Sadler House

Sadler House

Rockland, Maine

midcoast

All of the posts under the "midcoast" tag.

Vacation in Maine Like a Local

I’ve always felt like there are two types of travelers in the world. There are those who are perfectly fine with being tourists, and then there are those who prefer to travel like locals, keeping a low profile and seeing the soul of a place. Admittedly, vacationing like a local is a bit of a contradiction, and it can be tough to pull off. After seven straight summers living and traveling in Maine, these are our best tips on how to vacation in Maine like you live there! Disclaimer: it appears that we spend a lot of time doing things that involve food.

Buy Fresh Food at Farmstands

People who live in Maine are serious about fresh, local food. Patronizing roadside stands is a matter of course and a matter of honor. More than that, though, it’s just fun! We are fortunate to have the divine Beth’s Farm Market near us. It’s a destination all its own. We end up leaving with everything from lobsters to produce to fresh doughnuts. Pro Tip: Beth’s sells lobsters on Sunday.

Vacation in Maine like a local - Beth's Farm Market

But there’s no need to make a huge excursion out of buying from hardworking farmstands in Maine. Just pull over and shop at one! You’ll be amazed at how great they are. Read more →

Sadler House February 22, 2018 1 Comment Permalink

Midcoast Maine Fishing Trips Made Easy

Maine is known for its wealth of outdoor activities, so it can be intimidating when you grew up sort of an “indoor” person and then begin spending time in Maine. I was never a camper and didn’t have a lot of family hiking experience as a kid. I don’t know how to sail and never had friends with boats. You know what else I’d never done?

Fishing.

Midcoast Maine fishing trips can be easy to plan! Find out how to do it hassle-free and have a great family day.When our 8-year-old son began asking about learning to fish, we balked. My husband had never fished, either, and we started off by buying him a silly fishing rod Dan saw on the internet and going down to our neighborhood lake in Virginia. The rod became hopelessly tangled after five minutes and no fish were caught.

I started thinking how there must be so many places near our home in Maine to do just this, but I didn’t know who could help us. Putting aside the obvious problem that we don’t know how to fish, we also had no boat, no fishing licenses, no gear…and no idea how to obtain some of these things. Sure, we could have done lots of internet research and gone to sporting goods stores. Still smarting from the last fishing rod failure, however, I knew that was not going to work out. Having a solo successful midcoast Maine fishing trip seemed pretty unlikely.

Maine Outdoors Saves the Day

Luckily, I stumbled upon Maine Outdoors on Twitter and followed the links back to Don Kleiner’s site. Lo and behold, while Don takes out very experienced fishing enthusiasts and is a Master Maine Guide, he also helps inexperienced novices like us, via his fantastic offering of a half-day family fishing trip.

Contacting him through his site was a piece of cake, and I was able to easily reserve our trip on the day of my choice through his online reservation system. Shortly thereafter, he was in touch via e-mail with all the preliminary details. Namely, all my husband, father-in-law, and two boys would need to do was show up at the appointed location at Megunticook Lake at the reserved time. They didn’t need gear, licenses, or even bottled water for staying hydrated!

Midcoast Maine Fishing Trips

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Find the Best Midcoast Maine Beaches

One of the first questions I get from first-time visitors to midcoast Maine is “where are the best midcoast Maine beaches?” Although there are lots of midcoast Maine beaches, finding just the right one for you and your kids can be tricky if you aren’t in-the-know. It’s taken me a couple of years to find the most convenient, fun, and relaxing beaches in our orbit of the midcoast. Plus, naturally, your ideal beach will depend on what you and your family most like to do. Therefore, I’m going to tell you about some best bets in our area. This isn’t all the midcoast Maine beaches, by any means, and I hope others will share their favorites in the comments.

I’ve included a map here to help you locate all of these spots. The addresses are pretty vague in some cases, due to their locations off of major roads, but plugging the name of the beach into your navigation will often help you pinpoint the parking areas more precisely!

To get started, here are my top five go-to sunning spots, plus one everyone else loves, but we have yet to visit.

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Midcoast Maine Food Trucks and Shacks

Watermans Beach Lobster TableAs much as we all love a great restaurant meal, it’s no secret that some of today’s greatest food is being served through a window. There is no place where this is more true than in midcoast Maine, where lobster shacks have long been a huge draw for visitors and a way of life for locals. There’s more than just lobster to be had at these casual spots, though. Nowadays, visitors to the midcoast of Maine can find every type of cuisine from Thai to tacos being sold outside. For visitors who want to enjoy the weather, or who are on a budget, or who just can’t stand barking at their kids through one more seated meal, a lobster shack or a food truck can be a godsend.

Here’s the thing, though…how do you locate these little gems? So often, the informal addresses or teeny tiny nooks where these great places are located make them tough for the visitor to find. I’ll be the first to admit that I hate looking like an idiot, driving around and thinking “Is this that pier? Is that the alley?” It has taken us a couple of years to scout out all the good pass-through-window food in Rockland and we still have some places to check out.

I’m going to make this easy for you.

Buoy Park, Rockland, Maine

Buoy Park in Rockland – a great place to eat!

What follows is a list (by town) of the midcoast Maine food trucks and shacks I’ve been able to find out about in the areas around Rockland, Camden, Rockport, and South Thomaston. Then, to make your life less awkward, I’ve plotted all these elusive little gems on a map, which you can use to find them without embarrassing your From Away visiting self. I hope this gives you the courage to patronize some of these delicious establishments. Eat like you’re in-the-know and enjoy!

In order to fully take advantage of the food truck and food shack offerings, though, you need to understand a few unwritten rules. The main one is that these hardworking folks have basic hours, but those may change day to day due to weather or other random circumstances. This is what they need to do to stay in business, so just take advantage of their social media postings and, when in doubt, call them! The hours I’ve listed below are probably correct, but I cannot guarantee them.

Midcoast Maine Food Trucks and Food ShacksThe other plea I would make to you is to be nice. Sometimes they’re mobbed and sometimes they’re not. I’ve seen visitors get super crabby about waiting a little extra time for their order or not getting their straw. Every one of these people behind the window is working in a hot, small space and churning out the best food they can at the fastest rate they can manage. If your order is a little long in coming, enjoy the view and be cool. It’ll be worth the wait. If you want to get a feel for the enormous challenges of managing a place like this, I highly recommend 16 Lessons I Learned After My First Year of Owning a Food Truck by Malcolm Bedell, owner of ‘Wich, Please and blogger at From Away.

Or you can just take my word for it.

Please note that most of these food trucks and food shacks judge opening and closing by the prevailing weather each year. Wherever I have noted “seasonal” you can assume that means roughly late May to early October, but during those times you may want to double-check to see if they are open.

Disclaimer: I realize this doesn’t cover all midcoast towns and cities. Just managing this area was a good initial challenge! Listings south of Damariscotta are a work in progress.

With that said, let’s start at home base, shall we? Read more →

New in Rockland, Maine – 2016!

New in Rockland - 2016If I’ve learned anything about Rockland, Maine in the time we’ve been here, it’s that it will constantly be changing. I thought a lot of new things had happened in 2015, but posting a round up of what’s new in Rockland for 2016 is an even bigger task!

Fond Farewell

Change is good, but it’s still sad to say goodbye to some of the old businesses that made way for the new. Most notably from our point of view, favorites The Thorndike Creamery, The Blackboard Deli, Comida, and The Brown Bag are no longer with us.

The good news is, some very exciting new people have come to occupy a few of the old spaces. Furthermore, there is a spectacular new art attraction in town for me to tell you about. Without further ado, here are some wonderful new developments coming in downtown Rockland, Maine! Read more →

Vacation Rental Decor You’ll Love

Vacation rental decor has evolved.

Remember when you used to browse the listings and be faced with one house after another, all furnished with somebody’s cast-off recliner and mismatched sheets? Those houses are still out there, but there’s no reason for you to stay in one of them when there are so many owners using their great taste and creativity to create wonderful settings for your vacations.

Vacation Rental Decor for Everyone

We all drool over the homes in the design magazines and populate our Pinterest boards with their zillion dollar dream rooms. But is staying in an adorable or inspiring or luxurious setting just a dream for most of us? Isn’t that stunning decor by designers and for designers?

Not anymore.

In my time as a vacation home owner, I have met so many wonderful people who have inspiring vacation rentals in the perfect places. I asked a few of them if they’d be willing to share just one of their favorite rooms with me and explain how (and why) they put the space together that way. The best part is, these are homes you can go and rent, yourself! See how these extraordinary ordinary people are bringing the style to the homes that host your trip.

Vermont Chalet
California Beach Cottage
Texas Beach House
Maine Coastal New Englander Read more →

Rockland “What’s New” Round-Up for 2015!

Some people would call us crazy for heading north to Maine for spring break, but we would have it no other way. Not only does it give us an opportunity to take care of projects around the house before a fresh season of guests, but it allows us the chance to enjoy Rockland in the off-season, when there is no waiting at restaurants and everyone has time to chat.What's New in Rockland Maine

No matter where you go, even with cooler weather persisting, it seems you run into someone you know, and it’s so much fun to feel the strong local ties that you don’t notice in the summer, when the town is full of visitors. Of course, after a tough winter like this one, there’s also the happy feeling that summer is on its way. The snow is finally (!) melting and Rockland is buzzing with quiet excitement about several new additions. Make sure not to miss these new Rockland favorites as the weather warms and outdoor living resumes.

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