We often get asked for recommendations on what to see while visiting family and friends at Maine Veterans’ Homes - South Paris. Here are our top seven recommendations of things to do in the surrounding area:
Note: This blog was originally published August 28, 2017. It has been updated August 16, 2019.
7 Recommended Places to Visit Near South Paris
1. McLaughlin Garden & Homestead
Visit the beauty of McLaughlin Garden & Homestead, a historic New England farmstead, house museum and landscaped garden with more than 500 varieties of flowers. The garden is one of a few specimen gardens in the state and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Check out the site’s events and programs to find out more about flower festivals, gardening workshops, family events and more.
2. Streaked Mountain
Streaked Mountain is a short, rigorous upward hike. At 1,770 feet, the mountain rises between South Paris and Buckfield in Oxford County. Locals say don’t be fooled by the short distance -- only a half mile -- as its steep, sharp incline between bushes and trees can take the wind out of even the most experienced hikers. Few level stretches exist.
3. Paris Hill Historic District
If you like architecture and history, take a drive through the Paris Hill Historic District to see numerous well-preserved residential, civic and religious structures dating back to the 1800s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the buildings are either Federal or Greek Revival in styling, although there are a fair number of Italianate houses and a mansard-roofed Second Empire house. Plan to make a stop at the Hamlin Memorial Library & Museum to find out more about the area.
4. Grafton Notch State Park
Adventurists and sightseers will want to take a hike through Grafton Notch State Park. The state park and surrounding Mahoosuc Public Lands are a premier recreational destination that includes 12 of the most challenging miles along the Appalachian Trail and spectacular mountain views from the Mahoosuc Range. Those who seek tamer adventures can find short walks to impressive waterfalls and gorges and areas for wildlife and bird watching.
5. Poland Spring Resort
For a little relaxation while in the area, stay at the nearby Poland Spring Resort. The 500-acre vacation resort offers gorgeous views from the three inns and 10 cottages, several restaurants, an ice cream shop, golf course and more.
6. Oxford Plains Speedway
Take in an action-packed evening at the Oxford Plains Speedway. The ⅜-mile asphalt track hosts the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models, Modifieds and Sportsman races throughout the year.
7. Oxford Casino
The Oxford Casino opened in 2012 and since has undergone several expansions. The hilltop casino includes a gaming floor with more than 850 slot machines and 26 game tables. It also hosts the Oxford Grill, a 140-seat casual restaurant, grab-and-go restaurant, video poker bar and more.
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