The Star-Herald

Consider a “staycation” this summer

Gas prices have hit an all time high.  In addition, some people still have concerns about COVID-19 and now monkey pox.  So, what do we do this summer?  Why not consider a “staycation”?  

Often, because we live here and see the same things every day, we don’t realize just how much Aroostook County has to offer.  

According to the US Travel Association, the average American worker earned 23.9 days of paid time off in 2018 but used just 17.4 days.

So, what exactly is a staycation?  It is a form of domestic tourism during which you take day trips to local attractions and play tourist in your own community.  However, it doesn’t man you have to stay home.  Pitch a tent out at Maine’s first state park, the Aroostook State Park. Check out one of the small, but interesting inns and Airbnb offerings in The County.  Have a massage. Take a hike around the wonderful trails around Mantle Lake, or actually stop and visit each of the planets in the Solar System model along U.S. Route 1 from Houlton to Presque Isle.  

Check out the Double Eagle II monument in Presque Isle and the Rosie O’Grady monument in Caribou to see how Aroostook County played a major role in the history of ballooning.  Hike in to Deboullie Mountain and check out the new fire tower and ice caves.  Go to the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum or the Aroostook County Historical Art Museum in Houlton.  Check out the stars at the Francis Malcolm Science Institute in Easton.  Have you ever been to the Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge in Limestone?  And that is not to mention all of the great festivals we have in the area!  Maine Potato Blossom Festival, Crown of Maine Balloon Festival, Northern Maine Fair, and so many more.

Take the kids and visit a local farm where you can pick your own berries, have an ice cream, or grab some local maple syrup.  Stop by one of the local farmers markets for some great produce to savor at a backyard barbecue.  

Visit one of the six museums in Presque Isle or hit the road to visit the Oakfield Railroad Museum, the Ashland Logging Museum, the Allagash Chainsaw Museum, the Acadian Village, the Fort Kent Blockhouse, the US 1 first mile marker in Fort Kent, or the abandoned trains in the North Maine Woods.  

When you really stop and think about it, the list could be incredibly long and an amazing amount of fun.  And there’s an added bonus to a staycation: you can often bring your pets along.

Kimberly R. Smith is the resource development and public information officer for the city of Presque Isle. She can be reached at 760-2722 or via email at

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