Photo by Maine Huts & Trails
By SUSAN FAREWELL
Talk to anyone who has vacationed in Maine and chances are, you’ll find that it’s part of their family tradition.
But that tradition means different things to people. For many, it’s all about the coast. For others, a special cabin on a lake they return to year after year. For some, like my own family, the tradition is to go back year after year to discover something new (along with our annual traditions of having our lobster rolls and plunging into an icy cold lake).
Here are some experiences to consider this summer or fall.
Yoga Retreats on Tall Ships
Photo by Susan Farewell
Total bliss for yoga lovers, a few of the historic windjammers that sail throughout Maine’s coastal islands offer yoga and wellness retreats. One example is the Yoga & Wellness cruise aboard the 95-foot Windjammer Angelique. It’s a three-day sailing in August, departing from Camden. Professional yoga instructors teach on deck as well as secluded island beaches (and on standup paddle boards). It’s for all levels of yoga, meditation, breath work and sailing experience. Punctuating each day are organic pescatarian or vegetarian meals.
Photo by Maine Huts & Trails
There’s no better wilderness therapy than getting out and hiking through the backcountry. Maine Huts & Trails makes it all the more desirable with its network of eco-lodges that offer hot showers, creative home-cooked meals and comfortable beds. The “huts” (pictured here is one of the huts, Flagstaff) are spread out over 80 miles of backcountry trails in Western Maine. Come winter, the trails and huts are open for cross-country skiing.
Loving the Lake Life
Photo by Migis Lodge
Always happy in a place where the biggest challenge of the morning is deciding whether to take out a Sunfish, get in a set of tennis or read a book on your porch. That’s vacation. You find this at Migis Lodge, which is set on the shores of Sebago Lake in Southern Maine. Pronounced “MY-giss” with a hard G, Migis is an Abenaki word that means a “place to steal away to rest”. Indeed, in addition to a classic Maine main lodge, there are wonderful private cottages for staying. All are exquisitely furnished and have fireplaces and porches overlooking the water. Some have cathedral ceilings, and some have as many as four bedrooms and four baths. Three almost-too-good meals a day are served and there’s unlimited use of all the lodge’s boats, beaches, tennis courts, you name it.
Photo by Tides Beach Club
You don’t have to travel far up the Maine coast to find all the makings of a great vacation. Once you cross the border from New Hampshire into Maine, it’s less than 30 miles to Kennebunkport, where you’ll find several outstanding boutique hotels, a great mix of restaurants, historic houses and neighborhoods, art galleries and the Maine coastline just as you pictured it.
Here, choosing where to stay can pose quite a dilemma. You can settle into your own exquisitely designed cottage at Hidden Pond, choose a beachfront beauty such as the Tides Beach Club or stay in town at the White Barn Inn—and that’s just for starts.
Divide your days between kayaking on the Kennebunk River, walking (or driving) Ocean Avenue, poking around the art galleries and boutiques of Kennebunkport or all-out relaxing on Goose Rocks Beach. Break it up by sampling local restaurant specialties including the onion strings with smoked tomato ketchup at The Ramp on Cape Porpoise Harbor and the handmade pasta dishes at Earth.
Mountains and Sea
Photo by Maine Office of Tourism
Some people like to vacation in the mountains, some prefer the coast. Mount Desert Island has both.
Ever since the mid-nineteenth century, Mount Desert Island has been one of Maine’s most popular vacation destinations. Once you cross the bridge connecting it to the mainland, it’s easy to see why. The island is home to Cadillac Mountain, which, at 1530 feet next to sea level, seems to scrape the sky. Looming all around are more than a dozen other mountains. Fortunately, most of the island (35,000 acres) is under the protection of Acadia National Park which is threaded with miles of hiking, driving and biking trails. The Park Loop Road takes in the major sights of the park.
Accommodations for visiting the park range from rustic cabins on the water to inns and hotels in former summer mansions and sea captain homes in the waterfront town of Bar Harbor.
Contact us at Farewell Travels to help you get started on establishing your own family tradition.