Travelin’ Maine(rs)

A regular travel blog, written by George and Linda Smith, focused entirely on instate travel.

Sunday brunch at the Harraseeket Inn can be sublime

City or Town: 
Freeport
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 George

 

                The best Sunday brunch in Maine is found at Freeport’s Harraseeket Inn. Check out the February 8 menu, published with this column, and see if you agree. Better yet, experience this yourself. During yet another snow storm, we cozied up to the fire next to our table and proceeded to dine for 2 ½ hours.

Small plates and prices and creative food make Marche’ Kitchen a favorite destination

City or Town: 
Lewiston
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 Linda

                We were watching the nightly television show 207 one night when a familiar face popped up. It turned out to be Kevin Cunningham, a chef we’d met when he worked at the Brunswick Tavern. Kevin mentioned that he was the chef at Marche’ Kitchen and Wine Bar in Lewiston now.  So we looked into visiting Marche’ the next time we were scheduled to go to The Public Theater.

Elegance combined with great food makes 22 Broad Street a destination

City or Town: 
Bethel
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 Linda

                I still remember the amazing dining experience we had four years ago when we first visited 22 Broad Street in Bethel. It was a perfect fall evening and we dined in their charming screened in porch. Tiny decorative white lights, intimate tables, a gentle breeze, and an extraordinary Italian meal remain in my mind.

Huts and Trails features high adventure, comfort, and great food

City or Town: 
New Portland
Kingfield
Blog Showcase Image: 

Linda

                Okay, I was clueless about the Maine Huts & Trails system before this adventure. When George explained to me that we would hike in, maybe in the dark, and sleep in a “hut”, I may have been a bit apprehensive. He sweetened the deal by saying that was the weekend Bob Duchesne was leading a winter bird watch. I hadn’t been birding in so long, a winter bird hike sounded awesome to me.

        Then George explained that all we needed to bring were sleeping bags, and that all the meals were prepared for the guests at the lodge. We could snowshoe in - no problem.

        As it turned out, the gorgeous snowshoe in was extremely easy, even carrying in our gear. Walking up the well groomed Service Road was only 1 mile. A more scenic trial in along Flagstaff Lake is 1.8 miles. We decided to explore more trails once we unloaded our gear.

A recreational paradise in Maine’s great North Woods

City or Town: 
Millinocket
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 Matt Polstein is the perfect example of what it takes to succeed these days in the sporting camp business. Matt has renovated most of the old cabins that were part of Twin Pine Camps, constructed new cabins and luxurious 3-bedroom houses, added a superb restaurant, and partnered with conservation groups to protect surrounding lands and with outdoor recreation groups to add experiences to the traditional pursuits of hunting and fishing.

                When we were there a few weeks ago, it was clear that the New England Outdoor Center is a major destination for snowmobilers. While Matt rents snowmobiles, many of his guests arrive with huge trailers full of them. Some bring two for each member of their party, in case one breaks down!

Taco 2’sDay Spells Fun at 3 Crow

City or Town: 
Rockland
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 George

                Given that Linda and I think dining out should be fun, we eagerly anticipated Taco 2’sDay at Rockland’s 3 Crow restaurant. And fun it was!

                Part of the fun was that our daughter Rebekah and son-in-law Patrick joined us. But the friendly staff, beautiful interior, and tasty food, made this a particularly memorable evening.

                The owners, Chef Josh Hixson and his wife Tara Barker, are front and center here. Josh cooks New Orleans-inspired food, another thing that drew our attention to this relatively new restaurant on Rockland’s Main Street. New Orleans food draws us often to our favorite Portland restaurant, Hot Suppah.

Travis Ferland is restoring the historic Rangeley Inn to greatness

City or Town: 
Rangeley
Blog Showcase Image: 

George

                It takes a brave soul to tackle the restoration of an old historic inn, and Travis Ferland is a brave soul. He also has the credentials and work ethic to do it. Travis purchased the Rangeley Inn two years ago at a foreclosure auction and has been working tirelessly ever since to bring this landmark on Rangeley’s Main Street back to its glory years.

                So far, so good. We stayed in the renovated section of the Inn and were impressed with how Travis has retained the historic aspects while modernizing the building. The entire Inn is full of old photos, memorabilia, and furniture, as well as mounts of moose and bear. My friend Bill Pierce, executive director of the Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic, loaned the Inn some amazing photos from the museum’s collection. The common rooms at the entrance are particularly beautiful.

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