Boothbay, Wiscasset, and Damariscotta
Friday 1:00 p.m. Red’s Eats
It’s pretty hard to drive through one of the cutest downtowns in New England and not stop for an ice cream cone at Red’s Eats, so I decide to pull over. Wiscasset’s downtown is perched on a hill that descends down to the jaw- dropping backdrop of the Sheepscot River. While sharing a family-style table with a couple of local gentlemen, I can’t help but hear them say how Treats has the best tomato soup they have ever tasted.
2:00 p.m. @ Hodgdon Yachts
I make time to learn more about one of the oldest boatyards in Maine. It’s been a family operation since 1816, and it is a pleasure to be greeted by marketing director Audrey Hodgdon and design director James Anderson. They show me around the East Boothbay boatyard where I see a gorgeous 116-foot, steel-hull sailboat in for a refit, as well as a cold-molded, 65-foot Pedrick design sailboat. We cruise down to Southport to check out their latest venture, Hodgdon Yacht Services. This full-service yacht facility specializes in service, storage, and refits. On the way out of Southport I stop at Robinson’s Wharf. This is a great local spot for lobsters and dinner.
4:00 p.m. @ The Topside Inn
Located on the top of McKown Hill in Boothbay Harbor is this beautiful bed and breakfast with amazing water views. Inside, the staff is friendly, the gas fireplace is lit, and it seems the owners, Brian “Buzz” Makarewicz and Mark Osborn, have thought of everything—there are even afternoon snacks for guests. My room is newly renovated and is bright with high ceilings and a fluffy king-sized bed with tufted headboard. My husband Joe isn’t joining me until tomorrow night, and I decide to take it easy, which is welcome for this mom- to-be.
5:00 p.m. on Main St., Wiscasset
I head back into Wiscasset to check out a couple of shops that caught my eye. I am impressed with Wiscasset Bay Gallery, which has a great blend of contemporary and classic art and is run by a husband-and-wife team, Keith and Cordelia Oehmig. Next door is In the Clover, where the owners have created a perfect blend of home goods, soaps, clothing, and jewelry. I enjoy perusing the selection.
6:00 p.m. @ Sarah’s Cafe
I used to go to Sarah’s a lot as a kid, so I stop in for pizza and salad. It’s easy to see it’s one of the local favorites, with lots of families stopping in for Friday night dinner and groups gathering on the deck that overlooks the water.
Saturday 8:00 a.m. @ The Topside Inn
After a pleasant slumber and waking up to a stunning view, I make my way over to the main house and enjoy coffee on the deck that has views of the harbor. I love that they have blankets and bug spray ready and waiting. I admire the beautiful gardens while I relax and take in the sights and sounds. I head into the dining room for breakfast. Mark and Buzz alternate making breakfast—one day is sweet and the other is savory. I start with fruit and a deviled egg and then I enjoy the best sour cream waffles topped with a cherry bourbon sauce and bacon. It’s a sweet day. Mark tells me about some of the local spots to check out and shows me an example of Alison Evans’s gorgeous ceramics. She has a location here and in Yarmouth which I can’t wait to check out.
10:00 a.m. @ Calypso
Anita Roelzof Circle Stone Designs used to have a studio in Boothbay, but it has since moved to Woolwich. I know that Calypso still carries her jewelry so I head in right when they open. The stylish Lindy Bragg greets me. Her outfit is so artistic and amazing and completely matches her store’s decor. She is getting ready for the busy season and helps me select one of Anita’s fishhook clasp leather bracelets. Morgan Mitchell, who used to work with Lindy, comes in with some of her latest handpainted baby t-shirt designs. They are absolutely adorable. She tells me about her baby onesies designs as well and I have to come back.
11:00a.m. @ Kaler’s Restaurant
Lindy introduces me to Mary at Kaler’s Restaurant. The businesses share a building, which was a livery stable at one time. This restaurant, which is hopping in the summer, is filled with old photographs, vintage nautical gear, and friendly customers.
11:30 a.m. in downtown Damariscotta
I head up the road to Damariscotta. Usually my trips to Damariscotta include a visit to Glidden Point Oyster Farm and a belly up to Damariscotta River Grill’s copper bar for some local oysters, but being pregnant I decide to save that for a future visit. I head into Weatherbird, Reny’s, and Sproul’s Furniture to check out the new products. I’m impressed by all of the local artisans that I see represented at Ocean Point Furniture and Sheepscot River Pottery. Michael Gaffney at Seawicks Candle Company is such a pleasure to talk with. The store is filled with hand-poured soy candles, bath salts, amazing furniture finds, and eclectic lighting. I love the new citronella candles and the line of “Weathered Sailor” candles. I can’t wait to give one to Joe.
1:30 p.m. @ Stable Gallery
It feels good to walk, so I take a short stroll around the corner from Main Street to Stable Gallery. Located in an old stable with high dark wood ceilings is a gallery with an array of art in a venue that is run by all of the artists. I fall in love with Stephen Vowles’s wood-turned bowls.
2:30 p.m. @ Newcastle Publick House
Hunger sets in and I pull into the Newcastle Publick House for a late lunch. The barbecue smoker outside tempts me to get some barbecue, but I decide to stay healthy and enjoy an amazing green salad with a horseradish dressing and grilled sirloin on top. Yet again I eavesdrop on the locals sitting at the bar. It’s clear that this is the watering hole go-to for customers who crave craft beer on tap.
4:00 p.m. @ Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and Boothbay Harbor Country Club
On the way back into town I check out the construction site for the new Boothbay Harbor Country Club. The impressive structure is being built by Knickerbocker Group. Ben, who works at the club, takes me on a golf cart and gives me a quick peek at the new clubhouse. Although it looks like it is about to start raining, I take a ride over to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. All of the colorful tulips in bloom are spectacular and the trails and paths could make for an adventure to last the whole day. I love the Axis Deer sculpture by Wendy Klemperer.
8:00 p.m. @ Ports of Italy
My husband, Joe, meets me at the inn and we head down the hill as the sun is setting for our dinner reservations at Ports of Italy. I worked on a feature for the magazine for this restaurant and have been craving the food ever since. Walking in, we are struck with the smell of garlic, the warm ambience, and our gracious host Sante Calandri. There’s something about the homemade pasta in Italy that is chewier and more savory. This is the real thing. Homemade black squid ink spaghetti with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and littleneck clams topped with a tomato, garlic, and herb sauce hits my pregnancy craving just right.
Sunday 9:00 a.m. @ The Topside Inn
They did it again—the savory breakfast is offered today and they serve us shrimp, grits, and an egg sunny-side up.
11:00 a.m. @ downtown Boothbay Harbor
Eventide Artisan Bread and Cheese is a colorful store filled with so many goodies. We head into the Red Cup Coffee House for a drink. We take a walk on the footbridge from 1901 and take in the sights. “It must be so fun to live here in the summer,” says Joe. I agree and feel so lucky that it is right in our backyard.