Maine June 29, 2016
14 Surprising Things You Never Thought About Doing In Maine
This summer, we’re making an effort to get to know Maine a bit better. Instead of hiking the same old trails, we’re going to find new ones, in towns we’ve never visited. We’ll splash in the surf of new beaches and try new restaurants. Maybe we’ll even try that “one-Moxie-a-day-until-you-love-it” challenge. Mostly, it’s time to do things we’ve never before considered. As we build our personal list, we thought we’d share a few that you might find fun as well. Some might be things you’ve already done, but some might be completely new. Hopefully, a few of these will surprise you!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Charter a sport fishing trip.
Get out on the open water even if you don't have your own boat. Check out No Slack! charters for striped bass and mackerel trips in Southern Maine. Captain Carle get consistently great marks and the family run company has been in operation since 2009. Check them out online
2. Ride the sky in a hot-air balloon.
Enjoy seeing Maine from high above the ground in a serene hot-air balloon. There are a variety of companies that operate out of Maine (such as
Dream Song Ballooning
in Lewiston, but if you really want to soak up the fun you should consider attending a festival. The Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston runs from August 19th to 21st this year. The very next weekend is the Crown of Maine Balloon Festival in Presque Isle which takes place from August 25 – 28.
3. Take a beginner's climbing course.
You've heard about climbing and have seen people do it, but were never quite sure how to get started? Check out Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School, the only accredited climbing school in Maine! They've been around since 1993 and offer a selection of beginner through advanced rock and ice climbing programs in areas of Acadia National Park, Camden, Clifton and Katahdin. And, before discounting the activity as too difficult, know that they run kids camps and have many programs for kids and young adults. You can still reserve space for summer climbs, so check them out
to make sure you don't miss out on adding this to your list of summer activities.
4. Hike your way through Western Maine, using free food and lodging.
If hiking and exploring Western Maine is on your summer list, you'll want to consider checking out the incredible Maine Huts & Trails system. Maine Huts & Trails is a nonprofit organization working to create an impressive system of backcountry trails and eco-lodges for recreation in Maine’s Western Mountain region. You're welcome to stop in during a hike for some hot soup, or reserve a place to stay overnight in advance. But, don't let the word "hut" make you think you'll be roughing it. The food here is top-notch and the lodging is better than some camps you've probably stayed in! If you love beer with your hikes, consider going to their "Brews and Views" event from August 13th to 14th. Baxter Brewing Company will be setting up food pairings. Check them out
5. Experience sky diving AND white-water rafting in one weekend.
Maybe you've skydived and maybe you've rafted, but have you ever done them together? Jump and Raft is the only place in the USA where you can book both - jump out of a plane from 11,000 feet the first day and then raft down Class V Penobscot the second! The location affords views of Katahdin and some of the best sunsets Maine has to offer. Book the "Jump and Raft" package and stay in the area overnight. This includes the jump, the raft and just about all the BBQ you can eat.
6. Challenge yourself with a ropes course and zip-lining.
There are a number of ropes courses in Maine, but one that packs in TONS of activities is Monkey C Monkey Do in Wiscasset. A day spent at the park means navigating through over 60 obstacles that range in height from 12 to 50 feet. Once you've conquered the ropes course, zip your way to freedom on one of the eight zip lines. They also have a giant swing and an Outdoor Tactical Laser Tag Arena called "Gorilla Tactics." Check them out
7. Learn to sail.
If the nautical spirit of Maine is finally getting to you, book a lesson with any of the sailing schools that line the coast of Maine. Many offer one-day basics courses, along with multi-week classes that will have you tacking and trimming in no time. SailMaine in Portland occasionally holds free beginner classes. Others include Sebago Sailing, South Portland Sailing Center and the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club. Click
for a full list of American Sailing Association schools in Maine.
8. Learn to cook using local Maine ingredients.
With so many local farmers, fisherman and makers in Maine it's not hard to make a delicious and nourishing meal. But, it's not always easy to know what (or how!) to make it. Try a cooking class in Maine. Many are connected to local food providers and you'll have access to knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers. A great option is the Salt Water Farm Cooking School in Lincolnville. The meals you will learn to prepare are simple in creation and ingredients are sourced from the surrounding land and seas. Check them out online
and make a reservation.
9. Give back to the community you love by volunteering.
Maine has been our home and given us so much. Why not spend some time giving back this summer by volunteering to provide your skills to an organization in need. From farms to senior programs, those willing to donate their time are needed throughout the state. Click
to search for some opportunities available now.
10. Watch a movie under the stars at a local drive-in.
Maine has some of the best (and oldest!) drive-in movie theaters in the country. Click
for a few recommendations.
11. Learn how to snap the perfect Maine photo.
There's so much to see in Maine, but it's not always easy to capture the perfect image. To make the most of your Acadia trip, sign on for a photo safari and workshop with local professional photographer, Howie Motenko of Acadia Photo Safari in Bar Harbor. Sign on for one of four different options - Jordan Pond Safari, Sunset Cruise Safari, Ocean Drive Safari or, the special Lobster Picnic Sunset Cruise. As an Acadia Centennial Partner, the company will donate 10% of all proceeds from this tour to Friends of Acadia. Click
to learn more.
12. Go to Palace Playland. Finally.
We recently took a trip here, just for the heck of it, and loved every second. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that OOB is an important part of growing up in Maine - no matter where in the state you're from. The park covers four acres right next to the beach. In fact, it's the only park in New England located right on the beach. Rides, including the Galaxi Coaster and Cascade Falls, officially open on Memorial Day Weekend, but you can visit the arcade every weekend leading up to the big opening. Go on a Thursday and stay for the weekly fireworks show that begins at 9:45pm.
13. Slide your way to fun at a water park.
Maine doesn't have many waterparks, but the ones we do have are full of heart. Try the Aquaboggan in Saco. They've been entertaining guests for over 35 years. Grab a tube and zip across the Stealth 5 if you're adventurous, or stay closer to ground in the Giant Wave Pool. Either way, everyone in the family will find something to enjoy.
14. Stop to appreciate all the good things in your life.
If you’re looking for some other fun activities for the summer, check out some of our favorite
unique attractions in Maine.