Rain, rain, go away — to someplace far, forever to stay.

Yeah, yeah, I know — rain is good for gardens, without it we’d all die of thirst, it’s essential to the ecosystem, yadda yadda yadda. I feel confident that I am speaking for a majority of Mainers right now when I say I’ve had enough of rain for the rest of the year.

Thankfully, the sun is shining as I’m writing this, which gives me hope that we will have one of those summers that has made Maine a tourist destination for more than a century: clear skies, pleasant breezes wafting off the coast, and the sight of people eating, playing and relaxing outdoors.

It’s with that in mind that I present to you a special issue of GO, chock-full of places to go and things to do while enjoying the great Maine outdoors this summer. If you’re a snowbird returning from a Southern winter or a tourist beckoned by the famous allure of the Pine Tree State, it’s our way of welcoming you. If you’re a year-round resident, it’s a reminder of why you put up with five months of winter.

Here’s what you’ll find:

A sampling of entertainment venues and restaurants that offer live music in an outdoor setting. Whether you’re in the mood to rock out under the setting sun or relax with a cocktail while listening to some tunes, you’ll find it here.

For a blast of summers past or to introduce the kids to what life was like before high-def home theater systems, go to one of Maine’s historic drive-in theaters.

It wouldn’t be summer without summer theater, and Maine’s got it all, from Broadway-winning musicals to Shakespeare and cutting-edge dramas.

In addition to its natural beauty, Maine is famous for its dining scene, which ranges from high-end restaurants run by award-winning chefs to roadside stands selling lobster rolls. With outdoor dining, you get the best of both.

Beaches. From rocky coastlines to sandy shores, we’ve got you covered. We’ll even tell you if there’s on-site parking, playgrounds and restrooms nearby.

If all that isn’t enough for you — and good luck if you can squeeze it all in between now and Labor Day — we have the skinny on activities for the more, er, adventurous types. (Hint: If you like racing your lawn mower and rolling a giant cheese wheel down a hill, this story’s for you.)

However you choose to spend your summer, let’s all welcome it with a big, sloppy kiss. Because before you know it, it will be over.

And we’ll all be pining for next summer.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]