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A Love Letter to Maine

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A picturesque lighthouse on the coast of Maine
Posted: 9/8/2020 | September 8th, 2020

Tucked away up in the northeast corner of the United States, Maine evokes images of endless shorelines, wild forests, Stephen King, iconic lighthouses, and lots and lots of lobster dinners.

Despite growing up only 90 minutes from the state, I only visited once in my life. I was in college and my friend George was from there, so one weekend, we drove up to his hometown of Gorham.

Maine was always one of those places that I felt I could visit anytime so was never a rush to do so. There was always a flight to some distant land to get on instead. Maine could wait.

People tend to put off traveling their “backyard” until the end and I was no different.

But then COVID struck and there were no more flights to distant lands.

A busy harbour on the coast of Maine, USA

There was just my backyard to see.

So, while I was back in Boston longing for nature, I decided to finally visit Maine. My original plan was to spend a roughly ten days there before heading to Vermont then Upstate New York and then back to Boston.

But as the days ticked by, 10 turned to 12, which turned to 14, which turned to 21.

I just couldn’t quit Maine.

I loved the quiet, slow pace of the state.

I loved the small-town feel to the cities, and the fact you were never far from nature. Every city had access to it, and there was always someplace to go hike. Even tiny Bangor had parks and greenways galore.

Nomadic Matt posing for a photo in Acadia National Park, Maine

I loved the food. Besides traditional lobsters and oysters and other seafood we all know about, there was excellent Thai food, upscale American, and creative gastronomy. There was a lot of good food in Maine and, as someone who plans their travels mostly around food, Maine was perfect.

I loved all the microbreweries. Maine is one of the best states for beer and I found myself bouncing from microbrew to microbrew in search of the best IPA. (The winner was Rising Tide in Portland.)

And, of course, there were the people. There’s something about the state that makes everyone smiley, talkative, and welcoming. They’d ask you where you were from, shoot the shit with you, and always have suggestions on where to go next. From the diner owner in Bangor to the staff at the hotel I ended up extending to my stay at to the attendant at the park — who, when I asked directions, decided that was his chance to go into a long soliloquy on his state — to countless others, people in Maine were really nice.

Stephen King's house in Maine, USA

My time there took me to Portland, Bangor, Camden, Acadia National Park, Moosehead Lake, and tiny coastal towns for lunch stops. I learned to shuck oysters. I went on a hike every day. I read lots of books. I ate a lot of delicious food. Since COVID-19 closed most museums and indoor attractions, there was no much else to do. (But, really, who needs more than that?)

In small-town Maine, the rest of the country and its troubles seemed far away. A friend described it as the place for those who want to get away from society but feel like Alaska is too far. In a state where the population density is 41 per square mile (38th in the country), it seems like a perfect analogy.

A peaceful river surrounded by trees in Maine, USA

Maine seems to enchant people, casting a magical spell that lasts forever. It’s no wonder so many people I know from Boston go to Maine every summer. And it’s no wonder why I suddenly found myself calculating how much a summer home there would really cost and, if I too, want to spend the rest of summers here.

In a word, Maine is magical.

If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all with beautiful forests to hike, long coastlines to explore, delicious food to eat, and friendly people to chat with, you need to visit Maine.

Thank me later.

And send me a postcard.

Logistical Information
Eat: Duckfat (Portland), Eventide (Portland), Bite into Maine (Portland), Gidden Point Oyster Farm (Damariscotta), Long Grain (Camden), The Traveling Lobster (Bar Harbor), Havana (Bar Harbor), Rosalie’s (Bar Harbor), Beal’s Lobster (Southwest Harbor), The Fiddlehead (Bangor), Judy’s (Bangor), Stress Free Moose Pub (Greenville)
Drink: Rising Tide (Portland), Stress Free Moose Pub (Greenville), Atlantic Brewing Company (Bar Harbor), Bissell Brothers (Portland), Urban Farm (Portland), Mason’s Brewing (Bangor)
Stay: Black Elephant Hostel (Portland), Leisure Life (Moosehead Lake), Bar Harbor Manor (Bar Harbor)

Book Your Trip to the United State: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!

Need an affordable RV for your road trip?
RVshare lets you rent RVs from private individuals all around the country, saving you tons of money in the process. It’s like Airbnb for RVs.

Want more information on the United States?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on the USA for even more planning tips!

The post A Love Letter to Maine appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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Discover Something New at Home this Holiday Season

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Traveling “home” this holiday season? Don’t fall into your old routine. Your high school hangout may be an easy go-to, but if you don’t live there anymore there’s a good chance you’re missing out on some great new local spots. (Plus, be honest: you already know what all your classmates are up to from Facebook.)

We turned to local writers to help you rediscover your hometown over Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Each city guide features a great new restaurant to try while you’re in town, a cool neighborhood that wasn’t on the radar last year or a store where you can pick up a keepsake to bring your old home back to your new home. We’ll also catch you up to speed on the hot topics of conversation in each city, so you’ll come back savvy enough to join the local sports banter or eat your holiday weight in Cronuts.

Click your city below to learn what’s new since the last time you went home:

Continue reading Discover Something New at Home this Holiday Season

Discover Something New at Home this Holiday Season originally appeared on Gadling on Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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4 Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Save You Time

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APTOPIX Airport Travel
Associated Press

Sure, some of these travel tips are basic. But Thanksgiving travel is looking to be an even bigger mess than normal this year, especially around the East Coast. So this 90-second refresher from Samantha Brown and Mark “Hawkeye Louis” could save you hours.

Continue reading 4 Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Save You Time

4 Thanksgiving Travel Tips to Save You Time originally appeared on Gadling on Tue, 26 Nov 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will You Be a Horrible Restaurant Customer This Holiday Season?

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Hispanic waitress taking order
Getty Images

So you’ve finished your Thanksgiving dinner and you’re finally sick of turkey leftovers. It’s time to get out there and hit the great new restaurant that just opened in your hometown or wherever you’re spending the holidays. (FYI: Aol Travel knows the hot restaurants in cities around the U.S.)

Wherever you go, remember that there are appropriate ways to behave. And there are horrible ways to behave, as highlighted in this Montreal Gazette story by two Montreal-area restaurant servers. Among other things, they urge:

Continue reading Will You Be a Horrible Restaurant Customer This Holiday Season?

Will You Be a Horrible Restaurant Customer This Holiday Season? originally appeared on Gadling on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Demonstrations in Thailand? No Problem, Travelers Say.

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Rush Hour in Bangkok Centre
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The political protests currently taking place in parts of Bangkok don’t seem to be affecting travel to and within Thailand. And that should be no surprise. Despite events — a coup, floods and protests that closed an airport among them — that have rocked the country in recent years, travelers remain unfazed about visiting Thailand.

Quartz reports:

Not only are tourists still coming, but they’ve been arriving in increasing numbers in recent years, according to government data.

The story adds:

Continue reading Demonstrations in Thailand? No Problem, Travelers Say.

Demonstrations in Thailand? No Problem, Travelers Say. originally appeared on Gadling on Mon, 02 Dec 2013 11:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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TSA Lets Travelers Apply for PreCheck

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Travel-Airport Security Fast Track
Associated Press

Today the Transportation Security Administration (you know ’em as TSA) began allowing travelers to apply for its PreCheck program (or as TSA calls it, Pre✓[TM]).

According to TSA,

The new application process allows U.S. citizens to directly enroll in TSA Pre✓[TM], an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select screening lanes. To date, passengers have only been eligible through existing programs such as U.S. Custom and Border Protection’s Global Entry program and frequent flier programs with certain airlines, but this announcement will allow travelers to apply directly for the expedited screening program.

Continue reading TSA Lets Travelers Apply for PreCheck

TSA Lets Travelers Apply for PreCheck originally appeared on Gadling on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Where to Ski In Every State and 16 Ski Vacations Near Big U.S. Cities

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Squaw Valley

The period after Thanksgiving isn’t just the start of the holiday shopping season, it’s typically the start of the ski season as well. To that end, AOL Travel has posted these two guides to ski vacations:

Now you’ll be able to cross off Ski in Alabama on your bucket list.

Where to Ski In Every State and 16 Ski Vacations Near Big U.S. Cities originally appeared on Gadling on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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And the Winner of Sound of Music Live Is…

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Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg
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Last night’s live production of The Sound of Music on NBC got more flak than Maria did for being an unsolvable problem nun. The acting was bad, the costumes St. Pauli-esque and the mountains… gasp! They were fake!

But there was one winner in last night’s performance: the city of Salzburg, Austria. Home of the Von Trapps, setting of the original movie and now site of thousands of Edelweiss-blasting tour buses and gazebo-worshipping 16-going-on-17-year-olds, Salzburg enjoyed a flurry of love last night.

Continue reading And the Winner of Sound of Music Live Is…

And the Winner of Sound of Music Live Is… originally appeared on Gadling on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Vineyard and Zipline Trends Collide at the Pinot Express

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Chris Leschinsky

Vineyards and ziplines have long been used to attract tourist dollars for destinations that, well, could use a little help:

  • Regardless of the area’s suitability for growing grapes, plop down a vineyard or winery and travelers will come for a taste and buy a sympathy bottle (pro tip: go for the ice wine as it’s harder to mess up)
  • Ski resorts looking to attract off-season dollars or stale attractions looking to draw media coverage and visitors hook up a zipline

So really, the 1,800-foot Pinot Express zipline at Margarita Adventures, which debuted recently at the Santa Margarita Ranch in the Paso Robles wine country on California’s Central Coast, is the travel industry’s destiny.

Continue reading Vineyard and Zipline Trends Collide at the Pinot Express

Vineyard and Zipline Trends Collide at the Pinot Express originally appeared on Gadling on Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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