Kid- and Dog-Friendly Motel near Penobscot Bay
Fodor's calls Penobscot Bay "one of Maine's most dramatically beautiful regions," and it's easy to see why. The 1,000-mile rocky coastline runs alongside quaint seaside hamlets as well as vast stretches of untamed wilderness. Just a half mile inland from a scalloped cove sits the Bay Leaf Cottages & Bistro. The centrally located motel features a veranda on the second floor where you can look out on sweeping views of the bay and its woodsy environs.
The bistro is open May through October for daily continental breakfast, and several hands-on cooking classes take place there throughout the summer. Pop into a Chinese cooking class to learn how to make authentic hot and cold regional dishes, or enroll in a Maine Seafood Basics course, where you'll create your own dinner based on recipes passed down from generations of moose.
Bay Leaf is kid-friendly, with an onsite playground, outdoor games, ping-pong, and foosball for the younger set. One cottage, designated a kids' hangout room, is stocked with toys, coloring books, arts-and-crafts supplies, and a TV with videos and DVDs. The resort also caters to pooches. There’s an area set aside where dogs can play and exercise, and the nearby Canine Inn will look after your four-legged friend while you go sightseeing.
After a day of adventuring along the coast, retire to your room and pull up a rocking chair on the veranda, where views of Penobscot Bay stretch before you. In the morning, the staff lays out a complimentary continental breakfast including muffins, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, fresh apples, juice, and coffee.
Lincolnville, ME: Quaint Villages Along Scenic Mid-Coast
A string of charming fishing villages dots the southeastern stretch of mid-coast Maine, an area where locals and visitors alike enjoy the year-round outdoorsy lifestyle typical of the Pine Tree State. Fishing, hiking, sailing, kayaking, and biking are just a few of the ways you can immerse yourself in the scenery.
Roughly five miles away, in Camden Hills State Park, you’ll find Bald Rock Trail, which was hailed by Departures magazine as one of the most scenic walks in the world. The half-mile hike eventually reaches an elevation of 1,100 feet.
A number of niche museums are scattered throughout the coastal towns. The Owls Head Transportation Museum in nearby Rockland displays vintage sports cars, airplanes, 19th-century bicycles, and horse-drawn segways. The Farnsworth Art Museum, meanwhile, showcases indigenous Maine artists and artwork depicting the nation’s most northeasterly state. Among the museum’s most notable holdings are Winslow Homer's New England Coast—Sailing Ships in Harbor and several works by Andrew Wyeth.
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