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Amtrak Downeaster Attracts History and Art Buffs Alike

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Amtrak Downeaster | BDN
Amtrak Downeaster | BDN
The Brunswick Outdoors Arts Festival

Contact: Linda Varrell

BOSTON, Mass. (August 6, 2014) – Maine is not just for foodies – from world renowned art museums to Equity Broadway theatre productions to Longfellow’s home and Victoria Mansion, the state has a lot of art and culture to offer. By taking the Amtrak Downeaster, whether to the heart of Portland or up to bucolic Brunswick, spending a full day in Maine has never been easier. Take the train in the morning, spend the day in Maine and be back in Massachusetts or New Hampshire by 9:30pm, or opt to stay the night at one of the local inns or hotels by taking advantage of a comprehensive Downeaster package.

With the Brunswick Theatre Escape Downeaster Travel Package, visitors enjoy theatre productions at the Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick. The package not only includes round-trip transportation on the Amtrak Downeaster and one-night stay at the Brunswick Hotel, but also dinner at the tavern, seating for an orchestra show and free admission to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, designed by McKim, Mead and White. To end the 2014 season, the Maine State Music Theatre has showings of Footloose from August 6 through August 23, with a special behind the curtain peek at the production on August 20.

Additionally, the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum is located within walking distance of the Brunswick train station. Opening in November, visitors of the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum can enjoy “A Glimmer on the Polar Sea: The Crocker Land Expedition, 1913-1917.” This exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of the expedition of Donald B. MacMillan, accompanied by six other men, to conduct research and exploration in the far north. All exhibitions at the museum are free.

On Saturday, August 16, The Brunswick Outdoors Arts Festival is hosted by the Brunswick Downtown Association on the sidewalks of Maine Street and the Town Mall. In its eighth year, the festival includes roving musicians and dance performances, as well as a variety of children’s events and art demonstrations. For even more art, visit Five River Arts Alliance’s Brunswick 2nd Friday ArtWalk and follow your favorite local artists, while exploring new ones. Peek in on working artist studios and visit the museums, galleries and cooperative sites that are open late on these special evenings. Upcoming ArtWalks are August 8, September 12, and October 10.

Further south and a short taxi ride from the Portland train station, the Merrill Auditorium is a historic performing arts facility in downtown Portland, Maine. From rock concerts and classical music to comedy shows, this venue has a diverse schedule of performances. The Merrill Auditorium also features the historic and beloved Hermann Kotzschmar Memorial Organ, a large and elaborate pipe organ, built by the Austin Organ Company and donated by Cyrus Curtis, an American publisher.

Performing at the Merrill Auditorium, The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is the largest performing arts organization in Maine. In honor of its 90th season, a total of 19 Classical and PSO Pops Concerts are planned for the 2014-2015 season, as well as 12 additional Magic of Christmas performances in December. This season will end with a 90th Anniversary Gala Concert, with a portion of the ticket sales profit benefiting the Endowment to support PSO education programs. Also, performing at the Merrill Auditorium, is Portland Ovations, a Maine-based, not-for-profit performing arts organization, which brings highly acclaimed, innovative and masterful artists from around the world. Next year’s Portland Ovations Broadway National Tours include “Mamma Mia!” and “Sister Act.” The Merrill Auditorium is also home to two ballet companies, as well as an opera company.

For new and innovative productions, visit the Portland Stage Company, Maine’s largest fully professional, non-profit theater. The 41st Season of Life Revealed at Portland Stage begins on September 23 with “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” a coming-of-age comedy.

Located in downtown Portland, the Portland Museum of Art, Maine’s oldest and largest public art institution, has three centuries of art and architecture, with more than 17,000 works on display. The “Treasures of British Art 1400-2000: The Berger Collection” exhibition opens on October 2 and will allow museum-goers to survey British art spanning six centuries.

The Downeaster arrives in Portland and Brunswick, as well as other stops in Maine, daily from Boston’s North Station, Woburn and Haverhill, MA, as well as Exeter, Durham and Dover, NH. For more details, visit

About the Amtrak Downeaster
The Amtrak Downeaster is the rail connection from Brunswick, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts and points in between: Woburn, Haverhill, Exeter, Durham, Dover, Wells, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Portland and Freeport. Shop at world famous L.L. Bean in Freeport. Stroll through historic New Hampshire cities. Take in the endless array of entertainment in downtown Boston. Passengers enjoy free and convenient Internet access on the train, while the Downeaster Café offers snacks, light meals, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at a reasonable price for the passengers. The Downeaster is a fun and hassle-free way to travel solo, for business or with family and friends.