See Red, Yellow and Orange, Save on the Green

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Western Maine resort community of Bethel offers gas money and free activities during the foliage season.

The Maine resort community of Bethel on the eastern edge of the White Mountain National Forest offers fall travelers free recreational activities and savings on accommodations and auto fuel during September and October.

To ease increasing prices at the gas pump, Bethel lodging establishments offer $10 for each room night booked during the two-month period. Visitors will receive gas money in cash at check out. Accommodations are reasonably priced compared to other New England destinations. Inn and B&B rates range from $65 to $195 per room, per night with breakfast included. Motel room rates range from $55 to $139 and condominium and suite rates from $93 to $349. Many inns are pet friendly for visitors traveling with man's best friend.

No cost activities include free admission to the Smithsonian Barn Again! Exhibition and Robinson House exhibits at the Bethel Historical Society, self guided walking tours of the town’s historic district, a visit to the alpaca farm, and browsing through the antique and craft emporiums. Maine Line Products offers a free piece of homemade fudge to all visitors. There are easy walking trails and advanced hiking in the surrounding hills and mountains. Many abandoned rock quarries are open free of charge to search for mica, quartz and gem quality tourmaline. Trail maps for hikers and road maps for bicyclists and auto tourers are available at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce Information Center located at the railroad station. The family dog is welcome on hikes, canoe trips, rock-hounding and swimming at the local pools of the Sunday River.

Bethel has a variety of dining options from pizza and vegan fare to sushi and lobster. Harvest church and grange suppers offer home-cooked food at a reasonable price.

Says Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Robin Zinchuk, "Our foliage ‘Save on the Green’ promotion is aimed at the fall traveler who wants to view foliage away from the crowded, often-visited New England towns. Bethel is Maine’s most beautiful mountain village with town common, white steepled churches national historic district and nearby covered bridges. “

Foliage reservations may be made directly to Bethel area accommodations or by phoning the Bethel Area Reservation Service at 800-442-5826. Area information and links to accommodations are available on line at http://www.bethelmaine.com.

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Wende Gray
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