Visitor's Guide 2015

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This is classic Maine. There are few places better suited to enjoy the quintessential pleasures of lobsters and lighthouses than C APE E LIZABETH and the neighboring com- munity of S CARBOROUGH . While the state offers many other attractions, it’s impossible to deny the persistent draw of these buttery crustaceans and regal structures. Cliché? No way. Known throughout the state as premium places to live, both Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough are safe, peaceful commu- nities for their year-round residents. Yet you don’t have to hold a moose-marked license to enjoy the quaint homes and quiet streets. Visitors to the area will be struck by the calm beauty of Cape Elizabeth’s rolling hills and Colonial-style homes. Scarborough, once known as “Owascoag,” or the “place of much grass,” holds a similar appeal. Gentle marshes turn slowly into sandy beaches, and boardwalks provide a place to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Scarborough Beach State Park and Crescent Beach State Park are both great places to spend an afternoon, and unlike much of Maine’s coastline, these beaches are covered in soft, comfortable sand. And while we can’t claim the water is warm, at 60 de- grees and over, the Scarborough shore- line is a nice place to take a refreshing dip on hot summer days. Slightly more famous than its southern neighbor, Cape Elizabeth is an affluent area filled with rich history and striking scenery. Take a horseback riding lesson, pick your own strawberries, or just spend a day at the beach—this lovely little town

Photo: Robert Witkowski

called. From the small wonders on L ITTLE D IAMOND I SLAND to the sprawling community on 25-square-mile C HEBEAGUE I SLAND , this region encompasses a wide variety of beaches, towns, scenic vistas, and charming sea- side homes. With literally hundreds of islands to choose from, it’s not always easy to pick your destination. Fortunately, ferry services narrow down the options significantly. P EAKS I SLAND , Little Diamond Island, G REAT D IAMOND I SLAND , L ONG I SLAND , Chebeague Island, C LIFF I SLAND , and B AILEY I SLAND are all on the Casco Bay route, though it is possible to access other is- lands through private boats and shuttle services. For a truly special dining experi- ence, make a reservation and grab a ferry to the Inn at Peaks Island, Chebeague Island Inn, or Diamond’s Edge on Great Diamond Island. Enjoy fresh seafood surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic as the sun sets over Portland—what could be better? If your calendar allows a little flexibility, plan on visiting during one of the Casco Bay Islands’ wonderful events. In the summer, visitors flock to Chebeague for the annual Chebeague Chebang festival, a Fourth of July celebration complete with live music, lawn games, and loads of food. Book a stay at the beautifully

restored 1920s Chebeague Island Inn and enjoy the sunset, cocktails, and ocean breezes from the wraparound porch. For a more rustic experience, head to Cliff Island, where the roads are dirt and cars are rare. Like all the Casco Bay Islands, bicycling is very popular here, and this diminutive landmass is easily explored on two wheels. If you find your- self craving a lobster BLT after all that pedaling, you can sate your appetite at the seaside market. charming that you want to extend your stay past one day. Fortunately, there are numerous inns, B&Bs, hotels, and house rentals. Whether you want an outdoor adventure, complete with a campfire, or you are looking for old-world charm, the Casco Bay Islands are set to deliver a rare and memorable experience. Chances are good that you’ll find Portland’s island communities so

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Photo: Chris Lawrence


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