207 Maine: Local Choices

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If you watch 207 on WCSH tonight, you’ll see me chatting about new editions of two of my Moon series guidebooks Coastal Maine and Maine, both published by Avalon Travel Publishing. Rob asked me for suggestions for getaway recommendations for this summer, and I wanted to elaborate.

1. Travel somewhere in Maine where you’ve never previously been. For many folks, that’s likely to be Aroostook County. It’s beautiful, spacious and the budget-friendly rates for food and lodging will make up for the gas costs. Way Down East is another good choice: Jonesport, Lubec and Eastport are Maine the way it used to be. Better yet, go in August for the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival–that alone is worth a trip.

2. Stay home and play tourist in your backyard. Now this is a real budget friendly choice. Draw a circle of, oh, say 20 to 50 miles around your home town and play day trips to all the places you’ve always said you’ll go, but have yet to visit: local historical society or specialized , perhaps quirky, museums, Audubon or Nature Conservancy preserves, land trusts, state parks; and treat yourself to a few special activities, perhaps a guided tour, a boat trip, or an afternoon at an amusement park with the kids.

3. Reverse the seasons. If you haven’t been to Bethel, Rangeley or Carrabassett Valley/Kingfield in summer, do so for the hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, boating and general good times.

4. Treat yourself to a say at a traditional Maine sporting camp, such as Libby‘s or Bradford Camps or one of the AMC’s properties, Little  Lyford or Medalwisla. Once you’re there, it’s cost controlled, as meals and lodging are included in the rate. Most camps are strings of cabins edging a lake or stream, with meals taken in a central lodge. It’s rustic, but not too much so–most have hot showers and flush toilets and woodstoves for warmth on chilly nights. It’s a classic Maine experience that everyone should enjoy at least once (unless you don’t do rustic, than nooooo).