I found the best remedy for this hot sticky Maine summer.

Sure you could crank the air conditioning, but I prefer nature's AC. It's been relentless these past few weeks. And whoever said it is right, it's not the heat - it's the humidity. But there IS the perfect way to cool off and it's under 20 bucks ($17 for adults cheaper for kids and seniors) and it's the best few hours you're gonna spend. Casco Bay Lines Mailboat Run!

Casco Bay Lines Facebook
Casco Bay Lines Facebook
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Their mailboat run is THE longest-running service of its kind! This is hands down, no contest, the most unique and interesting way to cruise Casco Bay. It's been running for 150 years!

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TownsquareMedia
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The Maquoit II typically makes the Mailboat Run every day (see most updated schedule here). It's about 3 hours long (could be a bit shorter or a bit longer depending on cargo) and goes to five different islands. You just find your spot on the deck, or if you need to take cover, plenty of seating inside.

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TownsquareMedia
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Pack a cooler full of drinks and treats. I made sandwiches for the afternoon cruise. It was almost 90 degrees in Portland when we left the dock. At points during the trip, I thought I would need a sweatshirt! Ahhhh, sweet relief! The five islands that the Mailboat Run visits are:

  • Little Diamond
  • Great Diamond
  • Long
  • Cliff
  • Chebeague

We made one stop at Cliff Island where we could get off and visit the Cliff Island Store and Cafe. Grab an ice cream or beer and make your way back to the boat. The one amazing thing about Casco Bay Lines is that they can stick to a schedule like nobody's business!

Cliff Island Store and Cafe Facebook
Cliff Island Store and Cafe Facebook
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The Captain even points out some of Portland’s coolest historical landmarks including Ft. Gorges – a fort that never saw battle but seems to still stand guard over the harbor. And Luckse Sound – where ships were sunk during WWII to keep enemy submarines out of the harbor.

But if you aren't in the mood for a history lesson because you just want that cool air. You can sit back and let them do all the heavy lifting.

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TownsquareMedia
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So, don't bother putting in the AC, you know it will be over before you know it. But if you just need to stop sweating for a good solid three hours, hop on the Mailboat Run and you'll have the best time ever!

 

LOOK: See America's 50 Best Beach Towns

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.