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Maine Attractions 2009

Maine Attractions 2009
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by in May 2009

ATTRACTIONS

Best Store to Woof About:
PLANET DOG, Portland
Portland earns kudus as a dog-friendly town, and Planet Dog (motto: “Think globally. Act doggedly.”) earns raves for its environmentally friendly pet products (check out the Orbee-Tuff Ball), commitment to animal causes, and pet programs. 211 Marginal Way. 207-347-8606; planetdog.com

Best Chance to Land Dinner:
LUCKY CATCH LOBSTER TOUR, Portland
Captain Tom Martin shares everything you ever wanted to know about lobster and lets guests on board assist with setting and baiting traps, all while cruising through the island- and lighthouse-studded waters of Casco Bay. Any lobsters caught during the tour may be purchased for boat price, and cooking is available at a nearby restaurant for a reasonable rate. 170 Commercial St. 207-761-0941; luckycatch.com

Best Jaw-Dropping Interior:
VICTORIA MANSION, Portland
Widely considered the country’s most magnificently ornamented dwelling of its period and one of the finest house museums you’ll ever find, this National Historic Landmark drips with Gilded Age ornamentation and architectural embellishment. The home retains about 90 percent of its original Gustave Herter furnishings. 109 Danforth St. 207-772-4841; victoriamansion.org

Best Place to Park Your Camel:
DESERT OF MAINE, Freeport
Is this oasis of sand surrounded by forest a natural phenomenon, a manmade disaster, or something in between? You decide, after a safari-style tour that covers history, geology, and environmental science. Kids may dig for “gems” in the dunes. 95 Desert Road. 207-865-6962; desertofmaine.com

Best Seaside Fragrance:
COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDEN, Boothbay
You could spend the better part of a day meandering through more than a half-dozen spacious gardens spread over 250 shorefront acres, showcasing collections of roses, rhododendrons, ferns, kousa dogwoods, native plants, and more. Free tours, making it easier to discover the many hidden treasures. Here’s another plus: The cafe serves the area’s best lunch. Barter’s Island Road (off Route 27 South). 207-633-4333; mainegardens.org

Best Lighthouse Tour:
BURNT ISLAND, Boothbay Harbor
Experience time travel with a cruise to Burnt Island circa 1955, where interpreters portraying lighthouse keeper Joseph Muise and his family conduct tours of the keeper’s house and light tower; the Muise children often accompany visitors as they wander the island’s nature paths. Thurs. and Sun. evenings June 28-Aug. 30. 207-633-9559; maine.gov/dmr/burntisland/tour.htm. Balmy Days II Cruises; 800-298-2284, 207-633-2284; balmydayscruises.com

Best Place to Purchase a Beach Book:
STONE SOUP, Camden
Enjoy–books fill shelves and overflow into piles on the floor in Paul and Agnes Joy’s tiny two-room, second-floor shop. No fusty or pricey antiquarian tomes here–just plentiful good reads, with an especially fine fiction selection. 35 Main St. 207-763-3354; biblio.com/bookstores/stonesoup.html

Best Place to Stomp Your Feet:
CELLARDOOR WINERY, Lincolnville
Maine’s oldest vineyard grows six acres of grapes on rolling foothills just inland of Lincolnville Beach. Inside the barn are a tasting room and a retail shop, where you can pick up cheeses and crackers for a picnic on the deck. Return in October for the annual “Romp & Stomp” celebration. 367 Youngtown Road. 207-763-4478; mainewine.com

Best Place to Tool Around:
LIBERTY TOOL, Liberty
Every saw, plane, and screw is organized by size and type and priced individually at this three-story emporium, where antiques and other curiosities pepper the upper floors. Across the street are a power-tool annex and the Davistown Museum, where owner Skip Brack displays the best tools, artwork, and historical artifacts he’s discovered during his buying and salvage expeditions. 57 Main St. 207-589-4771; jonesport-wood.com/libertytool.html

Please Note: This article 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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