Every Maine family needs this guide to get-a-ways and adventures

Jen Hazard has given us a great list of Maine family get-aways and adventures in her book The Maine Playbook, published by Islandport Press.

If anyone knows the best places for family get-a-ways and adventures, it’s Jennifer Hazard. Jen, her husband, and their two kids have been traveling the state for years, enjoying our best places.

Eventually Jen began writing about those adventures, starting an award-winning website called Cute Potato. She’s served as the “Family Fun Maker” for Maine’s Office of Tourism and written for lots of publications including Food Network magazine, and even created content for LL Bean.

I got to know Jen because she works for Islandport Press which published two of my books. I always enjoyed hearing about her travel adventures, and when she told me a couple years ago she was writing a book, I was excited. I anxiously awaited the book, and now it’s here!

Honestly, the book is much more thorough than I anticipated. Organized by season, she describes, in detail, our family-friendly farms, trails, nature preserves, and parks, along with lots of events and outdoor adventures for families.

She includes many of my favorite places, where Linda and I would enjoy our own adventures with our kids (and now with our grandkids). But I was truly astonished by how many other places Jen included in the book. I guess she and her family did more traveling than I realized!

Jen’s photos are wonderful too, particularly those of her kids enjoying their outdoor adventures. And she also includes a Resources section that includes lots of great information, from the best places to swim to the best places to pick crops. I think her suggestions for day trips are particularly good.

I loved the poem at the front of the book, from State Of Maine Song by Roger Vinton Snow:

And tho’ we seek far and wide
Our search will be in vain
To find a fairer spot on earth
Than Maine! Maine! Maine!

And now, Jennifer Hazard has captured many of those fairer Maine spots. Pick up a copy of The Maine Play Book and get outside to play!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.