National Train Day

Posted on: April 16th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Discover the Rail Way. On May 7, 2011, the 4th Annual National Train Day will be a free coast-to-coast celebration.  Take the Amtrak Downeaster from Boston Mass. to Old Orchard Beach Maine, and enjoy your stay at the Atlantic Birches Inn, an elegant Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast.  Stay two nights during the week of May 7, 2011 show us your train stub at our Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast and we will pay for half your fare from Boston to our Old Orchard Beach Inn.  

Old Orchard Beach Maine trains are now traveling eight times daily between Boston to Portland. Old Orchard Beach is a seasonal stop that is open from mid April through late October. There is some talk of making Old Orchard Beach a Year Round stop.  

First National Train Day

National Train day was first celebrated on Saturday May 10, 2008 as a result of high gas prices, environmentalists seeking to lower their carbon footprints and  Amtrak’s  increase of ridership by 12 percent for the year. On May 1, 2011, Amtrak will celebrate 40 years as America’s Railroad, providing vital intercity and high-speed passenger rail service from New York to Los Angeles and offering critical transportation choices for both urban and rural communities. From steam to diesel-powered engines travelers have had a long love affair with trains. 

 Long before Amtrak began operations in 1971, people were riding the rails.  Amtrak was created to ease congestion on highways and at airports, and to restore the efficiency, attractiveness and convenience of train travel. Amtrak’s original passenger cars were acquired from private railroads and came in all different colors, which is why the public and the media called them “Rainbow Trains.  

Amtrak Downeaster

Train service first began to Old Orchard Beach over 159 years ago in 1842 and continued until the mid 1900’s. After nearly 50 years, train service was resumed to Maine. In 2002 The DownEaster Train resumed its seasonal scheduled stop in Old Orchard Beach. Trains are now traveling eight times daily between Boston to Portland. 

OOB Train Station

Old Orchard Beach is a seasonal stop that is open from mid April through late October. There is some talk of making Old Orchard Beach a Year Round Stop. 

With high-speed rail access from Washington D.C. and New York to Boston, vacationers and weekenders now enjoy a speedy trip to Boston and then connect for a 2 hour train ride from Boston to the  Old Orchard Beach Maine  train station stop, adjacent to the new Visitors Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce Building, is just 100 yards from the beach and a 2 minute walk to the Atlantic Birches Inn an Old Orchard Beach ME. Bed and Breakfast.


Maine Birding Trails

Posted on: April 15th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Birders

You can feel, hear, see and smell it as soon as you walk outside, the warm air, the chirping of the birds, the crocus, day lilies and daffodils pushing up through the ground, the mounds of snow melting you finally realize spring has sprung.

The busiest birding season begins in April, when blackbirds, waterfowl, sparrows, and the first warblers return. The Migrants start arriving in Southern Maine and Portland about a week ahead of Acadia and Bangor. April 1st Robins and Song Sparrows have returned and begun singing and by the third weekend of April, Tree Swallows and the earliest warbler species of Yellow-rumped, Pine, and Palm Warblers begin to show up. Calls of the first Eastern Phoebes and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers liven up quiet mornings in late April. Hawks also begin to return around this time.

Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers

Below we have provided a Maine Birding Trails Map of some of our favorite walking and Birding trail locations near and around the Alantic Birches Inn an Old Orchard Beach ME Bed and Breakfast and hope you enjoy visiting and photographing these Maine Birding Trails as much as we have.

The Old Orchard Beach Maine area enjoys abundant seabirds in Spring, see some Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, and Common Eiders on the beach, and the day is full of other surprises. Although the entire Maine coastline is full of birds, there are two land features (half-moon bays and rocky capes that make for some of the best places to visit for Birding.

Rocky capes that extend into the ocean are the places where Harlequin Ducks, Common Eiders, and Wandering Alcids are more likely to be found. They are good vantage spots for the passing Northern Gannets and Great Cormorants. The good sites to see these birds on the Southern Maine Coast from south to north are Fort Foster in Kittery, Nubble Light at Sohier Park in York, Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Biddeford Pool, and Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth. Noteworthy Major land extensions into the sea in the Mid-coast area are at Ocean Point in Boothbay, Pemaquid Point and Lands End on Orr’s\Bailey Island.

Half-moon bays and sheltered harbors are more apt to contain any of the scoter species. Grebes and Long-tailed Ducks appreciate the respite from surf. Buffleheads and

Bay Breasted Warbler

Wells Beach in Wells, Fortunes Rocks Beach next to Biddeford Pool, Old Orchard Beach and Scarborough Marsh (Pine Point and Higgins), Crescent Beach and Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth, Eastern Promenade in Portland, and Sandy Point Beach in Yarmouth are good spots to check in the spring Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg and Reid State Park in Georgetown are two of the best sites in Maine year round.

Snow Geese

Bird anywhere along the coast for sea ducks. Snow Geese  and sometimes Horned Larks frequent beaches, particularly at Reid State Park, Pine Point, Ferry Beach State Park.

Listed below are some Spring Birding Events that you might want to attend.

Wings Waves & Woods May 20-22, 2011 is Deer Isle’s Stonington Migratory Birding Weekend. Local birders lead conservancy and beach walks plus boat rides to see puffins, sea birds and eagles. Island artisans and artists offer birding and nature-related originals. The puffin trip to Seal Island is outstanding! Good chance for Purple Sandpipers, Great Cormorants, and pelagic specialties.

The 8th Annual Downeast Spring Birding Festival in Cobscook Bay, Whiting is May 27-30, 2011. Hikes, Puffin trips, Sightseeing Boat Trips, Sunset Cruises, Expert Lectures. Join us in the Cobscook Bay area of Down East Maine for a special birding experience during spring migration and the breeding season. You’ll have a wealth of opportunities to see many bird species in their special habitats. The Annual Down East Spring Birding Festival provides a unique experience in “the real Maine” where birders can get out on their own and observe a great variety of birds in diverse natural environments. The festival offers birders various self-guided explorations as well as guided hikes, boat tours, and presentations led by area experts.

13th Acadia Birding Festival: Bar Harbor, Mt Desert Island, Acadia National Park is June 2-5, 2011  The Acadia Birding Festival is Maine’s 1st bird watching festival, established in 1998. Featured speakers: Pete Dunn and Kevin Karlson. Participate for a special and educational birding experience during spring migration and the breeding season, with a wealth of opportunities to see many bird species in their unique habitats. The festival offers birders various self-guided explorations as well as guided hikes, boat tours, and presentations led by area experts. Enjoy a diversity of habitats: northern hardwood forests, bogs, fresh- and salt-water marshes, grassy and shrubby fields, streams and lakes, steep rugged headlands and maybe you will get to see an ugly moose.

View Maine Birding Trails in a larger map


Bed and Breakfast Myths Busted – Better Way To Stay

Posted on: April 4th, 2011 by Ray Deleo
  

Better Way to Stay

Are you afraid of staying in a B&B because you not sure what to expect? According to Research Surveys by (Bed and Breakfast.com and the Professional Association of International Innkeepers) they say that B&Bs and Country Inns are sorely misunderstood.  That’s why we here at the Atlantic Birches Inn are would like to explain why B&Bs are the Better Way to Stay verses your traditional Hotel or Motel. Most Gen X and Gen Y travelers think B&Bs are for Baby Boomers and Senior Citizens. Let us bust some of those myths and see why the B&B experience is the Better Way to Stay. You will see right at Check-In that we are here to make your stay as enjoyable as possible, want you to have a great time, and  want you to come back. We are ambassadors to the state of Maine, Old Orchard Beach,  and the surrounding towns and businesses. 

  
You have to share a bathroom with other guests. Not True
This Old Orchard Beach Lodging offers separate bathrooms in each guestroom. There are no shared bathrooms here. Our bathrooms have either a traditional bathtub with shower, claw-foot soaking tub or over sized shower stalls. 

Main House 4th of July

B&Bs have curfew set by the innkeepers that you must abide to. Not True
One of the most common myths of B&Bs is that there is a curfew. At the Atlantic Birches Inn a Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast guests have front door keys to the cottage and  main house, and guest room doors. This provides guests with the flexibility to come and go as they please. 

  
There is no privacy at a B&B.  Not True
Your room should be quiet and free from interruption. Guests are not forced to interact with other guests, nor will you have to sit down with the innkeeper and chat about running the Inn.   At most Inns, you may be able to go through your entire stay without ever seeing any other guests or speaking with other guests. We as Innkeepers are very concerned with our guests’ privacy and do everything they can to respect it.  We are always here to help with diner recommendations reccommend
 
  
You have to eat breakfast at a long dining table with total strangers
Guests get to chose where to sit. Guests that have come to the inn to socialize can do so at the big table. Or guests who seek privacy may sit at one of the intimate two person tables in the dining rooms front porches, garden gazebo, pool area or picnic tables scattered on the lawn
 

Gazebo 4th of July

A B&B is just someone’s home where they rent out rooms to make extra money.  Not True

Bed and breakfasts are often mistaken for home stays or vacation rentals. In fact, a B&B is a real business. The State of Maine requires a B&B to have a business license, Health Code inspection and insurance for the Inn. Plus they must meet all state and local fire/safety codes and, are also required to successfully complete a food manager’s certification course to ensure safety standards when preparing and serving breakfast. 
  
You are forced to socialize with strangers. Not True
Guests can enjoy a cocktail and the view of the ocean or watch the world go by from one of the 2 spacious front porches, the Cottage deck or our garden gazebo. The relaxed and fun atmosphere makes for the perfect social setting. We offer a fun and comfortable poolside setting where guests can enjoy a beer or cocktail while lounging around the pool.
  
Innkeepers hover and make you feel like you are being watched.  Not True
They are there when you need them, but otherwise keep busy behind the scenes while respecting your privacy. Just like the best five-star hotels.
  
B&Bs don’t offer any modern facilities or amenities. Not True
The Atlantic Birches Inn puts this myth to shame with its heated pool, free high-speed wireless internet access throughout the property, expanded continental breakfast,  telephones, clock radio, desk, hair dryers, common refrigerators, hair dryer, iron/ironing board, blackout
shades, complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea, beach chairs, pool and beach towels .
 

Cottage 4th of July

B&Bs are not for business travelers. Not True

Twenty-Five percent of guests that stay at our Old Orchard Beach Inn are business travelers. Parking, wireless Internet, fax machine, copier, and non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast, express checkout, breakfast brown bags to go, are all included in the room rate. The inn serves breakfast as early as 6:30 am upon request and allows check in as late as 10pm. The innkeepers can arrange for an airport pick up, you can use the lnns living room as a meeting room and have your business meetings over breakfast in the dining room.
 
 B&Bs are for Baby Boomers and all have lace doilies, paisley wallpaper, antiques, patchwork quilts, floral décor. Not True
Victorian B&Bs, like Atlantic Birches Inn offer a mix of individually decorated rooms with a variety of décor from Victorian to modern to appeal to a variety of travelers’ tastes. For those that prefer the traditional B&B décor I would suggest a room in the Victorian Main House or for those that looking for that modern appeal I would suggest the Cottage rooms with a Seashore nautical theme.
 
B&Bs do not accept credit cards for payment and have very strict cancellations policies. Not True
The cancellation policies vary, but are the same or more lenient then hotel\motel cancellation policies. Unlike hotels, many B&Bs will provide a credit for a future stay in the event that you need to cancel last minute. Most B&Bs accept credit cards for payment, but some will not accept Amex or Discover because of their high transaction processing rates.
 
B&Bs are for couples only. Not True
While all B&Bs have some romantic aspect to it, the Atlantic Birches Inn specializes to other aspects of travel.  You’ll find that this Old Orchard Beach Accommodation can cater to business travelers, families with children, small weddings, honeymoons, wedding showers, vow renewals, anniversaries, elopements, marriage proposals, babymooner getaways, family reunions, ladies weekends, vacations, staycations, mancations, romantic getaways, family holiday gatherings, and weekend getaways at the beach. We welcome well behaved children

Chocolate Lovers’ Fling

Posted on: March 26th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Bed and Breakfast Maine  namely  the Atlantic Birches Inn  an Old Orchard Beach Inn  would like to show you the Better Way To Stay and  inform you of one of our favorite events of the year the Portland Chocolate Lovers’ Fling.  In 1986, the idea of an event involving chocolate to raise funds for the Rape Crisis Center, Inc now know as (SARSSM), Support Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine, was brought from Colorado to Maine.  

 The excitement and planning for such an event began to build quickly and on July 14, 1987 the first annual Chocolate Lovers’ Fling was held in Cape Elizabeth. Over one hundred guests attended along with a few tired board members who worked late into the night making chocolate brownies and cookies.   The Fling fundraiser brought in over $4,000 which has now become one of the most anticipated yearly annual event.

Now in its  25th year ( Silver Anniversary) the  Chocolate Lovers’ Fling will be held Sunday April 3 from 1:00PM – 4:00PM. This event can no  boast about the participation of more than twenty of the best York and Cumberland counties chocolatiers have to offer.   They generously serve up their most delectable chocolate treats to support this important cause. Surround yourself with the finest chocolate sensations these area chocolatiers have to offer! Goodies to sample include cakes, candies, brownies, fudge, , cheese cakes, cannoli’s, needhams, whoopee pies, and other delicious chocolate concoctions.  

 It is definitely a chocolate gastronomical delight.  The Fling attracts about a thousand chocolate lovers and SARSSM supporters who make a chocolate pilgrimage to the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine  each year making the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling one of the best attended fundraising events in the State.   The event raises over $20,000 annually making it SARSSM’s largest fundraiser and providing much needed funding to support the critical services  provided to thousands throughout southern Maine.


Why Stay At a Bed and Breakfast?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Why stay at a Bed and Breakfast?

The real answer is simple, because everyone is different. Each Bed and Breakfast is a different and the personal expression of the owner/innkeeper’s commitment to the dedication of sharing of their home and property is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

When someone calls and they say they only need a place to sleep, I refer them to one of the many motels and hotels in the area. I will ask questions like: “Have you ever stayed at a Bed and Breakfast before?, do you want to stay in a place, like the Atlantic Birches Inn that will add great memories of your get-a-away?” Want to know where to eat, and not where to eat, where to hike, where to shop, what to see, how to get there? Innkeepers are active members of their communities amd surrounding area, and are up to date with the activities and events around them. Old Orchard Beach ME.  is a  small  Beach Community that we are actively involved in here. “Where should we go to dinner for our anniversary?” We’ll give you a different answer to the question than the manager of one of the local motels or hotels would.  How can we send you someplace without knowing what you would like to eat.  As Innkeepers, we have meet people from all over the world. From our repeat guests to the first time guests, we want everyone to have a comfortable and relaxing stay at the Atlantic Birches Inn a Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast.  Maybe you will find our home has become your “home away from home.” Come visit us, our door is always open.

When calling a B&B, you should ask the following questions:

Do the guest’s rooms have private baths?
What type of breakfast is served? (Full or Continental)
Is smoking allowed?
Is there on-site parking?
Are pets on the property or do you accept pets if you have allergies to cats or dogs?
Is there free Wi-Fi available?
Are you a member of the local Chamber of Commerce or State Lodging Association?

A Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful part of your get-a-way and is definitely a Better Way To Stay. Every room is different; you won’t find a “cookie-cutter” bunch of rooms. Years ago, people were worried about the cleanliness and décor of the rooms. The B&B as an institution has become the first line of hospitality. You can see the rooms and read reviews written by other guests. 

Heidi and I welcome our guests, show them around and then they are on their own. We might not see them till breakfast, or we may see them when they come into the dining room for tea or coffee. We live in the main house on the first floor. We are always available if anyone needs anything or has a question. Your Innkeepers Ray & Heidi


Maine Boat Builders Show – Portland Maine Yacht Club

Posted on: March 15th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Now that we have daylight savings time behind us and spring just a few days away what a great time to see the Portland Maine Boatbuilders Show and start thinking about those summer days out in the water on your boat while staying at the Atlantic Birches Inn a Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast. The Inn is just a just a 12 minute drive to New England’s Largest Boat Building Show.

See and talk with some of the finest fiberglass and wooden custom boat builders on the East Coast at annual Maine Boatbuilders Show, set to run March 18th through the 20th  at the Portland Company Complex.  There will also be numerous manufacturers of boating equipment and marine services. Sailboats, powerboats, canoes, kayaks, and rowing boats will all be represented, with the builders and designers on-hand to discuss their work.

There will be many daily seminars to attend, one of the key seminars to attend will be with Chuck Paine on Sunday, and he will speak and show slides of his Maine built designs. Roughly 250 of the over 1000 yachts built during the past four decades to Paine designs were built right here in Maine. Eight of his favorite Maine boatbuilders will be present at the show.

He will also point out the whys and wherefores of both his power and sailing yachts built by Artisan Boatworks, Classic Boat Shop, French and Webb, Lyman Morse Boatbuilding , Morris Yachts, Norseboat, Robinhood Marine, York Marine, and other Maine builders.


Maine Maple Sunday – Maine Sugaring Shacks

Posted on: March 8th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Did you know that this is a busiest time of year for Maine’s Maple Trees?  Even in the worst of winter, Maine has something sweet to offer, as the maple sugaring season gets underway.  It all starts in late February when the sap starts flowing through the trees.  The trees are tapped, and in a good year, one large forty year old Maple Tree may produce as much as 60 gallons of sap from one tap.   

Sap Taps

But it takes 40 quarts of the sap to get one quart of the golden maple syrup that you find beside your pancakes, ice cream or in maple candies.  Join Maine’s maple producers each spring as they celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on Sunday March 27- the day when sugar makers around the State open the doors of their sugarhouses for the public to join them in their rites of spring – making maple syrup

Sap Evaporator

At many of these farms near the Atlantic Birches Inn  in Old Orchard Beach Maine you can go into the sugaring shack, watch the sap evaporate, and learn about how it goes from what looks like nothing more than water, to one of the sweetest things made in Maine. Sometimes the syrup is pale gold and delicate, sometimes dark and rich. It all depends on the soil and terrain, the wind and the weather, just like fine wine. But don’t worry, if you can’t make it for Maple Sugar Sunday at one of these farms, you can always visit them the rest of the month of March and early April. 

For a full list of participating farms visit  Maine Maple Producers  or see our map below of nearby Maine  Maplc Sugaring Shacks below come see us and we can give you a list with directions to some of the local nearby farms .  Your Innkeepers Ray and Heidi Deleo


View Atlantic Birches Inn – Old Orchard Beach – Local Maple Sugaring Shacks in a larger map


Portland Boat Show – Portland Sports Complex

Posted on: March 1st, 2011 by Ray Deleo
Bed and Breakfast Maine  namely  the Atlantic Birches Inn  an Old Orchard Beach Inn  would like to inform you of one of our favorite boat show’s in the area The Portland Boat Show.  With spring three just three weeks away and Daylight Savings Time (two weeks) just around the corner it’s time for boaters to start thinking about upgrading\upgrading their boats and maybe even shopping for a new one.  

 

This Portland Boat Show with over fifty exhibitors will feature the largest display area of any of the local boat shows, with exhibits including center console & walk around fishing boats, bow-riders, cuddy cabins, cruisers, pontoon boats, wakeboard boats, and tournament ski boats. The event offers a detailed show, with well designed floor plans for the boaters coming from all over the North East. The show also has plenty of free on-site parking along with many new boats and the latest designs of boats which will delight visitors.  

 Boaters will be over whelmed with the assortment of boats displayed and the assortment of marine supply equipment, nautical gear, and various other seafaring paraphernalia the show has to offer.  Your Innkeepers Ray & Heidi


Portland Flower Show – Enchanted Earth

Posted on: February 24th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Does the cold snowy days of Winter have you feeling cold and crusty as the flowers buried under snow in your garden?  There is a cure my friends.  The Portland Flower Show at the Portland Company Complex March 10 – 13.  Th is the perfect way to get that feeling of summer a little earlier than usual.  Stay 2 nights at the Atlantic Birches Inn in Old Orchard Beach ME. and receive a pair of tickets or ticket value off your stay in our Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast  

Enchanted Earth

Visitors can stroll through delightful gardens created by over twenty exhibitors, each interpreting the theme “The Enchanted Earth” with creative displays of stone, trees, shrubs and flowers that have been forced into bloom months earlier than their normal time.  Smell the mulch, enjoy the trees and flowers, buy some new garden tools or homemade jams, pottery, or jewelry at the vendor booths, whatever your fancy the “Enchanted Earth” is here for you. Come spend the day and dream about new garden design and the coming summer.

Enchanted Garden

The show will also feature numerous educational exhibits and a wide array lectures  covering topics ranging from beekeeping and organic gardening to grape growing in Maine’s cold climate. Don’t miss the annual Cumberland County Master Gardener Plant Auction held on Sunday, March 13 .  There is both a silent and a live auction.  Your Innkeepers Ray & Heidi Deleo


Maine Restaurant Week – Winter 2011

Posted on: February 15th, 2011 by Ray Deleo

Maine Restaurant Week

The much awaited Winter Maine Restaurant Week is fast approaching and one outstanding restaurant in Old Orchard Beach is participating again this year!  From March 1-12, 2011, Yellow Ffin’s Restaurant in Ocean Park is serving 3 course dinners for just $40.00. These prices don’t include beverage or gratuity but are an amazing value when considering their menu selections and the ability to bring your beverage without any corkage or setup fees. 

Yellow Fin's Restaurant

Yellow Fin’s is just a two minute drive from the Atlantic Birches Inn a Southern Maine Bed and Breakfast. Another nearby restaurant is Run of the Mill in Saco a 5 minute drive from the Inn.  March is the perfect time to plan a short getaway to Maine and take advantage of the Atlantic Birches Inn Stay 3 nights get the 3rd night free package!

Diner

We are only a 15 minute drive to Portland’s Old Port District where you can sample the premier cuisine of many restaurants dishing out incredible values in Portland and surrounding communities, including Fore Street, Street and Company, Cinque Terre, Back Bay Grill, Five Fifty-Five, Havana South and many more all serving 3 course dinners for just $20, $30, or $40.  Before dining take advantage of some of Portland’s cultural attractions such as the birthplace of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Casco Bay Lines, Merrill Auditorium, Cumberland Civic Center, Portland Museum of Art and Shipyard Brewery or shopping in the Old Port District.



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The Atlantic Birches Inn Bed and Breakfast
20 Portland Avenue
Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064
Phone (207) 934-5295 or (888) 934-5295
fax (207) 934-3781
info@atlanticbirches.com