Things that make summer in Maine special for residents and tourists

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Anyone who lives in Maine, or who comes to visit, knows that summer is an extra special time in the Pine Tree state.

There are countless ways to enjoy this corner of the world. Some people can’t wait to kick back and soak up the sun. Others want to get going and see it all, do it all, from mountain top to rocky coast.

If there’s one passion both Mainers and vacationers have in common, it is food. The first thing new visitors want to know is, “Where’s the best place to eat?”

They’ll get lots of opinions.

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In the Twin Cities, residents like to point their visiting relatives to several favorites. It might be Taber’s with its Lake Auburn view, miniature golf and driving range, and great burgers, fries and ice cream. Not far away there are similar treats at Roy’s All Steak Hamburgers and Golf Center, where car collectors gather on Tuesday nights to showcase restored vehicles. It’s Bike Night at Roy’s on Thursdays for motorcycle fans.

Fuel Restaurant on Lisbon Street in Lewiston is an upscale dining venue in the historic Lyceum Hall. Fishbones and Davinci’s are two other fine restaurants in renewed sections of the old Bates Mill. Food from India, Somalia and Mexico can be found, and L-A’s Franco-American tastes are an important part of the area’s cuisine.

For many people, Maine food means lobster, and there are plenty of options to find that delicacy without even driving to the coast.

Backyard barbecues rank high on the summertime agenda for residents. When relatives from away visit, it’s almost a requirement for Maine hosts to fire up the grill and serve up everything from hot dogs to a full scale shore dinner.

Another place where hometown people and vacationers will likely meet is a yard sale. Every weekend, bargain hunters and collectors of all kinds search for who-knows-what.

Golf in Maine can be spectacular. At Poland Spring, you can play on the first golf course built at a resort in America. Here, before the magnificent Poland Spring House burned in 1976, this site catered to presidents and to the elite families of Boston and New York. It was here that Rose and Joseph Kennedy honeymooned. Babe Ruth, Betty Grable, Mae West, Joe Lewis, and Judy Garland were among celebrities who stayed at the wonderful hotel and played its golf course with its breathtaking views of the White Mountains.

Other golf courses in the area are Fox Ridge, Martindale, Springbrook, Spring Meadows, Fairlawn and others.

Looking for beaches and swimming? The options range from Auburn Municipal Beach to Tripp Lake in Poland, and Range Pond State Park. Want something bigger? The Atlantic Ocean is less than half an hour away.

Mountains? Try easy hiking at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal. Oxford County has several easy to moderate mountains for hiking.

Shows and festivals? The Great Falls Balloon Festival is L-A’s premiere summer event in August. There are lots more shows and festivals all around the state.

Some of the summer theaters with weekly productions are at Brunswick, Ogunquit, and Harrison. In August, you can see Community Little Theatre’s musical production of “Peter Pan” at Lewiston Middle School Auditorium. There’s great music in both large and small venues all summer.

Both Mainers and vacationers share the same opportunities to enjoy Maine, and the tourists and residents blend together every summer as they enjoy this wonderful place.

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