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Archive for the ‘Road Trips’ Category

While there are many places in Maine that we love, the Moosehead Lake region is near and dear to us. We discovered its quiet beauty in 2015, when our family was fortunate to score a last minute, waterfront campsite at Lily Bay State Park. Since then, we’ve returned every summer, either with friends or on our own, to explore more of the area.

One of our favorite local finds in the region is Little Kineo Mountain. Just two miles round trip, this is the perfect hike for all ages. While you have to be willing to drive at least an hour and traverse some dusty dirt roads to get to the trailhead, the experience is well worth the effort. There is no shortage of mountain and water views during the trip, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a moose or two on your way. Just be sure to bring a map or written directions along with you, as cell phone coverage is spotty.

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March 20 marked the first day of spring, and with this new season, comes good thoughts of May days, trees in bloom and gardens brimming with sweet new soil. And while we may have to wait a little longer for this collective greening in Maine, it’s nice to know these days are only weeks away.

In particular, MP finds herself thinking about a solo visit to Mount Desert last spring, where one of her must-sees included Asticou Azalea Garden. The Japanese-style garden was designed in 1957 by Charles K. Savage, a passionate conservationist and the former manager of the historic Asticou Inn. The garden, located just off Route 198 South in Northeast Harbor, is an oasis for a mom in search of spring blooms. And oh, did this stunning space deliver! MP discovered quiet pathways, stone steps leading to Asticou pond, and all manner of spring unfurling before her eyes.

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Maybe it’s all of the snow we’ve been having lately, but MP finds herself daydreaming about spring break. While it would be lovely to go someplace tropical, our budget demands we find a getaway that doesn’t require a plane ticket. And for this family, vacation is really about a change of pace. With that idea in mind, we decided to visit Rockland for a few days last April. The small city, located in midcoast Maine, has everything a family could want in a vacation — beautiful spaces to explore, noteworthy restaurants, shopping and two art museums.

We took advantage of the Family Vacation Special at the Samoset Resort in nearby Rockport. The historic resort is located on the Penobscot Bay and offers spacious rooms with cozy beds and terry robes, relaxed dining and most importantly—for our kids anyway—a heated, indoor pool that makes a person on staycation feel as if she’s in Florida. For kids, the resort also has a game room, movies, and crafts, so there is always something to do, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

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Samoset offers sweeping views of the Penobscot from nearly every window.

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MP loved this cozy reading room and its spectacular view.

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In March, when snow is still a part of the landscape, most New Englanders find themselves craving color and sunshine. To break from the gray and white hues of winter, we decided to take the kids on a road trip to to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The museum is home to the impressive private art collection of Isabella Stewart Gardener, a world traveler and dedicated patron of the arts, who lived in Boston during the late 1800’s until her death in 1924. In her will, Gardener gifted the museum to the public and what a spectacular gift it is.

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Now that it’s the start of the year, we’re turning our minds to all of the adventures we want to experience together. Our family has found the only way to embrace a Maine winter is to have something new and exciting to look forward to each month. Here are the top 5 on our wish list:

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MP adores fall in Maine — the crisp mornings, the golden sunlight and the vibrant leaves make the season feel like a celebration. Winter is right around the corner, and for this reason, she feels compelled to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Our family had never traveled to the Rangeley area before, so we decided to make the most of an autumn weekend in this stunning part of the state.

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Treworgy Family Orchard is located in Levant, just 10 miles outside of Bangor, where owner Gary Treworgy and his big creative family design an incredible corn maze on the grounds of their farm. Since 2001, visitors have enjoyed their impressive mazes — which have ranged from a variety of animals to a Celtic labyrinth and even a knight fighting a dragon! This year’s design is Paul Bunyan, Legendary Lumberjack, and our crew decided it was high time we visit the farm to experience the maze for ourselves.

 

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