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Get Outside for the Last Gasps of Summer in Maine

August 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM | by | ()

Maine may have a reputation for being cold most of the year, but The Pine Tree State is freakin' beautiful in its short summer. If you're more the stay-in-town type than the rent-a-remote-cabin type, there are several ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoors without venturing too far from civilization. Centering on Portland, we recommend these:

1. The Portland Head Light There are pretty lighthouses, and then there's the Portland Head Lighthouse. This picturesque light in nearby Cape Elizabeth is set among small buildings, including the lighthouse museum, and is basically incapable of being badly photographed. Once you're done with your tour, hang out in Fort Williams Park along the beach, which is doggie-friendly.

2. The garden at the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House

As one of the most famous Mainers ever, Longfellow's home in central Portland is a popular attraction and a must-see for first time visitors, especially if they love "The Highwayman." But don't bail as soon as the tour is over. There's a pretty, cozy garden just behind the house that's a great place to stop, drink some water, read the paper, and inhale some fresh Maine air.

3. Western Promenade and Western Cemetery

The peninsula of Portland is only about three miles across from end to end, making it easy to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. The gorgeous Western Promenade (or, as locals call it, the Western Prom) is usually less crowded than its eastern counterpart, and you'll get gorgeous views of the water. If you want to go for a run, this is the spot. Then rest by having a picnic in the grassy, overgrown Western Cemetery, where Longfellow's parents are buried along with many victims of the War of 1812. It's a short walk from the lovely Inn at St. John, which has an equally peaceful vibe.

[Photo: Lilit M.]

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