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A Perfect Weekend Away in Southern MaineVisit Portland Explore Maine
www.Visitportland.com
207-772-5800 | info@visitportland.com

A Perfect Weekend Away in Southern Maine

A weekend away from it all does not lack luxury in Maine!

When most people think of Maine, the first things that come to mind are the foods with which the state is practically synonymous: lobster and blueberries. Then the mind might wander a bit to visions of quaint coastal towns, rolling Atlantic waves, and dense forests with their heady scent of pine mixed with fresh sea air. And while Maine is certainly these things, it has so much more to offer, especially in Portland and its surrounding towns. Portland was once thought to simply be a small, weather-worn coastal city playing second fiddle to big shots like Boston, but this has thankfully changed. This gem of a city is now a major destination for those looking for incredible food, small-batch breweries with cult followings, and amazing independent shops that will tempt you to blow your weekend budget in a ten-minute period. And if Portland isn’t enough, the rest of southern Maine presents ample attractions like cute coastal towns and hikes offering vistas that make breaking a sweat very worthwhile. With 48 hours in this amazing state, it’s difficult not to experience FOMO and to schedule every last second of your vacation, but remember to leave some time to relax; Maine is called Vacationland for a reason.

Friday:

Arrive in the evening to the aptly named Cliff House Maine, a dreamy, recently renovated resort perched high above the ocean on, yes, a cliff. This hotel is located in Cape Neddick, about an hour south of Portland. Plan on a cozy night in. Upon your arrival, head down to Nubb’s Lobster Shack, one of the two restaurants at the hotel, and treat yourself to a buttery lobster roll and perhaps some local corn—you’re in Maine, after all. Then head over to the all-natural spa and slow down with a Salt of the Sea massage (using warm salt stones) or the indulgent Vitality Ritual (exfoliation, body wrap, massage, and facial). And make sure to reserve some time after your treatment to sit in the steam room or to sip organic tea and stare out at the ocean. Then shimmy into your bathing suit and blue buffalo plaid bathrobe and take a night swim while breathing in salty ocean air and sipping on a local beer. And if you get hungry after your evening workout, head over to the bonfire pit and roast some s’mores before calling it a night.

Saturday:

Wake up and head over to Ogunquit, a coastal town six miles away from Cape Neddick. Grab a smoothie (or smoothie bowl), a fresh-pressed juice, or an amazing cup of joe at Love Shack Juicery. If you decide to make this stop, be sure to grab a Bee Keeper smoothie filled with homemade cashew milk, bee pollen, oats, banana, agave, and local Maine blueberries. Then walk a couple of blocks and hop on to Marginal Way, one of New England’s only paved foot paths along the ocean; the views are breathtaking.

Catch a show at Ogunquit Playhouse, "America’s Foremost Summer Theatre”

When your feet start to get a bit tired, hop back in the car and head about 40 miles north to Portland—Maine’s largest city. When you arrive in this charming town you’ll probably be itching to eat, so grab some nosh at Central Provisions; this spot is owned by a husband-wife team and was a James Beard Award finalist for Best Restaurant in 2015. Or head over to Little Giant Market for some gourmet sandwiches and snacks.

With a full stomach and a happy heart, it’ll be time to hit Portland’s cobblestone streets for some shopping. First, make sure not to miss out on this city’s amazing second-hand and antique scene; try Magpie, where you’ll be sure to score vintage gems like Levi’s cut-off shorts and Ferragamo loafers, or walk over to Portland Flea-for-All, an antique mall filled with treasures ranging from mid-century furniture to dishware. Then be sure to visit More & Co. for one-of-a-kind collections from various artists, like whimsical hand-glazed porcelain glasses or small-batch perfume oils made locally. And if you’re looking to pick up some classic outdoorsy clothing, try Portland Dry Goods Co., where you’ll find a well-curated selection of brands like Barbour, Stutterheim, and Blundstone.

Portland, among other things, is becoming well known for its incredible food scene. A large number of restaurants these days are hyper-local and rival those in Boston and New York. Be sure to check out Fore Street, a farm-to-table joint that has been named one of the Top Fifty Restaurants in the U.S.; Sam Hayward, chef and partner, has taken home a Best Chef–Northeast award from the James Beard Foundation. Or try The Drifter’s Wife - a restaurant with a menu that changes daily and includes dishes like pole beans with olive oil–poached tuna, shallot vinaigrette, and cherry tomatoes, and some of the best pours of biodynamic and organic wine in the city.

Continue the night after dinner and explore Portland’s craft beer scene (it has the largest number of craft breweries per capita in the U.S.). Be sure to check out Allagash; Foundation Brewing Company, known for its IPAs; and Austin Street Brewery. All three are within walking distance, so you can easily sample them all. If you’re looking for a different sort of libation, go to the Urban Farm Fermentory, where you’ll find mead, cider, gruit (an old-style beer), and kombucha (for those looking for a virgin option). All of the Fermentory’s alcohols are crafted with local and foraged ingredients.

Sunday:

Wake up at your leisure and drive over to Wild Blueberry in Ogunquit for a traditional American breakfast with a Maine twist. Order the lobster Benedict or blueberry walnut pancakes, and wash it down with some freshly brewed coffee.

Next, head to Stonewall Kitchen in York and sign up for a demonstration-based cooking class. With each class you’ll cook your way through four to five dishes (and eat what you make). Once you’re done with class, head over to the kitchen store and stock up on the delicious condiments and jams. Make sure you pick up some classic Maine blueberry products while you’re browsing.

Finally, if you’re feeling like getting some exercise before coming back to the "real world,” hike up to Mount Agamenticus - a small mountain with a fantastic overlook of both the tree-covered mountains and the ocean. And if you keep your eyes peeled on the trails, you’ll be able to spot patches of fresh wintergreen and wild blueberries: a true delight.

by Ellen LeDuc September 5, 2017 - Vogue
Printed from www.Visitportland.com
207-772-5800 | info@visitportland.com