Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Maine - Wish List

In my last post, I noted the places I visited in 2007, but I’d love to go again and visit quite a lot of places on my next trip to Maine.  Here is a shortened version of that list.

While in Maine, I visited two lighthouses, however Maine has 65 lighthouses!  Every year in September, Maine hosts an Open Lighthouse Day.  It’s a fun family event intended to increase awareness of the rich history of its lighthouses and lighthouse keepers.  Along the shores of Maine on this day, companies provide excursions to show lighthouses that are only accessible by boat, lighthouses and museums are open for tours, and some lighthouses host live music.

In the town of Prospect, about 118 miles north of Portland, is the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory.  It’s the only bridge observatory tower in the US, and there are only four bridge observatories in the world.  It also has Maine’s fastest and tallest passenger elevator taking you up to the observatory.  The 360-degree view from the observatory is so beautiful.  But, the observatory is only open from May 1st through October 31st every year, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
While on the subject of bridges, I also love covered bridges.  We saw quite a few in New Hampshire on our New England road trip, however, we didn’t stop to see any of the nine covered bridges in Maine that are beautiful as well.
Babb's Bridge
With Maine being the US’s largest blueberry growing state, I might be able to find my chocolate blueberry latte at one of the state’s wild blueberry festivals, one of which is the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival in Machias.  They have a ball, fun runs, pie eating contests, crafters, farm tours, and even a blueberry musical.

I bet I could also find another good Maine lobster meal at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.  They have a pancake breakfast, cooking contest, lobster crate races, fun runs, and a big parade.  Along with lobsters, they also have clam festivals such as the Yarmouth Clam Festival in Yarmouth, which hosts the Maine State Clam Shucking Contest.  WOW!  It also has a canoe/kayak race, parade, fun runs, crafters, and even a diaper derby (a fun race for crawlers and toddlers).
My friends from Maine told me that Maine has a desert.  I thought they were either lying or I had heard wrong and they were saying DESSERT!  But, nope, I heard right and they weren’t lying.  The Desert of Maine is Maine’s famous natural phenomenon in Freeport.  It has nature trails, sand dunes, and a barn museum.  But, they are only open from May through October every year so keep this in mind when planning your trip.  It used to be fertile grassland in the 1700s that eroded away to show the glacier desert that was always underneath the grassland.

Also in Freeport is the LL Bean Flagship Store.  Throughout the summer, they offer outdoor activities at their Discovery Park such as farmers’ markets, festivals, concerts, and games.  Throughout the year, they offer indoor events around the topics of birding, kayaking, navigating, hiking, camping, etc.

There is one place in Maine I’m not sure about visiting because I’m not that much of an outdoors person, but I sure do love to look at pictures of it.  That’s Baxter State Park in Millinocket.  They describe it as rustic, unpaved, and no electricity.  They have 215 miles of trails that offer all kinds of hikes from short easy day hikes to difficult long hikes.  It’s 209,501 acres and includes Maine’s highest peak, Mt. Katahdin, which is also the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail that starts in the Amicaloloa Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia (Georgia’s Blog Post).
Mt. Katahdin
As I’ve mentioned many times, you should go tour the state capitol buildings when you’re traveling, especially in your home state.  Most of the time, there are free tours available.  Maine’s state capitol in Augusta is no different.
There’s one HUGE and MAGNIFICANT area of Maine I’m leaving out of this post and saving for my next post – Acadia National Park.  So, watch for that post in the next couple of days.

**All photos were found online.**

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