Over the course of a typical summer, Maine welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world.
This year, the state is hoping to strike a delicate balance between public health and safely letting tourists stay as Mainers attempt to keep COVID-19 cases as low as possible.
For a lot of visitors that has meant a reading up on a mandate ordered Governor Janet Mills requiring all non-essential travelers to Maine to quarantine for fourteen days or present proof of a negative COVID-19 test before visiting the state.
There are some exemptions that will include, as of July 3, residents of New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
Visitors can also get a COVID-19 test in Maine at a free location at 701 Forest Ave. in Portland or another testing site but must quarantine until they receive notice their test has been returned with a negative result.
More information about COVID-19 in Maine and travel to the state during the pandemic can be found here.
With all that now in mind, here are some safe, fun family-focused activities and places to visit in Maine this summer.
Located adjacent to Portland’s East End Beach, Portland Paddle, a kayak and stand-up paddleboard rental, lesson and tour company provides a unique and safe way to social distance and have fun on Casco Bay. During summer, the company offers everything from sea kayak safety lessons, to paddleboard rentals, to sunset and overnight guided sea kayak tours. Extra precautions for COVID-19 included an enhanced sanitizing of all kayaks and gear between tours and mandatory social distancing and mask-wearing when on land. Waivers and other forms that you need to fill out before embarking are now available online as well. For more information, click here.
The Highroller Lobster Co.
One part of Maine summer that is definitely not canceled is eating a lobster roll and at Portland’s Highroller Lobster Co. on Exchange St., or perhaps you’ll want to try a lobster taco in a cheese shell instead. The restaurant is back open with dining at picnic tables on Exchange st., which has been closed for outdoor dining. Highroller is also offering seating at a back patio as well as to-go service. In addition to the taco and lobster roll, the menu includes crab rolls, lobster rangoons and cocktails, the latter of which, including Froze’s and house margs can also be taken to-go. More information can be found here.
The Chadwick Bed and Breakfast
If you have daydreams of a long weekend away but aren’t sure you want to stay in a big resort or hotel just yet, then the Chadwick Bed and Breakfast in Portland’s West End could be the place to book. The inn is booking guests again for guests who are exempt from or who meet Maine’s visitor quarantine requirements. New for 2020 and in response to the pandemic, The Chadwick now has a special online check-in system, hand sanitizer at the door, a new mask and room sanitization policy and it will be limited seating capacity at breakfast to keep guests physically distanced and as healthy as possible. The inn’s convenient geographic location has not changed. It’s practically next door to Portland’s Western Promenade and all the restaurants and sights in Portland’s Old Port are about a 15 minute walk away. More details here.