Day 1 – Sunday, September 19, 2021
Follow the scenic byway through New Hampshire to Vacationland! Lunch on your own at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham with its picturesque, covered bridge, cafe and old-fashioned general store. Check in to the Sunday River Resort for a two-night stay on the outskirts of Bethel, in Maine’s western mountains. Your welcome reception is served around the giant lobby fireplace. The hotel features a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, giant fireplaced lobby, beautiful walking trails and lounge. A dinner followed by a crackling campfire with s’mores is included this evening at the hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Day 2 – Monday, September 20, 2021
Enjoy a breakfast included at the hotel. This morning you will gather for a private, hands-on Balsam Fir workshop at the hotel. Enjoy the natural and healthy fragrance of balsam as you learn how it is harvested here in the Christmas Tree state. You will then make your own balsam bag to take home!
Next, you will travel to nearby Bethel to try your hand at a mineral and gemstone sluicing program. Learn about the gemstones, including Maine Tourmaline, commonly found in this area. Don an apron and a bucket for this hands-on program, you can keep any treasures you find!
This afternoon tour the new interactive Maine Mineral & Gem Museum with mineral specimens, gemstones, and historical items that tell the story of Maine’s mining history, and rare meteorite specimens from the moon and Mars. Have your photo taken with a meteorite!
Return to the hotel to freshen up before a guided moose-watching tour at dusk. Meet your local guide at the hotel for a two-hour moose watching tour. Your guide will board your coach for a tour to nearby Grafton Notch State Park. Stop for foliage photos at mountain overlooks and the local Artist’s Covered Bridge and locations most likely to spot a “gentle giant. Dinner included at a classic New England inn this evening. (Breakfast & Dinner)
Day 3 – Tuesday, September 21, 2021
After breakfast at the hotel, you will follow the scenic backroads toward the Maine coast! Your first stop is the Maine Wildlife Park to view native moose, deer, bald eagles, beaver and bears.
Continue to Freeport village, home to the L.L. Bean flagship store and a myriad of outlet shops and restaurants. Lunch will be on your own with time for some shopping.
This afternoon begins your coastal touring with a tour of the Maine Maritime Museum on the banks of the Kennebec River. The museum depicts Maine’s shipbuilding industry from the 1600’s to the present. Numerous hands on exhibits, boat building demonstrations, a lobstering exhibit and a special lighthouse exhibit where you see the view from the top of the lighthouse – without climbing any stairs!
Travel to nearby Bailey Island for a traditional Maine lobster dinner tonight at Cook’s Lobster House. You will cross over the world’s only Cribstone Bridge to the restaurant surrounded by water on three sides, so every seat has a great view of Casco Bay. You may recognize this restaurant from the VISA commercials! Hear about the history of the unique bridge, what it’s like to live on this island and have a chance to stroll down the dock to see the fishermen and boats.
Sit back for your drive after dinner to Boothbay Harbor, a popular resort town which has retained the atmosphere of an old New England village. Fishing craft lie alongside wharves that follow the quaint, winding village streets.
Check in to your home for two nights, the Fisherman’s Wharf Inn, located on the waterfront of Maine’s boating capital. All guest rooms have a fabulous harbor view and you are in the center of all the waterfront activities, shops and restaurants. (Breakfast, Lobster Dinner)
Day 4 – Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Enjoy a hot breakfast this morning at the hotel then head up the peninsula for a special Aquaculture Outing on an Oyster Farm / Seal Watching Cruise. Learn how oyster farmers prepare the farm equipment and sow the world-famous Damariscotta River oysters, while bald eagles, ospreys, and migratory birds hover.
Lunch is included at one of our favorite “hideaways” in Maine – right on the water!
This afternoon you will tour the Pemaquid Lighthouse, Maine’s most scenic beacons and the light featured on the Maine State quarter. Stop for a photo, climb to the top of the lighthouse, visit the Pemaquid Fisherman’s Museum with artifacts from the fishing and lobstering industries and lighthouse service.
Return to the hotel to relax and freshen up before dinner included at Fisherman’s Wharf Inn’s waterfront dining room. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
Day 5 – Thursday, September 23, 2021
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure this morning. Board a large tour boat for a scenic Boothbay Harbor cruise, pass by beautiful vacation homes, lighthouses, small islands and out to see the seals on the ledges on this fully narrated, two-hour cruise with both open and enclosed decks.
Free time for lunch on your own and exploring the Boothbay waterfront before departing with your magical Maine memories! (Breakfast)