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The Art Scene

Many local towns have Friday night art walks. In Portland, on the first Friday evening of every month, the city’s artists, galleries, and arts venues open up their doors for First Friday Art Walk. Biddeford + Saco’s Art Walk takes place seven months out of the year, April through October, on the last Friday of each month from 5-8 pm at various venues downtown and in the mills. For a line-up of participants check out http://biddefordsacoartwalk.com/

Not to be missed is the Portland Museum of Art. Recognized as “one of the best medium-size museums in New England,” by Boston Globe. The Museum’s collection contains more than 17,000 fine and decorative works of art dating from the 18th century to the present.

Happy Hour

Maine does a great job of turning our crystal clear water into mighty fine beer. Maine has the fourth highest concentration of micro-breweries in the country. There are more than 40 craft breweries, dozens less than an hour from Grand View 14 and Beachwalk Four.

Steve’s favorites are Dirigo Brewing in Biddeford and Gneiss Brewing Company in Limerick. Dirigo is located in the historic Riverdam Mill and overlooks the legendary Saco Falls. Gneiss, pronounced Nice (the G is silent) is just a few miles from the Lake House. We also recommend Maine Beer Tours. It’s a laid back all inclusive tour, which includes transportation, snacks, beer samples and tons of fun.

Eat Lobstah

Hard shell or soft shell? Mayo or butter? Steamed or grilled? If you are going to try Lobster, Southern Maine is the place to do it. Whether you want it right out of the ocean, steamed in a big pot of water or the no clean up way at a high end restaurant we can steer you in the right direction. Lobster salad, lobster rolls grilled lobster tails and the latest trend, Lobster Mac-n-Cheese.

The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport wins best lobster roll and was a fan favorite in New York City’s lobster rumble. It has the meat of a 1 pound lobster and is served on a slightly sweet hamburger style bun from a local bakery. Bite Into Maine, a food truck usually positioned at Fort Williams Park serves 6 kinds of Lobster rolls including classic, curry, and wasabi.

We also recommend Maine Foodie Tours, “Old Port Lunch Time Lobster Crawl”. If you want to eat at home, only a few miles from Grand View 14 is Landlocked Lobster Pound. They will cook the lobster for you as well as sweet Maine steamers. (aka clams) For our guests staying at Beachwalk Four, we recommend Bayley’s Lobster Pound at Pine Point. They are family owned and operated for four generations. You can choose your lobster and wait while they cook it for you.

Visit a Lighthouse

Maine has 65 lighthouses. If you can only visit one, we suggest Portland Headlight. This lighthouse is in a beautiful park setting with amazing views of the ocean and the city. Kids will love to explore the remnants of old forts that are on the grounds. Located in Fort Williams State Park in Cape Elizabeth, it is considered the “Granddaddy of all lighthouses,” and is one of the most visited and photographed lighthouses in the world. It was commissioned by George Washington and first lit in 1791. There is an onsite museum and ample parking. Portland Headlight was selected to appear in a Forever postage stamp series called New England Coastal Lighthouses. The stamp was issued July 13, 2013.

Other’s nearby include:

Bug Light in South Portland, earning its nickname when people thought it was cute as a bug.

Two Lights, in Cape Elizabeth is the site of two lighthouses. There is a fixed light in the east tower and a revolving light in the west one.

Spring Point Ledge Light, marks the dangerous ledge along the main shipping channel into Portland Harbor. It has the “sparkplug” style.

Nubble Light at Cape Neddick in York Harbor, sits atop a large rock island (nub of land), a few hundred feet off shore.

Fall foliage in Southern Maine

Not ready to let go of summer? Fall is the new summer. There is no better time than the fall to visit Maine. The temperatures are just right and most of the tourists have headed south. Lots of festivals and agricultural fairs abound, some are one day affairs and others last a week.

Not to be missed is the annual toast to Maine’s culinary arts, Harvest on the Harbor, It involves incredible seafood, wine tastings and an array of visiting celebrity chefs. Our favorite event is the Grand Tasting, with its starry setting in the Ocean View Room of the Ocean Gateway Pier. The Maine lobster chef of the year competition is one of the most popular events.

And, oh yes, there’s the wicked awesome fall foliage. Everyone asks,” when’s the best time for peak color?” The first colors of the season can appear in early September and extend into late October. There is no magical moment when the fall colors are most vibrant. Different varieties of trees change color at different times and weather patterns affect the change also. Steve and I prefer the late foliage because as the crimson, orange and gold fade, the landscape takes on a more subtle magic that is just as beautiful.

The end of October is chock full of Haunted Hayrides, Wicked Walking Tours and Pumpkin Festivals. Apple picking sure beats raking leaves.