Travelin’ Maine(rs)

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

New Hampshire’s Margarita Grill has SOHL

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 George

                Amongst the nearly 100 restaurants in the North Conway, New Hampshire area, we have now chosen a favorite, Margarita Grill. Here’s why.

                Owner/chef Bud Selmi offers imaginative and very tasty Margaritas ($8.50) along with a lengthy menu of southwestern and Mexican food at very reasonable prices. Oh yea, Linda and I love Mexican. Bud also is focused on farm-to-table meats and produce, some of it including beef from a group of small farms organized as Maine Family Farms. When we visited in late-September, Bud had recently purchased a $5,000 smoker from Humphrey’s in West Newfield, Maine.

Nordic Village Welcomes Visitors to New Hampshire’s Stunning White Mountains

City or Town: 
Bridgton
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 George

                Up the mountain we went, past tennis courts and other game fields, the sheep corral, Nordic Falls Park that includes a game room pavilion and a small pond, numerous inside and outside swimming pools, and six condominium buildings, arriving at our destination, Innsbruck, and our very nice condo with a view across the valley to nearby mountains. And we were only half way up the mountain!

                Linda wanted a special get-a-way to celebrate her birthday and first weekend of retirement from teaching, so I booked a surprise trip to Nordic Village Resort in Jackson, New Hampshire, thinking the foliage would be stunning. Well, the White Mountains are certainly stunning but the colorful foliage was late this year. Didn’t matter. We had a wonderful time here.

New Chefs Shine at Brooklin Inn

City or Town: 
Brooklin
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 New Chefs Shine at Brooklin Inn

George

                On Saturday morning with a nearly full house at the Brooklin Inn, an accident up on Route 1 knocked out power to the entire peninsula from Penobscot to Stonington. But Inn owner Chip Angell took it in stride, setting out juice, milk, cereal, and coffee, which he’d kept hot in a carafe, for our breakfast. The power was out nearly four hours, but it didn’t matter to us because we were off right after breakfast, exploring this beautiful section of Maine.

Bald Mountain Camps offer all outdoor adventures

City or Town: 
Oquossoc
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                 What would you hope to find at a favorite sporting camp? Maybe historic camps of varying sizes, all restored for your comfort without losing the original features? Perhaps a deck with lots of rocking chairs, overlooking a beautiful lake with mountains beyond? How about a beach, with plenty of room for the kids to frolic? Would you enjoy a fantastic restaurant right on the grounds?

                I’ll bet you would enjoy hundreds of thousands of acres of conservation lands, with terrific hiking trails, within a few minutes ride of the camp. Of course, if you are me, you’d look for one of Maine’s best places to hunt and fish.

Blazing into Bangor for a great meal

City or Town: 
Bangor
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 George

                Several friends recommended Bangor’s Blaze restaurant, so when we discovered they also have a Blaze in Bar Harbor, we reserved for dinner there during an August visit to Mt. Desert Island. Our son Josh and daughter-in-law Kelly had eaten lunch there that day and raved about it. And were they ever right!

                That great meal motivated us to schedule a travel column visit to Blaze in Bangor while we were at the always-wonderful American Folk Festival. Blaze was within walking distance of the festival, right in downtown Bangor, and as we approached the restaurant we were greeted by the very friendly hostess, Meghan, who had thoughtfully set tables for us both inside and outside. We opted for inside because it was cooler and beautiful with wood and brick walls.

Grazing is Fun!

City or Town: 
New Gloucester
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 An amazing dinner in an amazing place

Linda

                I had no idea just how big Pineland Farms is until I read that it encompassed 5000 acres of land. Trust us, it is big enough to get lost in. It became much clearer once we found a large model of Pineland’s layout on display at The Market. This diverse business campus and educational and recreational venue is impressive.

                We visited Pineland for one of their Graze Dinners and had arrived early to explore. I insisted on finding the Garden I’d read about. The perennial, herb and vegetable Garden at Pineland Farms has wonderful paths winding artfully around the plantings. Seeing artichokes happily growing in Maine was a sight! Vegetables grown here are sold at The Market and gardening seminars are offered in the summer.

The view is not the only spectacular thing about Bar Harbor’s Looking Glass Restaurant

City or Town: 
Bar Harbor
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 George

                A new executive chef at the Looking Glass was our excuse to return to one of our favorite restaurants in July, with family in tow, but really, you don’t need an excuse to dine here. Both the outside deck and the inside dining room surrounded by full-length windows provide an amazing ocean view from high on the hill behind the Blue Nose Inn, where son Joshua, Daughter-in-law Kelly, and 16-month-old granddaughter Ada, were spending the week.

                Our daughter Rebekah drove down from Union to spend the day with us. An afternoon at the spectacular Thuya Gardens in Northeast Harbor put us in the best of moods, as we eagerly anticipated a great dinner. New chef Matt McPherson has cooked all over the country, from Alaska to the Florida Keys, and he’s made the menu here his own.

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