York + Kittery
My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. The only thing I’m missing is my partner in crime, Brandon. I pick him up from his work and we head south to York—a 45-minute drive from our home in Portland.
Friday 5:30 p.m. @ Chapman Cottage at the York Harbor Inn
We pull up to this sunshine-yellow, three-story colonial situated on freshly mowed, rolling greens. We walk along the wrap-around porch and open the door to a warm welcome from Barbara, who recommends we head to the tavern after dropping off our things in our room. Located at the inn, this restaurant has a full dinner menu and offers half-priced drinks and appetizers at happy hour. Enticed by the deal and the atmosphere, we decide to soak up the sun outside.
6:30p.m. @ York Harbor Beach
Across the street from the York Harbor Inn is the Hartley Mason Reserve, a park that overlooks York Harbor Beach. We walk down the windy path, which is part of the Cliff Walk trail, to the beach. Luckily it is low tide, perfect for beach combing.
7:15 p.m. on Route 103
We decide to head towards Kittery for dinner but instead of taking Route 1 we decide to meander along Route 103—a twisting ten- mile ride along the coast. The Lady Pepperell House catches our eye: a beautiful white Georgian that was built in 1760.
7:45 p.m. @ Anju Noodle Bar + The Wallingford
We’re excited to try Anju Noodle Bar and, as expected on a Friday evening, it is packed. While we wait for our table we head next door to Anju’s new cocktail bar, the Wallingford, a farm-to- bar space that serves craft cocktails. Not too long after, our seats at Anju are ready and we take our drinks with us. We both decide on the pork buns, kimchi, and a bowl of shoyu ramen. I decide I’m adding Anju Noodle Bar to my top three favorite ramen joints.
9:45 p.m. @ Chapman Cottage at the York Harbor Inn
We’re in a food coma and head back to the Chapman Cottage. We head up to our room where I drink a chamomile tea before collapsing into the comfortable mountain of pillows.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. @ Bagel Basket + Daisy Jane’s Clothing Brandon craves a bagel so we stop by Bagel Basket in York. They have 18 different kinds of bagels and a variety of spreads. We enjoy the goodies outside on the Adirondack chairs. Up the street, we check out Daisy Jane’s, a women’s boutique. I pick through the jewelry section and leave with an armful of bracelets.
10:20 a.m. @ Lil’s Cafe
We arrive at this Kittery spot to enjoy one of Lil’s famous crullers and a hot cup of coffee by Portland roasters Tandem Coffee. The crullers are close to selling out for the day, but we manage to get our hands on one as well as a Southwestern egg wrap. After our scrumptious treats we wander into the Vinyl Vault and peruse the vintage vinyl selection.
10:45 a.m. @ the Kittery Block Party
We lucked out this weekend with the Kittery Block Party, a celebration of local arts, music, culture, and food in the heart of Kittery’s Foreside. We arrive early and the streets are already packed with vendors and partygoers. There are jewelers, chiropractors, furniture makers, pirate impersonators, crafters, artists, ceramicists, and, of course, a lot of food. We grab a small plate of clam strips from Bob’s Clam Hut and make our rounds.
11:30 a.m. @ Maine Meat (MEat)
Amidst the vendors and entertainment we manage to stop by Maine Meat, southern Maine’s first whole-animal butcher shop. All of the meats come from farms within 100 miles of Kittery that practice sustainable farming and do not use growth hormones or antibiotics. We salivate over the different types of sausages, bacon, spices, and condiments. Outside, owners Jarrod Spangler and Shannon Hill are making lard-fried corn dogs.
11:45 a.m. @ Folk
Next door is a shop and gallery filled with handcrafted goods by jewelers, potters, clothing designers, and more. We leave the store with jewelry handcrafted by a local artist.
12:00p.m. @ Fort McClary
We meet Sam Reid of the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association and he leads us to Fort McClary, off of Route 103. Out in the distance we can see the slowly deteriorating Life Saving Station that Reid and his team are trying to repair. On the lower battery an encampment is pitched; a French and Indian War reenactment is underway, and we stay to witness a battle and a musket demo. After, from the three-story blockhouse I look out over the harbor and imagine the enemy ships encroaching.
12:50 p.m. @ Tributary Brewing Company
We are the first customers to enter the brewery and I’m giddy with excitement for the beer tasting. Owners Galen and Tod Mott greet us as we hop up on the bar stools. Brandon and I enjoy a flight, and my favorite is the biere de miel, a nice refreshing saison made with wildflower honey. The place starts to fill up and locals are topping off their growlers while beer adventurers enjoy a brewery tour. We start to get hungry and Galen points us towards the food truck that parks outside of the brewery, Belle’s on Wheels. We talk with the owner and chef, Justin Rexroad, who breaks the news that the truck is closed today. We vow to try his sliders next time.
1:55 [email protected] Loco Coco’s Tacos
I order one of my favorite Mexican dishes, enchiladas con mole with chicken, and Loco Coco’s version hits it out of the park. Brandon orders a California burrito and we wash our lunches down with refreshing margaritas.
2:40 p.m. @ SoME Brewing Company
We are still thirsty and a local recommends another brewery right in York, off of Route 1. We share a flight and enjoy a game of corn hole.
3:00 p.m. on the York coast
We drive by Long Sands Beach and stop at the cutest beacon, Nubble Lighthouse. Up the street we spot an ice cream shop, Dunne’s, where we enjoy a nice cool bite. Continuing on Route 1 we stop at Short Sands Beach to wander through the bowling alley and Fun-O-Rama arcade. Next we head into Goldenrod and watch the old-fashioned taffy machine at work.
4:00 p.m. @ Wiggly Bridge Distillery
Award-winning rums, whiskeys, and bourbons are perfectly crafted at this distillery. We meet Kendra, the brand ambassador, who whips up two small cocktail samples. The distillery’s newest addition is vodka. Everything here is made in-store and we watch a man through the glass window preparing a batch of whiskey. The man is owner David Woods, who comes out to greet us and explains the process. We can tell that he is extremely passionate about his craft.
4:45 p.m. @ Chases Garage
Up the street we see a sign for an artist studio and gallery. Inside, a big fluffy dog welcomes us and we admire the gallery’s prints, ceramics, and wooden sculptures.
5:30 p.m. @ the Wiggly Bridge + York Town Dock
We visit the actual Wiggly Bridge, which is the smallest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world. Then we settle on the York Town Dock, where we soak in the end-of-day glow.
7:30 p.m. @ Tulsi
I can smell the Indian spices from the parking lot. Brandon and I love Indian food. We both enjoy a chicken tikka masala and garlic naan.
Sunday 8:00 a.m. @ York Harbor Inn
We sip on our coffee and nibble on our breakfast as we watch the rain pour outside. The inn fills up fast for brunch.
10:00 a.m. @ Museums of Old York + York Village
We take a car tour and admire the historic buildings in York Village. We pass the Old Gaol and an old burying ground with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century carved tombstones.
12:00 p.m. @ Kittery Outlets
Today’s pouring rain is ideal for shopping, and the Kittery Outlets have plenty of options. We make stops at Nike, J.Crew, Kittery Trading Post, and Crate and Barrel. It is Father’s Day, so we head out early to spend time with our families and talk about our wonderful and adventurous weekend in York and Kittery.