Primo Restaurant – A Full Circle Kitchen in Rockland Maine 31 May 2016, 5:30 am
The Rockland/Camden area of Midcoast Maine is definitely recognized as one of the top two “foodie” Meccas for Maine with the Portland being the other. In any discussion about the best restaurants in the Rockland/Camden area or in the entire state of Maine you have to mention Primo Restaurant and chef/co-owner Melissa Kelly.
Primo Restaurant in Rockland, Maine has reopened for the season for its 17th year in business, and during their tenure they have brought national attention to the little coastal town of Rockland Maine for her full circle kitchen, beautiful gardens and farm to table dining. The food is described as “hearty Italian”. The menu changes daily based on what was harvested from the restaurant’s garden or what the local fisherman or forager have brought to her. The only item that you can always find on the menu is her signature Pork Saltimbocca.
Advanced reservations are strongly encouraged, and we are happy to assist with these for guests of our Rockland bed and breakfast. Additionally, you can dine at the “Primo Tavern” upstairs where you can just walk in without reservations and enjoy dining from the tavern menu of antipastos, small plates or pizza or order anything off of the full menu from downstairs. Most nights in season the Tavern is rocking so if you know you want to dine at Primo and have not made reservations plan on dining early (tavern opens at 5pm) or later in the evening (after 8 or so); Thursdays and Sundays have traditionally been $1 oyster nights! We are happy to arrange cab service for guests for only $5 each way. This allows you to avoid the hassle of trying to park, so you can just sit back and enjoy a delicious meal and a nice bottle of wine without worrying about driving back to the inn.
In 1999, Melissa Kelly won her first James Beard Award for Chef of the Northeast for her work at the former Old Chatham Sheepherder’s Inn in Old Chatham New York. Shortly thereafter the restaurant closed and Melissa and partner Price Kushner went looking for where they would open their first restaurant and decided on the present location in Rockland, Maine. When they opened the restaurant in April, 2000 the food world descended on this small coastal community and was a buzz with what Price and Melissa had accomplished. Most figured she would choose to open her first restaurant in more of a metropolitan area but this was not the case. Rockland supposedly was much like the small fishing village where Primo, Melissa’s grandfather and restaurant namesake and the one who stirred her passion for food, lived and where there were small farms, local cheese makers, vineyards, mushroom foragers and fisherman that could help supply the restaurant with seasonal fresh ingredients for Melissa to work her magic.
Additionally, the restaurant is on almost 4 acres which may seem a lot for most restaurants but it not much for Primo when you consider for the small farm that they have developed and the full circle kitchen that she has honed. Today, Melissa and Price raise their own heritage pigs, laying hens, guinea fowl, and ducks; have several greenhouses and produce most of the herbs, greens and vegetables used in the restaurant; have their own bees and make their own honey; and have a small grouping of apple and pear trees on their property. They compost everything and have been nationally recognized for being one of the greenest restaurants in the US. Melissa is one of the first chefs in the country to raise and slaughter her own animals on premise and nothing is wasted.
Since it opened the Berry Manor Inn and Primo Restaurant have enjoyed a very symbiotic relationship. The Berry Manor Inn having opened in June, 1999 was the first high end luxury bed and breakfast in Rockland, Maine and Primo when they opened in April, 2000 quickly became what many food critics hailed as one of the top restaurants in Maine if not the Northeast. For the past fifteen years, this relationship has continued with many of the patrons of Primo staying at the inn and many of the guests of the inn dining at Primo. The Berry Manor Inn offers a New Year’s Eve package which features a festive dinner at Primo to ring in the New Year as the centerpiece and a self-guided Garden Tour Package in the summer. We are also working with Primo to offer guided garden tours in July and August on Monday nights with their new head gardener. Follow our Facebook Page to stay up to date with details!
If you consider yourself a foodie than a dinner at Primo is not to be missed.
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Maine Lobster Festival Lodging in Rockland Maine 27 Jan 2015, 7:30 am
So you have decided that you would like to come and visit Rockland, Maine for the Maine Lobster Festival this year. Your options for accommodations will greatly depend on when you made the decision to come and visit. Here are some suggestions for finding accommodations in the area.
- Book your lodging early. The Maine Lobster Festival is always scheduled for the Wednesday through Sunday that surround the first Saturday in August. Most B&B’s, hotels and motels will take advanced reservations with a deposit about one year in advance. Booking early for the Festival will give you the best choice for accommodations for your budget.
- Book your lodging early. This fact warrants repeating.
- Book your lodging early. Have you made your reservations yet?
- There are several great B&Bs within walking distance of the Maine Lobster Festival grounds. This will enable you not to have to deal with trying to find parking and will allow you to come and go from the Festival as you please. For accommodations and availability go to www.historicinnsofrockland.com .
- The Penobscot Regional Chamber of Commerce also keeps track of cancellations and vacancies for the Lobster Festival. It is launching an availability calendar spring of 2014 that will allow you to view all participating accommodations in the area and see if they have availability. If you have been shut out of accommodations keep calling the chamber or checking their website to see if there has been a cancellation. The Chamber phone number is 207-596-0376 or www.mainedreamvacation.com.
- If you have found the B&B or Inn that you want to stay at and they are currently sold out, ask to be put on their waiting list. Give them both your cell number contact and an email contact so they can notify you as soon as a cancellation occurs. Given the sheer volume of travelers to the area and life the way it is there are often many cancellations and changes to reservations prior to the actual start of the festival so you may get lucky.
- If you are a Face Book user, like the Maine Lobster Festival page, the Historic Inns of Rockland page and the FaceBook page of any local accommodations that you are interested in staying at. All of them will often post when they have had a cancellation and a room has opened.
- The closest communities to Rockland that offer accommodations include Thomaston, the towns of the St. George Pennisula, Rockport, Camden, and Lincolnville. The Newcastle and Damariscotta area are about ½ hour south and Belfast is about 45 minutes north. The farther away from Rockland that you travel the later the accommodations will sell out. BUT, it is Maine and it is August so start looking early.
- If you cannot find any accommodations in the area for the Lobster Festival and want to come for the day, consider taking the Maine Eastern Railroad from Brunswick (connects to Amtrack Downeaster) or hop on from the Bath, Wiscasset or Newcastle stations. The Maine Eastern Railroad will get you to Rockland at 11am daily and departs at 8pm daily for all 5 days of the Festival.
- Missed out on the Maine Lobster Festival this year? Not to worry you can enjoy fresh Maine lobster year round in Rockland, Maine and we are accepting reservations for next year as we speak
68th Annual Maine Lobster Festival 15 Jan 2015, 7:30 am
The 68th Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland Maine will be held Wednesday, July 29th through Sunday, August 2nd, 2015.
It is the largest celebration of all things lobster on the
Eastern seaboard. An average of 26,000 pounds of fresh from
the water Maine Lobsters are served during the five days of the
festival at the “Eating Tent”.
The Maine Lobster Festival of course features lobsters and celebrates all things lobster. The Maine Lobster Festival also includes a great community parade on Saturday morning, lobster cooking contests, lobster eating contests, dress your baby like a lobster diaper derby race, lobster crate races, touch tanks with real lobsters, Made in Maine art and crafts tent, a carnival, amusement park rides, musical entertainment, a Maine Lobster Festival Sea Goddess scholarship contest and of course at the center of it all is the Main Eating Tent serving up over 20,000 succulent Maine lobsters from the world’s largest lobster cooker. The Maine Lobster Festival is run entirely by volunteers (over 1,000 people) and the festival gives back to the local communities through the purchase of ambulances, repairing public docks, improvements to the Recreational Center and the high school auditorium and other such projects or charities where the community is served.
The schedule and line up of live entertainment is available at Maine Lobster Festival in the spring. The Lobster Festival is always held for five days and begins the Wednesday before the first Saturday of August. This means that if the first Saturday in August is August 6th than the festival would start on the 3rd; if the first Saturday in August is August 1st than the festival would start on July 29th. In 2014, the dates for the 67th Annual Maine Lobster Festival are Wednesday, July 30th through Sunday, August 3rd, 2014.
On Wednesday at 12 noon, the Maine Lobster Festival opens when King Neptune, his court of sea hags and the reigning Maine Sea Goddess arrive by boat at Rockland’s Public Landing and officially raise the flag to open the year’s Maine Lobster Festival. At this time, the Maine Eating Tent opens with single, double and triple lobster dinners as well as the other food vendors offering lobster rolls, fried clams, chowders, burgers, fried dough and other festival delights. Throughout the five day festival there are an ever-changing number of live performances or events that are scheduled on the Main Stage or the Entertainment tent set amongst the carnival rides and games. Also, there is a wonderful Maine Fine Art and Maine Made tent featuring many of our local talented artists. A Marine Experience Tent where you can learn all about the creatures of the big blue sea including a touch tank with lobsters. There is also a Children’s Tent for a rest and play area for children and various children activities. Typically there are tours of the local Coast Guard Station as Rockland is a Coast Guard City. Additionally, most years there is a Navy ship that visits Rockland as part of the Festival and offers free tours. The crew from both the Coast Guard station and the Navy Ship participate in the Lobster Festival as well escorting the Sea Goddesses for the coronation ceremony and in the parade. Wednesday evening is always reserved for the Coronation of the Sea Goddess on the Maine Stage.
Another highlight of the festival is the “Big Parade” which is
scheduled for Saturday at 10am. The parade route is Main
Street from the north and ends at the gates to the festival
grounds. Thousands of people line the street from the Dunkin Donuts
on North Main Street to the Public Landing. It attracts thousands
of people each year and lasts 2 to 2.5 hours. Each year the
theme for the parade is different and there is a contest amongst
the floats for the best interpretation of the theme. Do not
forget your camp chair, the sunscreen, a bottle of water and a
Ziploc bag if you are into collecting the assorted candies thrown
from the floats.
Sunday is “Hometown” Day and admission to the Maine Lobster Festival is free for all ages. A highlight for Sunday’s activities is the Great Lobster Crate Races where children of all ages race across the string of 50 wooden lobster crates that are tied together until they topple into the harbor. The winners are by age categories and are determined not by how big a splash they make but by how many crates they ran across before they were toppled. The current record was set in 2008 and is 4, 501 crates.
Can’t make it this year to Rockland for the Maine Lobster Festival? Don’t worry Rockland,
the Lobster Capital of the World, offers sweet, succulent, fresh Maine lobster year round.
Traveling in Maine – You Can Get Here from There…………… 19 Dec 2014, 7:30 am
Travelers to Rockland and Camden, Maine have many transportation choices including car, train, bus or plane. Depending on how long staying and traveling in Maine and what you would like
to see you may not even need a car as Rockland is a very walkable city and also has multiple taxi companies with a flat rate of approximately $5-7 anywhere within Rockland or within Camden and about $17 between the two towns.
If you choose to fly to Rockland or Camden, Maine there are three airport choices – Knox County Regional Airport (RKD), Portland International Jetport (PWM) and Bangor International Airport (BGR). Each of the airports offers rental cars and there is airport transport from Rockland to each of them.
The closest airport to Rockland is the Knox County Regional Airport (RKD) which is about five miles from downtown and is a regional airport serviced 3-6 times daily by Cape Air out of Boston. CapeAir is a small employee owned company that flies planes carrying about 9 people. CapeAir is affiliated with Jet Blue so you can book your trip directly to Rockland right from the Jet Blue website and because CapeAir and Jet Blue share the same terminal in Boston’s Logan Airport you do not need to deal with Boston’s security when transferring to CapeAir. Round trip fares from Boston start at about $114. If there is a group of you traveling it may be worth your while to purchase a computer book of ten flights at a discounted rate. These flights are not person specific and can be shared by members of your group and are valid for one year. Budget Rental is available at the airport or Enterprise Rental is in nearby Thomaston.
Portland International Jetport (PWM) is about 80 miles or 1.5 hours from Rockland. It is a medium sized airport and is very easy to navigate. This airport is served by Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, United and US Airways and has around 90 daily non-stop flights and 1 stop flights to over 200 cities. Rental car providers include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National. The ride from the Portland airport to Rockland is fairly straight forward and less “rural” than travel from Bangor for people that are used to big city travel with street lights and lots of signage. In Maine, we do not waste money on signs so you do not get a lot of reminders that you are on the right road.
The third airport choice is Bangor International Airport (BGR) which is about 65 miles from Rockland or about 2 hours drive time. The drive is on roads that are less traveled without a lot of street lights, signage or traffic. Bangor airport is serviced by Delta, US Airways and Allegiant and offers non-stop flights to Philadelphia, LaGuardia, Detroit, Regan National and some cities in Florida. Bangor airport has the distinction of servicing a majority of military flights for the east coast and has a group of volunteer “troop greeters” that meet all military planes any time of day or day of week to welcome them home to the US and to thank them for their services or to give them a proper send off to active duty. They offer thanks, hugs, handshakes, free cell phones and snacks to show they care.
Concord Trailways provides bus service to Rockland from Boston, Portland and other points in between twice daily year round. The terminal is located at the Maine State Ferry Terminal at the bottom of Talbot Avenue in Rockland. It also makes stops in Camden, Lincolnville and Belfast.
Beginning in the summer of 2014, Maine Eastern Railroad will be running round trip excursions connecting Rockland to Amtrak’s DownEaster train from Boston. The trips will run Friday, Saturday and Sundays between July and mid-October and the schedule is such to make easy connections in Brunswick. This allows for train service from Portland, Maine, Boston and points beyond to Rockland Maine for a weekend summer getaway!
Maine Eastern Railroad courtesy of TripAdvisor Photo link I cannot get to work. Would like near the top of the blog.
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Maine known for Lobsters, Lighthouses and Elephants? 4 Dec 2014, 7:30 am
Maine may be best known for lobsters, lighthouses and even moose but did you know that there are now elephants in Maine?
Yes Elephants. If you are looking to see and learn about these wonderful creatures in a way you have never been able to before plan a visit to Hope Elephants the next time you are visiting the Rockland/Camden area of Maine. Hope Elephants is a one of kind facility that offers visitors a one of kind experience. There tag line is “Never Forget: Hope for these and all elephants begins with you”.
The resident elephants are Rosie and Opal and they are a pair of Asian elephants that have retired from over 40 years of performing in the circus. They both have suffered some depilating injuries. Rosie is partially paralyzed in her trunk, has nerve damage in her shoulders, and arthritis in her legs. Opal, the younger of the two, has a problem with her foot, arthritis and severe pain in her limbs and joints. The mission of Hope Elephants is twofold. First it is to provide medical care and rehab to both Rosie and Opal to provide them with a much improved quality of life and to develop about medical protocols that can be used at other elephant facilities to care for older and aging elephants. Secondly, it is to take this unique opportunity to see elephants up close and personal and to educate people on how intelligent, emotional and self-aware this beautiful animals are and likewise how important it is for us all to promote wildlife conservation or in as little as 6 years there may not be any more wild Asian elephants in the world.
Why elephants in Maine? In the early 1970s, Dr. Jim Laurita and his brother Tom had a juggling act that they performed with the circus. This is where they both met Rosie and Opal. For Jim, it was a life changing moment as he credits Rosie with inspiring him to become a veterinarian. Over the next 20 years, Jim graduating from CornellUniversity; worked with elephants at zoos and wildlife sanctuaries and did independent research on elephants in India and ultimately returned to Maine and opened a private practice. Years later Dr. Jim went to visit Rosie in her elephant retirement community in Oklahoma. He was thrilled that Rosie remembered him but heartbroken by her condition. At that point he made it his mission to bring Rosie to Maine and to provide intensive medical therapy and caring for her in her golden years. And so in October of 2012 when Rosie and Opal arrived, Hope Elephants began.
Visits to the Hope Elephant facility are not for entertainment. You will not be able to touch or ride either of the elephants to this end all visits are by reservation only. You can call 207-230-7830 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. Group sizes are limited for each visit and generally they last 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on questions. In the summer season, they offer tours multiple times a day and in the quieter time of year typically 1pm daily or perhaps 11 or 1pm on weekends. Thursday there are no visits with the Girls. If one of the elephants is not feeling well or having issues than all visits for the day will be cancelled. To support the care for Rosie and Opal donations are strongly suggested at $15 per person for adults and $10 for children under 12.
When you visit the facility you will be enthralled watching Rosie and Opal interact much like sisters; moved by the stories and shenanigans of Rosie and Opal and amazed by the passion of Dr. Jim and the volunteer staff to provide a better life for the “girls”. The visit will inspire most to get involved in some level to protect the wild animals in our world that man is pushing to extinction.
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What can I expect for Breakfast at a B&B? 19 Oct 2014, 7:30 am
Breakfast is typically a BIG deal at most B&B inns as it makes up the second “B” in B&B! For most innkeepers, there is a lot of pressure to make breakfast memorable for their guests. What is great about the B&B experience is every breakfast you have at every B&B is going to be different – no two will be the same.
The differences that you will find in breakfast service at each inn relates to what type of food is served, how it is served and for what time period is breakfast available. Each B&B hones its breakfast service to best fit their particular kitchen space constraints and culinary skills and occasionally local ordinances that may limit if food can be made on premise or not. The size of the inn, number of guests and size of the dining space also plays a part in how breakfast and morning coffee service is delivered at an inn.
At B&Bs where there may be more guests than can fit in the dining area at any one time the innkeepers may offer their guests a choice of times and seating options at check in; other inns choose to just offer breakfast service over a longer period of time and have you just come to breakfast at whatever time suits you and some B&Bs offer breakfast service at one set time.
The next variance in breakfast service for B&Bs relates to the type of seating that is offered. Some B&Bs offer breakfast as a communal affair where all guests are invited to eat together at one big table at one common time. This used to be the most common type of breakfast service in B&Bs and for many loyal B&B travelers what they loved best about the experience. Today, more and more inns are moving away from the communal breakfast to offering their guests the flexibility of sitting at an individual table for 2 or joining other guests at a small table. Others offer guests the option of room service or a breakfast tray to take back to the room or to an outside dining area.
The food will be equally as diverse as the breakfast service itself. Many inns prepare all homemade breakfasts featuring local ingredients and really “get” breakfast. Because of size limitations for both the kitchen and the staff, most B&Bs will offer one daily entrée to their guests but will generally be able to tweak the menu to accommodate dietary needs (with advance notice) or offer alternatives to the breakfast fare. Some B&Bs do have the capacity to offer a breakfast menu much like you would get at a restaurant. The majority of B&Bs do not necessarily have large commercial kitchens nor professional chefs or kitchen staff. In fact many kitchens at an inn are the same size as what your kitchen is at home. Imagine cooking breakfast for 16-30 people in your own kitchen and then throw in some special diets, multiple courses or multiple dishes and you start to get a sense of the challenges. But the challenges aside, most innkeepers really do want to make the breakfast service special for their guests – it is just what they do! The best advice if you have dietary restrictions, really hate egg dishes or mushrooms or just prefer plain scrambled eggs while your partner indulges in more complicated fare is to talk to the innkeeper in advance to make sure that you both will be happy with the experience.
Today most innkeepers know that they need to describe the breakfast experience that is offered at their B&B to their potential guests either through a text description or photographs on their website. Is breakfast at their inn an upscale continental offering where you sit at individual tables or a hot served breakfast at one large table? Is there just one seating for breakfast or come whenever between certain hours? Generally you should find this type of information on the particular inn’s website. As a guest, if you know that you are not a morning person and have a strong aversion to a communal meal than do not book at an inn with one large table and one seating. If you are the type of person that is afraid of too much culinary adventure on your breakfast plate than make sure that you read about the breakfast service at the inn you are considering booking or call the innkeeper directly and ask about their breakfast service and what other options may be available that will satisfy you. This will help make the breakfast experience great for both you and the inn!
As an example, at the Berry Manor we serve our breakfast from 8 to 9:30am at individual tables for 2 or configured for larger groups if you are traveling together. The configuration in this dining room allows a guest who does not wish to speak to other guests at breakfast or who wants to read the paper quietly to do so without appearing rude or out of place. Likewise, guests that want to strike up a conversation with another willing party may do so quite comfortably also. There are pictures on the website of our dining area that shows individual tables for 2 and also have an entire page that describes our breakfast service and lists some sample menus. At the inn, the menu for the next day’s breakfast is posted by 3pm so that both guests checking in and guests that are already at the inn can peruse the breakfast fare and let the staff know if they would like an alternative breakfast choice.
Whatever the B&B you choose, you will probably be offered a deliciously decedent breakfast fare that you would not necessarily take the time to make yourself at home. The bowl of oatmeal will be waiting at home for your return tomorrow, for today – Indulge!
Fact or Myth: For most B&Bs state of the art technology is 2 cups and a string. 14 Oct 2014, 7:30 am
MYTH: Of course you knew this would be a myth. The reality is that for a small lodging property to thrive in the very competitive travel market, the small lodging property has to keep up with the Jones or in this case the Hiltons, Marriotts, and the Hamptons. A professionally operated B&B inn will absolutely have internet access and will also probably have a guest computer and printer that you can use free to print out your boarding pass or to answer emails. But the benefit of the small lodging property like a B&B inn is that the B&B will also offer things that the Jones, Hiltons, Marriotts and the Hamptons are too big and serve too many strangers at anyone time to be able to offer.
In addition to having flat screen TVs, IPod docking stations, CD players and internet access in guestrooms to enable travelers to always be “connected”; there is also comfort in the fact that most B&Bs balance the presence of today’s technology with really some old-fashioned concepts that at one time were the way must people “connected”. Some examples of this would be a selection of complimentary board games and in-room fireplaces for quiet snuggles or competitive Scrabble games; libraries filled with books and porches with comfy chairs or a hammock to read in; and guest pantry areas stocked with complimentary coffee, teas, sodas, fruits or sweets like homemade pies that you can raid in the middle of the night like you used to do at your grandmother’s house! Many B&Bs also have extensive DVD collections and DVD players in your room or in a common area versus requiring you to pay additional monies to watch a movie in your room like at a chain hotel.
Most B&Bs have moved away from the thought that people want lodging choices without cell phone service, internet access or televisions in the room. There are definitely a few B&Bs that still hold this mantra to be their truth and have purposely not placed the TVs in the guestrooms but rather have them in cozy common areas are nooks throughout the inn. It will be pretty clear when reading the description of an inn on their website if this is the path they have taken and if this is not for you then just continue your search for another B&B property or if you really do need to unplug than plug into a B&B like that. You see variety and uniqueness is what you gain when you consider a B&B as a viable lodging alternative to just another ho-hum hotel room.
So do not use the myth that you cannot possible stay at a B&B because you won’t be able to FaceBook or stream House of Cards or answer emails as a reason not to be reminded of other choices that we used to have growing up to make lasting memories as we connect with our life partners without LOL or hashtags or the need for a microchip processor to entertain us.
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Birding in Midcoast Maine 9 Oct 2014, 2:05 pm
Maine is one of the most forested states, has over 3500 miles of coastlines, has hundreds of lakes and is the endpoint for the Appalachian mountain range all making Maine one of North America’s top birding destinations. With the wide range of habitats and diverse landscapes of Maine, the variety of birds regularly seen in Maine numbers over 330 species and birding in Maine is a year long activity.
According to Maine’s Birding trail, the Midcoast region of Maine is rich in bird species and in prime birding locations. Some of the best birding sites near Rockland include the Weskeag Marsh, Beech Hill, CamdenHillsState Park and MerryspringNatureCenter. Additionally, Rockland is home to Maine Audubon’s Project Puffin Visitor Center and The Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands Visitor Center. Project Puffin Visitor Center is focused on educating people about the Atlantic Puffins and showing live webcam footage from their colony 20 miles offshore. The Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands offer
information on puffins, island visits, artwork and efforts to conserve and protect coastal habitats for seabirds and wildlife. They run free birding and wildlife lectures and educational programs throughout the year at the visitor center. They also offer an Annual Seabird Cruise out of Port Clyde to see puffins and other marine birds and wildlife with biologists and naturalists that are involved in the research efforts.
The Weskeag Marsh in South Thomaston is considered to be one of Maine’s best birding marshes and is the largest salt tidal marsh in the Midcoast area. There are over 700 acres in the state’s Wildlife Management area that includes tidal salt marsh along the Weskeag River, some fields and small forest area that includes an area within the towns of Thomaston, South Thomaston, Rockland and Owls Head. The area is considered the most productive and species-diverse shorebird area within the PenobscotBay region. In 2012, a viewing platform, interpretive kiosk and boardwalk trail through part of the marsh was opened to allow visitors to observe the wildlife while protecting the salt marsh and the birds. The trail is part of the Georges River Land Trust.
Beech Hill in Rockport is conservation land that is part of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust. It encompasses about 300 acres which include organic blueberry fields, grassland bird habitat and mature woods. At the summit is the recently restored stone harvest hut with a sod roof that is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. There is an approximate 1.5 mile (roundtrip) trail through the grounds. This is the location for the semi-annual bird counts and the past two New Year’s counts have been for record high numbers of species.
Camden Hills State Park offers over 25 miles of hiking trails with stunning views of Penobscot Bay. Maine’s most
common bird species are found throughout the property with the summits providing excellent viewing for hawks. Merryspring Nature Center in Camden offers 66 acres of meadows, gardens and woodlands for birding. It is open daily and year round. The visitor center offers workshops, lectures and a library.
There are plenty of birds to see in the Midcoast Area and plenty of bird enthusiasts and experts in the area also so start packing your binoculars and field guides and book your trip at our Rockland, Maine bed and breakfast.
Rockland Cafe – Come as a Stranger, Leave as a Friend 1 Oct 2014, 7:30 am
Rockland Cafe is Rockland’s version of a local diner, and has the distinction of being one of the few restaurants in town that offers fresh steamed lobster dinners (single, double, triples) year round. They keep their tank right at the front of the restaurant. The owners’ nephew “lobsters,” so he keeps the restaurant supplied with a fresh catch. On occasion he hauls in a rare blue or orange or ½ blue/½ yellow lobster, and they will display it in the restaurant before it goes to the Maine State Aquarium.
If fried seafood is what you are looking for it is hard to beat Rockland Cafe’s fried seafood dinners. They come in small, large or all you can eat for very reasonable prices. One of the specialties is crab cakes made by with the owner’s mothers recipe. Another favorite is Wayne’s chowder the seafood chowder, which is wonderfully rich and full of clams, lobsters, haddock and scallops without potato filler. All of the french fries are hand cut, too! The rest of the menu is rounded out with a variety subs, sandwiches, meat loaf, burgers, pasta and seafood dishes.
Set in the heat of historic downtown, Rockland Cafe is open year round and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours of operation for dinner service will vary based on time of year, but we will be happy to check on this for you prior to your stay at our Rockland bed and breakfast.
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When was the last time Mr. Marriott checked you into your hotel room? 29 Sep 2014, 7:30 am
Seriously – have you ever even met the owner when you stayed at one of those big chain hotels? Probably not. In fact, chances are Mr. Marriott did not serve you breakfast in the morning, make the homemade pie or cookies that you snacked on the night before, help you carry your luggage upstairs or hand write the note left on your pillow at turndown wishing you a “Happy Anniversary”. All of these things probably would have been done by the owner of the B&B had you chosen to stay at a unique B&B inn for that special celebration.
According to the B&B Industry Study presented by PAII (Professional Association of International Innkeepers), 79% of B&B owners actually live on premise. This means that there is an actual person who is vested in the success of the B&B operation on site everyday. No matter how talented or dedicated an employee can be to a business, the small details are going to matter more and be noticed quicker by an owner. For the owner, guest satisfaction is paramount to the owner’s livelihood, retirement fund and the return on their capital investment. At a small lodging property like a B&B, everything is personal.
Like many small businesses, the advantage of owner run, small town, community minded endeavors translates to a really special experience for guests. The town you are visiting is where the innkeeper/owner lives also. They eat at the local restaurants, they shop at the local stores, and they know how to avoid traffic and where the prettiest spots are for viewing the fall colors. This personal connection that binds your travel experience with the location that you are visiting is not something that could ever exist in the anonymity or size of a larger chain hotel. Sure there certainly are large hotels that set exceptionally high standards for concierge services and guest relations but more times than not this level of personalized service comes with a hefty price tag that is greater than the average persons weekly paycheck. In a small B&B inn, personalized service and inside knowledge of an area is not reserved just for the elite but rather is offered freely for ever guest as they desire.
You want anonymity and freedom to come and go without feeling like someone is in your face that is fine also. Most innkeeper/owners of B&Bs are actually pretty good reads of people and can figure out pretty quickly how much face time guests want with the owner. They will however make sure that you as a guest know how to reach them if there is something that you want.
So next time you want to celebrate a milestone with your partner or just create a really personal and special memory – try setting the stage for romance at a small personalized B&B inn instead of a bland cookie cutter hotel. You can sleep well knowing that the owner will probably be sleeping under the same roof with you and really is vested in you having a wonderful experience!
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