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Shannon Bryan, content producer for MaineToday Media, likes exploring Maine - from mattress races to cardboard boats, she's into the weird stuff.

Karen Beaudoin, online editor for MaineToday Media, likes knowing the important things - like who's just opened their deck for a sunny afternoon beer and what Portland's eclectic set of street performers are up to.

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August 2012

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Tuesday August 21, 2012 | 09:58 AM

FREE: Bayside Movie Night

The lane-loving folks at Bayside Bowl are screening some their favorite films on the outdoor patio while it's still warm enough to loiter out there.

Sunset Wednesdays | Free | Bayside Bowl, Portland | www.baysidebowl.com or 791-2695

FREE: Rooftop Film Series

The free-film-atop-a-parking-garage series has been running all summer. September's showing of "The Royal Tenenbaums" is the final installment until 2013.

7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 | Free | Free St. Parking Garage, Portland | menskmaine.org

Tuesday August 07, 2012 | 03:18 PM
If you're going to spend your day traipsing through the woods, hiking along trails and mastering mountains you should at least get a little visual reward out of it: Like a gorgeous view at the top of a waterfall.

The western part of the state has a handful of these natural wonders, which make great spots for picnics, cooling plunges or breathtaking photos. If you've got the time, energy and sense of adventure, trying searching out these popular watery spots.Angel Falls, near Byron in Franklin CountyThe view: Fed by Mountain Brook, the water here tumbles 90 feet down over rocky cliffs. The cliffs surrounding it are even higher, which adds to the natural beauty. The trip: Located 17.6 miles south of Oquossoc, turn west off Route 17, go over the bridge, turn right on the old railroad line and find the gravel road 3.8 miles later. The trail is .8 miles long and takes about 30 minutes.

070199.dunn falls.jpgDunn Falls, near Andover in Oxford CountyThe view: The upper falls drops 70 feet forming what is said to be a "horsetail," with the lower falls plummeting another 80 feet. You'll find several swimming holes nearby and an 80-foot wide pool near the upper falls.The trip: Find the southbound section of the Appalachian Trail and take a left onto the Cascade Trail. There's a two-mile loop leading past the falls.

Poplar Stream Falls, near Carrabassett Valley in Franklin CountyThe view: You'll find a pair of waterfalls here. The first drops 24 feet to a swimming hole below. The second, South Brook waterfall, drops 51 feet and is a little more difficult to reach.The trip: Located off Route 27 just south of Sugarloaf Mountain. Look for signage for a 4.7-mile loop connecting the falls at the Maine Huts & Trails Poplar Stream hut.

Tuesday July 31, 2012 | 01:57 PM
We're sure you've already learned a lot this summer, like how sunburns are awful and ice cream is awesome. Or maybe you've discovered that a cup of wine and some cellophane are an easy trick to get rid of fruit flies.

If you'd like to take your summer education to a level beyond dairy products and peeling skin, check out our list of lessons and workshops that'll teach you something fum and unforgettable:

Learn to Sail

You already are the captain of your own ship, am I right? Like, if your ship were your life. You're totally in charge. It's just that your "ship," as it stands, doesn't spend much time sailing the high seas. But it wants to. Learn to sail with beginners lessons from SailMaine in Portland. Fifteen-hour courses, family lessons, private lessons and women-only lessons available.

Wednesday July 25, 2012 | 12:19 PM

Running doesn't come simply. There's a reason we humans learn to crawl, then walk, then order movies on demand: It's easy.

But despite all the ready excuses to do otherwise, some folks still lace up the running shoes and hit this streets for a sprint, a jog, a walk-that-hopes-to-be-a-run-some-day. Most of those people have to work at it - they have to battle the urge to sleep in, to stay home, to spend the evening cozying up to a bottle of wine and a plate of spicy chicken wings.

It isn't easy. But it's often inspirational.

And you know who wants to hear those inspirational stories? Only THE Joan Benoit Samuelson (marathoner, gold medalist, runner extraordinaire).

Tuesday July 17, 2012 | 08:38 AM

With temps soaring again this week - and it isn't even August yet! - everyone and their grandmother is heading for a nearby beach in search of a patch of sand to plop a blanket or chair and feel even a hint of a sea breeze.

Of course when you get to that primo destination you'll want to have food in tow, because you won't be picking up and moving again until the thermometer drops at least out of the 90s.

So to help with your little excursion to the shore, we're offering 8 options for beach access that just happen to be near some can't-miss on-the-go food spots. Read on, then cool off and eat up: