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Alfond Children’s Garden

Maine’s welcome mat

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posted November 24, 2018

Some say that Maine, the northernmost portion of New England, is as much a state of mind as an actual state. Cabot Cove of “Murder, She Wrote” might actually have been Mendocino, California, and Stephen King’s Maine townships are a composite of several villages.

But that doesn’t alter the fact that the real thing offers plenty for groups.

“From the mountains to the sea, Maine rolls out the welcome mat for groups,” says Hannah Collins of the Maine Office of Tourism.

With 3,500 miles of coastline, Maine is steeped in a maritime history that lives on today in working waterfronts, fishing villages and historical downtowns, boatyards hearkening back to the era of tall ships, and award-winning locally sourced seafood.

This most nautical of states has other group-friendly attractions as well, including the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Tour operators can customize their group’s experience with an expert-led tour or one of several new dining options.

The Maine Mineral & Gem Museum (scheduled to open this fall) in Bethel is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. In addition to housing the finest collection of Maine’s marvels from underground, it will also contain one of the world’s foremost collections of extraterrestrial rocks—meteorites from Mars, the moon and an asteroid belt. We’re betting that Stephen King can make something from this.

Groups looking for specialty tours ranging from moose safaris to gem sluicing can find them at the Sunday River Resort. You might find those activities calm compared to other annual events such as the New England Cornhole Championship and the North American Wife Carrying Championship, both held in conjunction with Sunday River Resort’s Fall Festival.

Email Collins to learn more about Maine tour stops, or go to

Top photo: Alfond Children’s Garden in the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Photo by Maine Office of Tourism