Winter: Winter will be here before we know it and with the cold weather also comes the snow. Instead of dreading the cold, why not make some plans now to hit your local sledding hot spots. Sledding is one of those activities that doesn’t require much gear, is inexpensive and always a fun thing to do not matter what your age. Find the steepest hill in your town and you pretty much have and afternoon full of cheap entertainment. I think every town in Maine has their “sledding hill”, you know the one I am talking about. All the kids gather there with their tubes, flying saucers, toboggans and spend hours just having a blast. If you live in the Augusta area your sliding hill is at the Augusta Country Club where kids gather to ride down the long run that thrills everyone from young to old. In Portland, the gathering spot is Riverside Golf Course and the hill of choice is just behind the clubhouse. On any given day you will fine lines of sledders waiting for their turn to take a run down the hill. In Topsham, you will find their hill at the playground on Middlesex Road. The tubes come down the hill at fierce speeds so be careful when making your way back to the top. As a matter of fact, that hill is so popular that it is not unlikely to find some bare spots at the top of the hill during the beginning of the season due to all the sledders making multiple runs down the hill. If you decide to do some sledding this winter make sure you grab your thermos and fill it with some creamy hot chocolate and pack some snacks. After spending sometime climbing up and down the hills a warm snack will hit the spot and make your sledding trip fun and memorable.
Winter: Maine has plenty of snow to be enjoyed during the winter months and with so much of the white stuff cross country skiers flock to hit the many Nordic ski areas around the state. One of these ski centers is located in scenic Wayne, Beech Hill Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Center. This is a great place to spend some time enjoying miles of cross country trails. With over 80 acres to explore and wide groomed trails this ski center is a must do in Central Maine. The center offers skiers amenities such as warming huts, quiet places to stop and enjoy your lunch and complimentary hot chocolate to keep you warm. Another great place to visit is in the Moosehead Lakes region at the Birches Ski Touring Center. Located in Rockwood, The Birches is a family friendly resort that has lodging, cabins rentals and miles of groomed trails perfect for skiing. They also have a trail that leads from their property across the lake on to the famous Mt. Kineo. If you don’t own your own equipment most of these places offer rentals for a minimal cost so this is a great way to try it before you buy everything you would need. Cross country skiing is a great family activity that gets everyone outside and into nature. Why not make this a to do on your list of winter plans this year!
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!