Summer doesn’t last long in Maine, so if you want to make the most of it, you better have a plan.

So many lobster rolls to eat, so many beaches to lay on, so many ice cream cones to lick.

And so little time.

That’s where the 26th Annual Readers’ Choice poll comes in. We ask Mainers to vote for their favorites in a slew of important summertime categories — everything from food carts, pizza and fried clams to drive-in movie theaters and tattoo parlors. Then we print the top three vote-getters in each category, which can serve as a nifty guide to food and recreation around Maine.

It’s a summer guide for Mainers (and other folks too), by Mainers.

Plus, just by filling out a poll ballot — either online or in print — you’ll begin formulating your summer plan. The poll will force you to think about a favorite ice cream parlor or barbecue joint that you may have not thought about in years. And feel free to do some research before filling out the poll — ask friends, go online, whatever it takes.

This year’s categories range from different types of restaurants to individual treats like best bagel and best hot dog. There’s also slots for best bar, best local brewery, best radio station, best tattoo parlor and best bowling alley.

Some categories are broad by design. The best place for family entertainment, for example, can be an amusement park, a state park, a gym — whatever. Whatever entertains you and your family, let us know.

Because this is a poll, and we want our guide to be good, we’ve got to have some rules. When filling out your ballot (one per entrant), remember to be as specific as possible. Folks won’t be able to find your favorite pizza spot if you just say “House of Pizza.” Please put the full name (spelling counts!) and specific location of each place you vote for.

Remember, your favorite diner or bowling alley won’t get its due recognition if you can’t tell people who it is and how to find it.

Also, this is a Maine poll of Maine places, so please remember that we’re looking for local places and businesses.

To vote in our poll, go online at pressherald.com or fill out and send in the ballot found here. All ballots, both print and online, must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, May 18, to count.

We’ll then print the results in the Audience section of the Maine Sunday Telegram on June 3.

Happy polling!

 

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: Ray Routhier