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Maine

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Earlier this summer, we visited Portland Maine for the first time. I made of list of things to do in Portland Maine with teens and kids this summer. I fell in love with the state of Maine a few years ago on our first trip to Ogunquit and it’s been our summer New England vacation spot since. There is just something about Maine in the summertime that I find to be beyond quaint and charming. It is one of the most peaceful and relaxing vacations I’ve ever experienced.

Earlier this year, I was invited to visit Portland Maine and experience all that Portland has to offer but as many of you remember, I fell the week before I was supposed to fly out. I savagely dislocated my elbow and flying was not an option. Luckily, my family was headed to our annual Boston trip in June so I knew I had to get to Portland check it out.  I was not disappointed.

Disclosure: I was hosted by Visit Portland for some of this trip so that I could experience some of the local flavor of Portland Maine but all opinions are my own.

We stayed in our first ever Holiday Inn By the Bay. It was right in the heart of Portland with a breathtaking view of the Casco Bay from our rooms. Yes, rooms, for the first time ever we got adjoining rooms with the girls and, parents (if you haven’t tried this yet) GAME CHANGER!!!

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about the Disney Dream Cruise

Here we were with this beautiful room, with a gorgeous view and the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in (and I’ve slept in a lot of hotels over the years through my travels) and my girls are safely right next door. We left the door open (mostly) but there was the option to close it. Best of all, no sharing the television or listening to bickering. It had to be one of the most relaxing stays we’ve ever had in a hotel.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Also, though we were only a short walking distance from old Portland ( a quaint and fun walking area full of shops and restaurants) the Holiday Inn Express offered free shuttle rides to and from any Portland area destinations we wanted to visit. Mostly we walked but having the option at night after dinner, when the girls were exhausted, to be picked up and taken back to our hotel was awesome. It was also nice to get that time to chat with the driver, a local, and get recommendations for places to eat and things to do. He was super helpful and kind, as were all the staff at the Holiday Inn Express.

Here is my list of things I think everyone who visits Portland Maine should check out

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Portland Schooner Sunset Sail

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

These schooners are a part of history and they are so quaint and charming. I had never been on one before. Seeing the sunset over the water is breathtaking. The crew is kind, engaging and entertaining. The ride is smooth and it’s hard not to feel relaxed and free on this sail. I recommend for anyone who wants to enjoy life and be present in the moment. You definitely don’t want to miss this moment. We went with our tween and teen girls, I would definitely suggest taking a small picnic to eat and if you want to make it a romantic evening with your favorite guy or lady bring along a cheese plate and some wine or champagne and watch the sunset with your favorite person.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Maine Duck Tours

So much awesome information and history. You get a complete historical tour of the entire town and bonus, you get to take a bus into the cove. My favorite part was learning all about Portland from our knowledgeable and good-humored tour guide. It was especially nice because it was our very first trip to Portland and we didn’t know a lot about the area. It was interactive and a lot of fun going through the town as the tour engaged with the people of the Portland. My only suggestion would be to make sure that you wear the provided life vests when you enter the cove as a safety measure in case of bad weather. The day we took our tour the weather was calm.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Portland Head Lighthouse

I love lighthouses. If I’m near a coast, you can be sure I’ll find the lighthouses. Cape Elizabeth is the home of Portland Head Light. Situated along the spectacular shores of Fort Williams Park. The Park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Aside from being cool to look at the Portland Head Lighthouse is surrounded by beautiful trails, cliffs and photo ops galore.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland MaineThe Holy Donut

Holy ish batman! Who knew potato donuts could be this delicious? Who knew there was such a thing as potato donuts? They are definitely worth the wait. They are delicious. If you ever find yourself in Portland Maine, you must get yourself a hoy donut. Your taste buds will thank you.

 

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

The Porthole Restaurant and Pub

Fish and Chips and live music. The staff is friendly and helpful. They have the best fish and chips I have ever tasted and on Friday nights, it’s bottomless fish and chips. Also, live music on most nights. We loved it so much we had it twice.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Becky’s Diner

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Maine blueberry pancakes and the charm of old Portland is what  I ordered and exactly what I got! Becky’s Diner was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives. I had heard that Becky’s was a local must and when I showed up, the line didn’t lie. Thankfully, the staff at Becky’s is not only great at making delicious food, they are on the ball. They have great personalities and know how to get people in and out of booths with great customer service.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Flatbread Company

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

I am a pizza connoisseur and the pizza at Flatbread Company is next level. Made with all organic and locally sourced ingredients, this is definitely farm to table pizza. And you can taste the difference. They know food and they put twists on old favorites that I was pleasantly surprised by. I am a green pepper on my pizza kind of gal. When I tried to order it, I was informed that there was no such thing available there but they do put red pepper on pizzas so I tried it. OMG, so much sweeter than regular green peppers. Took my pizza experience to a new level.  Also, they have a summer salad that is out of this world.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Gorgeous Gelato

Oh EMM GEEEE! My girls ( and the Big Guy and I) love ice cream., frozen custard and gelato. Frozen treats are our weakness. In fact, if you have followed the TRUTH for any amount of time, you will realize I almost always seek out and find the best pizza and ice cream/frozen custard/gelato place in every single vacation destination we visit…ever. We try them all, I just tell you about the best. Gorgeous gelato in Portland Maine is an authentic and delicious gelato destination that offers a large variety of flavors to try.

Did I mention that Portland is a foodie heaven??? So many great food options and lobster to be eaten any way your heart desires.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

READ ALSO: Vacation 101: We’re not the Griswolds but We Play them on Vacation

There was so much to see and do that we definitely did not get to see and do it all in 4 days but I look forward to visiting again soon with my family and exploring some more.  There were so many delicious nooks and crannies, corners to turn and cobblestone roads to explore to this quaint and adorable coastal town. When you are in  Portland Maine, the people are so friendly that you truly feel welcome and relaxed. It’s the perfect place for a summer getaway with your family, your teens or just you and your partner. Portland offers something for everyone.

Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

Have you been to Portland Maine?

Things to do in Portland Maine with kids and teens, Things to do in Portland Maine this Summer, Portland Schooner Company, Portland, Maine, Holy Donuts, Becky's Diner, The Porthole, Maine Duck Tours, Flatbread Company, Gorgeous Gelato, Holiday In by the Bay, Portland Maine

What are your favorite things to do in Portland Maine this Summer?

 

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Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

If you are looking for a place to squeeze in one last family vacation, a long weekend for Labor Day or a romantic getaway this summer, I would recommend Ogunquit, Maine. Believe me, you will not regret it. Summering in Ogunquit is taking a break from the chaos of your life. It’s getting back to basics without being eaten by mosquitos in a tent. It’s not forcing yourself to unplug in a world that’s always dialed in but relaxing just enough to be in the moment so that you forget to plug in.

I am a traveler. I have wanderlust in my heart and I can never learn enough about new places and people. We are raising our daughters to have an insatiable wanderlust. I spent my summers in Mexico as a child. I don’t mean we summered in Mexico. We weren’t holed up at some resort. We were on my grandfather’s ranch in the small town that my dad was raised in. Sure they had a lot of the comforts of home but we weren’t allowed to have them. My dad felt like when in Mexico, do as the Mexicans and he was right. He immersed the shit out of us. If we wanted to understand what our grandfather was saying, even though he did speak some broken English, we damned better well be paying attention.

My dad’s idea was that when he came to America, he learned English. When we went to Mexico, we needed to adapt. This was a lesson that shaped the kind of person I would become. That simple no became the foundation for my tolerance and understanding of cultures and people different than me. Who cares if there was a McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the next town over, he said no.

When I was little, I didn’t get it. Why wouldn’t he just let us have the damn cheeseburger? Why did we have to try everything? And believe me when I tell you that we did. I’ve eaten rattlesnake, cactus, tongue and most animals from head to toe because that folks is what you eat in a third world country and your parents give you no options but to immerse completely. And there was no complaining.

Well, there was that one time I tried to complain but my dad shoved a piece of rattlesnake at me (without telling me what it was) and simply said, “Come!” As in, stop asking for cheeseburgers and eat the damn food available to you. You can have McDonald’s the other 11 months of the year. He was not the compromising sort. So, I ate it and I spoke Spanish to my grandpa. There were no concessions made and I learned a very valuable lesson; all cultures are important and the only way to truly appreciate and respect them is to immerse. This is what we teach our girls. This is how we travel. We dare to live open to all possibilities because there within lies our destiny.

This is not just for international trips. When we travel within the country, our girls know that people are different in different regions. People talk differently, think differently, believe and eat differently. Differences are good. We’ve taught them to embrace and respect these differences and from these experiences carve out who they want to be; how they want to live. I don’t want them to be limited by their geographical constitution.

This summer we took a road trip to the East Coast. First a weekend in Ogunquit, Maine and next, 7 days in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s not immersion into a drastically different culture but it is a different state of mind and certainly, a different mentality from the limited experience one normally finds in these fly over states that we live in. If you are a long time reader of The TRUTH, you might remember that we’ve visited both Ogunquit and Boston before. Well, we loved it so much we had to do it again and this time we discovered even more wonderful places.

Let me start by saying that our 15-hour long road trip was saved by my Bracketron phone holder and charger. We use a navigation app on our smartphone so to keep our phones from dying it has to be charging the entire time but then where does that leave me and my iPad. God knows I can’t survive a road trip without access to Netflix and Hulu. Luckily, my phone holder can charge not only one but two devices!

Then there is The Anchorage Inn. We love this place. It is clean, the staff is helpful and friendly and not only is it located on the Marginal way with views of the Atlantic, it is located on the main street of Ogunquit and located in walking distance to absolutely everything of relevance. If you are ever headed to Ogunquit, like so many of my friends now are since I can’t seem to shut up about how amazing it is, it is definitely worth trying to get a reservation to stay at The Anchorage. Just make your reservations early because they book peak season pretty fast.

Places to Eat

ANgelinas Ristorante, Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Angelinas Ristorante Wine Bar and Tuscan Grille

If you like a nice quiet evening with great food, candlelight, delicious food and superb martinis…Angelinas is your spot. I had the chicken franchese with asparagus and linguini in butter sauce. It was some of the best Italian food, I’ve ever eaten and my exotic martini got me knackered. It’s casual fine dining at affordable prices.

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Rose Cove

We ate here our first night there. We were all exhausted and crabby from the all day road trip but the casual atmosphere at Rose Cove was just what the doctor ordered. It’s a small unassuming place and, I won’t lie, we were lured in by the waiter giving out samples of the fudge from their confectionary shop attached to the restaurant. We sat outside under the stars, listening to the singers from the Front Porch piano bar as their voices wafted across the street, and we finally exhaled at our table with the mini fire pit in the middle. Nothing says beach holiday like a fire pit in the middle of your table, a fresh lobstah roll bigger than your head and an ice cold local beer. We came for the blueberry and the sea salted caramel fudge and we stayed for the lobstah.

Sweet Peas

Our daughters love this place for the menagerie of ever changing flavors that they offer. I love it because the kids who work there have endless patience and always greet you with a smile. My daughters ask to sample no less than 4 flavors every single time we go in there and these youngsters have nothing but great attitudes and sunny dispositions to share. We go there every chance we get. It’s the perfect afternoon snack after a day at the beach. Some of our favorite flavors are Maine Black Bear, Coconut chip with Almond Joy, Coffee Toffee with Heath Bar and Phantomberry.

AMore Cafe, Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Café Amore

I’ve got one word for you BREAKFAST! Oh my, this place specializes in breakfast. Firstly, again, beach towns have the friendliest staffs I’ve ever met. Everyone is always smiling and seem genuinely happy to be there. No one seems put out or annoyed when you ask a question about the menu. This time we sampled the lemon and blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast, the Belgium waffle with strawberries and the Corned beef eggs benedict. I personally, sampled off everyone’s plate and can tell you that it was all scrumptious.

Bread and Roses Bakery

 

It has become our tradition to stop at this shop on the last night we are in town and load up on all the confectionary goodness and pastries we can walk back to our room at The Anchorage. The Big Guy had a praline and pecan bar, the girls had tiny mugs made of chocolate and filled with chocolate mousse and I had a chocolate cake layered with whipped peanut butter mousse. And oh yes, I did have my cake by the ocean. It was more decadent than should probably be legally allowed for people over the age of 30. My shorts fit a little tighter that day but it was worth every single calorie.

Things to Do in Ogunquit Maine

Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Ogunquit Beach

When we go to Ogunquit we have one mission in mind and that is to beach. If you’ve never been to an East coast beach town, you may have no idea what the hell I am talking about. Remember the immersion I was talking about earlier? Well, being in Ogunquit is simple. You just let go. There is no planning. You just take a deep breath, walk outside and live and it is glorious. It is perfect for our family because we are always over booked. We need Ogunquit to decompress and get back to normal. Ogunquit pulls my family back off of the ledge where we reside on a daily basis. It’s that good.

Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

We truly spend most of our time at Ogunquit beach. It’s a 5-minute walk from The Anchorage and our girls love to play in the ocean; swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing and building sand castles. Thank goodness for the Snapper Rock swimwear, beach pants and most of all the neoprene wetsuit jacket and vest because the water was freezing in June. Thanks to these cute and durable pieces are girls were able to frolic in the surf without their lips turning blue.

perkins cove.Ogunquit Maine, Ogunquit, cake by the ocean, parenting, family travel, travel, wanderlust, kid travelers

Perkin’s Cove

Perkin’s Cove is a short 15-minute walk down the Marginal Way in the opposite way of the beach. It is a quaint little harbor full of small sailboats surrounded by restaurants that serve lobster rolls of all varieties and offer stunning views at sunset. It’s also one of our girls favorite places to stroll after dinner bobbing in and out of shop after shop searching for just the right souvenirs and trinkets to commemorate each trip. If you are in Ogunquit, you have to walk to Perkins cove and look around.

The Front Porch

The Front Porch is a restaurant located at the busiest corner of Main street that has great food downstairs and a wonderful piano bar upstairs. Children are allowed downstairs but not upstairs. Upstairs is where the magic happens. You can hear the gleeful singing ringing out into the streets as everyone joins in singing along. It is the place to go in Ogunquit for a good time on your beach vacation.

If you are still looking for the perfect place to have your cake by the ocean this Labor Day, my recommendation is Ogunquit, Maine.

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