We Love a Number of Things About Maine, at least in summer, the peak season for Maine tourism, based on our recent experience during Covid-19.
1. Luxury Hotels Have Great Health and Safety Practices
Our focus is on luxury travel, so while we can't speak for motels or cheaper hotels, we're very pleased with how luxury properties such as Inn by the Sea have implemented new health and safety protocols. All customer-facing staff have worn masks, there are plastic sneeze guards at check-in, dining tables are appropriately distanced from each other, reservations are mandatory, menus are laminated for easy disinfection, and room service orders are called ahead and indicated with a knock, so there is no interaction with staff.
2. People Wear Masks When Required
Generally people in our neighborhood in NYC are pretty compliant about the mandatory mask wearing when social distancing isn't possible (except for some runners and joggers) but Mainers are as good or better, even with the low Covid-19 numbers in the state. For stores where there was a line and mask requirement, everyone waited patiently, perfectly socially distanced, with a mask on. Similarly, everyone wears a mask, as requested, when waiting to be seated even at an outdoor restaurant, until reaching the table.
On the Maine beaches we've been to, there's no need for a mask as there are so few people, and those who sit down carefully social distance from other groups.
3. Friendly People
Perhaps there's a certain camaraderie among people in certain states, especially less populated ones–I can certainly identify with that, coming from Hawaii, and Maine's population is even smaller than Hawaii's. In any case, we've appreciated the friendliness of the Mainers we've come into contact with. It's also a huge asset for the luxury hotels, as people make an enormous difference in one's experience at a property.
Just as friendly as Mainers are their dogs. This one joined our son and his friend for awhile when they were boogie boarding:
4. Beautiful Views and Nature, Great for Enjoying the Outdoors
We haven't even gotten to Acadia National Park yet, which we're very much looking forward to, yet even the Portland area where we've been visiting relatives has impressed us with its natural beauty, from scenic walks to pristine beaches. The water is too cold for me to do anything but wade in, as someone from Hawaii, but our son has spent at least an hour or two in the water every day boogie boarding and trying surfing.
5. Fresh Seafood and Other Delicous Eats
Maine is of course strongly associated with lobster, and we've definitely savored steamed lobster and excellent lobster rolls. But there are other great local eats, from the brined roast chicken with tamarind sauce and herb spaetzle that we enjoyed at Sea Glass Restaurant at the Inn by the Sea to local barbecue and artisanal doughnuts. Yum!
If you live in or regularly visit Maine, what do you love most?
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