Cycle Maine this May to get ready for your summer events! As a former New York City cyclist (shout out to CRCA.net & nycc.org) I was downright giddy on my maiden voyage here– hundreds of miles to explore and relatively light motorist traffic sharing the road. You’ll delight in all the options to explore our beautiful coast and build up your base. Just ask for some of my favorite routes leaving right from our door.
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Admittedly, Spring can be a challenging time to attract folks to come to Maine (or anyplace else in Northern New England), but let’s face it, you crave a change of scenery and being spoiled at Brewster House is always a gift, so check out these six amazing Maine spring flings!
We’ll open with “high culture,” the Maine State Ballet Theater company is putting on the classic, “Sleeping Beauty” from April 1 – April 17th. http://www.mainestateballet.org. The theater is on Rt. 1 in Falmouth, only 10 or 15 minutes south of us.
The Portland Home Show opens on April 8th and tuns through the tenth. For more information click, HTTP://www.homeshows.com.
There are some amazing photographers and subject matter for them in Maine! The Boothbay Region Art Foundation is presenting the renowned Maine Photography Show, running from April 9th – 29th. For details, see http://www.mainephotographyshow.com.
We love the little City of Bath, and aside from my favorite museum (the Maine Maritime Museum), another great reason to visit Bath will be the Bath Antique Show & Sale, held on both March 13th, and April 10th. To learn more, check out http://www.bathantiqueshows.com.
An easy 40 minute ride east of beautiful Rt. 1 through beautiful Brunswick, Bath and Wiscasset, a MUST DO for those gardeners/ landscapers in the room, the Maine Botanical Gardens reopen for the season on April 15th. Believe it or not, they have over 35,000 bulbs, among their 270 acres of shoreline and other dazzling plantings, they will be emerging for your visual and olfactory stimulation. http://www.mainegardens.org.
Also in Falmouth from May 6th to 7th , something Mary will be up for, is the Falmouth Kitchen Tour. A fabulous idea whether you’re re-doing your kitchen, or or just a kitchen voyeur! http://www.mainekitchentours.co
Of course, we’ve sweetened the pie with our Spring Serenity special, 3 nights for the price of 2! Come, let us pamper you in ironed sheets and breakfasts that will dazzle your tastebuds,while you slide into Spring! https://brewsterhouse.com/specials-and-packages/offers/spring-serenity-buy-2-nights-get-1-free-special/
Five Freeport Area Winter Blasts
If you’re looking for something different and fun to do around Freeport this Winter, try one of these five Freeport area winter blasts!
I know, I know, our Winter has been a little slow kicking in, but if you remember the timing of last year’s Winter, it wasn’t much different. By mid-January, it had kicked in in a BIG WAY! The POLAR VORTEX is moving in!
#1 is weather bullet-proof, VISIT AN ICE BAR! Wow, they’re like Maine micro-brews, inn that you have a plethora of choices. The first will be offered at Spire & Ice Inn Gotham, January 15-16; the second at the Portland Harbor Hotel on the following weekend, third at the Brunswick Hotel & Tavern February 4-6, and finally here in Freeport on February 19 & 20 as part of “Flavors of Freeport.”
How about a biathlon? A BIATHLON is a competitive endurance event combining cross-country skiing with target shooting. For $25, this event in Jefferson, Maine (1/2 hour east) is open to all, even beginners, including the opportunity to borrow an air rifle and receive instruction before heading out. In the best tradition of Maine events, beer and hot toddies are available! By the way, Pineland Farms, 15 minutes from Brewster House is the practice ground for the US Biathlon Team!
In the summer, Bradbury Mountain State Park hosts competitive Mountain Bike and running events, but in the winter turns to their SNOWSHOE Series. http://trailmonsterrunning.com/bradburysnow About 8 miles west of us in Pownal, these events are offered on 1/24, 2/14 and 3/6. These races range from 3 to 5 miles long. Although they have a few pair of snowshoes to loan, it would seem that if you’re up to racing, you would likely have your own (they’re on a 50% off sale as I speak @ LL Bean).
I’ve written about this before, but it’s so fun and Mainely unique, it’s worth a visit! It’s sort of a Mardi Gras built on the US NATIONAL TOBOGGAN CHAMPIONSHIPS at Camden Snow Bowl from Feb. 5-7. http://www.camdensnowbowl.com/toboggan-championships/ For $30, you can compete on your 2, 3 or 4 person toboggan, by taking your waxed up toboggan down the 400’ iced wooden chute and across the frozen pond at it’s base. Most teams are in costume, and the eats and drinks are a large part of this annual show.
February 6th brings the SNOWMAN ADVENTURE RACE on East End Hill in Portland, 15 minutes south of us. This sounds like a mini winter-biathlon! http://www.snowmanadventure.com Every piece begins with a run up East End hill and a return sled down with teammates sledding as one to the finish. This event is a 2 person relay, made up of a 4-1/2 mile bicycle race around the Back Cove, a 2-1/4 mile run around the East End and the Back Cove. There will be mens, women, co-ed and adult-kids teams as well.
No matter your event choice, we have ample toboggan, sled, bike and snowshoe parking here at Brewster House, and are well equipped to soothe your body & mind post event, with a hot bath, ironed sheets and bottle of your favorite wine! Call us at 207-865-4121, or online at www.brewsterhouse.com to reserve a fireplace room!
July 18 – July 20th will mark the Portland visit of Tall Ships 2015, the first return of this event in 15 years, and the final stop of the 2015 Tall Ships Challenge! The Challenge being a series of races beginning in Cape Charles,Virginia which makes stops up the East coast in Philadelphia, Camden, NJ, and Greenport, NY before finishing in Portland. These races are crewed by young people in a friendly competition, as a means of sail training and education.
Portland will host at least eight tall ships, being lead by the US Coast Guard barque Eagle (295’) , and including the Oliver Hazard Perry (210’ square rigger out of Newport, RI), the Picton Castle (179’ baroque home-ported in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia), and the El Galeon (180’ from Seville, Spain). The list of participating sailing ships is still being finalized, but will likely include the Bowdoin, 100’ schooner famed for it’s Arctic explorations and formerly captained by Donald MacMillan http://www.bowdoin.edu/arctic-museum/biographies/macmillan.shtml (who grew up beside Brewster House), and other Maine based windjammers.
If you’ve never had the privilege of seeing and hearing these amazing specters from our past under sail, you owe yourself the opportunity to experience what is a deeply evocative and emotional experience! It is truly a unique historical moment you will never forget!! The fleet will sail in parade fashion into Portland Harbor on July 18th at 1PM, and dock for tours along the Portland waterfront. You may tour the Eagle for free, but tickets to tour all of the ships may be found at www.tallshipsportland.com for $15 (which will support sail training and education). Ship tours will be offered from 9AM to 9PM on Sunday, and 9AM to 6PM on Monday. The event will also include live music and food, which is remarkable in Portland, SO DON’T MISS THIS SUMMER HIGH POINT!
As I write this blog, Brewster House still has several rooms available, so make this getaway complete by booking your stay with us NOW!
Portland, Maine has countless restaurants to choose from, so writing a post about “The Best Restaurants in Portland, Maine” can be a risky business: we’re bound to miss someone’s favorite! That being said, we’ll plunge ahead, regardless, with the caveat that this list is compiled from both our own experiences and those of our guests:
555 Congress St. – 207-761-0555 – fivefifty-five.com
With a host of awards and associations backing up its efforts, Executive Chef and Co-Owner Steve Corry is proud to offer locally sourced ingredients in such delectable favorites as truffled lobster mac and cheese, citrus-cured Atlantic fluke, and their to-die-for white chocolate passion fruit cheesecake.
88 Middle St. – 207-774-8538 – hugos.net
Chef-Owner’s Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley’s combined restaurateur experience allow them to run a kitchen that fosters both excellence and creativity, so you know you’re in for something special. Consistently placed among the top 10 American restaurants, Hugo’s is nationally acclaimed for its refined, New England-style dishes, such as cornmeal-crusted soft-shell lobster, local pheasant with polenta, turnips and shiitake, and rabbit salad. Fine dining at its finest!
505 Fore St. – 207-772-8242 – www.zapotecarestaurant.com
Zapoteca is known for its unique, fire-roasted, Mexican dishes prepared using a combination of modern and old world cooking techniques and using sustainable seafood and local produce whenever possible. Billed as a tequileria as well as a restaurant, Zapoteca is famous for their creative margaritas and boasts over 100 different, high quality tequilas – just don’t ask for Jose Cuervo! – along with a broad, international wine list.
288 Fore St. 0- 207-775-2717 – forestreet.biz
Fore Street was one of the first restaurants in Maine to feature an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven, grill, and turnspit. Hardwood and apple wood fire cooked seafood, meats, game, and vegetables have made Fore Street a New England destination.
43 Middle St. – 207-774-8080 – duckfat.com
Billed as a small sandwich shop, Duckfat is anything but run of the mill. Chef Rob, former chef-owner of Hugo’s, focus here is great homemade food made from the best quality ingredients: classic Belgian fries made with local Maine potatoes fried in duck fat, panini, soups, salads, charcuterie, and milkshakes plus a beer and wine list designed to satisfy the pickiest foodie.
Portland Lobster Company
180 Commercial St. – 207-775-2112 – portlandlobstercompany.com
Of course, there had to be lobster – this is Maine, after all. Portland Lobster Company is a no-nonsense, oceanfront mecca for great lobster, consistently awarded Best Lobster Roll, Best Seafood Restaurant, and Best Patio/Outdoor Bar in Portland. Other items on the menu include some fantastic non-lobster items like fried clams, scallops, Peekytoe crab and avocado wrap, and some of the best fries out there. Okay, enough: I’m now officially very, very hungry.
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast is less than half an hour’s drive from Portland, Maine, giving you another great reason to make us and the picturesque town of Freeport your Maine destination!