Weekend Retreat: Portland & Casco Bay Region
Settled just two blocks from Freeport’s Main Street outlet shopping, the Harraseeket Inn offers its guests a taste of the Maine lifestyle. This luxury country inn has professional guides standing by to take adventurous guests out on a lobster boat, or out to sea for bass and trout fishing. And for the ‘shopoholics,’ the inn offers a package called the “Serious Shopper,” providing fashionistas a place to lay their head after a long day of retail therapy at Cole Haan, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, and more.
Can’t stand the thought of leaving your precious pooch at home? No problem! At the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, your four-legged friend is just as welcome as you are. They’ll even throw in a few edible treats and a toy to take home. The hotel also offers a treat for you – the city’s only rooftop lounge, featuring some of the best ocean views. After a few evening cocktails, guests can either head back to their rooms for some R&R or hit the town’s Old Port for a nightcap.
51 Wharf offers the best of two worlds, an insatiable menu of the freshest seafood and savory meats, and some of the best New York-style clubbing east of the Big Apple. Late night, when the kitchen shuts down, the dance floor is cleared off. DJs spin every Friday and Saturday night, and local live musicians perform on Thursdays.
At Fore Street, Chef Sam Hayward’s wood-fired delicacies consist of only the freshest local ingredients, and the menu changes daily. And, as a part of a family of renowned local eateries, including the mouth-watering Two Fat Cats Bakery, you can be sure you’re getting the best service around.
But if you’re in a rush, grab a slice of all-natural pizza from the Flatbread Company. The chain uses only locally produced, organic ingredients. We’re talking delicious area farm mozzarella, rosemary, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and even goat cheese atop a toasty flatbread.
A trip to the Portland area wouldn’t be complete without a family portrait in front of the giant ‘Bean Boot. L.L. Bean, inventor of the widely-loved Maine hunting shoe, has stocked everything a nature lover could need. Later in the evening, the 24-hour outdoors mecca invites you to Discovery Park, which hosts a free Summer Concert Series, featuring the Portland Symphony Orchestra on Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m.
Indulge in all the shellfish you can eat at the Yarmouth Clam Festival, starting Friday at 10 a.m. “Steamer” the festival mascot, invites vacationers to the region’s annual celebration of all things clam. This year’s festivities include everything from a celebrity shucking contest to a rousing round of toddler racing in the annual Diaper Derby. There will of course be tons of typical festival activities like carnival rides, music, and fried food-a-plenty.