The Explorer Guides were the first guidebooks to cover lodging and dining as well as attractions, recreation, shopping and events in each of the New England states per se. Previous guides had included all six states,covering only major destinations, listed alphapbetically. The Explorer Guide format describes each state in detail, region by region. We describe hundreds of inns, B&Bs, resorts, and restaurants ,as well as, summer theaters, farmer’s markets, fairs and festivals, museums, historic houses, covered bridges, and craft shows, mountain and road biking, and hikes in the best cross-country and downhill skiing, canoeing, swimming holes, sailing, fishing and golf etc.These guides are recognized as the ultimate search engines for the areas that they cover and we continue to pride ourselves on their depth and accuracy.

The 18th edition of  the Maine Explorer’s Guide, published in 2016 , is a slightly slimmer version of the trusted old “Maine Bible” of guidebooks. The hundreds of photos that I and my co-author Nancy English have taken over the years are now in full color and all the detail is there but the format has been sensitively altered to bring highlights into focus.


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The Maine Explorer’s Guide, now in its 18th edition, has been published bi-annually since 1982 . For 20 years it was the only comprehensive guide to the  Pine Tree State and continues to set the standard for its present competitors and for the more than 50 Explorer Guide titles now published by Countryman Press, an imprint of W.W Norton. By highlighting off-the-beaten path accommodations and attractions, we have been credited over the years with helping to draw visitors farther down the coast to Washington County, down the quieter peninsulas, out to the islands, including Campobello and Grand Manan in nearby New Brunswick, inland to the Western Lakes and mountains and up the Kennebec Valley to the North Woods and into Aroostook County. My co-author Nancy English, a well-known Maine restaurant reviewer, divides Maine’s vastness with me as we annually cover the territory.


The guide opens with an extensive  thumbnails of everything of interest from “Agricultural Fairs” to “Wine and Spirits” (vineyards and distilleries). You’ll find advice on where to find the best lobster roll to which state parks offer the best camping.
The remaining chapters describe every visitor friendly region of the state, beginning with the kind of  knowledgeable overview that you will not find  on the web, including  honest, selective reviews of lodging and dining and descriptions of  about everything to see and do, including hours and prices where applicable, also where to find the best hiking, swimming and all the best of Maine that’s free.

Check out Maine Meanderings on the blog page of this site.

Check the reviews:

`”As Essential as a Swiss Army Knife in the north woods…thoughtfully organized, easy to use, sparing with soaring descriptions and wonderfully profligate with minor details”  The New York Times

“No wonder they call this the ‘original Maine bible'”–Chicago Tribune

Nancy and I are also proud of

Maine Coast & Islands, Key to a Great Destination (third edition, 2015), also in full color, less detailed than the Maine Explorer’s Guide but a great introduction to the area for first time visitors.


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While Maine is on our front burner just now, Vermont, An Explorer’s Guide  is also a big source of pride, thoroughly updated for the 14th time for 2105.




This Green Mountain State guide opens with a “What’s Where” section and then offers detailed descriptions of every region of Vermont. This edition celebrates the ever-increasing variety of farms, as well as vineyards, cheese makers and other local food-producers. No other Vermont guide offers as  many recent, honest and insightful reviews of Vermont’s lodging, dining (and “eating out”) options. 

Also see Vermont, An Explorer’s Guide on the “Blogs” page of this site.

Look inside:

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The Explorer’s Guide to the Berkshires Hills and Western Massachusetts (third edition) is the current incarnation of my Massachusetts, an Explorer Guide, which covered the entire state back in 1979. After a couple of  editions it became obvious that the format was too detailed to apply to a state with as much to cover as Massachusetts. In 1987 “The Other Massachusetts”, covering the state with he exception of Boston and Cape Cod appeared and survived a few editions. The present guide focuses on the Connecticut River Valley and Berkshire Hilltowns to the west as well as towns in Berkshire County.    BerkshireEGiii1.fcvr copy copy


The New Hampshire Explorer’s Guide (seventh edition) also continues to sell.

All five books are also available from Barnes&Noble and indiebound.org.

For discounted, multiple copies contact Joe Courtemanche: jcwwnorton@aol.com or 800-635-5009.

In the summer of 2016, we are researching a new coastal companion to the 18th edition of Maine, An Explorer’s Guide .


In addition to posting comments on this site, email : tree.christina@gmil.com

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