It was love at first sight when Zach and Allison Poole moved to Maine. Not with each other, but with the area's rich food and beer culture. Zach dreamed up the Maine Brew Bus as a way to share his epicurean discoveries with others and promote local businesses in the process. Zach takes groups to breweries and pubs across Southern Maine during six all-inclusive themed tours that cover every step of the beer-making process, from adding hops to checking bottle for miniature ships.
Maine Brew Bus wouldn't be able to function without its all-time employee of the month, Lenny—a 14-person bus that once transported children to and from school, but is now outfitted for a life of beer tours. The bus sports a bright green exterior painted by a local artist, a eye-catching nod to the vehicle's biodiesel engine and the business's commitment to preserving the environment.
Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc.'s practiced pilots leap into the air in fully restored antique aircraft to grant passengers a glimpse of natural and manmade majesties from above. In the open-air cockpit of a classic antique biplane, adventurers can taste the whipping winds of high altitudes over Downtown Atlanta, glimpsing Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, and Centennial Olympic Park, where the Farmer's Almanacs of previous eras are put out to pasture. Alternately, they can surmount the igneous crown of Stone Mountain and soar above the Mississippi riverboats that dot the surrounding lakes, or gently flit over the cityscape bathed in a golden aura during a romantic sunset flight.
After stepping onto one of Maine Water Tours' covered pontoons, groups of up to 14 embark upon river safaris down the Kennebec River. Sailors depart from The Kennebec Tavern and set out on the placid waters to enjoy breathtaking views and glimpses of local wildlife, from majestic bald eagles to awkward harbor seals. During the adults-only cocktail cruise, passengers are encouraged to bring along drinks, snacks, mixers, and any other party ephemera to enjoy during their two hours out on the water.
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.
As darkness overtakes Bar Harbor, a group of travelers huddle outside the Ledgelawn mansion. Inside, their guide informs them, several centuries worth of spirits patrol the halls, unable to reach the next life due to unresolved earthly business or tragedy. The tour guests shiver, recalling the other stories they've heard that night. One was about a woman whose search for her husband has continued beyond her death. Another described the hauntings of children trapped between worlds. Each legend has a distinct voice, crafted from a mix of folklore, documented history, and post-it notes found floating in front of abandoned fridges. To add authenticity to their storytelling, the guides don costumes for the one-mile trip, which reaches its eerie conclusion in the center of town.
Khaled spent his childhood exploring Middle Eastern deserts. Jen spent hers exploring central Maine's rolling farmlands. Despite their polar-opposite upbringings, their thirsts for adventure eventually brought the pair together. So when Khaled up and left for Alaska, it didn't take Jen long to follow him.
There, the two pioneered the idea of the shoreline cruise, catering specifically to disembarking cruise-line passengers. Through their joint endeavor, The Scenic Route Maine Tours, they bring the tours back to Jen's homeland. Their van tours explore nearby Kennebunkport, known for its lobster rolls, along with LL Bean's flagship store and local lighthouses. And around the holidays, they bring Saint Nick to children's homes.