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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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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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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Our family last visited Acadia National Park in 2009 when the kids were just two- and three-years old. At the time, we explored the Schoodic Peninsula — a lesser known entrance to the park, where a 6-mile loop treated us to spectacular views of lighthouses and forested islands. The visit was a quiet way to introduce our young family to the park, and while we loved our first adventure together, we left wanting to experience more iconic spots in Acadia.

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You have to love a getaway that’s less than 30 minutes from your home, but makes you feel as if you’re hundreds of miles away. In our case, Maine Forest Yurts, which is located in Durham, is such a place. The 100-acre retreat, which opened in 2013, is owned and operated by Bob Crowley, winner of the reality series “Survivor: Gabon,” his wife, Peggy and their adult children. The secluded property includes three yurts, wide trails to explore, a fairy house village and a shallow pond that’s great for skating.

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For the kids’ first trip to the Katahdin region, MP planned an overnight stay at New England Outdoor Center (NEOC) in Millinocket. The family-friendly, lakeside resort offers a variety of fun adventures, including moose tours, rafting, canoeing and hiking. For accommodations, guests can choose from rustic cabins to modern lodges.

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Our home for the night – the Eagle lodge.

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One of the benefits of the kids getting older is the ability to take longer hikes. With this thought in mind, MP decided the New England Outdoor Center (NEOC), an adventure resort located on Millinocket Lake, would be an ideal home base while we explored the Katahdin region.

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While researching different trails, MP was surprised to find a variety of hikes in Baxter State Park that are kid-friendly, each ranging 3-4 miles round trip. She had a few trails on her wish list, but friends from Millinocket suggested we check out the Debsconeag Ice Caves. Part of the Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness area, the caves are located located just south of Baxter and Mount Katahdin. The caves are made up of heavy boulders that were pushed together by glaciers during the last ice age, and brave hikers can explore inside. Our family couldn’t wait to experience these uncommon ice caves for ourselves.

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Last summer, after a weekend camping trip to Campobello Island in New Brunswick, we visited friends at their home in Lubec. We started our day with coffee and catching up while the kids played, and then took a short drive to Quoddy Head State Park. The park, which is located on the easternmost peninsula in the U.S., is home to the candy-striped West Quoddy Lighthouse.

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