After strolling around a gray, dreary and rainy Camden, Maine during a chilly autumn day, and a disappointing lunch in town we were loathe to drive back in the rain for dinner. We had heard good things about the restaurant and had hard to come by reservations so we moved forward as planned. As we drove down the dark two lane slick road from Lincolnville Beach south toward Natalie’s we wondered whether we would be better off returning to the dry and warm comfort of our inn.
The first surprise we had regarding the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was how popular it was when we arrived at midday on a Friday in the fall to find most of the parking space was already taken. The second surprise was how many areas beyond the immediate entrance felt secluded despite the number of people we knew were inside the attraction.
The 270 acre tidal shoreline park was the largest botanical garden in New England and the only botanical garden in Maine. It had display gardens, shore land trails, wild woodlands, 50 sculptures on exhibit (and rotating art exhibits inside the Bosarge Family Education Center), and educational programming. We liked the cleverly organized design of the attraction itself, its interactive features like the fairy garden, varied plant life, water views and separate garden sections. We especially appreciated the serenity of the contemplative garden.
It was evident the management and staff dedicated much thought and effort to the layout and maintenance of the Gardens. It was a pleasant place to spend time enjoying and admiring nature. We would gladly return should we be in the Portland or Boothbay area of Maine again.
At the beginning of our trip to Maine while we were in Portland, I searched high and low for a massage. Some windows announced treatments, but most of the time on close viewing the listing was unrelated to the shop where it was posted. One shop had a single masseuse and she was unavailable for several days. Others were less desirable. Frustrated, I gave up following several unsuccessful attempts at booking a massage.
When we planned our trip to Portland, Maine we didn’t anticipate spending time at a fine arts museum. After walking by the distinctive entrance of the Portland Museum of Art (PMA) a number of times, curiosity drew us inside. The light filled and spacious interior was inviting so we made time to return one morning, and to go to the Winslow Homer Studio in nearby Prouts Neck. It had been declared a National Landmark in 1966 and purchased by the Portland Museum of Art in 2006.
Migis made us think of a luxury summer camp for adults and families. The 150 acre Maine property with 3,500 feet of shorefront on Sebago Lake was home to 35 Cottages. During our fall visit, we stayed in a new looking and spacious stand alone three bedroom two bathroom suite with internet connectivity, a view of the lake and a fireplace. In addition to the convenient meal plan, there were many features with appeal for a multigenerational audience. For example, there were hiking trails, beaches, tennis courts, massage rooms, a playground and a souvenir shop.
In 1759, Terrell’s Ordinary, a modest roadside inn that welcomed westward travelers, opened on land that was part of Virginia’s 1734 land grant, at the exact location where the Boar’s Head stands today. Since then, this lovely swath of rolling hills in the picturesque outskirts of Charlottesville, Virginia, has witnessed much history. It first became a country estate with a successful farming operation before enduring the ravages the Civil War. The property returned to life under a succession of owners before an inn, the Boar’s Head, was once again created in the mid twentieth century. It was subsequently acquired in 1989 by the University of Virginia Foundation. Today, the unique 573 acre (232 hectare), 175 guest accommodations local landmark boasts a championship golf club, outstanding sports facilities with multiple tennis and squash courts, an in house spa and an award winning restaurant.