Travelin’ Maine(rs): Lodging Reviews

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

New Chef Steve Sicinski has created an awesome menu at the Sea Glass Restaurant

City or Town: 
Cape Elizabeth
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 Linda

                Preparations for a busy season ahead were well underway when we visited Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth last week. Flower boxes were planted, the outdoor pool was open, and guests were already enjoying the fire pit complete with s’mores. The Inn has a great view of the ocean and a boardwalk that leads to the sandy Crescent Beach State Park.

                The Inn’s Sea Glass Restaurant changed its executive chef two months ago, and we were looking forward to checking out Chef Steve Sicinski’s new menu. His family has ties to Maine as his wife grew up here and he is delighted to be here. And after dinner, I can tell you we are delighted he is here too!

Family fun at Claybrook Mountain Lodge, a place cherished by Mainers

City or Town: 
Kingfield
New Portland
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 George

                 It was a birding adventure we will never forget, and not just because we identified 98 species of birds. Claybrook Mountain Lodge in Highland Plantation offers comfort, adventure, and fabulous food, but it’s the family atmosphere created by owner/hosts Greg and Pat Drummond that keep bringing guests back year after year.

                The weekend we were there, there was a couple from Litchfield with their two grandchildren, Corey and Elise. The couple has been coming here for 25 years. On their first trips, they stayed in Greg and Pat’s home. Everyone there for the birding weekend was from Maine, and judging from the guest book, this is a place cherished by Mainers.

The Captain Lord Mansion, Kennebunkport

City or Town: 
Kennebunkport
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 The Captain Lord Mansion offers historic elegance, comfort, and great service

George

                Kennebunkport’s Captain Lord Mansion combines history, elegance, and art with comfortable and intriguing features that bring guests back year after year. In fact, one couple has stayed here more than 100 times! And don’t we wish we could!

                On the front walkway and the memorial garden are stones with the names of guests who have stayed here more than 10 times, something we now aspire to, although they’ll have to start a new walkway soon because the existing one is filled with names. And for good reason.

 

Po' Boys & Pickles and Portland Stage - a great night out!

City or Town: 
Portland
South Portland
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                 It was a great night out in Portland. We were stunned by the presentation of Papermaker at Portland Stage, impressed with supper at Po’ Boys & Pickles, and very pleased with our room at the Best Western Merry Manor Inn.

 

George

                We don’t usually insist that you do something in this column, but please don’t miss Monica Wood’s extraordinary and powerful play, Papermaker, at the Portland Stage through May 14. Monica is a Mainer with four wonderful novels, and her autobiography, When We Were The Kennedys, about growing up in Rumford, is the best autobiography Linda and I ever read. And now, it turns out she is a great playwright too.

There's lots to do inside and outside the Bethel Inn

City or Town: 
Bethel
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 Linda

                Western Maine is a particularly beautiful area and Bethel is one of our favorite towns to visit. There always seems to be something happening here. We've visited during peak fall foliage, and cross country skied here in the winter. We've come for their Harvest Fest celebration set up in the Town Common, and George loves to fish the river and ponds in this area. In fact, while I judged pies at Harvest Fest, he competed in a fishing contest. Bethel is a four season destination and the town capitalizes on this fact offering events throughout the year.

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

City or Town: 
New Portland
Kingfield
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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!

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