Whether leading visitors along the historic streets of Old Port or along the craggy coast near Portland's harbor in a trolley, the guides at Maine Foodie Tours regale visitors with background on the area's artisan cuisine. Each of them partners with local culinary artisans to uncover historical tidbits about dishes or reminiscences about the days when whoopie pies were still carved out of wood. On walking tours, they explain how fish houses, canneries, and textile mills have given way to coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants, stopping for samples of fish, cheese, and microbrews to illustrate each point. On chocolate tours, they may explore the history of the cocoa bean by leading guests to confectioneries that craft cupcakes, ice cream, fudge, and truffles. In the spring, summer, and fall, Maine Foodie Tours offers other excursions, such as trolley and bike tours.
Located within walking distance of an ocean-side beach, the pet-friendly NASCAR RV Resort keeps campers comfortable with well-maintained campsites trumpeting a slew of amenities. Camping quartets pop a tent or stow a bungalow-on-wheels 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, swimming in the resort’s four pools, or parading about the four playgrounds, or settle vacation quarrels with old-fashioned rounds of horseshoes or shuffleboard. Visitors can also work up a sweat at the resort’s basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, or make a gentlemanly wager at the 18-hole miniature-golf course.
US Coast Guard captain and Registered Maine Guide Carle Hildreth leads private charters for sport or leisure. He helms all-inclusive sportfishing charters, during which groups as large as four can hunt species such as striped bass and bluefish and groups as large as five can hunt mackerel. Alternatively, Carle’s scenic harbor tours pass by sites such as local lighthouses, historic forts, and local wildlife such as seals, porpoises, deer, and birds of prey.
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.
Mark and Nichole Stevens have always loved craft beer. Mark began homebrewing in his Mr. Coffee during college, and Nichole spent several years slinging drinks behind the bar. After spending a vacation in search of northern New England breweries that offered tours, the couple decided to create Maine Beer Tours to give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the burgeoning craft-beer industry.
Maine Beer Tours’ palatable expeditions explore the ins and outs of the brewing process and the Maine brewing industry. Groups sightsee at several well-known breweries that employ diverse brewing styles and ingredients, including the well-known Allagash Brewing Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, and Urban Farm Fermentory, which doubles as a food-fermentation center and bee yard. To help expand guests' knowledge and pique interest in new types of beer, breweries give guests samples of their toothsome porters, ales, and witches' brews.
With its archipelago of island communities, Maine needed a way to connect its maritime residents after the system of colonial-era catapults became too expensive to maintain. Enter Casco Bay Island Transit District, also called Casco Bay Lines. The aquatic outfit operates myriad vessels year-round, transporting passengers between Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Aside from scenic shuttle services, the line also introduces visitors to the storybook sights of the northern New England region, whisking them on music cruises and sunset tours along the kraken-dappled bay.