Carrabassett Valley and Kingfield
After a two-hour drive from Portland, “Oh My Gosh” corner is a welcome sight. My husband, Nik, and I make the drive every Friday from December to March (or April, depending on the season), but this is our first summer trip.
5:30 p.m. @ Sugartree II
We walk into our room to find an apartment-style setup with a small kitchen, bathroom, living space, and bedroom— just what we need for a weekend getaway.
6:15 p.m. @ 45 North
We have heard nothing but good things about 45 North, so we decide to stop in for a few cocktails and appetizers. We sit at the bar where our bartender, Sean, suggests a specialty cocktail. I go with the Paloma, a fresh blend of grapefruit, tequila, lime, and soda water. Sean also suggests the mussels, and we don’t take much convincing; they are cooked in smoked haddock chowder. We devour the mussels, which are every bit as delicious as they sound. The chowder adds a smoky flavor and the crostini is just what we need to soak it up once the mussels are gone.
8:00 p.m. @ Hug’s Italian Restaurant
We walk into one of our favorite places in Carrabassett Valley and are greeted by the familiar twinkle lights and cozy atmosphere. We take a seat at a booth and order two homemade meatballs, chicken marsala, and a havarti fritter. We leave Hug’s full and happy (and with a piece of tiramisu for later).
9:00 a. m. @ the Orange Cat Cafe
We order a coffee, an iced latte (which can come with coffee ice cubes), a breakfast burrito, an egg and cheese on an English muffin, and one homemade apple turnover. We enjoy our delicious breakfast food in the eclectic ambience. The script on the orange door says “P.S. I love you” on the way out.
9:45 a.m. @ Sugarloaf Sports
Outlet The Sugarloaf Sports Outlet has a great selection of new skis for unreal prices. It is tough to walk out empty-handed.
10:15 a.m. @ the Schoolhouse Gallery
Unfortunately, the gallery is closed, but we peek through the window and see stained glass with the Sugarloaf logo. We make a note to come back on our next trip.
10:30 a.m. @ Maine Huts and Trails
Heading back toward the mountain we stop into the Maine Huts and Trails information center to grab a trail map. The woman working at the front desk is enthusiastically telling two bikers the best routes. Everyone up here seems to take advantage of nature’s playground year-round.
10:50 a.m. @ the top of Ira Mountain
We notice a scenic overlook sign. We turn quickly and ascend a winding dirt road. This turns out to be a great detour. The view from the top of Ira Mountain is an incredible display of mountains and rivers.
11:30 a.m. @ Mountainside Grocers
The sun is hot today, so we stop into Mountainside Grocers to grab two waters and some sunscreen.
11:50 a.m.@the Outpost Adventure Center and SuperQuad
Stephanie at the Outpost Adventure Center greets us and we fill her in on our weekend thus far. She suggests we take the SuperQuad hike to the top of the mountain. Getting on the lift without skis seems funny, but this summer view is a welcomed new perspective. The stream below is flowing and the color green fills our senses.
12:20 p.m. @ the top of Sugarloaf Mountain
We get off the SuperQuad. The area is busy with families. We weave through the running children, head up Narrow Gauge, and merge onto Tote Road (two of my favorite trails). The trails seem much steeper in the summer, and we pause every few minutes to turn around and take in the view. At the top it’s a clear day and we can see everything.
2:00 p.m. @ Gepetto’s
Cold glasses of water and lemonade are just what we need. We order bruschetta to start and both decide on the new menu item, a steak sandwich with homemade chips.
3:00 p.m. @ Downhill Supply Company
It doesn’t take us long to find Sea Bags’s Sugarloaf- branded Christmas stockings. We don’t hesitate to purchase two.
3:20 p.m. @ Mountainside Real Estate
We pop in and talk to Jeff about possible rentals for the season, but the rentals are almost all booked already. We leaf through a real estate catalog and dream of buying a house here.
3:40 p.m. @ Sugartree II
Tired, full, and happy, we relax in the room before dinner.
5:00 p.m. @ the Fitness Center
Our room came with passes to the fitness center. Complete with a gym, racquetball court, pool, sauna, and massage rooms, it seems to be the perfect addition to a stay in any season.
7:00 p.m.@ the Coplin Dinner House
We heard from multiple people that we have to eat here and they were right. We are seated by a window with a view of the overflowing flower garden. I order a Blueberry Fields cocktail and we start with the tuna tartare. I order the salmon with apricot glaze and goat cheese and Nik picks the rack of lamb. Our meals are beautifully presented and the flavors are fantastic. All the food served is locally sourced and fresh. We finish with delicious homemade blueberry pie.
8:00 a.m. @ Strokes Bar and Grill
We sit down with a view of the putting green. I opt for the blueberry pancakes and Nik tries the huevos rancheros Benedict, which came highly recommended. Laurel, our waitress, has a name tag that boasts “Sugarloafer since 1969.”
8:45 a.m. @ Sugarloaf Golf Course
We hit a bucket of balls at the driving range and find our swing. Then we tee off with a strong start. At the tenth hole, I am distracted by the amazing view of Crocker Mountains and lose two balls getting to the green. But Nik is able to focus and gets an eagle.
1:10 p.m. @ the eighteenth hole
The weather is perfect and we can’t wait to play the course again next time.
1:50 p.m. @ Kennedy Farm
We stop by Kennedy Farm, where the Kingfield Pops Festival takes place every summer. The field is open and green and we can imagine a fun night of music and fireworks happening here.
2:00 p.m. @ Rolling Fatties
Full picnic tables surround the shop. We see the food truck outside but follow the delicious smell indoors. Rob and Polly MacMichael, the husband- and-wife owners, recently opened the shop in addition to the food truck and told us they are now open year-round. Polly suggests we try the cheeseburger burrito. All the wraps are homemade; Polly jokes that the restaurant turns into a tortilla factory on some days. We see burritos in our future every Sunday this winter on our way out of town.
2:20 p.m. @ Route 27
We head home, feeling perfectly tired, full, and happy. We agree it was a great 48 hours.