Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall: Waterville is one of central Maine’s best kept secrets. Home to Colby College, residents and visitors alike can find plenty of things to see and do. Located on the campus of Colby College is one of the areas best art museums. Choke full of both contemporary art from well known artist as well as many temporary exhibits from locals and students alike. The museum is free and open to the public and is a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The museum also has a on-going events schedule that includes lectures, workshops and classes for adults and children. Waterville also has a small downtown area that offers some great restaurants and pubs to check out. Mainely Brews Restaurant and Tavern is the perfect place to hang out with friends. Whether it be inside, where you can enjoy a cozy pub atmosphere, great food and entertainment or take it outside to the patio during the summer months and listen to the music while sipping a cold one under the stars. Either way, this is a great spot to meet up with friends and enjoy a night out on the town. Another thing to do is to check out what is playing at the Flagship Cinema. With eight screens you will be sure to find something that will appeal the crowd no matter what their age. If you are looking for movies but, not quite the mainstream type, you should check out the Railroad Square Cinema. This alternative cinema brings to Maine some of the best foreign films and was named by Sundance Film Institute as one of twelve cinemas that were included in their “art house project”. During the winter months you can pack up your cross country skis and head over to the newly cut 3.5 miles of trails located just off Quarry Road. These trails are both serene and scenic. Parts of the trail run parallel with Messalonskee Stream which makes for some pretty views and solitude. This new trail system is going to be eventually expanded but, for now, the trails are groomed and ready to go.
Fall & Summer: We discovered DEW Animal Kingdom by accident on one of our trips to friend’s camp in Mt. Vernon. Smack dab in the middle of a back road on Route 41 there it was! With over 40 acres and 200 plus animals from all over the world, DEW Animal Kingdom is a wonderful and exciting place to visit and has tons to see and do. This is one of only two exotic animal farms in the state and it’s worth the trip. Unlike most zoos, where visitors can only view the animals from roped off setbacks, this zoo allows visitors to get up close and personal to the animals which makes for incredible photo opportunities. There are plenty of animals to look at from tigers to lions, leopards, llamas and bears. The owners are always willing to give educational tours that are very interesting and informative. If you find yourself in Central Maine, this is a great thing to do with the whole family. After spending some time at the animal farm, take a ride through the country especially this time of year when the leaves are beginning to change colors. If you head toward Manchester be sure to swing into Lakeside Apple Orchard where the apples are ripe for the picking. You can enjoy some fresh apple cider and visit the produce barn for some farm fresh vegetables and cider donuts. Another thing you could do is head toward the Belgrade Lakes Region which is only a 20 minute ride and enjoy lunch or dinner at the Olde Post Office Café. This Fall, discover all there is to do in Central Maine!
Fall & Winter: Don’t let the economy ruin your vacation plans this year! If spending the money to fly off to a destination spot like Florida and Mexico is not in your budget, consider a drive to Maine and discover all the things you can do for little to no cost! Enjoying the fine arts does not have to cost you a fortune! Check out the Portland Museum of Art, one of the finest museums on the East coast. Every Friday night you can enjoy their collection of over 18,000 pieces for free! That’s right, there is no admission fee so you can discover the wonderful collection of American and European paintings and art pieces for free. If you are looking for outdoor activities, a trip to Kennebunkport may be in order. Discover Parson’s Way walking path which is just off Ocean Avenue. This is a great paved walking path which runs along the edges of Kennebunkport with some beautiful scenic and historic spots. The path leads you past the Bush compound and makes it way to some great tidal pools where you can spend time discovering starfish and crabs. This is a great walk even in the winter, just be sure to bundle up as there usually is a wind blowing across the water. Another place to discover is the Maine State Museum located at the state capital building in Augusta. There is no admission fee and you can learn more about the history of Maine. While you are there you can check out the Blaine House which is close by. This is the home to the governor of Maine, but is open for tours to the public during the week at no charge. Vacations do not have to be ruled out during tough economic times, they may just need to be modified. Maine has some great opportunities for cheap vacations on a budget, so check it out today!
Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall: Find your way to the capital city of Maine and you will find more than government buildings and bureaucracy. Give this town a chance to prove all it has to offer! You can find more to do than exploring the State of Maine Museum, touring the governor’s mansion or hanging out in Capital Park. Here are some things to do that won’t leave you disappointed! During the winter months pack up your cross country skis and head to the Pine State Arboretum where you can enjoy six miles of groomed trails through some of the prettiest woods in the area. During the summer months you can enjoy these same trails along with all the wildlife that comes out to enjoy the weather. The best part about the Arboretum is entrance to the park and trails is always free. Perhaps you are looking for a little more adventure, then get in the car and head over to Wright Way Stables and sign up for horseback riding instructions. They offer lessons for all ages and all levels of experience. Horsing around is not your thing? That’s fine, stop in at the University of Maine in Augusta and take some time to enjoy a performance at Jewett Hall Auditorium. Whether it be jazz or a night of blues Jewett Hall offers a great concert series that shouldn’t be missed. Augusta also has a great historical site known as Old Fort Williams. Located on the banks of the Kennebec River, this fort is over 250 years old and is one of the oldest surviving forts in the country. You can take a guided tour throughout the fort and really see what it is like to step back in time. Don’t miss out on the things to do in Augusta, check it out today!
Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall: Lewiston Auburn has some fantastic art venues that are filled with very impressive art from both local and national artist. With Bates College located in the heart of these twin cities you will also find a thriving theater and museum which is open to the public. Bates College Art Museum is definitely a place to check out where you will find some of the finest art exhibitions in the area. The Bates College Museum combines a mix of student, artist and faculty pieces that reflect what is happening in our world both locally and nationally. Another stop if you are interested in art is the Creative Photography Center which is located in the heart of Lewiston’s Bates Mills complex and offers visitors over 40,000 square feet of some of the best photography exhibits in New England. This is a great way to spend an afternoon perusing through a very impressive collection of photography from many well know artist. After you are finished exploring Lewiston/Auburn’s art scene, stop in for a great meal at DaVinci’s Restaurant also located in the Bates Mills complex. Here you will find some of the best Italian food in the area with huge portions, so be sure you arrive hungry. If you are looking for some fun without a big price tag then head over to Sparetime Recreation and bowl a few strings and have a blast while you are at it. If you want to take it outside, check out either Lost Valley Ski Resort or Pine Haven Fun Park. Lost Valley is a family friendly ski mountain that offers lessons, night skiing and a manageable size mountain if you want to ski with kids. If skiing is not your thing but, you want to take it outdoors then check out Pine Haven Fun Park where snow tubing rules! The trails are groomed to perfection and one ride down the hill will keep you wanting more! Lewiston Auburn has a lot to offer visitors so take a ride to central Maine today and discover all there is to do!