Kennebec River Valley & Norlands Living History Center
Your port of entry to Maine is Portland, the state's largest city. A city tour will provide an overview the area and its rich maritime history. Visit the Portland Head Light, Maine's oldest lighthouse that was commissioned by George Washington, America's first president. Visit the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of America's most famous poets. A short drive to Freeport and you're at the home of L.L. Bean. Take some free time to tour Bean's flagship store and more than 100 brand name outlets throughout the community. Your next stop is Bath, ME and the Maine Maritime Museum where a guided tour describes Maine's important contribution to the world's shipbuilding industry. Maine has many quintessential harbor villages and Boothbay Harbor is no exception. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel and get ready to take in an evening of food and entertainment at the Carousel Music Theatre. Dinner and overnight in the Boothbay Harbor area.
From your waterfront accommodations, wake up to the sounds of the fishing boats chugging out to sea as fishermen head out for another day of work on the water. After a relaxing breakfast, board one of the many boats offering scenic cruises for a two-hour tour of the rugged Maine coast. Back on land, you will have time to peruse the unique shops and restaurants in the lovely town of Boothbay Harbor. After lunch, board the coach and head to the Pownalborough Courthouse, where John Adams, the country's second president, tried cases prior to his political career. Your next stop is the Augusta riverfront and a visit to the America's oldest surviving wooden Fort. Old Fort Western served as a fortified storehouse that supplied nearby Fort Halifax with supplies, and as a staging area for Benedict Arnold's failed attempt to invade Quebec City during the American Revolution. Travel to Waterville for dinner and overnight.
Your third day begins with a visit to the Margaret Chase Smith Library where you will learn about the first woman to be elected to both houses of Congress. She also made history as the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for presidency by either of the two major parties. Guests can view video about her life and tour her residence. While in the town of Skowhegan, stop by the New Balance Sneaker factory outlet where great deals on sneakers can be found. In town, have some lunch and keep your eyes peeled for the 60-foot-tall wooden Indian that watches over the community. As you head north from Skowhegan, you soon come upon the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway. This is also part of the Kennebec-Chaudiere International Corridor. Your next stop is deep in the Maine woods in the town of The Forks. This is the gateway to whitewater rafting in Maine. Several rafting companies offer adventures from The Forks, go to raftmaine.com for details. Dinner and overnight in The Forks.
Rise and shine to a hearty breakfast before embarking upon a rafting adventure. You've been viewing the river from afar during the entire trip, now it's time to paddle down part of it. Your rafting adventure includes gear and lunch cooked over a wood fire along the riverside. At the end of the day, watch a slide show or video of your adventure. Dinner and overnight in The Forks.
Wake up to the scent of evergreen forests and fresh mountain air and board the coach for a relaxing drive to the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center. The Washburn Family was one of the great political dynasties of the 19th Century and they lived on a beautiful farm in central Maine. The interactive Laugh and Learn program at Norlands includes lunch and will teach your group a lesson in history and fun. Poland Spring, Maine is the next stop. The bottlers of Poland Spring water host the group next at Poland Spring Preservation Park. Learn about the water company and the history surrounding the region by touring the Museum and Spring House, Maine State Building and All Soul's Chapel. A small caf~ inside the museum provides some tasty treats for a rest stop. Your day ends with dinner and overnight in Portland. Travel home.