Thursday, April 17, 2014
In comes Labor Day, Mother Nature's last call. It's the sudden silence of the band at 1:00 a.m., the clanking of empty glasses, the final wipedown of the bar by a bartender looking forward to a few drinks of his own, after hours. It's a sign that, while the seasonal proprietors hope you had a good time, this Summer pub is closing down.
But Summer's bouncer is usually a gentle chap - more likely to ease you out the door with a Geary's to-go cup for the walk home. It's a chance to tap a few more sips from the bottom of the warm-weather glass. And it's our duty to savor the last of it.
In that vein, here are some end-of-summer options that'll leave your summer feeling more fulfilled than fleeting.
Catch a few waves
No beginner surfer wants to look foolish. The fear of failure (and the impending surf-community mockery) is usually enough to kill anyone's wave-riding potential. But a surf lesson, in the company of other novices, could be your ticket to surfing mastery.
Tuesday mornings | Aquaholics Surf Shop, Kennebunk | Free | www.aquaholicsurf.com
Stand up and paddle
It's like walking on water. Stand-up Paddling is growing ever-popular in Maine. Ladies looking to get some SUP experience can take part in Liquid Dreams' Moms Morning SUP - a.k.a., Mother SUPers.
8:30 a.m. Sundays | Liquid Dreams Surf Shop. York | $30 includes equipment/wetsuit/instruction | www.liquiddreamssurf.com or 207-351-2545
Kayak the Songo River
Not everyone has the storage or the spending cash to own a kayak of their own. Enter: the rental shop. Rentals make it simple for novice or occasional paddlers to test the waters. Literally. RAD Jet Ski Rentals on the Causeway in Naples sits comfortably between the shores of Long Lake and the patio of Rick's Cafe.
Daily rentals | RAD Jet Ski Rentals, Naples | Single rentals $48 for the day | 207-693-8200
Canoe the Scarborough Marsh
Take in the Scarborough Marsh from the water rather than Route 1. Maine Audubon rents kayaks from a small shop in Scarborough right on the marsh, meaning no hauling is necessary.
Daily rentals 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Maine Audubon, Scarborough | $16/hour | /www.maineaudubon.org
Scooter around Kennebunk
Harbor Village rents scooters out of a storefront in Kennebunk. The rates run by the hour and include a brief scooter training. The "how to" rundown includes tips on speed and turning as well as pointers like, "here are the brakes" and "here's a handy storage space under the seat."
Renting daily; reservations encouraged | Harbor Village Scooters, Kennebunk | $20/hr with a two-hour minimum; $300 deposit | 207-590-5151
Sunset sail with Portland Schooner Company
Portland Schooner offers regular day and overnight sails, of course. But they're also running a Monday Night Series of sunset sails. Take advantage of the Chocolate Lover's Sail or the Sails and Tails sailing/lobster bake combo.
Call for current scheduling | Portland Schooner Company | $50-$120 | 207.766.2500 www.portlandschooner.com
Pick your own at Payuers
Blueberry empowerment. It's giving the power of choice back to the people. The choice to say, "No, I don't want my blueberries decided for me. I want to hand-select each individual specimen, pushing aside the too plump or the imperfect just like I do my friends."
Open daily during season| $2.20 per pound | Payeur's, Sanford | 207-324-3200
Walk-on Adventure at LL Bean
If you've always wanted to try your trigger finger at sporting clays or archery -- or learn the rhythmic art of fly casting -- or try kayaking for the first time, try a walk-on. LL Bean's Walk-On Adventures are an ideal way to test your skills at an array of outdoorsy activities. $20 includes all equipment, instruction and an hour or two doing your thing.
Morning and afternoon sessions available | LL Bean, Freeport | $20 | www.llbean.com
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.