Gardens Aglow

          The holiday season has officially arrived in Boothbay, ME! Along with the Coastal Maine Botanical gardens putting on their 2nd annual “Gardens Aglow” event, the whole town and harbor has businesses and residents putting up lights on their property to greet the traffic coming in to see the gardens a warm welcome into the region.


Driving into the entrance, you’ll start out on a small dirt road leading into the gardens, eventually, you’ll start to see signs for parking and registration/ticket purchasing for the event. Park your car and walk over to the main house where you’ll be welcomed by staff and given a 
pin

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1 of 5 fairy houses

k sticker after checking in as a pass, a map is given of the pathway through the gardens which also marks out food vendors along the way which include s’mores, hot cocoa and freshly made kettle corn. You’ll also see fairy houses along the paths which can be marked down on your map handout and returned at the main house for a prize.

The event takes place from 4-9 pm Thursday-Sundays up until December 31st. Getting
there right at 4 not only
beats the traffic rush that comes up, but gives you a nice sunset view on a clear evening. Check in at the desk and make your way down.

The garden was decorated all with lights on all the small flowers and trees, there were some small houses decorated along the outskirts of the garden area with lights in the inside lighting up small dining rooms and other scenes you can check out at different spots. The center of the garden had a small pond with islands you could walk out to. There was a small wooden bridge I walked out on and it was like a tunnel of lights along with the sky above giving off a dusk look which made the view a fun experience to see.

After walking around the rest of the gardens covered with lights, We walked over to the far end which had tall pine trees covered in lines

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Overlooking the gardens with clouds in the sky

of lights going up the trunks and all over the branches. If you had seen James Cameron’s Avatar in the theaters, you would’ve thought you just landed on Pandora and was looking at the Tree Of Life. After walking through the pine trees, we made our way back to the main house/entrance.

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Pine trees just like on Pandora

Walking back to the entrance, you cross a few bridges looking across the whole area which makes a great photo opportunity for family pictures or just a picture of all of the lights. Getting back to the entrance, you feel like you’re on a different planet when you enter and when you leave, you may end up saying that you’ve never seen anything like it, it brings in new tourists to the region and makes the town alive as if it were the summer season! Being a local here in Boothbay, I can say that the gardens have really impressed me along with all of the properties on the way to the gardens and around the harbor have really made the town become a destination for the holidays, If you’re looking for a light show to bring the kids or family this holiday season, I highly recommend the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for Gardens Aglow!  

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A Walk around Boothbay Harbor

During the summer  season, My friends and I enjoy walking around the harbor during the daytime. The harbor as I stated in my introduction has many restaurants for tourists to go and enjoy fresh seafood such as fried clams and shrimp, oysters and the famous Maine lobster or a nice lobster roll.

There’s a trolley that is owned by Rocktide Inn which overlooks the harbor and most of the piers that hold the boat tours around the coastal area. this trolley brings its guests (and public) around the harbor, and journeys down to the local small-mall area where most people park-and-ride since space is limited in the downtown area.

Walking from the small-mall to the inner harbor is about 10 minutes. When you enter the downtown area, there are several art galleries, t-shirt shops and places to eat including the “Bar-muda Triangle” which is made up of three buildings each of them including bars. Mcseagulls is a great place to start off with dinner and a couple drinks, then head towards the water and you’ll run into Mine Oyster and Herringbones bars. These are good late night bars that offer live music, a pool table area in Herringbones, and outdoor sitting areas that allow smoking. On some nights, there will be a DJ in herringbones (which I do prefer over live music).

Walking further into the harbor, you’ll see some more sweat shops along with a small coffee shop called The Red Cup which is just across the street from some more piers where tour boats depart from. Walking across the street, you will walk through the “Whale Park”. This is a small walking area that has bricks with different names on them. These are all locals that purchase a brick and can get their name printed on. A lot of events are held on a small stage including concerts, raffles and other events which are during the summer seasons.

Walking back towards the bars I mentioned earlier, if you pass through that area, you’ll arrive at a long log cabin-style building which used to be an old bowling alley. If you take a right after the building and walk down the hill, you’ll see a small waffle/ice cream stand known as “Wannawaf”. This place is good for a late night snack area or a good place for after dinner treats. Just after passing this stand, you’ll start to cross over the harbor on a wooden footbridge. This was used back in the early 1900s as a quick way for firefighters to get across the harbor to fight a fire.

 

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Whale Watching in Maine

A nice sunny September day with a chilled sea breeze and a crowd of tourists onboard one of the many harbor boats ready to depart out to sea for a three hour cruise in search of whales just off the coast of the state of Maine.

Bringing my friend along with his sister as it was his last time seeing him before he took off to Florida, we boarded the boat and almost instantly, I feel my sea legs return right from leaving the pier. The last time I was aboard a boat was about 2½ years ago so it felt good being on a boat again for the first time since. The vessel had two stories with the top deck being open for sightseeing and picture taking and the lower deck had a smoking area at the stern of the boat where people can bring their drinks and enjoy a cigarette or a nice cigar and puff on an E-cig. The inside of the boat had an open bar offering beer, and a few spirits for mixed drinks.

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Bringing my friend Ben (Right) with his sister Gabby (Left)

The “volunteer biologist” for our cruise greeted us and told us that we would be sailing out to sea and to use caution while walking as the wakes were rocking the boat or as a local would say, “The wind’s a bit wicked out”. We passed some of the local islands that included Harbor island, Squirrel Island (named after the island being shaped similar to a squirrel) and the Cuckholds Lighthouse. The Cuckolds sits on top of a bunch of rocks and is one of the first lighthouses you’d see when entering the harbor and the last one if you’re heading out to sea. After passing the last lighthouse, we continued further out to sea and arrived at the grounds where the whales are known to be spotted. We hit the bar and grabbed a couple beers to start our day. We sat at the stern of the boat and enjoyed our beverages then walked around to get a few pictures of our cruise. The captain revved the propellers from time to time to get some sightings as whales are attracted to sound. We didn’t see any sightings unfortunately but throughout the duration of the time out on the water, my friends and I saw several sailboats, lobster boats and even a seabird sighting. We ended up staying around the grounds for a bit longer trying to get a sighting but eventually, we headed back to shore and although I couldn’t see any whales, I did capture some great photos of houses that hugged the coast along with Spruce Point Inn, a nice property overlooking the end of the harbor that points out to the ocean called Spruce Point Inn.

 

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Cuckolds Lighthouse

My sea legs started to wear off the closer we got into the harbor, more pictures of the inner harbor/downtown area followed as we pulled back into the pier. As the crew were tying the boat up and making everything secure, an announcement was made since there were no whale sightings, everyone was issued a standby ticket for a free future cruise on any trip offered by the company which include, a sample cruise that has sight seeing, a bit of whale watching and even a lobster trap demonstration. Others include, a trip down to Bath which is the longest trip lasting about 4 hours and a trip dedicated to seeing several lighthouses around the nearby area lasting for about 1½ to 2 hours.

 

 

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Welcome To Boothbay

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Greetings, my name is Thomas Cornell and I will be writing about what there is to do in the Boothbay Region.

Living here since I was 4 years old, I’ve done a lot of the many activities in town including boat tours, riding the local trolley around the harbor, eating at many of the restaurants locally and even just walking around downtown with friends in the summer and late fall seasons. Currently attending SMCC for hospitality management in Mr. Mattingly’s marketing class

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