Happy Tails! Dog-friendly Maine beaches

November 26th, 2014

We live in an extremely pro-dog state where our furry friends are free to take stroll, sniff and explore around the frigid coastline in peace. Lots of neighborhoods have one or two parks nearby and there are hundreds of acres scattered in and around the state where our four-legged friends can romp undeterred by a leash. The there are numbers of restaurants and bars who let us bring our beautiful dogs in when it’s not too packed and with a great walking path along the harbor, beaches that allow dogs, and dog friendly downtown shops, the dogs and their owners have plenty of options for play, outdoor recreation and pampering in Maine.

Southern Maine beaches: off season with your dog

Southern Maine beaches: off season with your dog

Impressed? It gets better. Here is the list of dog-friendly beaches that allow dogs in the off season (winter):

1) Scarborough, Maine – Ferry Beach, Pine Point Beach (Hurd Park), Higgins Beach, and Scarborough Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Scarborough beaches only BEFORE 9 A.M. and AFTER 5 P.M. from June 15 through Sept 15, and must be leashed during the summer. In the winter there are no restrictions on dogs accessing the beaches, although an owner must have a leash available to collar a straying or troublesome dog.

2) Biddeford, Maine – Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rock, and Hills Beach

Note:  Dogs are allowed on Biddeford area beaches BEFORE 9 A.M. and AFTER 8 P.M.  For more details call Biddeford Parks & Recreation at (207) 283-0841.

3) Saco, Maine – Bayview Beach, Camp Ellis Beach, Diamond Riverside Boat Ramp, Ferry Beach State Park, and Kenney Shores Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Saco municipal beaches at any time with leash and clean-up.  Within Ferry Beach State Park, dogs are NOT ALLOWED on the beach proper, but are allowed in the park interior with leash and clean-up.

4) Kennebunk, Maine – Gooch’s Beach, Middle Beach, Mother’s Beach, and Parson’s Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Kennebunk beaches BEFORE 9 A.M. and AFTER 5 P.M.  This restriction applies between June 15 until the day after Labor Day.  At other times of the year, there are no restrictions other than leash and clean-up.  For more info call the Kennebunk Town Office at (207) 985-2102 and select ext. 1306 for the Kennebunk Town Clerk.

5) Kennebunkport, Maine – Goose Rocks Beach, and Colony Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Kennebunkport beaches BEFORE 8 A.M. and AFTER 6 P.M.  This restriction applies between June 15 and September 15.  At other times of the year, only leash and clean-up rules apply.  For more info call the Kennebunkport Town Office at (207) 967-4243.

6) Ogunquit, Maine – Ogunquit Beach, Foot Bridge Beach, and Moody Beach

Note: NO DOGS ALLOWED on Ogunquit Beaches from April 1 to October 1. For an alternative try Ogunquit Dog Park. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to dusk, the park is located at 323 Berwick Road. For more info call Ogunquit Dog Park at (207) 646-1677 or email info@ogunquitdogpark.com.

7) Old Orchard, Maine – Old Orchard Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Old Orchard Beach BEFORE 10 A.M. and AFTER 5 P.M.  For more details call the OOB Chamber at (207) 934-2500.

8) Wells, Maine – Wells Beach, and Drake’s Island Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Wells beaches from April 1 to June 15 when on a leash.  From June 16 to September 15, dogs are only allowed BEFORE 8 a.m. and AFTER 6 p.m.  For more info call the Wells Town Clerk at (207) 646-2882.

9) York, Maine: Cape Neddick Beach aka Passaconaway Beach, Harbor Beach aka York Harbor Beach, Long Sands Beach, and Short Sands Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed to run without a leash on York beaches from Sunrise to 8 a.m. so long as owner is present with leash at hand.  NO DOGS ALLOWED from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  DOGS ON LEASHES are allowed from 6 p.m. to Sunrise.  These rules apply between May 20 and September 20.  At other times of year, dogs are allowed on beach so long as owner is present with a leash at hand.  Clean-up rules always apply.  For more info call the Town of York at (207) 363-1000.

10) Kittery, Maine – Crescent Beach, Fort Foster Park, and Seapoint Beach

Note: Dogs are allowed on Kittery beaches BEFORE 10 a.m. and AFTER 5 p.m.  This restriction applies from June 15 to September 10.  Leash and clean-up rules always apply.  For more info call the Kittery Town Clerk at (207) 439-0452.

Maine Lighthouses: Just one of the great things about living in Maine!

November 19th, 2014

Driving North along Route 1 from Portsmouth, NH to Maine in the fall, you begin to find yourself amongst the famous byways of the state, renowned for their tree lined lanes, ablaze in all their autumn colors, the subject of countless photographs and postcards. Route 1 is one of the longest routes highways in the USA and here in Maine it stays close to the north Atlantic coast, and offers you the chance to experience not just the tree lined roads in their beautiful autumn colors, but also the beautiful rugged lighthouses that protect the coast and our salty sailors and their crafts in years gone by.

In this series we have set out for you, we will be taking you north along Route 1, and we will be featuring five of the lighthouses that you will encounter as we head north from Portsmouth NH, going all the way to Bear Island Lighthouse by Northeast Harbor, where we end our series. Route 1 continues further up the coast, finally veering north to end at the Canadian border but for us our journey will end, at the picturesque Bear island Lighthouse.

So now, as we enter Maine, the first lighthouse we will be visiting is Whaleback, and the last on this leg of the trip will be Wood Island. You will need to take a detour from Route 1 once you enter Maine, heading east to Kittery Point on the 103. The drive then turns north, less than a mile at most points along the Atlantic coast, though of course not on Route 1 for now….but who cares, the drive is beautiful! The drive continues through York, don’t forget to visit Yorks Wild Kingdom if you are visiting Nubble Light! We will now rejoining Route one on our drive up the coast, and coming into Wells, you could choose to drive along the aptly named Atlantic Avenue for some up close and personal seaside driving. By this time we are getting close to Kennebunk, and more precisely, Kennebunkport, from where you will be visiting the final lighthouse on this section of our drive along the eastern seaboard of Maine.

Read all about these lighthouses, and the ones in between, and then start to plan your trip. Many of the lighthouses are within a short drive of each other, so you can see four or five in one excursion. Maybe you can even stop and have a lobster roll while you’re at it!

  1. Whaleback Light

    The Deja Lett Team

    Whaleback Lighthouse in Kittery Maine photo: Larry Landolfi on 500px

Established in 1820, this lighthouse is located in Kittery, Maine at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, approximately 1,500 feet from the Maine-New Hampshire border. It is only accessible by boat, but can be viewed from Fort Foster in Kittery and from Fort Stark and Fort Constitution in New Hampshire. Due to the location of Whaleback Lighthouse, it has been rebuilt several times since its original establishment and remains particularly vulnerable in its open location.

  1. Boon Island Light

Established 1811, it is located approximately nine miles from the York coastline. The light is inaccessible to the public, but can be viewed by many boat cruises offered in the area. Previous to the establishment of this lighthouse, the island was the site of many shipwrecks, and even after its establishment it was difficult to have a lighthouse keeper on site due to its desolate location.

  1. Nubble Light

Nubble Light was established in 1879 and is located on the eastern point of Cape Neddick, Maine on Nubble Island and is inaccessible to visitors. However, the light is only a few hundred feet off of York Beach and can easily be viewed from there. Nubble Light is known for its unique red light. It is also well known for being one of the most scenic and photographed lighthouses in Maine.

  1. Goat Island Light

Established 1833, this lighthouse is located on Goat Island in Cape Porpoise, Maine. The light is accessible only by boat and is not open to the public. It can be viewed by boat cruises offered in the area. Goat Island was the last lighthouse in Maine to be automated in 1990. During the presidency of George H.W. Bush, Secret Service agents lived on Goat Island to keep watch while the president visited his home in Kennebunkport.

  1. Wood Island Light

Established 1808, this is a lighthouse located on Wood Island just east of the mouth of the Saco River, near the Biddeford Pool area. The light is open to the public through the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse and is best viewed by boat tours. Approximately 30 acres of Wood Island is protected by the Audubon Society as a bird sanctuary that provides an area for nesting as well as an important stop for migration.

In our next installment we will be heading further north stopping just south of Portland…

Has the thought “I could live here” crossed your mind while vacationing in Maine or reading about our beautiful state? You are not alone if it has! Contact The Deja Lett Team today for a relocation packet, or to set up a search for your perfect place in vacationland! 

Looking for more on living in Maine? check out: more Maine scenic drives or historic tours & museums in Maine

Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker
Keller Williams Realty
439 Main Street, Suite 102
Saco, Maine 04072
Direct Line: 207-553-2602

Restaurant Review: Standard Baking Co. in Portland Maine

November 13th, 2014

There are several great bakeriesStandard Baking Company in Portland Maine in Portland, but Standard Baking Co. is one of my favorites and not without reason.

Great Coffee, amazing pastries, delicious aromas and friendly staff, this gem of bakery is located right off Commercial Street in Downtown Portland Maine. It is within the walking distance from many of the hotels and attractions in Portland and also has its own parking lot which is a rarity for this popular area.  Standard Baking is nice and tidy and the interior is warm, inviting and is filled with the aromas of fresh baked cookies, breads and pastries.

From almond croissants to butter cookies and from a pear frangipane tart to luxurious little pains au chocolat, biscotti, brioches, and galettes, the bakery serves a dizzying selection of pastries that makes you want to indulge!  Among the daily specials are anadama bread on Friday, black olive-onion focaccia on Saturday, and cinnamon raisin bread Sunday. Coffee is also available here, and there are a few tables for sitting and enjoying the bakery treasures while they are still hot.

On my latest trip to Standard Baking I was sure to get there early and right after I entered, the bakery filled up with a huge line of people. With so many delicious things behind the counter,  I don’t think you can ever go wrong with any of your choices. I had chocolate sable cookies and bun and both were delicious. The chocolate sable cookies were rich, chocolaty and had the perfect crumbly texture.  The bun was perfect with just the right amount of glaze and sugar and a cup of hot coffee completed my ideal breakfast.

Standard Baking Co. is the best place to grab coffee and some baked goods before starting your day…My advice? Visit this fresh, local business soon! If you want the best, local real estate experts in Southern Maine, contact Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker today!

The Deja Lett Team
Direct Line: 207-553-2602

Time to Fall Back

November 1st, 2014

Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2 AM on Sunday, so be sure to set your clocks back one hour before you head to sleep Saturday night.Saco river

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2014
Portland Daily Photo by Corey Templeton

Portland Daily Photo by Corey Templeton

Not sure what to do this weekend? How about wine tasting, craft show and a race in high heels?!

October 24th, 2014

The Deja Lett TeamOGUNQUITFEST:

Thursday through Sunday | Ogunquit |

visitogunquit.org

The high heel race might be the highlight of this weekend-long festival in Ogunquit Maine (or maybe it’s the wine tasting? :)

Watch as racers (walkers?) make their way around Perkins Cove in high heels! Better yet, join in the race! Heels must be at least 2” high, and trophies (and prize money) awarded for Best Time, Highest Heel and Most Outrageous Costume! Proceeds from registration will go to Frannie Peabody Center. There will also be the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, an autumn bazaar with 75 vendors, wine tastings (did we mention that already?), ghost tours and more. The full schedule is here: http://www.visitogunquit.org/event.php?id=6

There are some frighteningly good deals in today’s real estate market! If you’re looking to make a move, it would be a treat to assist you!

Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker
Keller Williams Realty
439 Main Street, Suite 102
Saco, Maine 04072
Direct Line: 207-553-2602

Take a Scenic Drive to enjoy to beautiful fall foliage

October 17th, 2014

The barrels of salt in preparation of winter made their appearance outside of the Keller Williams office this morning! You know what that means! Winter can’t be too far away. This weekend, take advantage of the fall colors before they are completely gone and we have a winter wonderland in Maine.
Gilead Historical Society, MaineSouthern Maine winding roads to enjoy:
Pequawket Trail Scenic Byway:
Rte 113 from Standish to Gilead -60 miles 2 hours -The Pequawket Trail Scenic Byway derives its name from the Sokokis Indian tribe that once inhabited the Saco River Valley. Discover the local work of artisans and craftsmen, experience sustainable working farms, historic villages, and view abundant wildlife in pristine habitats. Along the journey, the Saco River and the Mountain Division Rail meander parallel to the byway offering glimpses of river and forest. The White Mountain National Forest offers unparalleled scenic vistas, and provides miles of world class hiking and climbing for all levels of enthusiasts. You will need to stretch your legs after the drive :)
The Southern Circle Drive is a short 85 miles long, and takes two hours to complete: This trip will take you through the Southern corner of Maine, known for its historic sites and apple orchards. Begin in Sanford, and take U.S. Route 202 east through Alfred, then into Hollis Center. In Hollis Center, pick up Route 35 north and continue on that road into Standish. In Standish take Route 25 West, which goes through Kezar Falls, and into Porter. Route 25 will intersect Route 160 in Porter. Take Route 160 south to Limerick, then pick up Route 11 south back to Sanford.

The Western Loop is 130 miles and takes 3 1/4 hours to complete: This tour begins in Fryeburg on U.S. Route 302. Take 302 east through Bridgton and into Naples. In Naples pick up Route 35 north to Harrison, where it intersects with Route 117. Take Route 117 north. Near Norway, pick up Route 118 west. Approximately one mile after taking the highway, go north on a local road, which follows the western bank of Lake Pennesseewassee, and then heads into Greenwood. In Greenwood, take Route 219 east to Route 26, then north on Route 26 into Bethel. In Bethel, pick up U.S. Route 2 west, which will take you into Gilead. In Gilead take Route 113 south into Stow, then go east on a local road which travels the west shore of Lake Kezar into North Lovell. In North Lovell, follow Route 5 south back into Fryeburg.

The Mountain Tour is 108 miles long, and takes 2 1/2 hours to complete: This tour goes deep into the heart of Maine’s mountainous region. Sites include Screw Auger Falls, Moose Cave, Mother Walker Falls, Grafton State Park and the Appalachian Trail. Begin your drive in Rumford, taking U.S. Route 2 west into Newry. Pick up Route 26 north and procede over the New Hampshire border to Errol. In Errol, take Route 16, back into Maine and to the town of Oquossoc. In Oquossoc, take Route 4 west to Route 17, then 17 south into Mexico. In Mexico, pick up U.S. Route 2 west, which will take you across the bridge back into Rumford.

And remember, if you see a home for sale along the way and want more information, contact us! We’re happy to help – The Deja Lett Team,

Deja Lett, Realtor & Broker
Keller Williams Realty
439 Main Street, Suite 102
Saco, Maine 04072
Direct Line: 207-553-2602
If you’re up for a long drive:Bar Harbor Maine oceanfront cottage
Acadia National Scenic Byway All-American Road: Route 3 and Park Loop Road on Mt Desert Island – 40 Miles -From craggy shorelines and granite-capped mountains to crystal lakes and spruce–fir forests, the Acadia All American Road is perfect for exploring. Extensive carriage roads and hiking trails give access to all of Acadia National Park. You can see fishing and sailboats in Frenchman’s Bay or go back in time to see the “cottages” (mansions!) of old Bar Harbor.
Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway: US Rte 201 from Solon to Sandy bay - 79 miles -The Old Canada Road Scenic Byway is a snapshot in time. Tracing the route of generations of travelers between Maine and Quebec, this segment of U.S. Rt. 201 winds right alongside the Kennebec River, Wyman Lake, and the Dead River. If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter old-time villages and abundant wildlife in mountain ridges, forests, and rivers.

Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byway: Rtes 4 and 17 around Rangeley Lake36 miles 2 – 8 hours- Wind through the mountains and lakes of western Maine on the Rangeley Lakes Scenic Byway. Step back in time and treat yourself to spectacular scenery, outstanding recreational opportunities, abundant wildlife, local museums, and quaint New England villages. Slow down, relax, and enjoy nature’s abundance at every turn.

Schoodic National Scenic Byway:  Routes 1 and 186 from Hancock to prospect Harbor – 40 miles, 1.5-8 hours – The Schoodic Scenic Byway travels through the eastern seaboard, including the “quiet” side of Acadia National Park. The landscape remains unspoiled, revealing a part of Maine where lobstering and clamming are still a tradition. Discover the local artisans’ crafts, and let the mountains, coastal islands, historic buildings, and lighthouses enchant you.

Southern Maine apple orchards

September 16th, 2014

Here is a list of a few Southern Maine apple orchards located in York county, because what is a better fun outting that is family friendly than apple picking on a crisp autumn day?

Apple Acres Farm

363 Durgintown Road, South Hiram, Maine, 04041

Telephone: 207-625-4777
In the beautiful rolling hills of western Maine. Only a 45 minute drive from Portand, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire.
Open for pick your own in September and October, and they host a bluegrass festival in late September. Farmstand with apples, fruits, baked goods, cider and ice cream.

Brackett’s Orchard

224 Sokokis Avenue, Limington, Maine, 04049

Telephone: 207-637-2377
Visit one of Maine’s oldest family owned and operated apple orchards. Pick your own apples & pumpkins most every weekend in September and October. Their scenic hilltop orchard is only 40 minutes from Portland. Free hayrides. Farmstand too.

Giles Family Farm

139 Waterboro Road, Alfred, Maine, 04002

Telephone: 207-324-2944
Pick your own orchard open daily from Labor Day to mid October on weekends and holidays. The farm stand is open year-round, daily from 8am to 5pm. Many varieties of apples, fruit and vegetables, preserves, maple syrup and many other great farm products.

Kelly Orchard

1881 Maine 109, Acton, Maine, 04001

Telephone: 207-636-1601
Pick your own, retail and wholesale. Apple gift packs shipped in season. Varieties are available in season. Early August thru Thanksgiving.

Lake View Orchard

301 Brock Road, Alfred, Maine, 04002

Telephone: (978) 729-5667
Their orchard has a beautiful hilltop view with a pond with space to wander and for picnics. Located off Route 202 between Alfred and Waterboro. Take Brock Road opposite the Maine State Trouper barracks. Go 3/4 mile on Brock Road. The farm is on your left. Offering many varieties of apples for Pick your own, as well as cider, pumpkins, squash and cranberries. Open from 9 to 5, Thursday through Sunday and holidays. On Thursdays, they offer discounts on apples.

McDougal Orchards LLC

201 Hanson Ridge Road, Springvale, Maine, 04083

Telephone: 207-324-5054
McDougal Orchards is a 7th generation family farm in the beautiful village of Springvale specializing in high-quality tree fruit production. With over 20 varieties of apples, pears, plums, nectarines, and peaches, there’s something for everyone to pick. In additon we offer fall bearing raspberries, Pick your own flowers, local honey, beef, venison, and maple syrup.  Capt. Jack makes his famous apple cider doughnuts and the weekend hayrides are free! Open daily 9-5, August thru October.
So get out there and pick some apples, the season is just starting to rev up and will be over before you know it in October!

Purchasing a timeshare

September 5th, 2014

 

timeshare

 

 

 

Let’s start off with the basics, what exactly is a timeshare and is purchasing a time share the right investment for me? Today I will be briefly shedding light on a few pros and cons of purchasing a timeshare.  Here we go!

A timeshare is a way of property ownership where multiple people share the use of a property by dividing rights into specific lengths of time. Majority of the time this type of set up generally applies to holiday real estate such for example, condos, it can also apply to campgrounds, recreational vehicles, boats, and cruises.

The Pros

  • You get what you pay for.
  • Less hassle.
  • Guaranteed vacation destination.
  • Subletting offers potential bonus income.
  • Exchange programs.
  • Making money from the market.

The Cons

  • Maintenance fees.
  • Volatile real estate market.
  • Your money could get tied up.
  • Contracts can be constricting
  • Limited in vacation schedule possibility.

First, after weighing out the pros and cons, you need to decide if purchasing a timeshare is right for you, so if the same vacation spot each year or making money from selling the unit, then perhaps a timeshare is not the ideal rental property for you.

The internet will be your best friend to find the best timeshare deals in the location of your choice. When you are doing your research, always ALWAYS check if your soon to be condo belongs to an association or owner’s club, if it does not you may be getting ripped off, so do your due diligence and contact the Better Business Bureau if you have an inkling of a doubt. Make sure you actually physically see the property to make sure it exists and is in good shape; so never pay an upfront deposit without first viewing your property and making sure it is what you are looking for.

So there you have it folks, those are the basic nuts and bolts of timeshares. There is really no right or wrong choice about them, but more if they make sense for you!

Have questions on timeshares or even vacation homes in the greater Portland area? Reach out to the Deja Lett Team!

Gather

August 30th, 2014

gather Today I am going to be writing about something I am very passionate about; food, more specifically brunch. The fact I can enjoy cured meats with a tall tangy glass of orange juice (with a splash of  champagne) AND a hot cup of coffee is a match made in heaven in my book. So I am going to let you in on my new favorite Sunday mid-morning haunt, Gather. Located just a 20 minutes drive north from Scarborough and a 10 minute drive to Freeport it is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a meal in the charming town of Yarmouth. They specialize in local farm fresh food, which not only helps out local farmers but it’s super fresh. The presentation of the food is beautiful as well, and don’t even get me started on the interior of the restaurant it is beyond breathtaking. To make the ambiance every better, every Sunday they have a live bluegrass band and different acoustic bands every Wednesday’s for dinner from 6:30-8:30 pm. The coolest thing about Gather? they have a food bartering program that just started this July. Yeah, amazing right? so that surplus crop of kale you currently have growing in your backyard, and if you eat more kale chip you will be sick, you can march on down to Gather at their listed times two days a week and barter your produce for credit to the restaurant. Be sure to check either their Facebook or actual website to see what crop they are interested in. I mean, how amazing would it be to know your produce will be on a menu for other people to enjoy. I hope other restaurants in greater Portland follow Gather’s suit for bringing back such an amazing old common practice. I had the hash with two eggs and my better half a medium rare hand formed burger, and for the sake of this article, I tried his meal. I should’ve ordered one to go to eat later. I consider myself a corned beef hash coinsure, whenever I see it on the menu, chances are I’m going to order it, and this certainly made the top of the list and I take this list very seriously.

So, go check out Gather this weekend, or any night for dinner, you won’t be disappointed. The food and drinks are beyond delicious, the atmosphere in the restaurant is unbeatable and the staff their are lovely.

Below is a link to channel 6 news who just covered a story on Gather.

http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2014/08/19/gather-restaurant-does-veggie-bartering/14303497/

And for hours, directions and to check out their menu here is their website.

http://www.gathermaine.com/brunch-menu/