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Maine Best Attractions 2012

Maine Best Attractions 2012
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BEST WHEELCHAIR-ACCESSIBLE TRAIl
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, Wells
The mile-long gravel Carson Trail loops through the reserve, passing tidal creeks, salt pans, and salt marshes, and providing excellent vistas for birdwatching. Interpretive signs explain sights. 321 Port Road (Route 9). 207-646-9226; fws.gov/northeast/rachelcarson/

BEST VICTORIANA IMMERSION
Victoria Mansion, Portland
First-time visitors’ jaws often drop upon entering the Morse-Libby House, a National Historic Landmark that’s rife with Victoriana and widely considered the most magnificently ornamented Italianate dwelling in the country. 109 Danforth St. 207-772-4841; victoriamansion.org

BEST LIGHTHOUSE WALK
Rockland Breakwater Light, Rockland Harbor
The rewards for navigating the huge granite slabs that make up the nearly mile-long Rockland Breakwater are watching windjammers pass by under full sail and touring the lighthouse at its tip (usually open weekends and for special events). 207-542-7574; rocklandlighthouse.com

BEST AROUND-THE-WORLD TASTING ROOM
Fiore, Rockland & Bar Harbor
Sample extra-virgin, first cold-pressed olive oils from around the world (including flavored and specialty oils), plus balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy, aged up to 35 years, and specialty foods, including sea salts and pestos. 8 Rodick Place, Bar Harbor; 207-801-2580. 503 Main St., Rockland; 207-596-0276. fioreoliveoils.com

BEST WINERY
Cellardoor, Lincolnville
Taste wines and specialty foods, take classes, tour the winery and vineyard, or simply relax in Cellardoor’s 200-year-old post-and-beam barn, snuggled in the folds of the Camden Hills. 367 Youngtown Road. 207-763-4478; mainewine.com

BEST FORT WITH A VIEW
Fort Knox & Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory, Prospect
This sprawling granite harborfront fort, with two complete Rodman cannons, is the site of frequent special events and re-enactments. The glass-walled observatory in the bridge towering above it delivers clear-weather views from Katahdin to Cadillac. Route 174. 207-469-7719; fortknox.maineguide.com

BEST “BRASS ERA” AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM
Seal Cove Auto Museum, Seal Cove
The late Richard C. Paine Jr.’s collection of vintage automobiles (c. 1895-1917 and others) is one of the largest in the country. All are in as-found condition, ranging from fresh-from-the-barn to meticulously restored, in this beautiful village on Mount Desert Island. 1414 Tremont Road. 207-244-9242; sealcoveautomuseum.org

BEST REASON TO BRING A PASSPORT
Roosevelt Campobello International Park, Campobello Island, New Brunswick
A passport or passport card is required to visit this international park just across Lubec Narrows, home to the 34-room cottage where President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his family vacationed, plus adjacent Hubbard Cottage, where you can reserve a seat for “Tea with Eleanor.” Highway 774. 877-851-6663; fdr.net

BEST GARDEN TOUR
Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden, Appledore Island
A tribute to poetry achieved with the pen as well as in the garden, the Isles of Shoals home of poet Celia Thaxter on Maine’s Appledore Island is open to the public during the summer months thanks to Shoals Marine Laboratory, jointly administered by the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University personnel. Ferry transportation, lunch, and a guided tour of the oasis are provided. Ferry departs from 29 Wentworth Road, New Castle, NH. 603-430-5220; www.sml.cornell.edu

BEST I-95 SHOPPING
Center for Maine Craft, West Gardiner
In between fueling your tanks (both vehicular and personal) at the West Gardiner Service Plaza (Route 126), browse handcrafted works by hundreds of Maine artisans at the Maine Crafts Association’s retail gallery. I-95 South Exit 103; I-95 North Exit 102; I-295 Exit 51. 207-588-0021; mainecrafts.org

BEST PLACE TO LET OFF STEAM
Stanley Museum, Kingfield
Kingfield’s famous native sons, twin brothers Francis Edgar and Freelan Oscar Stanley, perfected the photographic dry-plate process and achieved numerous other feats in addition to building the Stanley Steamer automobile. 40 School St. 207-265-2729; stanleymuseum.org

BEST ECO-IMMERSION
Ecopelagicon Nature Store, Rangeley
Get in touch with nature by perusing the books, games, music, videos, camping supplies, crafts, gadgets, and gifts here; then rent a kayak for a paddle on adjacent Haley Pond. Lessons are available, as are guided tours on other area waterways. 7 Pond St. 207-864-2771; ecopelagicon.com

BEST ART IN THE NORTH WOODS
North Light Gallery, Millinocket
Had enough of the moose trinkets? Take a gander at fine artworks representing the Katahdin region and inland Maine at Marsha Donahue’s downtown gallery: mountains, lakes, rivers, and, yes, a moose or two. 256 Penobscot Ave. 800-970-4278, 207-723-4414; artnorthlight.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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