“Maine: The Way Life Should Be.” The expression, found on welcome signs at the state’s borders since the late eighties, is as deeply rooted in our collective consciousness as the much older (circa 1936) license plate slogan “Vacationland.” Read the story behind the slogan in the May 2013 issue of Down East.
Amanda Hallowell’s delicious and beautifully presented suppers have brought national attention to Nebo Lodge — and helped revive farming on the island of North Haven thirteen miles off the coast of Maine. The ferry schedule makes it challenging for day-trippers to enjoy a meal there, but this summer the inn has partnered with Equinox Island Transit, which will make the trip from Rockland three nights a week. Read Island Delight in the May 2013 issue of Down East.
“The best oysters in the world are coming out of these waters — Casco Bay, the Damariscotta River, Winter Point — all of these places are shipping oysters to Boston, New York, Toronto, and other places where people appreciate them,” says Arlin Smith, co-owner of Portland’s hottest new restaurant, Eventide Oyster Co. Yet twenty-five years ago, there was no such thing as a commercially harvested Maine oyster. Find out how we got here — and why oysterphiles are raving about Maine oysters in Oyster Land.
Among Maine’s fifteen year-round island communities served by passenger boats, Islesboro, a retreat for America’s elite since the 1890s, occupies a unique niche owing to its location and its culture. Unlike its Penobscot Bay sisters, North Haven and Vinalhaven, which are too far flung to attract many daily commuters, Islesboro is just a twenty-minute jaunt. And unlike Peaks and Chebeague islands in Casco Bay, whose residents stream to mainland jobs in Portland and the suburbs, Islesboro is where most of the bleary-eyed workers who ride the Margaret Chase Smith ferry each morning metaphorically punch the clock. Making it on time means knowing the rules. It also helps to have a sense of humor. Read The Commute.
The effort to revitalize the small central Maine city of Gardiner has been progressing in fits and starts for twenty-five years. Now what a dedicated group of residents and businesspeople believed could be appears tantalizingly close to becoming what is. Take a stroll into The Heart of Gardiner.
Route 1 in Maine spans 527 miles, nine counties, 81 communities, and countless subcultures. Photographer Jason P. Smith and I each drove the entire length of the road searching for the people and places that make the highway unique. Discover their stories: Maine Road Trip!