, you need not publish this — I just want you to know I’m glad I found you and I love Maine, too! Thanks for writing about it. -L

  9. Hilary Nangle

    A new edition of my Moon Acadia National Park book should hit bookstores this month. Check it out, and let me know what you think.

    Your Somesville location is fabulous. You’ll have to let me know what moves into the old Port in a Storm location. Makes my eyes tear up just to think that it’s gone.
    H (with one L).

  10. Laura Cramer

    Hi there,
    Next time here, please treat your senses to a trip to my shop. Cheese, chocolate and wine with an emphasis on cheese. As many Maine made goods as I can comfortably fit in. It is a heavenly shop. The Cave, Brooklin

  11. Hilary Nangle

    Your shop looks wonderful. Is it in the Naskeag building on the corner? From the links, you have a drool-worthy selection. I’ll definitely stop in the next time I come through. Sorry I missed you last spring, when I looped the peninsula researching a new edition of Coastal Maine.

  12. lorraine ryan

    Love the new site!

    The books are wonderful. Continued success.


  13. Mary Spence


    Although I live a bit farther east, I very much enjoyed your Acadia guide.

    If you’re ever traveling through the Milbridge area and are looking for things to do, check out VisitMilbridge.com (www.visitmilbridge.com).

    Here you’ll find information about this lovely coastal village and its surrounding areas along with arts and cultural events listings plus much more.

    Best wishes,
    Mary Spence

  14. Laura Cramer

    Miss Hillary,

    Our lovely shop was indeed at the Naskeag building in Brooklin. It was dismantled this past week(s) for a relocation. We are staying in Brooklin, but will be at 123 Reach Road. Same phone. Hope to throw open the doors in time for Thanksgiving.


  15. Sidney Skilling

    My ancestors came from Maine to the Pacific Islands,concentrated on the island of kosrae,used to be known by the name Kusaie located about 5 Degrees North of the Equator, north of the Kiribati Islands used to be Gilberts Islands,famous for heavy fightings bet U.S. and Japanese troops during the WWII.The 1st Skilling Family Reunion was at Winslow Park,Freeport,ME.

  16. Emilie C. Harting

    Dear Hilary,

    I just came back from time in Maine and used your book A LOT. Our extended family had a cottage on Lake Megunticook for a week followed by a trip to Natalie’s at the Camden Harbour Inn for their fabulous gourmet lobster dinner (I’m a lobster nut). It was fabulous. We also went to the Camden Deli twice (good food) and a little restaurant called Mediterranean (across from the village green) with tasty Middle Eastern pastas and salads. Most of all I loved swimming in the lake with my family, and kayaking on my own for an hour when they were busy. By the way, we loved using your Acadia book a few years ago when we rented a place in Southwest Harbour. How lucky you are to live in Maine, one of my very favorite states.


  17. Jim Dwyer


    I enjoyed your piece about the Magdalen Islands in today’s Boston Globe (but no mention of cheese? 🙂 ).

    I also enjoyed reading about, at Travtastick, your other Canadian adventures, like to Newfoundland. “Where you to?” next?

    Peace and safe travels,

    Jim “the Canadian Spy” Dwyer

  18. Janet Glatz, Director The Gallery at 11 Pleasant

    Hello, Hillary. I’ve read so many of your stories, I couldn’t imagine not letting you know about our new venture. The Gallery at 11 Pleasant is a different kind of gallery–one that is patterned after European “galleries for hire”. We rent wall space to artists/artisans who must apply and jury in to the monthly shows we produce. We take no commissions. All in all a happy combination for artists who have difficulty finding venues in which to show their worthy art.
    Our Grand Opening is May 9 from 4-8 pm, 11 Pleasant St. Brunswick. We would be thrilled to have you stop by, view the art, hear some nice music, and sample the finger food. I’d be so happy to meet you, as well.
    I can be reached at jbglatz@gmail.com or by phone: 317 7952

  19. Wendy Thompson

    Love your website – you rock, as does Maine! As a fellow chocolate-lover, must add Monica’s Chocolates in Lubec (and available throughout the state) to your list of 10 great things to do in downeast Maine. Monica moved to Lubec from Peru (Peru Peru, not Peru, Maine) many years ago and has been wildly successful with her line of killer gourmet chocolates + she’s an endearing woman who’s always happy to share a sample of her incredible chocolates if you stop in her store in Lubec. Website is http://www.monicaschocolates.com/

  20. Susan Mine

    Hi Hilary

    Just stumbled on your site and its fantastic! Hope to see you up at our neck of the woods some day. This area is sometimes overlooked but has so much to offer the outdoor enthusiasts. We’re located on the scenic stretch of Rt.1 called the Million Dollar View near East Grand Lake in Weston…so worth the drive!

  21. Jim Close

    I understand that you were the one who recommended our Acadia View B&B for inclusion in Yankee Magazines’ Best of New England 2014. Just wanted to say thanks. We have tried very hard to make this a good place for people to stay and it is really nice to be recognized.

  22. Stewart Ross

    Loved your Schussing Through History, of NH’s illustrious skiing legacy, the cover story of Tuckerman’s Ravine, iin Northern New England Journey (AAA) November/December issue. Every Friday afternoon, my brother after work in Boston, took the Snow Train out of North Station to Cranmore starting in 1939, when Hans Schneider came on board. Stan Ross learned so much from Hans, What a gift! Hans particularly put a great deal of effort and encouragement to Stan, overcoming his Infantile paralysis to become not only and accomplished skiier, but also a well disaplined in WW II.
    Stew Ross

  23. Bob Felle

    Good morn Hillary, Happened upon a copy of your 2013 Coastal Maine and have been delighted to relive my 20-years spent there. Have been to many of the places you mention but have not visited in the last five. Your writing has inspired me to plan a return visit in 2015. Thank you and please keep Maine “the way life should be”. Regards, Bob Felle

  24. Scott Richardson

    Thanks for shoehorning us into your dense-but-readable feature in Delta Sky’s December edition, Hilary. Best wishes from the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.

  25. Liz Leshin

    Hi Hilary,
    I appreciate your leads for less expensive accommodations in Acadia National Park. My boyfriend and I are doing a driving trip at the end of July/early Aug through Maine, up to Quebec. After we visit Acadia, we are going up to Quebec City, and were thinking of stopping somewhere along the way, either on the American or Canadian side of the border. Do you have any recommendations for a good place to visit/stay in that area?
    Liz Leshin

  26. Liz Leshin

    Thanks so much!

  27. Tricia

    Hi Hilary, in January I checked out your 2014 Maine book from my local CT library and I loved it so much! I intended to simply read up on the Rockland area (where we just visited at the end of June) and on the Fryeburg area (where we are headed this weekend for a stay). Instead, I read your book cover to cover and fell even more in love with Maine than I was before! I’ve even recommended your book to those who are looking for a great read and who aren’t necessarily traveling to Maine soon. Your guide was very helpful for the Rockland area. I just checked it back out again and I know it’ll help so much for Fryeburg. Thanks again and I look forward to keeping up with your posts here & on Facebook. Take care! Tricia P.S. Are there easy to moderate hikes for Grafton Notch or are they mostly moderate to strenuous? Thanks!!

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