Maine Trips – New England Weekend Getaways

Perhaps the one thing Mainers and non-Mainers can agree upon is this: “Vacationland” is governed by an ethos all its own. Once your car crosses over the Piscataqua River, as you drive northeast from New Hampshire, you’ll be none-too-gently prodded to shed any urban affectations. Start by turning off your cell phone, since reception is spotty here at best. Take your pedal off the metal—life is slower in these parts. Even your ordinary transactions, like stopping at an Irving gas station, can stretch on, in a good way. (Expect the attendant to ask where you’re coming from and where you’re going—and then dive into extensive weather talk.)

It’s all part of connecting to a rugged land in which many residents live in
relative isolation for most of the year. Summer brings swarms of visitors keen on enjoying the state’s copious lakes, mountains, and glacier-formed coastline, and eager to shop its famous antiques and flea markets full of independent artisans. There’s something for almost everyone—everyone except travelers who bring their big-city demands with them. Those who are ready to let go, however, will find a welcome respite from life’s everyday headaches.

[sidebar]The Freeport Outlets
Freeport is pretty much all about shopping. Serial spenders rejoice at the thought of the nearly 200 stores that line the southern Maine town’s streets. Tackling them successfully, however, requires strategizing.

Mount Desert Island vs. Blue Hill Peninsula
Two scenic peninsulas—one home to Bah Habah upper-crusters, the other to Down East die-hards—go headland-to-headland.

New England’s Best Small Towns: Camden, ME
With the Camden Hills as a backdrop and an oh-so-lovely harbor, this is small-town Maine so classic it might have come off a Hollywood backlot (Peyton Place was filmed here, in fact).

New England’s Best Small Towns: Rangeley, ME
Endless lakes, muscular mountains, the odd moose, and a wilderness so vast you get an itty-bitty feeling you thought only possible out west.

Summer Escapes! 2009: The Great(est) Lakes: Rangeley Lake: The Wild One
Dazzling sunsets are reason enough to visit Rangeley, one of a cluster of lakes and rivers found in the hilly northwest corner of Maine. The fishing’s not bad, either.

Summer Escapes! 2009: The Great(est) Lakes: Damariscotta Lake: Maine Without the Pain
Every year, tourists invade midcoast Maine to OD on picturesque charm and jaw-dropping views of the surf—only to discover that the traffic along Route 1 is a buzzkill and that the ocean is freakin’ freezing.

A Weekend In: Portland

The longtime lobstering hub is garnering big-city buzz for its chefs, artists, and designers.

At a Glance: Allagash Waterway
Hard-core wilderness fans need look no further than this 92-mile network of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Towns are scarce, but peace and quiet are in ample supply.

Taste of the State
Our top culinary delight in Maine. Rhapsody in Blue.

 A Maine Stage
How one suburban Philadelphia family made a home in the country’s rugged Northeast.