In order to reach the finish line of the Raid Series obstacle course, participants must hoist a sandbag, leap over marine hurdles, and scale a cargo net. The course is designed to emulate a run through the city streets, right up to the finish line, which is actually a climbing wall. It's one branch of The Raid Series, a trifecta of terrain-inspired 5Ks that also include the Mountain Raid and Beach Raid. After racers complete the course, which is on the sand of Old Orchard Beach just one hour and fifteen minutes from Boston, they can jet to the after-party to enjoy beer and live music.
Vibrant wildflowers grow over acres of fields, streams trickle through woodlands, and birdwatchers gaze at creatures in flight. The scenery at Skyline Farm can be breathtaking, and thanks to a group of dedicated locals, 46 acres of its land are guarded in a conservation easement held by the Royal River Conservation Trust. These protected lands stay open to the public, who can explore a 1.7-mile trail network or attend antique auto gatherings and music festivals. The farm's grounds are also home to the Skyline Farm Carriage Museum, which displays classic vehicles used before Henry Ford discovered that there was a car in his garage.
The intimate Headliners Comedy Club at The Gold Room seats guests at private tables to take in the quips of regularly performing comedians. During two-hour shows, three standups—including one national headliner—take the stage in turn. Onlookers can also enjoy pub-fare offerings from the kitchen, such as saucy chicken wings or classic sliders, to fuel belly laughs and distract mouths so they don't shout out premature punch lines.
In the 1800s, windjammers and their mighty sails were a frequent sight up and down Maine's coast, where they would pull fish from the water and fill New England's insatiable need for goldfish crackers. By the 21st century, most had abandoned windjammers for engine-powered vessels—but not Hasket Derby Hildreth. A boat builder and mechanical engineer, Hildreth had a vision to re-create the windjammer's classic design on modern shores. Working with a friend who was a boat restorer, Hildreth and his team fashioned their own steel tools and built one of Portland's only engineless windjammers, which they affectionately christened Frances. Maine Sailing Adventures launched Frances in the fall of 2003. Though Hildreth has since passed away, his memory lives on through the legacy Frances continues to perpetuate with each voyage. Today, she can be found at Maine State Pier, where passengers board her shallow deck and sail out to enjoy Maine's scenic coasts without the noise or emissions typical of engine-powered boats. These trips stretch beyond standard tours, though. As they sail, the crew spins tails of Portland's maritime history, teaches passengers how to hoist the topsail, and transforms the boat into a floating classroom, where students can learn about lobster migration and how many wishes they can get from a starfish.
Bubbles break the surface of the water as the beast makes its way upward for a breath of fresh air. Suddenly, her back can be seen atop the waves as her spout releases a geyser-like explosion of air and water. From the decks of Odyssey Whale Watch’s vessels, passengers take in sights such as these and further their understanding of the creatures with the help of an on-board naturalist, who identifies humpback, finback, and minke whale species. His job is made all the easier by the cruise ship’s captain, an experienced mariner who has committed to memory the most densely populated feeding areas for Maine’s massive mammalian residents, which often hang out about 20 miles off shore. In addition to whale-watching tours, Odyssey Whale Watch takes passengers out on deep-sea fishing trips to reel in cod, haddock, and mackerel.
The Boathouse’s team of aquatic experts makes Casco Bay accessible to adventurers of all ages and skill levels by renting out and selling Riviera stand-up paddleboards, which boast a quick response, easy glide, and maneuverability. Their one-hour private paddleboarding lessons empower newcomers to gracefully propel themselves over calm, glassy waters using an oar or an uprooted stop sign. In addition to paddleboards, The Boathouse also sends thrill-seekers splashing through the bay with surf boards, Hobie Cat boats, and various water accessories, such as wetsuits and sailing shorts.