Insider Tips for Visiting Biddeford

Photo by Shelbi Wassick

In the decade since Roxi Suger moved to Biddeford, the city at the mouth of the Saco River has gone through a renaissance. Renovated former textile mills are now home to apartments, breweries, distilleries, and even new manufacturing operations, like Suger’s sustainable fashion line, Angelrox, which is made in the Pepperell Mill. In another mill building, a 33-room boutique hotel, the Lincoln Hotel, is expected to open in April and will include the third location of Batson River Brewing and Distilling. Suger, who has a retail store downtown, shared her expert advice for how best to experience her adopted hometown.

Beginning the day with a pistachio latte from Time and Tide Coffee is always a treat. Grab a breakfast sandwich or provisions to go at Part and Parcel around the corner before heading out for a nice long walk. For a wooded adventure you can lose yourself in the extensive trails at Clifford Park, or drive past the University of New England’s growing campus to the gorgeous sandy beaches of Biddeford Pool. During low tide you can walk from the iconic “Camera House” at one end to the smooth tumbled stones of Fortunes Rocks Beach. Nearby, the Timber Point Trail at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge allows you to cross over to an island during low tide. If visiting during July or August, an unforgettable experience is a guided tour to Wood Island Lighthouse. After a boat drops you at one end of the Island, you’ll walk along a mile of boardwalk to the beacon preserved and maintained by Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse.

If planning far enough in advance, reservations for an exquisite tasting menu dinner at Elda is an unparalleled experience. Every bite created by chef Bowman Brown is a taste of heaven and served with an excellence and charm rarely seen. If Elda is booked or local seafood is not your passion, you can also visit Bowman’s Jackrabbit Cafe for breakfast or lunch to enjoy the unique flavors created by the talented chef and his team.

In need of refreshment, visit Banded Brewing for one of their tasty beers or Round Turn Distilling next door for an elevated gin cocktail. If wine is your preference, Lorne Wine across the street serves good cheer and has a thoughtful selection of bottles to have at the bar or bring home. Just down the hill, sip on delicious cocktails whipped up by the talented mixologists at Magnus on Water.

Whether you are recovering from the swirl of libations above or simply want to enjoy a legendary brunch, a visit to Palace Diner is a must. Pop over to my store, Suger, before or after to peruse my Angelrox clothing line crafted in the Pepperell Mill, along with treasures to remember your trip to Biddeford. Grab a bottle of wine or a four-pack of Maine brews from the store’s curated Bōle Beer Wall, then swing through Nibblesford Cheese Shop next door to select delicious Maine cheeses for the perfect treats to end your day back home or wherever you land.

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