Summertime is probably the best time to see Maine to take full advantage of its "100 harbors," ports, beaches, and the mountains and forests inland. Our visit in autumn, however, brings a sepia tone to the state's quaint villages now dusted in a golden-brown fringe of fallen leaves.
MAINE TOURIST INFORMATION: (800) 533-9595
STATE HOUSE, Augusta (207) 287-1400
Open year round, Mon. - Fri., 8-4. Closed holidays.
Designed by the famous architect, Charles Bullfinch, this 1829 building of native Hallowell granite presents a graceful portico to welcome road-weary visitors.
Tip: The Maine State Museum and State Library opposite the State House is a wonderful way to begin any journey through Maine. Had we started here first, we would have had a much greater appreciation for the scenery and towns.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Bar Harbor (207) 288-4932
Open all year, however some areas of the Loop Road are closed depending on road conditions.
Any time is a great time to see Acadia National Park. The park covers more than 50 square miles of Mount Desert Island, the biggest rock-based island on the Atlantic coast. This area has everything-- all within 10 minutes from each other: Mountain-laced lakes, seaside beaches, shopping, hiking, nature trails, unusual gardens, swimming, fishing, whale watching, camping, lobster bakes, and, in winter, some of the best cross-country skiing.
PENOBSCOT NATION MUSEUM, Indian Island, Old Town
Call for hours. (207) 827-4153
The Penobscots, once the largest tribe of the Abenaki Confederacy, were excellent woodsmen and basket makers. Learn about their skills, culture, arts and their language in this small, unassuming museum on the Penobscot Indian reservation on Indian Island.
THE MUSICAL WONDER HOUSE, Wiscassett (207)882-7162
Open Memorial Day to Mid-October.
Discover a dazzling display of antique music boxes showcased in a magnificent old sea captain's home. All along the foyer and under the exquisite "flying staircase" is a fabulous collection of old-time fun. Tunes plume from range of music boxes, some as small as acorns, some the size of refrigerators. Each box has its own unique character, shape and sound. And that's just the foyer. The rest of the two-story house is filled with the sound of music and the sights of yesteryear.
Tip: Bring lots of quarters to play all the old-time music boxes in the foyer.