Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough + SoPo

Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth is just a seven-and-a-half–mile trip from our offices here at 75 Market in downtown Portland. I am looking forward to this luxurious winter weekend getaway on the oceanfront.

2:00 p.m. @ Thai Taste and Bull Moose A quick late lunch of fresh spring rolls at Thai Taste fuels me for some shopping at Bull Moose, the locally owned music, movie, and book store. I pick up a Beatles record on vinyl for my daughter.

3:30 p.m. @ Cookie Jar Pastry Shop Coffee is calling me, and the retro sign out front pulls me in. I have heard about this family-owned local favorite, which is known for fresh-baked donuts and pastries. I am delighted to see they have a few gluten-free items as well. I purchase a gluten-free brownie for later.

4:00 p.m. @ Portland Head Light This popular landmark is a must-see if you are visiting the greater Portland area. The lighthouse sits on the rugged, rocky shore. Today it is windy and cold, with loud waves crashing over the rocks. In the summer, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a treat from Scratch Bakery, or a walk on the many trails.

5:00 p.m. @ Inn by the Sea My well-appointed room has a glowing fire in the gas fireplace, a handwritten note with a gift basket of snacks, and a breathtaking view of the ocean. I put my feet up on the ottoman, and take in the last light of day.

7:00 p.m. @ David’s 388 This cozy neighborhood spot, part of chef David Turin’s group of restaurants, is hopping on a Friday night. I meet Maine Home+Design magazine’s contributing photographer and my friend Sarah Beard Buckley. We’ve called ahead and there is a spot for us at the bar. We order glasses of wine and share duck breast canapés, which are lovely explosions of flavor. Dinner is a grilled romaine salad with ricotta-buttermilk dressing and pistachio-crusted scallops. Everything is delicious.

9:00 p.m. @ Rudy’s We stop in at this contemporary cottage-style restaurant for
a glass of wine on the way home. The airy, comfortable atmosphere, inviting bar, and dinner menu convince me that I must return soon for a meal.

7:00 a.m. @ Inn by the Sea and Crescent Beach The bed is as luxurious as waking up to the ocean view out the windows. The inn has a boardwalk that leads down to a mile-long sandy beach. I enjoy a morning walk bundled up on the beach as a few snowflakes fall.

9:00 am @ The Good Table Locally known for its ginormous homemade cinnamon buns and brunch, this homey, family-run local legend is already bustling. I enjoy a veggie omelet.

10:30 a.m. @ Willard Beach + Scratch Bakery Sarah lives in the area and has offered to show me around. I pick her up and we head to Willard Beach with our cameras. We pop into Scratch Bakery on the way. You need to be early, though, if you want one of their famous bagels; there is already a sold-out sign.

1:00 p.m. @ Verbena Cafe We settle into the couches and sip on iced green tea with coconut. My flattop chicken sandwich with feta cheese, pickled red onion, and lemon- garlic aioli is grilled to perfection on gluten-free bread.

2:00 p.m. @ The Farm Stand + Heirloom Consignment After lunch we wander down Ocean Street into the Farm Stand at Jordan’s Farm. I am wowed by the beautifully curated selection of locally raised meats, eggs, milk, veggies, cheeses, beer, and wine. It shares a building with Heirloom Consignment, which has a huge selection of antique, modern, and vintage items.

3:30 p.m. @ C Salt Gourmet Market I say goodbye to Sarah and make a quick stop. Lots of Maine gift items and specialty foods make this a great place to pick up gifts to take home from the trip.

5:00 p.m. @ Inn by the Sea I treat myself to a deep tissue massage in the spa. I arrive early so I can relax and experience the steam room.

7:30 p.m. @ Sea Glass Restaurant Fully relaxed, I enjoy a perfectly prepared filet mignon and salad at Inn by the Sea’s restaurant.

8:30 a.m. @ Sea Glass Restaurant Raj Mahajan, my server, easily talks me into treating myself to the restaurant’s specialty, lobster benedict, which I thoroughly enjoy overlooking the gorgeous dunes and view of the ocean.

10:00 a.m. @ Breathing Room Before my trip I emailed Lily Dougher, the owner, to ask what yoga class might be good for someone who is new to it. She assures me that sometimes the best class is the one that feels convenient and can be integrated with the daily schedule. I try the Sunday morning Flow for All class, which turns out to be the ideal balance of stretching, exercising, and moving meditation.

11:30 a.m. @ Higgins Beach in Scarborough It’s a stormy winter day and I head down with my camera to catch a few shots of the rolling waves and the brave surfers who ride them.

12:00 p.m. @ Chilton Furniture This family-owned company has a huge showroom of beautifully handcrafted fine wood furniture. Much of it is made right here in Maine.

12:30p.m. @ Mougalian Rugs I venture into the enormous showroom. I am amazed at the huge selection of both traditional and modern rugs.

1:00 p.m. @ Len Libby All this shopping has me in the mood to stop in and see Lenny—the world’s only life-size chocolate moose! I browse this fourth-generation-owned fine chocolate shop and pick up some much smaller chocolate moose for gifts

1:30 p.m. @ Lois’ Natural Marketplace The deli and cafe here is a great place to pick up a salad for lunch and some prepared meals to take home for dinner.

2:00 p.m. I-95 South As my weekend comes to an end, I drive home to Kennebunk. I am reminded what deep relaxation and new discoveries can come from a weekend spent close to home in a new place.

Share The Inspiration