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Shopping for Maine Experiences

Region: Statewide
Activities: Online Shopping for Maine Experiences
Family Friendly

Need a gift for someone’s special day? Looking to treat yourself and family to something memorable? Ready for something different? Why not give a Maine experience instead?

Whether your loved ones are outdoorsy or artsy or foodies (or all of the above), there’s a Maine experience they’d love as a gift. Here are some to consider.

Outdoor Adventure Gifts

Classes from the L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs

Give somebody a workshop or class in an outdoor skill such as fly fishing, kayaking, archery and many other sports. Instruction times vary.

A Visit to A Maine Sporting Camp or Wilderness Lodge

Any outdoorsperson would love to spend a few days—okay, make it a week—at one of Maine’s beloved sporting camps and wilderness lodges. Many of these camps and lodges are historic and have welcomed guests for generations. Some open only during the warm-weather season for fishing, canoeing, hiking and hunting; others are open year-round and add things like cross-country skiing to the mix.

Ski Tickets at Maine’s Alpine or Nordic Ski Resorts

Skiers and snowboarders—or wannabe skiers and snowboarders—would love some tickets to one of Maine’s Alpine or Nordic ski resorts this winter. Check with Ski Maine for contact information and updates on COVID-19 precautions and policies. Most resorts offer lessons as well if you’re looking for another fine gift.

Wall Time at a Maine Indoor Climbing Gym

Buy some climb time for yourself or your favorite rock rat and make them smile. Indoor climbing helps alpinists prepare for outdoor work and is also a sport in itself. Check out Evo Rock and Fitness in Portland and Salt Pump Climbing Company in Scarborough. Climbing classes are also a great present.

Time on Two Wheels

When warm weather returns so will Maine bicycling. Give a cyclist friend a tour from Maine-based Summer Feet Cycling. Tours range from half-day jaunts that visit lighthouses to multi-day adventures. For mountain bikers, offer a gift of a day, or longer, at Backcountry Excursions, a mountain-biking center in the western Maine town of Parsonsfield. Riders can enjoy miles of trails, go on guided group rides, and even camp out.

Fun with Food and Drink

Surprise a friend with a Maine Day Ventures food tour and they will nibble their way through Portland or another southern or coastal-Maine community. The company is known for walking tours that take folks to neighborhood restaurants, seafood haunts, watering holes, etc. They’ve also added history tours.

This past year, many people have done lots of cooking and baking at home. Surprise them with lessons in the culinary arts. In Bar Harbor, The Ambrosia Cooking School is led by Sharon Joyce, a chef, author and teacher trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. And check out the Maine Grain Alliance for its online workshops.

Be Creative

The Maine Media Workshops + College has built an international reputation on its excellent teaching of photography, filmmaking, video and other arts. During 2020, the school went online, running more than 200 virtual workshops. It has scheduled dozens more virtual classes for 2021.

Founded in 1991, The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport offers workshops and classes for people wanting to design and build their own furniture. How about a class in basic woodworking, joinery, working with hand tools or chair making? Can’t decide? The school offers gift certificates as well.

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