Falmouth + Yarmouth

These southern Maine towns are more than bedroom communities to Portland, offering coastal escapes and burgeoning local food options.


3:45 p.m. @ Town Landing Market

My first stop is Falmouth Foreside’s well-known convenience store. It’s been around since the late 1800s, yet I’ve never been inside before. The store has everything you could think of—sandwiches, wine, cheese, crackers, and more. I purchase a bottle of wine and I’m on my way.

4:00 p.m. @ Apex Luxury Rentals condo

Melissa Kelley from Apex Luxury Rentals welcomes me to the Falmouth Foreside condo that will be my home for the weekend. The condo is gorgeous, with high ceilings and a stainless-steel kitchen with granite countertops. Off the kitchen is the master bedroom, with a king-size bed and huge bay window.

6:00 p.m. @ Bueno Loco Restaurant

My boyfriend, Johnny, meets me at the condo and we head to our first destination. The air is chilly as we walk up to Bueno Loco Restaurant, but a pre-dinner cocktail should warm us up. We enter the lively Mexican restaurant and are welcomed by the smell of spices and homemade enchiladas. We grab a high-top table near the bar, which is packed full of people enjoying their Friday night at a local Falmouth favorite. I order the house strawberry margarita with salt and Johnny gets a Corona Light.

7:15 p.m. @ Royal River Grill House

We head down Route 88 to our dinner destination, Royal River Grill House in Yarmouth. The riverbank restaurant is tucked away on the waterfront with a great view. It’s bustling when we arrive. The interior is absolutely beautiful, with a softly lit ambience. At our table for two we order red wine and two appetizers: sea salt and vinegar calamari and fresh Maine oysters. For dinner, I order a perfect rib eye steak, and Johnny gets the lobster pasta.


9:30 a.m. @ Clayton’s Cafe and Bakery

We wake up to a gray, gloomy morning, but that doesn’t stop us from heading straight to Clayton’s Cafe and Bakery in Yarmouth to grab breakfast. Clayton’s is a must-visit, and we order breakfast sandwiches and coffees to go.

10:15 a.m. @ Mackworth Island

We drive over the bridge toward Mackworth Island with our breakfast in  tow, ready to enjoy it on the sandy beach. It’s a little windy on the water, but the gloomy sky has disappeared, and the sun is out and shining. We walk around the whole island, admiring the last of the fall foliage and enjoying the never-ending view of Casco Bay. We find a hidden swing along the way and stop to sit for a minute. From the swing we can clearly see Fort Gorges in the distance.

12:30 p.m. @ Foreside Tavern

After stopping at the condo, we head to our lunch spot, the famous Foreside Tavern in Falmouth. The town favorite is full of lunch-goers enjoying their Saturdays. Our waitress is an old family friend, Lindsey, who recommends we try the nachos. We take her advice and decide to split them—a good idea since we can’t even finish the order.

2:00 p.m. @ Elizabeth Moss Galleries

We begin our shopping spree with the Elizabeth Moss Galleries, located in the Falmouth Shopping Center, with three rooms full of beautiful artwork to browse. We look around at all of the work on the walls, noticing the blue theme throughout many of the pieces.

2:30 p.m. @ Dwellings

In the same shopping center, we pop into Dwellings and are excited to see all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas decor on display. The elegant home design store is a great place to shop for lamps, mirrors, table settings, and holiday items. I end up purchasing a comfortable bathrobe and a holiday-themed reindeer dish for homemade salsa.

3:00 p.m. @ Simply Home

Simply Home, the home design store from Banks Design Associates, Linda Banks’s design firm, is beautiful, with a large collection of tables, couches, ottomans, chairs, and more. We walk around admiring all that it has to offer.

3:45 p.m. @ Lamey Wellehan

Johnny needs some new shoes so we head over to the Shops at Falmouth Village to Lamey Wellehan. The shore store has been around since 1914 and always has top-quality brands and a great selection. Johnny buys a pair of boots to wear for yardwork.

4:30 p.m. @ Carpe Diem Wine Room

We arrive at the Yarmouth wine bar just as it opens for the night. The owners, Robyn Barnes and Barb Brown, greet us. Barnes recommends her favorite sauvignon blanc, so we each order a glass. They opened the wine bar at the end of 2014, on New Year’s Eve, and offer flights of wine for tastings. The bar also features a light menu and flights of craft beer.

5:30 p.m. @ Main Street

As we walk up Yarmouth’s Main Street toward Owl and Elm, we hear a lot of honking and cheering behind us. We turn to see a line of cars heading up Main Street, followed by two yellow school buses carrying both the Yarmouth boys’ and girls’ soccer teams returning after winning the state championships.

5:45 p.m. @ Owl and Elm

Owl and Elm is packed, but we find two seats at the bar that have just opened up. Our steak fries appetizer, with shaved steak and cheese atop golden, crispy fries, hits the spot. I order the burger, and Johnny gets a chicken salad. The pub, which opened in September, serves made- from-scratch comfort food. The two chefs, Matthew Dorr and Rocco Marzilli, had previously worked at Hot Suppa and Nosh Kitchen Bar in Portland.


8:30 a.m. @ Route 88

We wake up and take a walk in Falmouth Foreside to admire all of the beautifully designed homes. Most of the streets off Route 88 end with gorgeous views of the water.

9:30 a.m. @ Rosemont Market and Bakery

We drive to Rosemont on Main Street in Yarmouth. The bakery is known for its amazing sandwiches and pastries. We grab our coffees and head out on Main Street to explore.

10:00 a.m. @ North Yarmouth Academy

I attended summer camp here for years, and I am hit with a wave of nostalgia. The campus is quiet and peaceful. I show Johnny where we had our camp activities, the soccer field, and the main buildings of the school.

11:00 a.m. @ Gather 

Brunch at Gather is the perfect way to end our 48 HRS weekend. The restaurant is packed with families and couples, but we get seated in a booth right away. The restaurant has a great view of the open kitchen where you can watch as the staff prepares all of the fresh dishes. I order the breakfast plate, consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and toast, and Johnny gets a fried green tomato eggs Benedict—both amazing. The fresh-squeezed orange juice is the best I’ve ever had.

12:30 p.m. @ Maple’s 

We stop into Maple’s to get some treats for the road. The cafe offers just about anything you could want when it comes to sweet pastries, and we decide on a lemon raspberry scone and a blueberry muffin to go before heading back to Portland