With views of Crescent Beach from every corner and the ubiquitous scent of the ocean, Inn by the Sea lives up to its name. Located just 15 minutes from Portland, the pet-friendly resort offers vacationers an idealistic Maine getaway with the convenience of exploring both the city and the coast. The 61 suites are dressed in playful nautical decors like antique buoys, but still feel sophisticated enough for a longer stay, and come equipped with everything you need to do so, from unlimited coffee to lobster crackers. Beyond the spa, heated pool, and lavish outdoor lounges, a scenic promenade guides guests through a sea of local wildflowers to the beach, equipped with matching blue umbrellas and chairs. Surprise summer treats like s’mores, pre-sunset bonfires, and kid-friendly and adult-friendly ice cream nights make days at the inn even more enjoyable.
Where to eat
Once a much sought-after food cart parked at local haunts, The Highroller Lobster Company finally found a permanent home in the heart of Portland a few years ago. Today there is still a line up across the street to order one of the city’s many creative versions of fame, a lobster roll. Try the Gooey Lobster Grilled Cheese or the Crispy Lobster Taco.
The sister restaurant of Portland’s iconic Fore Street, Scales serves upscale seafood in a sober and elegant setting on the Quayside. The knowledgeable staff are keen to ensure that local dishes are suitable for all tastes. While halibut dressed in a buttery hazelnut sauce will change your life, the freshest oysters in the state are also an absolute must.
Managed by award-winning restaurateurs James Beard, Honey Paw offers an eclectic menu with a focus on Southeast Asian cuisine. Try the khao soi with smoked lamb, and their version of a Banh mi (made with chicken liver mousse for carnivores, tofu for vegetarians). Every Honey Paw meal should end with a gentle swirl – flavors change seasonally.
Adorned with pastel pink borders and filled with freshly baked pastries, Little Woodfords is one of the cutest cafes you’ve ever come across. They prepare a special astrological drink that changes with each new season of the zodiac. (Virgo is an oatmeal honey and fresh mint glazed matcha latte, enhanced with a blend of adaptogenic herbs.) And if you don’t go out with an ice cream sandwich, you’d be wrong!
Blyth & Burrows is more than a brand new cocktail bar; it is an immersive sensory experience. If you’re lucky enough to sneak into the back bar hidden behind a shelf, try one of the New England Clambake cocktails created to put a summer party in your mouth. Also note the offer of oysters in dollars every Wednesday.