ME Travel Guide
Naked Travel / Nude Travel / Maine Travel / Crimes / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / Coffee Travel / → All Tags
In the long tradition of destination stories here at Jaunted, we've never abandoned covering the dramatic history of the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine. Opening nearly three years ago with $3 coffee and $2 donuts and free gazing at the waitress' gazongas. As expected, the joint was controversial from the start and even a mini-documentary went about profiling the place and its customers.
Then it burnt to the ground. Suspiciously. Well CBS News shares that the arsonist has finally been convicted, and he wasn't doing it for morality reasons at all; he was angry at his ex-girlfriend, an employee of the Grand View who had left him to shack up with the coffeeshop's owner. Raymond Bellavance Jr. is now headed to jail as the Grand View gets on with business.
When we think of cosmopolitan capitals of cuisine, some pretty well known names come to mind: Paris, Tokyo, New York…and Portland? Yes, it’s true. The hardscrabble main metropolis of Maine has concocted a special alchemy of farm-fresh fare, seasonal seasonings, and good old-fashioned gourmet cooking that makes it one of our top foodie destinations. Here’s how we recently spent 36 gluttonous hours there.
While President Obama and the first family were doing their thing in and around Acadia National Park this weekend, organizers down the coast were preparing for some excitement of their own. Obama should have reconsidered his schedule, because he'll have just missed the Maine Lobster Festival set for August 4 through 8 in Rockland.
Probably one of the most delicious summer food festivals out there, this year’s crustacean celebration features live music, art, photography, and of course a huge parade where 25,000 lobster fans are expected to line the route. Organizers are ready for the crowd as they expect to have 20,000 pounds of lobster steaming away, so be sure to bring along some spare butter to help wash it all down.
Obama-Around-The-World / Presidential Travel / Barack Obama / Political Travel / Maine Travel / Michigan Travel / → All Tags
Why is President Barack Obama getting into an electric car? Well, he made a friendly visit to the town of Holland, Michigan yesterday, in order to check in on companies manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles. Although he did fly Air Force One in to Holland's Tulip City Airport, he sadly didn't take time from his busy schedule to go Dutch clog shopping or eat any homemade appelmoes (applesauce) . Like other US cities named for European towns, Holland, MI takes the affiliation a little too seriously and you can bet all of these things are offered.
After Michigan, Obama is back in DC today packing for a weekend trip with his family. They're headed to Mount Desert Island, Maine nearby Bar Harbor. The first family will keep it low-key with hiking in Acadia National Park, some golf at Kebo Valley Golf Club, and loads of quality time.
Topless Travel / Coffee Shops / Nude Travel / Starbucks Alternatives / Maine Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
Maine's Grand View Topless Coffee Shop has had a dramatic year. After only opening up in the town of Vassalboro back in February, the place has been had it's moment in the media limelight, been burnt to the ground by an arsonist, and then reopened in a tent. Now it looks like it's back for good, as the owner has received the permit to reopen in a business trailer on the propertynot as great as the original, but it exists nonetheless.
According the Boston Herald, business so far has been slow, but it could also be because the arson fire from last June is still under investigation. But for those anxious to have a place where they can make "I like my women like I like my coffee" jokes, the Grand View is back in business.
Things get a little more NSFW after the jump
Usually, volunteer vacations are about helping the needy, but for some, they can also have a political agenda. Last year, Travel for Change helped send over 400 volunteers to swing states to work for the Barack Obama campaign. Now, they are helping send volunteers to Maine, where voters will take to the ballot box next month and decide whether to overturn a law that allows same-sex couples to wed. "Question 1," as it is being called, is similar to Prop 8, a same-sex marriage ban eventually approved by voters in California last year.
Travel for Change is working with the No on Question 1 campaign to get volunteers from across the country to Maine to work for marriage equality. The organization is raising funds and airline miles, matching volunteers to share rooms and cars, and placing them in appropriate jobs once they arrive in Maine.
See that mass of light on the horizon in Acadia National Park? That's the Milky Way—for reals.
Stargazers will see the blue yonder with new eyes at Maine's new Acadia Night Sky Festival, which celebrates the starry, natural nighttime sky. The festival, which starts on the sunset of Sept. 17 and ends at sunrise Sept. 21, tries to bring awareness to the problem of light pollution and the importance of preserving the pristine skies of Bar Harbor and and Acadia National Park.
Fest organizers say that a natural sky is increasingly rare, since artificial light from cities create light pollution and obscure our view of the glowing stars and other stellar matter. They add that two-thirds of the entire population of the Eastern Seaboard has yet to see Earth's own galaxy. In light of this (har, har), the Island Astronomy Institute, along with groups like the National Park Service and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, decided to preserve the beauty of downeast Maine's natural sky. It's such a sight to behold, that on clear nights you can see the Milky Way swirl above Mount Desert Island.
It’s only Thursday, but things are well underway at this year’s 62nd Annual Maine Lobster Festival. The party kicked off yesterday and will run throughout the weekend, so get out your favorite lobster bib and have the drawn butter ready. Last year they cooked over 20,000 pounds of the crustacean critters and there’s plenty of other undersea delicacies if lobsters aren’t your thing—just bring your appetite and you’ll be pleased.
Although we have no problem with a festival just based on eating, in fact we prefer it, this summer fest has a lot more to offer than just seafood gluttony. There’s plenty of entertainment, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, and of course, the coronation of the 2009 Maine Sea Goddess. The winner will be awarded a scholarship and will represent the town of Rockland and the lobster industry throughout the year.
Active Travel / Maine Travel / Races / Kayak / Canoe / → All Tags
We don't know about you, but we've been craving to tackle some whitewater lately and a canoe is as good as anything. In only a couple of weeks, the Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Championships takes place, and although we're pretty good with paddles, we not quite ready for this level. Nonetheless, things get underway on July 1 and finish up on July 5 in West Forks, Maine on the Lower Dead River. With a name like that, we’ll just be spectators for this one, thank you very much.
For those that prefer a kayak for their water adventures, the Kayak Downriver National Championships will also be heading downriver soon. All races are set along an almost 13-mile course where paddlers will run into about 30 different sets of class II and III rapids. If speed is more your thing, there will be sprint races on July 3. Here, competitors will be trying their best to get through a 1.2-mile course as quickly as possible.
From the details on the races, it sounds like anyone is welcome to register to compete (so long as you can swim), as registration only has to take place one day in advance. However, we’re thinking that this isn’t for those used to a casual paddle around a calm bay or through some wetlands. Officials estimate that the sprint races can be done in only seven minutes, depending on the water level.
Related Stories: [Photo of a different race: penguinchris]
·2009 ACA WWOCD National Championships [Official Site]
·Canoe, Kayak Championships in West Forks, Maine, July 1-5 [MaineBusiness.com]
·Active Travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of a different race: penguinchris]
Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Coffee / Bizarre / Crime / Maine Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
We've got good news for New England travelers who like their caffeine fix but hate it when their servers wear shirts. Turns out the nation's oddest Starbucks Alternative is down, but far from out.
The Grand View Coffee Shop, which was burned to the ground by a moral crusader last week, has already reopened. Owner Donald Crabtree erected a tent on the site of his destroyed cafe, and the topless waitresses have volunteered to work just for tips (to be fair, we'd bet they get better tips than your local Starbucks barista).
Topless Coffee one; moral crusaders zero.
· Arsonist Destroys Maine's Topless Coffee Shop [Jaunted]
· Maine Opens Topless Coffee Shop; Hopefully With Frost Bite Insurance [Jaunted]
· Burned topless coffee shop reopens in a tent [Jaunted]
Crimes / Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Coffee Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / Maine Travel / → All Tags
Earlier this year we told you about what we thought was a pretty fantastic moment in the history of coffee shops. Grand View Topless Coffee Shop opened its doors in Vassalboro, Maine. As far as we know, Grand View was the only place in the country where you could order a cappuccino and crueller and have it served by a topless waiter or waitress.
An ingenious business plan if you ask us, but unfortunately, not all of Grand View's neighbors were so enamored. A fire destroyed the coffee shop early Wednesday morning, and police say it was set by an arsonist. The fire came just a few hours after the shop's owner, Donald Crabtree, had appeared before the local planning board to defend his operation, and followed several complaints about Grand View.
Undeterred, Crabtree vows to reopen his business, but for now, the nation has lost its most unique Starbucks alternative.
· Topless coffee shop destroyed in arson fire [Boston Globe]
· Maine Opens Topless Coffee Shop; Hopefully With Frost Bite Insurance [Jaunted]
· Maine travel coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo: Boston Globe/AP]
Starbucks Alternatives / Coffee Shops / Topless Travel / Grand View Topless Coffee Shop / → All Tags
America still clings to its Puritanical roots when it comes to individuals and their...um... birthday suits. While the French Riviera has their well-known topless beaches and Brazil loves the thong (on women and men), America can't really handle the sight of human flesh unless it's in the privacy of our own homes or in a place where money is exchanged like a strip joint. (Ah! Our the joys of our capitalist society!)
Now you can add "coffee shop" to the the list of places where Americans can witness topless action in action. Yes, where most of us are used to hearing the word "bottomless" when it comes to coffee promotions, a brand-new java joint is advertising "topless" and it's got nothing to do with coffee.