From the Grand Canyon to Letchworth State Park and the lakes, forests and rivers between, the U.S. is full to the brim of natural beauty. So for those looking to wander where the WiFi is weak; for those wanting to take the scenic route; for those who want to get lost in the woods – here are Canadian Traveller’s choices for top American trips in the nature and outdoors category.

 

An outdoorsy escape to: Rochester & Finger Lakes

New York

John Kucko | High FallsJohn Kucko | High Falls

Rochester might be the most underrated city in New York, but we can’t imagine why. With easy access to the hiking trails around Letchworth State Park and kayaking excursions on Irondequoit Bay, Rochester is perfectly positioned for adventure junkies. Plus the city itself has it all: theatres, bustling markets, luxury spas, and artsy neighbourhoods (to name a few).

 

Must-see & do in Rochester/Finger Lakes:

Rochester Public MarketRochester Public Market

Rochester Public Market

Exploring the local market is a great way to get to know a place, and the Rochester Public Market is no exception. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, over 300 vendors put out fresh produce, ethnic cuisine, specialty items, handicrafts, and more. Start with coffee from Java’s Cafe, then pick up an egg danish from Flour City Bread and peruse the stalls. The surrounding Market District is worth exploring on foot.

 

Take the scenic route to Letchworth State Park

Letchworth at Middle Falls© Larry Tetamore | Middle Falls, Letchworth State Park

Some folks call Letchworth State Park the “Grand Canyon of the East,” although we think that doesn’t do it justice. The Genesee River roars through the gorge, where some cliffs are as high as 182 metres. There are three gorgeous waterfalls in total, and the rapids are perfect for whitewater rafting. Not interested in a white-knuckle journey down the river? Hit the 100-kilometre trail network instead.

 

Hike the Chimney Bluffs

The Chimney Bluffs is a large clay drumlin towering 45 metres over Lake Ontario. It was formed sometime between 6-10,000 years ago by glacial activity, and then eroded by waves and weather. Put on your hiking boots and take to the scenic trails around the park, or walk the shoreline. To the west, the park is filled with fields and scrubland; to the west, the landscape is dominated by dense forest.

 

Visit one of Rochester’s parks

Highland ParkHighland Park

Hike, bike, or climb in one of Rochester’s local parks, with trails that are accessible year round. Highland Park is one of the oldest arboretums in the U.S., while the Genesee Valley Greenway has over 80 kilometres of trails and pathways. If you visit in the winter months, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe the same routes.


Explore the Park Ave Neighbourhood

Rochester’s Park Ave. is a picture-perfect neighbourhood, lined with boutique shops, cafes, salons, and plenty of dining options. Stretch your legs and shop for fine gifts at Jembetat Gallery & Cafe before refuelling at Magnolia’s with grilled cheese on sourdough bread (Obama’s preference during his visit!).

 

Rochester's best-kept secrets:

George Eastman MuseumGeorge Eastman Museum

George Eastman Museum

Here’s a perfect rainy day activity: visit the George Eastman Museum, the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography. The film archives are some of the oldest in the world, and dates back to 1949. George Eastman was a pioneer for popular photography and cinema; his mansion and gardens where the museum is housed are worth the visit themselves. Take note of the Dryden Theatre, which screens 300 films every year, and is one of the few theatres in the world equipped to handle flammable nitrate film.  

Kayaking on Irondequoit Bay

Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard at the BayCreek Paddling Center, and start paddling your way around Irondequoit Creek and Bay. Glide through the creek’s enchanting waterways and enjoy the peacefulness of Rochester’s Secret Wilderness. Keep your eyes open for beaver, muskrat, birds, and deer! From the Narrows, paddle upstream to the Canopy of Trees for some extra seclusion.

Mount Hope Cemetery

It might sound gloomy, but a visit to Mount Hope Cemetery is well worth your time. It’s one of the most remarkable Victorian cemeteries in the country, sprawling across 79 hectares of hills and valleys left behind by glaciers. The trees form an arboretum hanging over endless marble, bronze, and granite monuments. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass are buried here.

Enjoy the theatre

Geva TheatreJames Pratt

Soak up the local arts scene at the Geva Theatre Center, a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to producing some incredible performances of all genres. Check out what’s on while you’re in town, and buy tickets in advance – the Geva Theatre Center is the most attended regional theatre in the Northeast U.S.

Bike the Erie Canal Towpath

Often overlooked, the Erie Canal Towpath is an inland waterway that once opened the U.S. frontier to settlement and commerce. Nowadays, you can bike along the canal and through quaint towns and village, all while soaking up the beautiful waterfront scenery. The trail is mostly flat, making for a pleasurable ride without being too strenuous.

 

Where to stay in Finger Lakes/Rochester: 

Woodcliff Hotel and SpaWalter Colley | Woodcliff Hotel and Spa 

Luxury service

After binging on fresh air and big nature, spend some time luxuriating at the Hyatt Regency Rochester. It’s located right in the centre of town, and thanks to its ongoing $16-million renovation, you can appreciate brand-new amenities like a rooftop bar and lounge. For a boutique hotel experience, stay at the Inn on Broadway, right in the heart of the East End Theatre District.

Spa stays

If you’ve spent your trip hiking and being active, loosen up those muscles with an indulgent spa stay, like at The Strathallan. This place is well known for its fine cuisine, cocktails, and breathtaking views. Head to the hills in Fairport, where Woodcliff Hotel and Spa sits right next to the Eastview Mall, making for a perfect shop-and-spa combo. If you prefer a quieter setting, the Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa in the suburb of Pittsford will give you the reprieve you need.

 

Where to eat & drink in Finger Lakes/Rochester:

the wall

Craft brews

The Genesee Brew House is perfect for nature lovers. Not only does it have delicious brews of all sorts, but there’s also a rooftop overlooking the High Falls – a waterfall in the middle of downtown Rochester. Tours are available every hour! Rohrbach Beer Hall & Brewery serves house ales and lagers in a relaxed brewpub setting, as well as American-German pub fare. ROC Brewing is a microbrewery located downtown, and a favourite among locals. Try the Sweet Chai O’Mine, a sweet stout made with chai spices.

Go local

Lento_Oyster_BarLento Oyster Bar

Order some Latin-inspired eats at Ox & Stone, where dinner is served in a candlelit setting inside a historic mansion. Treat yourself to some house-made rigatoni at Restaurant Good Luck, where the bar was recently named one of the best in the U.S. The menu at Lento errs to the meatier side, but it’s all locally butchered, smoked, and cured in-house. They do a great southern-fried chicken every Thursday!

 

An outdoorsy escape to: Oklahoma

From salt plains to lakeside beaches to 2,000-year-old burial mounds – the great state of Oklahoma is full of surprises. It’s the kind of understated place that has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve...like a sanctuary with the largest herd of Asian elephants in North America. True story. 

Must-see & do in Oklahoma:
lake murrayJames Pratt

Lake Murray State Park

Lake Murray State Park is the oldest and largest state park in Oklahoma, with a scenic highway running right through it. Drive here during the summer, and you’ll be treated to a spectacular wildflower display of pinks, blues, and purples. Other than hiking trails and campgrounds, the park is also known for its pretty Sunset Beach. You won’t find big crowds here – just a kilometre of sandy, secluded beach.

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Wichita Mountains Wildlife RefugeLyndsey Marie

Spanning nearly 24,000 hectares, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to free range buffalo, longhorn cattle, prairie dogs, and deer – making it a photographer’s dream. If you’re a skilled hiker, you’ll love bouldering at Charon's Garden Wilderness Area, with kilometres of rugged landscape for all experience levels. Other must-sees: the Forty-Foot Hole near Lost Lake ( a small gorge with waterfalls), and Mount Scott standing at 751 metres above sea level. If you don’t feel like hiking, you can drive to the top for the best views.

See the Spiro Mounds

Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center

The Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center is one of Oklahoma’s historical gems, dating back to 800-1,500 AD when the Spiro people ruled over more than 60 North American tribes. They left behind very distinct-looking burial mounds, which were filled with artwork, artifacts, and other relics left behind from the ancient civilization. You can visit them yourself to learn a little more about this fascinating and powerful group of people.

Hike to Robbers Cave

Robbers CaveKim Baker/Oklahoma Tourism

Robbers Cave State Park is in the scenic woodlands area of the San Bois Mountains. Rock climbers and equestrians love this place, but it’s also a haven for hiking, trout fishing (in season), and wildlife viewing. The most famous landmark, however, is Robbers Cave: a former hideout for outlaws like Jesse James and Belle Starr. You can hike to here via the Robbers Cave Trail, which is strenuous in some parts, but shaded by oak, sycamore, and hickory trees to keep the hot Oklahoma sun off of you in the summer months.

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge

The Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge has over 6,475 hectares of rugged landscape ranging from aquatic habitats to grasslands to thick woodlands. Plenty of migratory waterfowl stopover here, and Cumberland Pool is teeming with special microscopic plants and animals. Come see the swift spring-fed Blue River, giving way to waterfalls and natural stone outcroppings. You can also fish in-season for bass, catfish, trout, and crappie.

 

Oklahoma's best-kept secrets:

Beaver Bend

Elephants at Beavers Bend

You might find it hard to believe it, but less than 100 kilometres west of Beavers Bend State Park in the small town of Hugo is an elephant sanctuary that is home to the second largest herd of Asian elephants in North America. The sanctuary is named the Endangered Ark Foundation, and yes, you can tour the place with some advance reservations. Tours take place every Saturday at 10 a.m.

Cherokee Heritage Center

You’d be remiss to pass up an opportunity to learn about Oklahoma’s Cherokee history, and the Cherokee Heritage Center is the perfect place to do it. Here, you wander around the displays scattered over 17 hectares, including the Diligwa 1710 Cherokee Village. See cultural demonstrations, like basketry and Cherokee stickball. Wrap it up by touring the Trail of Tears – an emotional exhibit meant to immortalize the trauma of the Cherokee being removed from their indigenous territory.

Visit Oklahoma’s Little Italy

Did you know that Oklahoma has a Little Italy of its own? Years ago, Italian immigrants came to the small mining town of Krebs, and their presence has left a lasting impression on southeast Oklahoma. Naturally, Italian restaurants starting popping up all over the place – and they’ve stuck around. Whether you want chicken parm at Pete’s Place or homemade ravioli at the Isle of Capri, you’re sure to find some authentic Italian cuisine.

Great Salt Plains State Park

Great Salt Plains State ParkKim Baker/Oklahoma Tourism

The Great Salt Plains State Park is one of Oklahoma’s most unique parks, made up of a barren landscape of salt left over from an ancient ocean. You can go for a swim in Great Salt Plains Lake, or hit the biking trails. Near the dam, you’ll find red shale bluffs and gorgeous sandy beaches. From April to October, you can also dig for special crystals in the top layers of the salt plains.

Go stargazing

Oklahoma is a perfect stargazing destination, thanks to parks like the Black Mesa State Park where the high plains are virtually free from all light pollution. (There’s even a group of astronomy lovers named the Okie-Tex Star Party who come here annually for a stargazing party.) In northeast Oklahoma, Osage Hills State Park has unspoiled starry night views, while the flat prairie lands of Roman Nose State Park is ideal for a night out under the stars in central Oklahoma.


Where to stay in Oklahoma: 

Make MurrayJames Pratt

Rustic lodges

Lakeside living awaits when you book with Lake Murray Floating Cabins at Lake Murray State Park in Ardmore, where your fully-equipped cabin sits on a floating dock on gorgeous Lake Murray. Not your thing? Stay at the Belle Starr View Lodge in Wilburton, where your amenities include charcoal grills and picnic tables. If you’re in the Kiamichi Mountains, the secluded, comfortable Little Eagle Creek Cabin offers the kind of secluded stay you’d expect in the backcountry.

High-end digs

Pamper yourself at the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Sole’renity Spa, with steam rooms, saunas, and soaking tubs. The rooms are old-fashioned and elegant, but with plenty of modern touches, like free WiFi and flatscreen TVs. There’s also Echo Canyon Spa Resort, a romantic getaway in scenic Echo Canyon. Start your morning off with a cup of coffee in the rocking chair on your very own balcony.

 

Where to eat & dine in Oklahoma: 

Delmar Gardens OKCFacebook.com/DelmarGardensOKC 

Food trucks galore

Oklahoma is so enthused about food trucks, the state is actually home to several food truck parks. At Fuel 66 Food Truck Park in Tusla, grab a burger from Purple People Feeder or some yummy arepas from MASA Kitchen. At Delmar Gardens Food Truck Park in Oklahoma City, grab a hearty meal of German schnitzel at Klemm’s Smoke Haus, or some award-winning Vietnamese sausage at Yum Yum Bites. There’s even a food truck park dedicated to beer in Edmond: the Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn.

Italian cuisine

We weren’t kidding when we said that Oklahoma is teeming with Italian restaurants. At Vito’s in Oklahoma City, all the traditional recipes are made from scratch. Try the tomato basil soup, or the eggplant Parmesan. Take advantage of the extensive wine list at Tavolo in Tulsa, where your dinner might start with a bruschetta and end with salmon picatta. At Benvenuti’s Ristorante in Norman, fresh seafood is always on the menu.

 

An outdoorsy escape to: North Dakota

bison in the mirrorNorth Dakota Tourism

If you want to live the cowboy/cowgirl life on the prairies, North Dakota is the place to do. Stay at ranches, go horseback riding through charming trails, and visit historical indigenous villages. But, hey, if you’d rather get your blood flowing while biking an elaborate trailway like the Maah Daah Hey Trail, that’s always an option too.

Must-see & do in North Dakota:

Theodore Roosevelt National ParkNorth Dakota Tourism

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is North Dakota’s best known and biggest park, with more than 28,300 hectares of rocky, dramatic landscape. Visitors can hike, camp, and watch for wildlife here, including bison, mountain lions, wild horses, and eagles. Take a scenic drive to Oxbow Overlook, where you can stretch your legs on one of the trails leading past steep canyons and colourful rock formations. Grab a camera and keep an eye out for friendly prairie dogs!

Bike the Maah Daah Hey Trail

Bike the Maah Daah Hey TrailNorth Dakota Tourism

The phrase “maah daah hey” comes from the Mandan Indians of North Dakota, and loosely translated means “an area that will be around for a long time.” We’re glad to hear it, because the Maah Daah Hey Trail is profoundly beautiful. It’s no wonder cyclists love to bike here – the endless plateaus, jagged peaks, low valleys, and endless prairies make for plenty of cycling variety. There are nine trail systems in total, built for all skill levels, covering over 230 kilometres. That should keep you busy.

Knife River Indian Villages

Inside Earthlodge at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic SiteNorth Dakota Tourism

It’s important to know the history of a place, don’t you think? The reconstructed, interactive furnished Hidatsa earth lodge is just one of the main draws at the Knife River Indian Villages, where you’ll learn all about the culture that once thrived along the Missouri River. You can also hit the trails winding through the remains of villages. When the wildflowers are in bloom, the array of pinks and purples permeating the landscape is a sight to behold.

Lake Sakakawea (and Garrison Dam)

The main draw at Lake Sakakawea is boating, especially since this unique man-made lake has more coastline than the entire state of California – nearly 290 kilometres, in fact. If you don’t want to get your feet wet, hike a segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail. There’s also Garrison Dam, one of the largest earthen dams in the world.

 

North Dakota's best-kept secrets:

North Dakota Heritage CenterNorth Dakota Tourism

North Dakota Heritage Center

At the heart of Bismarck is the North Dakota Heritage Centre, where giant skeletons of tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops duke it out on the battlefield. You can hang out with a mammoth, or visit the sea creatures that once roamed the earth millions of years ago. The layout of this museum is exceptional, having just doubled in size after a $52-million makeover. Schedule at least two hours to spend in this place.

Lake Metigoshe State Park

Get away from it all at Lake Metigoshe State Park, along the Canadian border – a perfect road trip opportunity for Canucks near the border! Staying at one of the cabins here is like having a classic lake vacation, with a pristine beach area, canoe rentals, and prime opportunity to fish for walleye. The Turtle Mountains provide a perfect backdrop, and in the snowy winter months, the snowmobile trails make for fun-filled exploration.

Fort Union Trading Post

Fort Union Trading PostNorth Dakota Tourism

The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is a reconstruction of the most important fur-trading site on the upper Missouri. Northern Plains Indian tribes exchanged all kinds of goods here, like buffalo robes and guns, blankets, and beads. The landmark is the stately white Bourgeois House, a grand white mansion where the merchant lived. You can opt for a self-guided tour, or hire a ranger to take you.

Scandinavian Heritage Park

Did you know that North Dakota has a very strong Nordic influence? The Scandinavian Heritage Park in the small city of Minot pays tribute to all things Scandinavian, with a replica Stav church, a Danish windmill, and a Finnish sauna.

Scandinavian Heritage ParkNorth Dakota Tourism

If you’re able to visit during Norsk Hostfest, make the effort. It’s the largest Scandinavian festival in North America taking place every fall, but it’s also a quirky conglomerate of cultures. You might find lots of Nordic food, but it’ll be right alongside country music shows.

Drive the Enchanted Highway

This is our favourite random attraction. About 144 kilometres west of Bismarck, turn off the I-94 at Exit 72 and you’ll encounter seven giant sculptures along your drive. Gary Greff, a retired educator, is the man behind the artwork. The sculptures stretch out for over 50 kilometres, and it’s hard to adequately describe just how stark they stand out against a prairie landscape. Needless to say, you’ll want to have your camera ready for some snaps of giant metal pheasants, grasshoppers, leaping deer, and even an underwater scene.

 

Where to stay in North Dakota: 

North Dakota TourismNorth Dakota Tourism | Hotel Donaldson

Cozy B&Bs

221 Melsted Place B&B in the town of Mountain is all about timeless elegance, housed in a historical Icelandic setting. Enjoy a fine candlelit dinner before falling into a comfortable, plush bed and waking up to farmland views over Red River Valley. If you’re in Beaver Creek, the Beaver Creek B&B sits on a secluded wooded farmstead, with plenty of play space for children. It’s still got that old time feel – just in case you show up on horseback, you can actually board your horse here overnight.

Ranch life

Ever wondered what it’s like to live on a ranch? Stay at Dakota Hills Hideaway in Robinson, known for its ecotourism efforts, or go horseback riding in the Badlands at King Ranch. Here, you can stay in one of the ranch’s custom campers. Some campers have some luxurious amenities, like a master bath. At Lone Butte Ranch in Grassy Butte, stay in a handcrafted log cabin complete with a hot tub on the deck.

 

Where to eat & drink in North Dakota: 

North Dakota TourismNorth Dakota Tourism | Fireflour

Heritage grub

Diversity’s on the menu throughout North Dakota, and yes that means sampling some Nordic eats like lefse (Norwegian flatbread) or rommegrot pie (a porridge) at the Fargo Kringen Lodge #25. At Four Corners Cafe in Fairfield, stuff yourself with Ukranian pierogi and borscht soup. In Bismarck, head to Kroll’s Diner for German specialties like fleischkuechle (meat pie).

Hearty meals

You won’t go hungry in North Dakota! At the Buckskin Bar & Grill in Killdeer, chow down on giant burgers and pizza. The setting is authentically rustic, dating back to the 1800s and with a saloon attached. The Farmer’s Daughter Cafe in South Heart is a cozy Americana eatery offering up plenty of comfort foods, like sandwiches and desserts. Too simple? Grab a bite of prime rib or buffalo steak at the Frontier Fort Bar & Grill in Jamestown, while reliably gourmet pizza pies are served up at Fireflour in Bismarck

 

An outdoorsy escape to: Maine

Port Elizabeth, MaineKarl Magnuson

Maine is one of Canada’s loveliest neighbours, boasting dramatic coastline, a rugged wilderness interior, and (of course) all the lobster you can handle. It’s also one of the few U.S. destinations unspoiled by mass tourism and overcrowding. Whether you’re kayaking through the coastal islands or taking a guided moose safari (yes, those exist), Maine is a constant source of inspiration for those with an adventurous heart.

 

Must-see & do in Maine:

Acadia National ParkPixabay

Acadia National Park

The only national park in Maine, Acadia covers 19,000 hectares on Mount Desert Island, Isle au Haut, and the Schoodic Peninsula. It’s an adventure junkie’s dream, and for Canadians, it feels a little close to home – rocky coastline, mountains, marshlands, and wildlife ranging from whales to moose are just a few encounters you’ll have here. On Mount Desert Island, follow the carriage paths on foot or by bicycle into the interior, where the only noise pollution comes from chirping birds and buzzing bees.

Ogunquit Beach

Schedule some beachy downtime during your visit at Ogunquit Beach, a serene sandy peninsula rolling out for nearly six kilometres. If it weren’t for the grassy dunes framing the soft white sand, you’d think you were in the tropics. Swim, bodysurf, collect shells, or stretch out and luxuriate in the warm sun with a good book. You can rent chairs and umbrellas while you’re here.

Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse

Rockland Breakwater LighthouseKarl Magnuson

The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is one of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses, sitting on a granite breakwater in Rockland Harbor. The entire breakwater juts out into the sea, allowing for a gorgeous stroll to the lighthouse itself, and to the attached lightkeeper’s house. Walk through the restored house before meandering to the top of the lantern for a panoramic view over the harbour and all its ship traffic.   

Sail on a Windjammer

Google any images of Maine, and it’s likely you’ll come across these impressive sailing merchant ships from the 19th to early 20th centuries, complete with large masts and square sails. The good news is that these windjammers are still in use – you can even sail on one. Hop on a cruise and sail the high seas, with only the creaking of the old timbers  and the snapping of the sails to disrupt the peace. These ships are most commonly used for multi-day cruises, but you can find day trips as well. Pro-tip: seek out themed cruises, like a wine cruise.

Fishing at Moosehead Lake

Right in the heart of the Highlands, Moosehead Lake is Maine’s largest body of water dotted with coves, inlets, islands, and rock piles. Not only is it scenic as heck, but it’s a goldmine for anglers. Salmon, brook trout, and lake trout are yours for the taking, and you can either hire a guide or rent your own boat. Make a trip out of it, and take your lodgings (and your meals!) at one of the sporting camps in the area. In the winter months, ice fishing will lead you to the larger fish.

 

Maine's best-kept secrets:

Surfing Higgins Beach MaineFlickr/LeeCullivan (CCbyND2.0)

Surfing in Maine

Did you know that Maine is a popular surf destination, especially for newbies? Long Sands Beach in York and the famous Ogunquit Beach are just two surfing destinations, but Portland has a whole slew of other options – Wells, Old Orchard Beach, and Kennebunk, for example. If you’re not quite ready to tackle the Atlantic waves, rent a stand-up paddleboard and put your core strength to the test.

Lobster cruising

portland lobsterMatt McNulty

If there’s one thing we all know about Maine, it’s that lobster is always on the menu. Ever wonder how lobstermen do it? Join Lucky Catch Cruises on a fun-filled excursion that will take you through the daily routines of a lobsterman in Maine. Haul up traps, learn about conservation efforts, and take some lobster home with you for a boil-up. If that’s not your thing, sit back and enjoy a relaxing cruise past stunning coastline and picturesque lighthouses.

Join a moose safari

MooseKandon Fish

If you’ve never seen a moose in its natural habitat, you’re missing out. Hop on a moose safari with Maine Moose Outfitters, and a knowledgeable guide will take you deep into Maine’s wilderness on the lookout for these friendly giants. You’ll use a canoe or kayak to paddle through calm waters on a remote pond, surrounded by the mountains forming the Appalachian Trail. And there’s plenty of opportunity for other wildlife viewing, like beavers, otters, deer, and even bobcats.

The Maine Island Trail

The Maine Island Trail is an incredible 600-kilometre water trail for small boaters, stretching from the New Hampshire border, all along Maine’s coast, and then up to Canada’s Atlantic provinces. It connects more than 200 islands and mainland sites for overnight camping, or for day use. Some adventurous folks even do this route by kayak or canoe! Jewell Island is the most popular stopover, where Cocktail Cove provides a secluded spot for sailboats, and where abandoned WWI and WWII relics (bunkers, jails, and batteries) are found all over the island.


Where to stay in Maine: 

The Harraseeket InnChasing the Sun

On the water

Unwind after a busy day of sightseeing at your lakefront cottage on Sebago Lake, at Migis Lodge. Soak up the lake’s tranquil shores, and watch the fiery sun go down from the lakefront dock. The cottages are comfortably furnished, and there’s even a private island for you to picnic on. If you’d rather be at the beach, Inn by the Sea has full suites overlooking Crescent Beach. Amenities include plush bathrobes and cozy fireplaces.

Quaint and cozy

The Harraseeket Inn is a luxury family-owned inn in Freeport, home to the Bradow Arrow Tavern and the Maine Harvest Dining Room. Inside you’ll find 23 fireplaces, an indoor pool, and even pet-friendly rooms! Plus you get a full breakfast and afternoon tea when you book.

The Bar Harbor Inn is the most iconic hotel in Bar Harbor, situated on the mouth of Frenchman Bay. The inn is divided up into three buildings, but the Oceanfront Lodge is our favourite for its panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Looking for something a little more rustic? The wilderness log cabins at Northern Outdoors adventure resort is the perfect fit.


Where to eat & drink in Maine: 

craft beerPawel Kadysz

Craft alcohol for all

Maine’s craft alcohol scene is legendary, and varied. If you want a well-rounded tasting experience, hop on the Maine Brew Bus (literally a bright green school bus) for an in-depth look at Maine’s craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries in Greater Portland and Southern Maine. When in Portland, visit the Liquid Riot Bottling Company, both a brewery and distillery. Enjoy house-made beers and spirits in a funky warehouse, with a gourmet bar menu to boot. Not a beer person? Maine’s Wine Trail includes award-winning wineries like Cellardoor and Savage Oakes Vineyard & Winery.

Lobster love

Tenants Harbor, MaineTenants Harbor, Maine | Karl Magnuson

It’d be criminal to leave Maine without sampling some legendary lobster. Best of all, you don’t need to go gourmet to find the tastiest morsels – Maine’s lobster shacks are all about quality and freshness.

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth should be on your list, where you can chow down on lobster at a picnic table next to the crashing surf. Other noteworthy shacks include Barnacle Billy’s and Nunan’s Lobster Hut. Note: Lobster is seasonal, so check with the venue ahead of time.

 

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