Every Season is Beautiful in Maine

Sunrise at Long Sands Beach Wayne Boardman, photographer Ceative Commons license

Sunrise at Long Sands Beach–Wayne Boardman, photographer–Creative Commons license

Spring, when it finally arrives, is a delightful time to visit Maine. The weather is mostly sunny and mild–great for hiking, wandering, and exploring our mountains and seacoast and everything in between.  The summer crowds aren’t here yet so it is possible to find a parking space right next to Long Sands Beach in York or close to the many shops along Main Street in Freeport.

The fiddleheads, young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern, will be ready soon.  Savored as a fresh, spring vegetable here in Maine, they pop-up for a very short time on restaurant menus and in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

Flowering shrubs and trees are in abundance, much appreciated after three or four months ofIMG_1886 snow. Soon, Miss Rumphius’ lupine will be in full bloom along the highways and byways. They will bring a smile to your face as you travel Maine’s Museum Trail (see below for details) on your way to Bar Harbor.

Mira Monte Inn

Mira Monte Inn

 

Combine your tour of Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, and Bar Harbor with an interactive and fun technology learning experience!
Our workshops and help sessions are low stress and a lot of fun!

Our workshops and help sessions are low stress and a lot of fun!

 Do come enjoy our lovely spring here in Maine!

Sunset on Frenchman's Bay from the Getty Collection app-Diane Diederich, photographer

Sunset on Frenchman’s Bay
from the Getty Collection app-Diane Diederich, photographer

Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park are magical.

The sea, pine trees and granite, and the sky meet with the sole purpose of enchanting the casual wanderer looking for respite from the realities of everyday life. Come, spend time scrambling over rocks, scaling mountains that meet the sea, and rambling along carriage paths, and then slather strawberry preserves on fresh popovers made from the 100 year old recipe at the Jordan Pond House. Guaranteed, you will go home refreshed and renewed.

Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer, is often credited with naming the island “île de Monts Desèrts” meaning the island of Bare Mountains. However he was not the first to name this lovely place.  The Wabaniki called the island Pemetic, “the sloping land”.

Today’s visitors have a variety of options: hiking, sailing, kayaking, biking, shopping, dining, relaxing, and immersing themselves in the history and ambiance of the great “cottages” of a bygone era.  For more about the history of the island, visit the Bar Harbor Magic site.

Here are just a few of the sites on Mt. Desert

Lakes scooped out by glaciers—Eagle Lake is one of the largest, and there is swimming at Echo Lake.

Eagle Lake: ttp://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=24891&picture=the-lake-where-eagles-roam&large=1

Eagle Lake: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=24891&picture=the-lake-where-eagles-roam&large=1

 

The Bubbles–Easy to climb mountains at the end of Jordan Pond.  Tea & popovers are your reward when you descend and hike a bit more.

The Bubble as seen from the tea lawn at the Jordan Pond House.

The Bubbles as seen from the tea lawn at the Jordan Pond House.

Swim at lovely Sand Beach.  Not for the faint of heart–the water is a bit nippy but sure cools you off on a hot day!

Sand Beach is part of the Park and is on Park Loop Road. Old timers still call it Ocean Drive.

Sand Beach is part of the Park and is on Park Loop Road. Old timers still call it Ocean Drive.

Shop until you drop in Bar Harbor, Northeast Harbor, and Southwest Harbor.  Trinkets, clothing, paintings, pottery, and crafts abound.  By the way, Northeast Harbor is not on the northeast corner of the island; it is just northeast of Southwest Harbor—get it, northeast of southwest.  When your feet are too tired to go on, stop by Testa’s restaurant in Bar Harbor for a piece of their award-winning strawberry pie.

image of yummy strawberry pie

Testa’s strawberry pie—addictive!

No visit to the Island is complete without a trip to the summit of Cadillac Mountain. You can see all of the surrounding waters and islands of the area. Drive, bike, or climb to the top. Sunrise is especially gorgeous.

Image of Bar Harbor from atop Cadicllac Mt.

Bar Harbor and the Porcupine Islands from the summit of Cadillac on a hazy, humid July day.

Everywhere you look there are treasures to behold. Here is a lovely wild flower finding a home among the granite boulders at Thunder Hole.

Granite and flowers

 Some additional resources related to Mt. Desert and Acadia National Park:

From the National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm

From Bar Harbor Tourism: http://www.barharborinfo.com/

From VisitMaine.com: http://www.visitmaine.com/places-to-go/downeast-and-acadia/

Mt. Desert Island  just has to be on everyone’s Bucket List!

Oh My Gosh–Did we mention the lobsters right off the boat!?!

From the pot to your mouth through some melted butter!

Image of lobsters

Caught this morning, these lobsters are hot out of the pot and still steaming!

The Maine Art Museum Trail

There are many ways to plot your route to Orono, Maine for your first BoomerTECH Adventure.  One of the most enjoyable is to follow the Maine Museum of Art Trail, a trip that will take you to seven exquisite small museums with world class collections.

Museum Trail

As you wend your way north, your first stop will be the Ogunquit Museum of American Art in the seaside village of Ogunquit. It is tucked away on the Shore Road about a mile out of town.  The exhibit spaces encompass the grounds as well as the interior of the museum.

The collection includes many works by artists who were inspired by the area, especially during the early years of the 20th century.

Margaret Bourke-White, Charles Burchfield, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper,  Jacob Lawrence, Roy Lichtenstein,  and Augustus Saint-Gaudens are some of the many artists whose works are housed here.

A former director of the Metropolitan Museum referred to the Ogunquit Museum as “the most beautiful little museum in the world.”

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Back on the road, your next stop will be the Portland Museum of Art located in Maine’s largest city. Portland has a thriving arts community so plan to spend at least an entire day and evening here.

From their website: “The magnificently restored McLellan House (1801) and L. D. M. Sweat Memorial Galleries (1911), together with the modern Charles Shipman Payson Building, designed by Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners (1983), chart the evolution of the American art museum and offer visitors an experience unlike any other in the nation.”

45 minutes north and you will arrive in Brunswick, home to Bowdoin College.  Their art museum is newly renovated. Descending to newest gallery via a glass elevator, you will be swept into a lovely hall that houses their current exhibition. (Summer of 2014-Richar Tuttle-A Print Retrospective) This museum has its roots in the early part of the 19th century (1811) with a gift of 70 paintings from James Bowdoin III.  Portraits by American masters, Greek pottery, and Winslow Homer drawings will be just a few of the eclectic exhibits you can visit. Stay a little longer and visit Bowdoin’s Arctic Museum which features artifacts from the Arctic travels of Peary and MacMillan.

Take a side trip up to Lewiston, one of the mighty mill towns of the Industrial Revolution, and visit the Bates Museum of Art. Marsden Hartley grew up in Lewiston, and as you can image his work and that of many other Maine artists is well represented in their collection.

Colby

 

The Maine Turnpike will take you up to Waterville and Colby College which is perched on Mayflower Hill. It’s museum has benefited from an incredible gift of 500 pieces of art from the Lunder family.  Plan to stop on your way up to Orono and on your way back, there is just too much to appreciate in one afternoon!

200 Whistlers plus a multitude of 19th and 20th century art will keep you enthralled.

 

 

Shoot over to the coast and Rockland to visit the Farnworth Museum.  The Wyeth family has a long association with this museum.  In fact, sometimes Andrew Wyeth’s granddaughter Victoria has been known to stop by and give a tour. Admission to the Farnsworth includes the Olsen Homestead, site of Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World.

Louise Nevelson, who as a child lived in Rockland, is also represented well at the Farnworth. Her sculptures will grab your imagination and help you look at the world a little differently.

The seventh museum on the Trail is the University of Maine’s Museum of Art. It’s collection contains the work of a diverse group of artists: Picasso to Marsden Hartley.  While on campus be sure to also visit the Hudson Museum, “a collection of over 8,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects.”

You have also reached the home of BoomerTECH Adventures in Orono. Welcome!