Travelin’ Maine(rs): Lodging Reviews

Maine lodging reviews form the Travelin’ Maine(rs).

Big Bend National Park in Southwest Texas is spectacular!

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Big Bend National Park is relentlessly stunning, high mountain desert alongside the Rio Grande, and a paradise for all who love the outdoors.


Big Bend is one of the most spectacular sights you will ever see. We’ve visited many national parks and this has become a favorite.

Picture hilly arid land with a backdrop of long mountain chains that take your breath away. Some formations create rounded sculpture shapes, while others are more angular. Rock variations color the hillsides in shades of taupe, red, and white. This is a geologist’s dream and many travel here for that reason. I tell George that this is the polar opposite of Mount Vernon. It feels like you can see forever, and it's hard to take all this vastness in.

After our interminable winter, I am soaking in the heat here. Boy it gets hot, even in April, where the average day time temperature this week was 90. Hot, sunny, and dry, but it cools down into the fifties at night with a lovely breeze.

Summer Dreaming 2014

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 We’ve scheduled some terrific trips this summer. How about you?

A birding adventure on Monhegan Island. Followed later in the summer by a Puffin Cruise with Monhegan Boat Line. Two visits to Lubec, giving us a healthy dose of fresh ocean air in the most beautiful place on earth. A weekend in Eastport.

A stay at a favorite Maine sporting camp with a tour of the spectacular Fly Fishing Museum in Oquossic. We’ll enjoy a presentation of the Joshua Chamberlain musical at the Maine Music Theater, with dinner at one of Brunswick’s fine restaurants.

And we’re excited about our first visit to Deer Isle, where the Pilgrim’s Inn and Whale’s Rib Tavern await. We’ll be doing that trip with our friends Rusty and Sue Atwood. An island adventure on Vinalhaven and our annual trip to the beautiful Blue Nose Inn in Bar Harbor will certainly highlight our summer.

Rockland culinary tour started at the Samoset

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Five restaurants in 41 hours - my kind of weekend! While the Samoset Resort's spectacular ice bar drew us to the Rockland area in mid-January, our culinary tour of the area added flavor to the weekend.

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Belfast has great art, shops, an awesome co-op, nice lodging and wonderful food

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                On a sunny (practically balmy) day in February, we strolled the main street of Belfast popping in to a variety of businesses. The previous night’s snow was melting into slushy goop on the corners of the intersections. I found myself taking special pleasure in tromping right through the messiness, which brought back satisfying memories of those same spring delights when I was a kid.

        You could see it on people’s faces... we are going to make it through this interminably long winter. In the same vein, visiting two of my favorite places in Belfast made me even happier.

        I fell in love with the Belfast Co-op on my first visit here last winter. This charming co-op is the largest and one of the oldest in Maine, with a strong commitment to Maine products. They sold $1,670,660 worth of Maine products last year.

For beauty, hospitality, and food, the Waterford Inn is hard to beat

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I love traveling to Western Maine during any season, but the rolling hills covered in snow make a particularly impressive sight. I wasn’t sure where the town of Waterford was, but it turns out to be only about 15 minutes west of Norway.

        We turned onto Chadbourne Road and started the climb up the steep hill until we reached the Waterford Inn’s breathtakingly beautiful property. This 1800’s farmhouse which stayed in the Chadbourne family for generations has been lovingly turned into a Registry Select Inn by Barbara Vanderzanden.

Don't Ski? No Worries!

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Carrabassett Valley
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 It turns out you don’t have to ski to enjoy a winter visit to Sugarloaf.



                Watching the cars full of skiers pile into the parking lots on Saturday morning, I was very happy we’d arrived at the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel on Friday afternoon for a weekend of fun. Our car was parked, we’d already enjoyed a great evening at the Shipyard Brew Haus, and we had a day planned that included snowshoeing, a tour of the mountain’s shops, and relaxation in the hotel’s amazing and huge outdoor hot tub, plus dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, 45 North.


One Stanley Avenue offers an elegant step back in time

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I still remember a very special dining experience we had at One Stanley Avenue fifteen or twenty years ago. Chef and owner Dan Davis, who lives with his wife Susan upstairs at One Stanley, has poured his life into this historic building that includes his impressive collection of stained glass in the windows and walls.

                For dinner, our server Tammy seated us in "the Arch" in the first of two intimate dining rooms. Tammy owns a preschool center in Phillips so she and I had a lot to talk about. The tin ceilings in this room are very intricate. Bathed in rose pink, the rooms are romantically lit with candles on the tables and quiet music in the background. One look around and you know you are in for a special meal here.

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