The destination of the month for October 2009 is Maine. Trees changing colors and gourmet food make Maine the perfect fall destination. October brings cool and pleasant weather to the North East of the United States. Unless someone has traveled to Maine they usually do not know how wonderful the dining experiences can be in Portland, Maine. My husband and I had one of the best meals we have EVER eaten at a small restaurant in Portland called Vignola (check out www.vignolamaine.com). We started with a wine flight and cheese platter from their immense selection of international cheeses. After the cheese we moved on to a delightful heirloom tomato salad (all locally grown of course) and then on to the main courses which are rotating based on the freshest local produce and an seasonal selections by the chef. To top it off we enjoyed a warm apple crisp with a rich Hungarian dessert wine. Overall an amazing dining experience that we would recommend to anyone searching for dining excellence. Just remember that everything in Portland closes early so make sure to get seated and order before 9:30pm. If you are in a pinch Sebago is one of the only places in downtown Portland that is open "late night" and they serve a large selection of food including a great lobster quesadilla.
For accommodations in Portland, I recommend the Pomegranate Inn, a member of the Select Registry of distinguished inns of North America. This bed and breakfast is quaint and very well decorated, each room is themed and features eclectic furnishings and brightly colored murals or wall paper in every room. The Pomegranate Inn is very cozy with only eight rooms so make sure to reserve early at www.pomegranateinn.com where you can choose your room or suite and add on packages such as cheese plates, chocolate covered strawberries, and champagne. As if the rooms and rates were not good enough, the Inn features a gourmet breakfast for every guest of the inn with such delicacies as vegetable frittata, huevos rancheros and banana bread french toast (so yummy!). In the afternoon the inn features Intermezzo, an opportunity to meet other guests in the inn and enjoy appetizers and wine. Overall the Pomegranate Inn is a wonderful place to stay, centrally located with friendly staff and everything a tourist in Portland Maine would need.
Driving around Maine, either to the north or south of Portland you will find delightful towns with galleries, antique shops and restaurants galore. If you make it up to Camden be sure to enjoy clam chowder at Cappy's Chowder house.
If you have a few extra days be sure to book a trip on the Timberwind sailing out of the small harbor of Rockport, just south of Camden. The Schooner Timberwind is an all wooden sailing vessel built in 1931 that is now being used to give tourists and Mainers alike the experience of a lifetime. Sails range from 3-6 days so there is a schedule to fit everyone's needs. The crew is delightful and courteous, not to mention amazing at cooking on a wood burning stove, and Captain Bob is full of great stories. This is an authentic Maine excursion that should not be missed and of course it includes a true to form Maine lobster bake. Be sure to check out www.schoonertimberwind.com for the schedule and you will be booking with Becky another great staff member of the Timberwind who can answer all of your questions.
Maine has so much to offer and this blog explains just a bit of what there is to explore. If you have other Maine experiences and recommendations we would love to hear about your experiences. Please let us know what else you think should not be missed in Maine.
If you would like help booking your trip to Maine or organizing your itinerary for a trip that you have already booked please contact BellaMar Concierge, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org.