Posts Tagged ‘Bethel’

Tee off at Sunday River

April 19, 2010

Sunday River knows how to merge the seasons: It ends its ski season today, and plans to open its golf club on Friday. Now through May 31, Golf-and-Stay Getaways begin at $99 per person (plus 18% tax and resort fee) at the Bethel (actually Newry), Maine, resort; package includes one round of golf, cart, lodging at one of the two Grand Resort Hotels, and breakfast. The 18-hole, Robert Trent Jones-designed championship course has has been named Maine’s top course for five consecutive years by Golfweek magazine.

Hint: Remember the black fly rule—Mother’s Day to Father’s Day—and plan accordingly

Plan ahead: Maine Free Family Fishing Festival

April 16, 2010

Fishing for a good family getaway? Angling for a deal? The Maine Free Family Fishing Festival, June 5, in Bethel is just the ticket. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited is hosting this free event at Angevine Park on the North Road, from 9 a.m .to 2 p.m, rain or shine. The weekend of June 5 and 6 is a free fishing weekend in Maine: Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day

Maine Free Family Fishing Festival itinerary includes:

free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction taught by local Maine guides and members of the Mollyockett Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents.

free use of rods and reels, courtesy of Maine’s Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program.

• opportunity to practice newly learned casting skills in a one-acre pond, stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and a take home your catch.

In addition, there are a slew of kid- and family-friendly activities:

each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers, and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance.

kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by local outfitters and fly shops. Children will be able to take home their hand-tied flies.

• families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses as well as L.L. Bean and Kittery Trading Post.

And, of course, food: The Bethel Fire Dept. will host a barbecue of hotdogs and hamburgers, chips, and drinks and families are welcome to bring a pack lunch.

Need lodging: For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments.

Note: The Family Fishing Festival is one many nationwide events that provide families with an opportunity to have fun on the water. The events are promoted by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Rockin’ in the mountains

February 3, 2010

This Saturday, Feb. 6, Rusted Root will perform at Sugarloaf, part of the Bud Light concert series at the ‘loaf, and the following one, Saturday , Feb. 13, Jonathan Edwards will play at Saddleback (Don’t those two choices pretty clearly illustrate the differences between the two resorts?).

At Sugarloaf, the Portland based band “Gypsy Tailwind” will open for Rusted Root. Tickets are $25 in advance (purchase online or call) or $27.50 at the door;cConcert ski-and-stay packages are  available beginning at $125 per person per night. Note: All Bud Light Concert Series shows are 21-plus and proper identification is required at the door. Doors open at 8:30pm.

At Saddleback, Mason Strunk, the grandson of Maine singer-songwriter Jud Strunk, will open for Edwards. Tickets are $30, available online or by phone, and the show begins at 8 p.m.

These concerts usually sell out, so take heed and book now.

A good deal in Bethel

January 29, 2010

Bethel is another wonderful winter destination for skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, or just hanging out, and The Bethel Inn Resort put yous smack dab in the middle of town.

Here’s the deal, book a two-night Stay & dine package and get a third night of lodging free. Rates begin at $99  midweek per person, per night/$129 pp, pn, during February vacation break, and include accommodations, a four-course dinner and full country breakfast each day and use of the health club facilities with indoor pool. Kids under 11 are free in the same room or townhouse condominium and can be added to the dining program for $20 per day per child.

Cross-country trails begin at the inn’s back door, Sunday River is on the shuttle route, and Bethel’s winter snow maze, ice skating rink, and snow sculpture slide are all open free, conditions permitting.

I like this inn. It’s not fancy schmancy at all. Just a nice country inn, a bit creaky and worn in places, but comfy and welcoming and so well situated for exploring Bethel’s downtown shops. Splurge on one of the rooms with a fireplace for a bit of extra atmosphere.

Winter wake-up in Bethel

January 20, 2010

Tucked in the folds of western Maine’s snowy White Mountains, Bethel is idyllic anytime—think ivy-covered prep school, historical homes, white steepled churches, and country inns—but in winter, it’s an especially cozy retreat. Normally rather sleepy, it wakes from hibernation for WinterFest, Jan. 23-31.

This year’s events and activities include:

guided snowshoe tours at the Bethel Nordic Ski Center at the Bethel Inn Resort,

• a snowmobile uphill climb at Mt. Abram,

Old-Timers Nordic Ski Race at Carter’s XC Ski Center,

• a rail jam-competition on Bethel’s Lower Main Street,

• An 80’ by 195’ outdoor ice skating rink, a 90 square foot snow maze, and a snow sculpture playground, all free.

hot-air balloon ascents and a moon glow,

snow sculptures and ice carvings,

snow groomer rides and horse-drawn sleigh rides,

• a full-moon Nordic relay, full-moon snowshoe hike, and biathlon clinic (skiing and shooting) at the Bethel Nordic Ski Center.

• all sorts of competitions, including a double-hike-and-ski marathon..

Complementing the event is The Bethel Historical Society’s exhibit, “Celebrating the Skiing Heritage of the Bethel Area,” which will be open with free admission.  The exhibit has photos, artifacts, and ski equipment from the early years of Mt. Abram Ski Area and Sunday River Ski Resort.

And of course, both Sunday River and Mount Abram have all kinds of happenings, too.

The Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce has info on local lodgings with special WinterFest packages and just about everything else.

(Hey, and trust me on this, don’t miss the Orange Trailer BBQ joint or the cookies at Cafe DiCocoa).

$50 lift/lesson/lodging package at the Rivah

November 23, 2009

Here’s a steal! Sunday River is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season with all kinds of deals (including $50 lift tix on many days). Most are midweek, but through Dec. 19, the Rivah is offering a lodging package (Snow Cap Inn), lift ticket, and 90-minute lesson for $50 per person/per day, based on maximum occupancy. On most days, you can’t even puchase a lift ticket alone for that, folks. The big birthday bash is Dec. 19, so plan now if you want to snag the deal then as lodging is limited.

Free family fishing festival

May 12, 2009

troutforpleasantrivermotel290It’s spring, and the fish are biting. The Upper Andro Anglers Alliance in co-operation with Trout Unlimited are hoping to hook families on fishing with a free Family Fishing Festival on Saturday, May 30.

The festival will be held at the Grand Summit Hotel Pond at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, from 9 am to 2 pm, rain or shine.

For those new to the sport, free casting workshops and fly-tying instruction will be available throughout the day. Instruction will include both spin casting and fly casting for older youth and parents.

No need to bring equipment, Maine’s Hooked on Fishing—Not on Drugs Program will supply complimentary rods and reels for festival use.

Get this: the Grand Summit Pond will be stocked with trout courtesy of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and participants can take home any catches.

There’s even swag: Each young angler will receive a mini-tackle box complete with bobber, sinkers and hook courtesy of the Upper Andro Anglers Alliance. Kids can learn how to tie flies with materials provided by Trout Unlimited and fibers from Sunday River Alpacas. Families participating in the event will be eligible for door prizes from local outfitters and businesses.

Of course, food, too: an outdoor barbecue will feed tired anglers.

Can’t make it to Bethel? The weekend of May 30-31 is a free fishing weekend throughout Maine. Resident and Non-resident freshwater fishing licenses are waived each day.

For those families wishing to stay overnight and fish or canoe the Androscoggin River on Sunday, special family packages are available for the weekend at local lodging establishments. Check with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

Burger queen

March 31, 2009

Saturday night, a Bagburger. The Bag, at the base of Sugarloaf, has been perfecting the burger for 40 years, and it is a beeyootiful thing. I had one of the designer versions, this one with blue cheese. Yes, perfection; ditto for the curly fries that come with it.

Last night, a burger at the Jolly Drayman English Pub, at the Briar Lea in Bethel. $5 burger night, and although I love the Briar Lea and know its portions are generous, I was figuring something more in the slider size. Hah! This is the same burger served other nights for $8.95. A gorgeous, perfectly cooked, half-pounder served with lettuce, tomato, onion and a bountiful side of crispy-yet-tender fries. Yup, all for $5. That’s every Monday night; gotta like that.

Check out Bethel’s Briar Lea

January 24, 2009

Here’s my new fave spot in Bethel, the Briar Lea. Jenni and Richard Frederick’s inn and pub is a week bit of England in Maine’s western mountains. Go ahead, bring your kids, bring your dog, it’s one big family here.

Downstairs is the Jolly Drayman, modeled on a proper English pub and as comfy and casual as one. Sit in the cozy bar, or in one of two dining rooms, or on the couch in front of the fire, order a pint of cask-conditioned ale, then choose from the internationally flavored menu (the spring rolls with Buffalo bleu cheese and Asian sauces are a house specialty; Jenni literally had to sell her house to get the recipe). The menu represents favorites culled from the Frederick’s world travels: from beef vindaloo to bangers and mash, an authentic Greek salad to fish and chips.

Speak of fish and chips, that’s the all-you-can-eat $13 special on Thursday nights. Another don’t miss special is $5 burgers and fries on Monday nights, when there’s also a darts tournament in house. Other don’t-miss action are trivia nights and when the Swamp Donkeys play. Really, that’s the kind of place this is, just put up your feet and stay a while comfy. Nothing too pricey on the menu, and the portions are generous.

Upstairs are six unpretentious guest rooms, each with TV/DVD, coffeemaker, and private bathroom ($99-$159). Rates include a full breakast, but if you’re coming midweek and want to save a chunk of change, forfeit breakfast. You can always pick up quick and cheap eats at the Crossroads Diner before heading up to Sunday River’s trails.

Moon guidebook updates

November 7, 2008

Sorry to report on a couple of closures.

In Presque Isle, Heidi’s Tea Room has shut its doors, a real loss. The combination restaurant/gourmet shop/antiquarian bookstore served excellent fare and had a mind-boggling assortment of teas. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Heidi, a trained chef, finds her way into another local kitchen.

In Bethel, the Prodigal Inn and Gallery has closed the B&B operation, but Tom White’s impressive bronze gallery remains.

In Kennebunkport, The Inn at Harbor Head (in Cape Porpoise) is no more.

And in York, Food and Co., the combo gourmet food store and cafe in York, is also out of biz.