Every year I spend a week savoring sweet color during my favorite season in Maine, the autumn harvest.
I hope you enjoy these highlights from 2021.
Maine’s rocky north Atlantic coast may be short on wineries but it’s rich in breweries. With the most breweries per capita of any state, as of early 2020, Maine is home to 155 active, licensed breweries, representing over 100 unique brands with a deeply independent strain (like its people) ranging from classically elegant to off the hook inventive. It’s become a beer drinkers paradise currently applying for its own internationally recognized style.
Many Maine breweries have tasting or taprooms. A disproportionate number are in Portland. Stop by and try what you can’t find even in the best stores with their limited batches and seasonal varietals.
No store could possibly carry them all so finding specific ones requires considerable hunting and gathering, which just adds to the fun. One of the best selections in the state can be found in Freeport’s Bow Street Market.
Whether you’re a Maniac or ‘from away’, with riches that could be an embarrassment (but we’re not) it’s hard to know where to start. Here are my top picks. (My taste tests are ongoing, so check back for new additions.)
They excel at Belgians.
Their White is a staple cloudy wheat.
Their Curieux is a stellar bourbon barrel tripel.
They do it all without overdoing it … or is it overdoing it just the right amount?
Savor their lush Thirsty Botanist.
They’re playful, richly rewarding, and sometimes even sweet.
Enter their radiant list with an Epiphany.
Their flavors are so in step with the independence of the pine tree state.
Taste the place in their evergreen Brightside.
Their creativity runs deep.
Ease into a wild ride with Substance an IPA with an understated name.
They excel at IPAs.
Start with their beer Lunch.
Though their list is deep, with plenty of range, they excel at lighter classic IPAs.
Try their Maine Island Trail Ale.
I find it mysterious and wonderful! The same oyster species grown in different places taste different. When you eat oysters you taste the seaweeds and kelps that surround them, the minerals in the rock and mud they grow on, and the salt in the waters they breathe. You even taste the temperature they live in. How is that possible? You’ve got to taste it to believe it.
Today (2021), about 150 oyster farms in Maine, extending from York to Washington counties, raise over 11 million oysters per year for the white table cloth market (an industry worth over $8 million). The Damariscotta River estuary in Maine is the largest site for oyster growth. Most Maine oysters have strong, hard shells, plump full meats, and a beautiful briny sweet flavor of a cold fresh clean ocean.
Maine offers a savory adventure with an impressive variety of oysters to choose from.
Pemaquid Points burst zaftig and briny.
Winter Points remain firm with brothy umami.
Taunton Bays offer a complex minerality.
Belon Rivers glide coppery smooth.
Dodge Coves supply sweet and sour tanginess.
Bagaduce Rivers balance bouquets in small creamy packages.
Glidden Points achieve an unusually crisp density.
North Haven Islands have a hint of honey.
Gay Islands share a touch of sugar.
Find the best selection in Portland at Eventide.
Find the best selection in Boothbay at Mine Oyster.
Find the best selection in Rockland at North Beacon.
Find the best selection in Rockport at 18 Central.
Follow the Maine Oyster Trail here.
Want them shipped to you? Try Maine Oysters Company.
There are lots of things to see and do in Maine.
Here are some resources to help make your visit even more special.
Places To Visit
Portland, Portland Museum of Art, 207-775-6148
Brunswick, Bowdoin Museum, 207-725-3275
Waterville, Colby Museum, 207-859-5600
Rockland, Center For Maine Contemporary Art, 207-701-5005
Rockland, Dowling Walsh Gallery, 207-596-0084
Rockland, Farnsworth Museum, 207-596-6457
Rockland, The Strand Theatre, 207-594-0070
Owls Head, Owls Head Transportation Museum, 207-594-4418
Camden, Bay Chamber Concerts, 888-707-2770
Places To Eat
Bar Harbor, Havana, 207-288-2822
Belfast, Meanwhile In Belfast, 207-218-1288
Camden, The Waterfront, 207-236-3747
Camden, Natalie’s, 207-236-7008
Camden, Long Grain, 207-236-9001
Rockport, 18 Central, 207-466-9055
Rockland, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar, 207-596-7447
Rockland, In Good Company, 207-593-9110
Rockland, Café Miranda, 207-594-2034
Rockland, Primo, 207-596-0770
Thomaston, Thomaston Cafe, 207-354-8589
Portland, Empire Chinese Kitchen, 207-747-5063
Portland, Eventide, 207-774-8538
Places To Stay
Rockland,Hampton Inn, 207-594-6644
Rockland, 250 Main Hotel, 207-594-5994
Rockport, Samoset Resort, 800-341-1650
Rockland, Berry Manor Inn, 207-596-7696
Clark Island, Craignair Inn, 207-594-7644
Monhegan Island, The Island Inn, 207-596-0371
There are many wonderful cottages in Cushing available on Airbnb and VRBO.
Rockland/Thomaston Area Chamber of Commerce, 207-596-0376
Camden/ Rockport Chamber of Commerce, 207-236-4404
Maine Office of Tourism, 888-624-6345
Maine Tourism, 207-623-0363
After a year of staying close to home, travel around the world through the photography of twenty-three Maine artists. Curated by Bruce Brown, this exhibition features stunning photographs from every continent but our own. From natural vistas to manmade wonders to intimate glimpses into diverse cultures, the scope of this show is truly Worldwide.
Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Linda Alschuler, Roberta Baumann, Brendan Bullock, John Paul Caponigro, David Clough, Christian T. Farnsworth, Barbara Goodbody, Ella Hudson, Knapp Hudson, Carl Austin Hyatt, Nanci Kahn, Michael Kolster, Dennis Landis, Olga Merrill, K. Min, Munira Naqui, Robert Pennington, Damir Porobic, Ni Rong, Jan Pieter Van Voorst Van Beest, David Wade, and Katarina Weslien
See the exhibit in person at Cove Street Arts in Portland, Maine.
From the solitary summit of Katahdin, to the deeps of more than 22,000 lakes and ponds, to the 3,500 miles of tidal coastline, the wild beauty of Maine is irresistibly beautiful. Inland you’ll find sweeping mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, and farms. Along the rocky coast, you’ll find countless islands, beaches, lighthouses, and fishing villages.
This ebook collects images of Maine made in the locations that I have returned to photograph most often for more than 25 years.
Each image is accompanied by a short description of the location.
Interactive links access Google Maps and additional resources.
This valuable resource will help you make the most of your explorations of Maine.
Wherever I go I explore the world visually with a camera. Sometimes this is during a walk. Sometimes this is during a workshop. Other times it’s while I’m making a body of work. You might think it distracting to think about one thing while you’re doing another but I find that working on two different ideas at the same time often leads to a fertile cross-pollination. I find new ideas this way.
Of course, you’ve got to stay flexible. Recently, while I was leading a photography workshop in Maine’s Acadia National Park I went looking for the cairns so many visitors leave behind. I don’t like them in public lands, because when I go there I want to be able to experience the land uninterpreted. Still, I appreciate the playful contact people have with the land when they make cairns. So to work on my ambivalence I started making art out of the cairns. But this time, they weren’t there. I was pleasantly surprised and a little disappointed, which also surprised me. So I started to make my own cairns to photograph, intending to scatter them before I left, and never got to it because the first two stones I picked up were all I needed that day. The relationships between them and their environment were much richer than I expected. It felt like arranging still lifes, which I did for hours – and I’m sure I’ll do it again.
These studies relate to my series Alignment.
View my Maine Cairns studies here.
View my studies of Maine Artists here.
View more studies of Maine here.
Find out about my Maine fall photography workshop here.
For years I’ve been photographing postcards of artworks made by master artists in Maine. Each artist has their own strong connection to the same place and their own way of seeing it. Do they find what’s iconic about Maine or do they make it iconic? Photographing images of their works in locations that feel relevant to their works provides a unique way of looking into Maine, what they make of it, and what I make of it.
View more studies here.
Find out about my Maine Fall Foliage photography workshop.
There’s lots of great art in Maine!
Here are six great museums presented geographically from north to south.
A collecting and teaching museum focussing on American art. It houses and displays the largest collection of John Marin and Alex Katz’ paintings as well as Richard Serra’s works on paper.
There’s always something new and old on view at the Farnsworth. The museum has one of the nation’s largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth, which is extended by the Olson House (Christina’s World) in nearby Cushing.
A contemporary arts institution, presenting a year-round program of changing exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and established artists with ties to Maine.
Assyrian reliefs in Maine? And much more! The Bowdoin art collection includes Antiquities, European,and American collections including memorabilia from Winslow Homer’s nearby studio.
Significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine, the museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming, from special events, family activities, and community conversations to PMA Films, curator talks, and tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.
Celebrating its origins in Ogunquit’s art colonies it acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets American art.
Looking for more fun things to do?
One of the largest lighthouse museums in the United States.
Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education. Special events offer car rallies and air shows.
It sits on a 20-acre campus on the banks of the Kennebec River in “The City of Ships”. Daily cruises visit some of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses from the water and get an up-close look at Navy vessels under construction at Bath Iron Works.