Nestled along the sandy shores of a spring-fed lake, Peters Pond RV Resort keeps campers comfortable with well-maintained campsites trumpeting a slew of amenities. Campers stow the bungalow-on-wheels or pop a tent at one of the resort’s many sites, keeping creature comforts flowing with hook-ups for necessities, including water, electricity, and fondue. Occupy sunshine-drenched days fishing the stocked lake, hiking nearby trails, or parading about the two beaches, or settle vacation quarrels with old-fashioned rounds of bocce ball, badminton, or horseshoes. Wash away the musk of strenuous hikes or the memories of losing at hot potato with the resort’s hot showers and laundry machines. The modern facilities also anchor campers to civilization, with cable hookups, a free WiFi hotspot, and hourly news updates beamed to each mind via the camp’s resident medium.
Whale watching was a relatively new concept when John Fish's grandfather started giving tours. "We kind of originated it," Mr. Fish says. "Thirty years ago we were the only ones doing whale watching." As the company became more successful over the years, additional captains were brought on to cover the demand. Today, these crews continue to ferry groups into the habitats of several whale species, including humpback whales and sperm whales. Though the whales seen along Cap'n Fish's Whale Watch's journeys still breach and refuse to sign autographs, other things have changed over the years. Below deck, the current fleet's engines work to reduce emissions and provide a fume-free experience. Above deck, 360-degree viewing decks and modern technology help bring whales into sight. Onboard computers display large maps of where the aquatic mammals are known to swim, and GPS systems reroute boats around mermen constructing new reefs. In addition to illuminating the behavior of whales for passengers, the crew's wildlife experts point passengers toward other animals they spot along the way, such as white-sided dolphins and harbor seals. Though some variables are beyond their control, the crew members almost always spot whales and boasted a 98% success rate in 2009.
After a summer spent paddling a cumbersome aluminum kayak through northern Canada, two college students founded Lincoln Canoe & Kayak in an effort to design a lighter, more ergonomic vessel. Although ownership has switched hands since the brand's inception in 1959, the company continues to craft lightweight canoes and kayaks from fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon fiber, or feathers dipped in water repellent. From their retail paddle shop in Freeport, they also corral new and experienced kayakers into tour and expedition groups that explore Casco Bay, Deer Isle, and Muscongus Bay. Skilled guides impart their knowledge of Maine's coast and lead paddlers to discover Maine’s myriad waterways, where no river, inlet, pond, or kiddie pool is off-limits.
With a seasoned captain and crew at the helm, Boothbay Whale Watch's 100-foot Harbor Princess ferries up to 149 passengers into the glistening Atlantic in search of exotic marine life. Voyages meander from scenic Boothbay Harbor into the feeding grounds of whales, dolphins, sharks, and seals, with each marvelous sight indicated and explained by the boat's naturalist, Mechele Vanderlaan. Equipped with an open-air top deck and heated cabin, the boat grants sightseers the ability to watch for marine life year-round without baking in the sun or warming up next to a sympathetic harbor seal. Though alcohol is banned from the boat, the Harbor Princess houses a full-service galley that slings light meals and soft drinks throughout each cruise.
Segway Tours of Portland gears up for the Halloween season by visiting notable haunts of the Casco Bay area and recounting sinister tales and little-known historical facts. Journeys commence with a 30-minute introduction to Segway technology and proper operation, including a brief history of the machine as well as tips on using its secret pogo function. From a starting point on Pearl Street, wheel-mounted adventurers embark on a 60-minute exploration of the waterfront and Munjoy Hill, as experienced guides describe spine-tingling tales of pirates and phantom naval officers via audio headsets. The tour pauses periodically to allow guests to take advantage of scenic photo ops or collect autographs from famous poltergeists at the East End Cemetery.
When Captain Lemuel Moody designed and built The Portland Observatory in 1807, he could hardly have imagined that his maritime signal tower would outlive all of its siblings to become the oldest one remaining in the United States. Though the winds and high seas have relentlessly conspired to bring it down, the tower continues to stand more than 200 years after its construction. It owes its longevity in large part to Greater Portland Landmarks, a conservation society whose efforts led to the observatory’s designation as a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Today, Greater Portland Landmarks continues to introduce new generations to one of the city’s oldest treasures through guided tours. Led by knowledgeable docents, tours focus on maritime history and chart the many changes that have taken place in Portland since the tower’s founding. One thing that hasn’t changed is the breathtaking view from the observatory’s deck, where one can look out on Casco Bay, Back Cove, and Spanish galleons arriving in port after grueling, century-long journeys across the Atlantic.