Tim and I took a week off from work at the beginning of September. At the beginning of the week, we stuck around Boston to celebrate my birthday and do a lot of wedding venue hunting. For the tail end of our week off, we headed north for a mini vacation to Maine. Portland is one of our absolute favorite places to go together, and we stayed there for three nights to just get away. Plus, it’s SUCH a foodie city, and we always revolve our entire trip around what we are going to eat and drink while we’re there.
We arrived on Thursday around lunchtime, and our first stop was at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth. My manager Julia and her husband Steve were also vacationing at the same time, and they invited us to stop by their hotel. The inn was beautiful, right on Crescent Beach, and we had fun hanging out for the afternoon. We ordered a little snack plate and a couple of drinks at the hotel restaurant before heading down to the beach.
Tim and I left around 5pm to check into our hotel in Portland and get ready for the night. We actually ended up meeting back up with Julia and Steve for dinner at Fore Street, one of the best restaurants in the area. The menu changes daily, and I love the ambiance in there. It seemed like the service was a bit slower than it was the last time we went, but since I like to take my time and enjoy my meals out, it didn’t really bother me. We ordered a tomato tart to split among the four of us, and I ordered scallops for my meal.
After dinner, Julia and Steve headed back to their hotel. Tim and I continued on for another drink at a bar called The North Point, another place we really enjoyed hanging out at last year. On the way in, I snapped a picture of this funny sign:
We only stayed for one drink before heading back to our hotel for the night too.
On Friday we woke up and decided to head to Kennebunkport for the day. We spent a couple of hours at the beach, and I finally felt like I could completely relax for the first time in weeks. We just sat in the sun just reading, napping, and enjoying each others company. We were in need of some serious quality time together!
Once we were done with the beach, we decided to explore the local area a bit and drove to Cape Porpoise. We walked around a bit and snapped some pictures of the pretty scenery.
After we were done exploring, we headed to downtown Kennebunkport to grab an appetizer and a drink outside. We ended up at David’s KPT, thanks to a recommendation from Monique! We ordered oysters and a cheese plate to share. There is just nothing like drinks and an app with a view, am I right?
We sat here for a few hours! Eventually it was time to decide whether to stick around the area for dinner or head back to Portland. We decided to stay because we didn’t feel that gross from the beach. We changed into something a little nicer and ended up at The Tides Beach Club Restaurant thanks to another recommendation, this time from Dawn! We LOVED this place. This restaurant was part of an oceanfront hotel. It was cozy, and the prices were up there for us, but I did not feel out of place because the service was excellent and our bartender made us feel welcome. It cooled down pretty quickly, so we didn’t get to dine outside, but we had a great time at the bar anyways. We just kept ordering food over the course of the couple of hours we were there! That’s what vacation is all about right? We split the Maine lobster spring roll (cucumber, mango, napa cabbage, cilantro, mint, and citrus sauce) along with a bowl of clam chowder. For my meal, I ordered the swordfish with mushroom ragu and grilled asparagus. Amazing.
If you are ever in this area and looking for a romantic dinner spot, I highly recommend Tides. Tim and I went for a walk on the beach after our meal before we drove back to Portland and called it a night.
When we woke up on Saturday, it was a bit cloudy and overcast, so we used the time to walk around the downtown Portland shops. We hit up all our favorites, including Cabot cheese! Yum.
Once we got hungry, we stopped at the Portland Lobster Co. for lunch. We hung out there for a bit during the afternoon and enjoyed beers while listening to the live band that was playing. We did get caught in a downpour, but that’s okay!
Saturday night was our last splurge dinner out, and we decided to try Hugo’s. This was hands down one of the coolest restaurants I have ever been to. Their menu is a tastings menu divided into three categories: foraged and farmed (meats), from the sea (seafood), and forest and field (vegetarian, mainly). Basically you can choose between 2-5 courses from all the different menus. The wait staff were some of the most knowledgeable servers I’ve ever had when it came to describing the food on the menu, and we got to watch some of the food preparation. Since these were tapas sized tastings and not full plates, Tim and I each tried three items and tasted each others. My favorites were the yellowfin tuna and the heirloom tomato.
In between courses, we were given various palette cleansers. This was a Parmsean flavored broth, and Tim kept calling it cheese tea!
We left Hugo’s feeling full and very impressed. It’s definitely somewhere to go for a culinary EXPERIENCE and refined food selection, that’s for sure.
Finally, Sunday was our last day up in Maine. We started our day with breakfast at Local 188. All the other breakfasts and lunches we prepped and brought with us so we’d be able to reasonably afford our really nice dinners out, but we did want to do breakfast at least one day. I ordered a spinach florentine omelet, and it came with English muffins and home fries. It was a nice way to start the day, with a cup of coffee and outside!
After taking about a week and a half off from working out (I think maybe we did two light fitness days throughout our whole vacation?!), we were starting to feel pretty gross. Don’t get me wrong, my body definitely needed the physical rest for many reasons, and I am so happy I let myself take it, but after splurging for so many meals and not being as active as usual, it was starting to catch up with us. We decided to go for a 3.5 mile walk around Back Cove Trail, a really scenic route around the water with a great view of the Portland skyline. It was nice to get moving again!
About halfway around, we stumbled upon a fitness playground. We obviously stopped for a bit to play.
We finished up our trip with one last beach stint at Willard Beach in South Portland before heading home. The water wasn’t as swimmable as some of the other beaches we went to, but it was a good choice for a quick couple of hours.
After our insane summer, Tim and I really needed this little getaway to ourselves, but it went by way too quickly. Once I finally felt like I was starting to *really* relax, it was time to go home. We seriously think we could live up there, and as we were driving back into Massachusetts, I honestly felt anxiety and stress starting to kick back in. Not normal, right?!
Anyways, our mini vacation was great, and I highly recommend the beginning of September for a vacation week. Our weather was almost perfect minus that Saturday rainstorm. It wasn’t too hot, but it was still nice enough to be at the beach.
Until next time!
Did you go on a big summer vacation this year or did you do several mini vacations or getaways instead? Have you ever been to Portland, Maine? What’s your favorite part?
For more F&F posts on Maine: