Thursday, July 28, 2016

Beat the heat with a trip to the Rangeley Lakes Area in Maine--or go any season.

Welcome to the Rangeley Lakes area (see map):  Photo of Haley's Pond
 (adjacent to Rangeley Lake)

Rocky gorges and waterfalls to swim in
 If you've never been to Maine, I hope to show you some of it here.  There's so much to see and do:  lakes, streams, gorges, mountains, wildness, sweet air, pure water, yummy local food and drink, ski in winter, hike in summer, swimming in pure lakes and streams, kayaking, canoeing, boating, camping in nearby state parks.  Or do what I did:  get cozy and take it easy at the historic Rangeley Inn. 

The Inn is conveniently located in downtown.  We walked to shops and restaurants from the Inn (an ice-cream store is right next door).   The Inn has canoes and kayaks for guests to use and access to Haley's Pond in their backyard.    
2443 Main St., Rangeley - 207-864-3341

historic guest room at the Rangeley Inn
My very cozy bedroom--so clean, lace curtains, air conditioning.

The Historic Rangeley Inn

We enjoyed a complimentary breakfast  in the dining room each morning.  No ordinary breakfast: Homemade strawberry or peach scones,  freshly-made that morning blueberry muffins,  fresh fruit,  and a hot dish.  For example,  the fritatta with provolone cheese was light and fluffy and full of flavor.

The living area fireplace
The Front Porch of the Rangeley Inn

View of the Veranda

A variety of  eating areas to choose from:

  • The veranda, a casual and comfortable spot with lots of light from large windows.
  • The Bar and Grill with cozy seating, stone fireplace and bar.
  • The gorgeous dining room.

The historic living area

The Bar and Grll
Ornate staircase to 2nd floor

In their backyard--one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots I have ever seen.

The sleigh on display in living room.

Original tin ceiling in dining room--over 100 years old.

Rangeley is home to  many great restaurants so it is hard to decide which one to choose.  I have to put a word in for the Rangeley Inn's restaurant, The Rangeley Tavern.  The menu changes seasonally.  The food is fabulous.  The chef is very creative.  His presentations are exciting.  I looked forward to dining there.  Open for dinner only 5-9PM.  The miso soup was one of my favorite selections.  The chef's maginatively-placed ingredients of local shitake and oyster mushrooms, tofu, seaweed, and bamboo shoots were in a sparkling white bowl.   Really outstanding!
Amazing Miso Soup by Executive Chef Jim Fargo

I also had lunch at another restaurant on Main Street, the Parkside & Main.  I had a great salad with greens that tasted like they were picked that morning--sweet and crisp.   I had a sprinkling of  Vermont goat cheese  over the top.   I also had their homemade onion soup which is made fresh each morning.  This is an excellent salad, soup and sandwich in a casual atmosphere with a deck and view.

Historical Society

Also, be sure to walk through the quaint town from the Inn and stop at The Historical Society.  A very friendly person  there will be happy to answer questions about the history and area.  The historic building houses many 19th century artifacts.   This tiny building still has the old post office, bank and jail on display.   Kids will love walking inside the old bank vault.  You can also see antique ladies dresses,  early photographs,  and interesting items.

Senior Communities

While there are no senior communities in the area of note, there happens to be a small apartment building for seniors, the Rangeley Townhomes,  in town.  Volunteers serve meals at the senior center.    The Health Center , a mile from town,  has stunning lake views.   Some of the activities for seniors and all ages are yoga, strength training, massage and more.

 The Rangeley Lake Area Resorts and Homes 

The major towns we visited on Rangeley lake were Rangeley and Oquossoc.  There are many condos and townhomes in these areas for short-term vacation leasing or for purchase long-term.  Also, Saddleback Resort is nearby with condos to lease for long or short-term.   They have a good list of places to stay in Rangeley on their website, but for the most convenience to restaurants, shopping and activities in town, the Rangeley Inn was our first choice.  (Note:  Please check status of the famous ski resort at Saddleback for upcoming seasons.)

While the large hotels and small cottages of yesterday have faded away, except for the Rangeley Inn, today's trend in real estate in the area is to purchase a lot and build your own permanent or vacation home.     

This area is still so quiet and peaceful that I would say your stay here could be very healing  At least for me it was.   Tranquil, sweet air, pure water, good food and gorgeous scenery.   It can be very restful (or very active if that is what you like.)  

Blue sky and water blending into one--clear water and lily pads on Haley's Pond behind the Rangeley Inn--a natural meditation and healing place -- hear the loons at night.  Ah!  A piece of heaven on earth in Rangeley!

Wilson Lake in Wilton:   (You can go through Wilton on your way to Rangeley)

Another beautiful lake is in Wilton and is called Wilson Lake.  It is part of the Rangeley chain of 7 lakes.  
You can swim, canoe, kayak, fish and boating
 in these lakes.

We were lucky to be there when this sunset happened one evening.  It started out a pale hue and became rich with color.

Also, in Wilton is an Italian Restaurant.  We dined on fresh haddock, shrimp, other northern Atlantic seafood, grass fed beef burgers, and locally grown vegetables.   Don't miss this restaurant in Wilton.  There is also a huge pick your own blueberries farm in Wilton.  We paid $2 for a quart of blueberries.   There was a Blueberry Festival coming in August in Wilton.

Don't miss this Italian restaurant if you are in Wilton -- Calzolaio Pasta Company is in the old Bass Shoe Factory.  History and photos on display.  Great ambience and food.  Italian food, seafood, fresh local vegetables, and more are on the menu.

Another lake in the Rangeley chain of lakes:   Lake Mooselookmeguntic

People gather  at this scenic spot to see this  lake from the roadside.

See Maine Retirement Communities on my website.