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One Week in Portland

Hello all,

My wife and two young sons (ages 5 and 3) are vacationing in Portland starting this Saturday, August 3 for a week (we are traveling from Newark, DE). We secured a lovely rental flat in the East End through AirBnb. Our goals are to mix beer tourism with family fun and have some good meals too. We can't afford to eat out EVERY single meal so we'll be taking advantage of our flat's kitchen for some meals, hopefully paired with some growlers of local brew.

So I've already done a lot of research and have assembled a tentative itinerary that I'd like to post here for comment and suggestions. Please let me know if you think there's a better option in a category than the one I selected. Thanks so much!

Saturday - 7.5 hour drive so we won't be doing much, but thinking of dinner at Gritty's as a kid friendly way to start sampling the local beer scene.

Sunday - in the morning explore the Eastern Prom, then head to Freeport for LL Bean, Maine Beer Co tastings, and a Tardy Bros show at the Freeport Theater of Awesome that hopefully the kids will like.
Post dinner at home, head out for Gelato Fiasco.

Monday - head to Old Port to explore the shops and Standard Baking Co. Head over to the Children's Museum later in the morning.
In the afternoon hit up the big highlight - Allagash -- for tastings. Geary's too as it seems to be right next door (but only open for tastings from 2-2:30 with advance res required).

Tuesday - driving tour of Maine lighthouses using http://tinyurl.com/csqh4wq as a guide. Then lunch at Fisherman's Grill. What are the lines like on a Tuesday? Is it a must to line up early?
Later that day tastings at Rising Tide Brewery, then dinner at home.

Wednesday - Haven't done much research in this area yet, but would like to head south of Portland to a beach for part of the day. Somewhere family friendly where the kids can freeze their toes in the water for a bit. :-) Later that day head to the Thirsty Pig for Happy Hour then Pai Men Miyake for dinner (our kids love Japanese noodles / soup, we love pork buns).

Thursday - Sea Dogs day game and hopefully some Holy Donuts too. Later in the day head to Bunker Brewing for tastings. We hope to line up a babysitter for that evening for my wife and I to go to a restaurant together. We're currently looking at Eventide (current leader in the clubhouse) Street and Co, and 555 but would appreciate any advice here.

Friday - Lobster boat ride through luckycatch.com, followed by a lobster lunch. In the afternoon we'd like to visit Maine Mead Co. for tastings. Dinner is undecided, perhaps Otto Pizza as I'm sure the kids will be in the mood for pizza by then.

I know, I know, I didn't even mention Shipyard Brewing, but with so many other local places to try if I had to leave out one I should probably skip the one I can buy at my local store anyway. I'm also keen on fitting Novare Res into the schedule somewhere, just haven't figured out where yet. And at some point I'll be popping into Two Fat Cats to see how the "whoopie pie" compares to the gobs of my youth (I'm from Johnstown, PA).

So what does everyone think? What Maine experience am I missing or what other restaurant do I need to try? Thanks so much!

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  1. Eastern prom on Sunday morning, Children's museum, holy donuts, two fat cats, novare......... are you trying to stalk me or something?

    Wow, that is a well researched trip. I love the eastern prom. Go to the top of the hill(congress st) a couple blocks from the prom and stop into Rosemont Market

    http://www.rosemontmarket.com/

    There are three of them in portland and you'll probably run into another one while roaming the old port on commercial street. Anyway, grab a bagel, a sandwich, or just a drink just to say you did. Portlanders love this place. Also Hilltop coffee in the same building. There are a ton of a coffeshops intown if that's your thing.

    My kids are 6 and 2 by the way. Walk to the eastern prom and there's a fun playground there. Also one of the best ocean/island views you'll ever see. If you walk down the hill you'll run into the east end beach. Quick place for them to dip their feet if it's a nice day. You'll also see the east end trail/running path which actually connects you to the old port.

    This is going to sound messed up considering my screenname but skip Gritty's. Seriously. Skip Geary's and Shipyard too. Head to Buck's Naked BBQ a block away on wharf street. It has a whole room for familes and a couple playhouses for kids. They have a good kids menu and after driving they'll love to be able to run around the play area. The food is decent and the place is VERY clean. They also have Oxbow farmhouse beer on tap. It is the hot new brewery out of the woods of Maine and there isn't one Gritty's beer than can touch any of the Oxbow brews.

    http://www.bucksnaked-bbq.com/index.php
    http://oxbowbeer.com/Oxbow_Beer/Oxbow...

    The best place to stock up on local beers is Bier Cellar on Forest Ave but if you're in the old port Downeast Beverage on Commercial street has a great selection.

    Wednesday there is a big farmer's market in Monument square. You'll def wanna check that out. Also while you're in monument square you'll see our public market. You can even see they took the pic on a farmers market day

    http://www.publicmarkethouse.com/

    You have one mission here, go upstairs to Kamasouptra. Kamasouptra is the truth. They opened up another store in the Maine mall and have plans for world domination. Get the loaded potato soup and it comes with a tasty roll. Also maybe get a loaf of bread or something from Big Sky Bakery. Their whoopie pies are big and heavy and sugary unlike the light ones at Two Fat Cats. Speaking of treats, Foley's bakery is right in monument square too and he doesn't mess around.

    http://foleyscakes.com/

    You could also cross the street and take your kids to the newly renovated library. Cool little kids area. Plus you can see some of the finer people of Portland. Congress street and down the hill is a whooooole different world from what the tourists see on little cartoon maps. You'll find that out heading down to Bunker Brewing and Rising tide. Rising tide is awesome by the way.

    Novare is a must and they have one of the best outdoor decks in the city. Kids are welcome during the daytime. One thing I didn't see on your list is In'Finiti. It's a huge new brewery/distillery/restaurant from the owners of Novare on commercial street. Their beers are all good and actually fairly priced unlike their food. A great deck on the water too.They sell 32 oz growlers in case you need something for the house.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Infini...

    Also keep an eye out for all our new food trucks. Everybody is loving El Corazon. Such a nice family and the food is great

    http://www.elcorazonfoodtruck.com/

    Too bad you miss the First Friday Art walk and the Flea Bites(mad gathering of food trucks at Flea For All) by one day. It brings out a ton of people.

    Hope that helps!

    1. you did a lot of research! a few thoughts:

      Definitely drink some Oxbow while you're in Portland. It's brewery is in Newcastle about an hour from Portland so it may be too far away for a tasting (really, tho, no more time than going south to the beach...and you have a ton of good local beaches nearby...the East End beach is practically walking distance for you), but it's being poured in most of the better indie restaurants in town.

      Mama's Crow Bar is a good, tiny little craft beer bar in your neighborhood--

      LFK, near Pai Men Miyake, is also a great beer bar with good food and there are often kids in there--

      The eastern prom is a great neighborhood to stay in. Rosemont Market is nearby for bread/produce/etc., and Top of the Hill for snacks/pastry/coffee. If you're making sandwiches at your rental pick up some pretzel rolls at Rosemont--

      I would second skipping Gritty's, particularly if you plan on eating. The food is pretty horrible. The BBQ place mentioned earlier is a good choice for local beer/kid friendly food; as is Otto Pizza and Novare. The food is serviceable at Novare and it's a kid friendly bar during the day--they also have a huge deck--I'd imagine a beer and a sandwich in the sun would be nice after 8 hours in the car with 2 little kids--

      The gelato at gorgeous gelato, (across the street from the gelato fiasco) is much better.

      Fishermen's Grill is closed Monday and Tuesday.

      Eventide is a great choice for you kid free dinner!

      Don't miss the 2 fat cats whoopie pie! They also have larger scale sweets like blueberry pie, etc., that may be nice to have in your rental. Katie Made bakery in the neighborhood you're staying in also makes good pies, as well as sandwiches.

      Other younger kid friendly tours that can easily be googled for more info--Portland Fire Engine Company tours, and the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, which is situated on the Eastern Prom very near to where you're staying.

      If you don't feel like trekking the kids south to Wells/Ogunquit you have the East End beach in your neighborhood and Crescent Beach/Kettle Cove in Cape Elizabeth.

      1. Whatever sultanaboudreau says I always second. I'll add my twist.
        1st, the drive up. If your timing/route works for a lunch break, either Pepe's apizza in New Haven, ct, or BT's Smokehouse for BBQ in Sturbridge, MA. Best BBQ in the northeast and Pepe's possibly best pizza in the world - I'm a native New Yorker. Google them. Both pretty easy on/off and beats the he'll out of rest stop food.
        Sunday: they're both good but I frequent Gorgeous Gelato across the street from Fiasco.
        Also since fisherman's grill is closed on Tuesday, hit the Jameson Tavern just north of LL Bean. It's been taken over by the original owner of fisherman's grill and word is the food is still as good. It does lack the lack of ambience of the original.
        Monday, the big lighthouse must include a stop at the Bite Into Maine lobster roll truck at Fort Williams. One of the best lobster rolls around.
        For the beach, if you want something a bit more unique, take the ferry (Casco Bay Lines) from the Old Port and go to the beach on Peaks Island - a 20 minute ferry ride. You can also rent bikes on the island. Good ice cream place and the Inn serves all varieties of Shipyard.
        Other kid options include Silly's and maybe Micucci's for a slab of pizza. They sometimes have it frozen in the back coolers - a good eat in option.
        Thursday, depending on when you like to go kidless - there's free music in a nice park on the prom. Good picnic spot for the kids, usually a taco food truck http://easternpromenade.org/events/
        Bar Lola for a bargain tasting menu although I'm a huge Eventide fan. Bar Lola, quiet, romantic. Eventide, lively.

        4 Replies
        1. re: bobbert

          Great advice on the concert series Bobbert. I see Sly Chi would be playing. They've been around forever and are really good. Lots of horns and the kids would probably dig it.

          Aren't you proud I didn't go into a Nosh is better than Duckfat rant? Not once did I tell Sherm to go to Nosh for superior french fries and better food in this post.

          Yes Two Lights/Ft Williams is a must to go to. Huge park, most photographed lighthouse in world, a beach on the left side, Bite into Maine food truck, a playground, and FREE parking. Only ten minutes from downtown and it gives you a reason to go by Scratch Baking which somehow we forgot
          to mention. Elite bagels plus they make sandwiches now which you could take to park. Do not not get a scratch bagel while you are in Maine. Weekdays it's easy, weekends forget about it unless you wanna feel like you're waiting for a cronut

          http://scratchbakingco.com/love/

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/scratch-bakin...

          You'll see tons of comments from people saying they are from NY and these are the best bagels they've ever had and you know how much that pains New Yorker's to say

          1. re: grittys457

            " Aren't you proud I didn't go into a Nosh is better than Duckfat rant? Not once did I tell Sherm to go to Nosh for superior french fries and better food in this post."

            You just did. Nicely played:-)

            Oh yeah - I think you meant Portland Head Light above vs. Two Lights

            1. re: bobbert

              Oh yeah, my bad. Portland Head Light. How can you trust me with french fries if I can't even get that lighthouse right? Tasty, bacon dusted french fries.

              Since i took the effort to log back in, I'd like to add this as a lunch option. One of my favorite eateries in the city, plus you could go to Gorgeous Gelato after and really feel italian

              http://www.paciarino.com/

              1. re: grittys457

                ...and a great kid choice as well.

        2. Wow, I can't thank you all enough for such well thought out, lengthy responses - they are extraordinarily helpful in getting the most out of our time in Portland. Your suggestions will definitely help me improve the itinerary.

          First, thanks for setting me straight on Gritty's - I was just anxious to start trying local brew and figured that was the most kid friendly place after a long drive. I think we'll follow sultana's advice and head to Novare Res for a beer and sandwich on the porch. If the kids are in a bad mood perhaps we'll switch up to the BBQ option instead.

          And I am most excited by you bringing Oxbow to my attention. I was using
          http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/15
          as my base for research and it isn't listed as it's outside of the Portland vicinity. But their beer list is intriguing enough for me to be plotting a way for an actual visit, especially with all the sours they have. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

          Also invaluable are everyone's suggestions for things in the East End like Rosemont Market, Mama's Crow Bar, the Railroad, and the beach. I've been making a Google Map of places in Portland on my radar and there has been an abrupt demarcation line at Washington Ave with no pins really at all east of there, so I'm happy to know of some options right around the apartment.

          The one thing I am scratching my head over is Fisherman's Grill. I was basing my itinerary on the hours listed here:
          http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...
          That seems to be a note from the new owner (written in the same grammatical style as a lot of his Yelp comments) saying they're open on Tuesday. Regardless, I think I'm gonna switch things up since we're doing the lighthouses Tuesday and take bobbert's "Bite Into Maine" lobster roll advice.

          I truly had no idea about the beach situation, I was thinking of going south not only for the beach but for the classic tourist traps like Palace Playland in Old Orchard Beach. But I can just go to the Rehoboth boardwalk close to home for what is probably a similar if not better experience.

          Now I'm thinking of taking bobbert's advice and taking a ferry to Peaks Island in the morning (probably the 9:15 ride) and enjoying a beach there. Would it be possible to have a late lunch afterwards at Fisherman's Grill? There's no way we'd be back to line up at 11:30 am if we do Peaks, does that make it impossible to get in?

          I'll also add Kamasouptra, Foley's, LFG, Scratch Baking and some of the other things you all mentioned to my "fit in at some point" list.

          Bobbert, big bonus points for thinking of good places to stop along the way. This is an area of the country I've almost never visited so I have no idea what the good travel stops are and your suggestions are much appreciated. Am I crazy though for thinking of stopping in Portsmouth for a Smuttynose tour that just happens to be occurring on Saturday at 2?? :-

          )

          And the kids will LOVE seeing a band play on Thursday so I'm adding that in to the itinerary too.

          Thanks again everyone! I'll let you know how it goes!

          17 Replies
          1. re: shermND

            You'll have a great trip--there's a lot to do in the neighborhood you're staying in!

            It might be worth calling fisherman's grill to find out what their actual hours are-- I based my response on a report someone made in another thread last week, that they did a driveby and FG was closed, so they assumed the restaurant was closed permanently. On the days they are open they do close when they run out of fish, so trying to fit in a late lunch could be questionable, anyway. Bobbert's reco of Jamieson's Tavern while you're in Freeport, (which is now run by the former owner of FG) is a great one tho, as is Bite into Maine!

            1. re: shermND

              Let me add a couple notes to follow up on your follow up.

              Remember that the food menu is pretty limited at Novare. Not sure what the kids would even eat. They just have one random person back there and I don't even see a kitchen. Food magically appears I guess.

              Yes Oxbow is very good but I would highly advise against driving up there just for that. Google says it's an hour drive but I heard that stretch of road can be foolish in the summer. Could turn into two hours each way. I see that Novare has Freestyle 16 and Loretta from Oxbow on tap now. Nosh will always have an Oxbow on tap. Eventide has Oxbow on tap. Duckfat does too. Duckfat only taps 3 or 4 beers but they're always good. Oops did I sneak Nosh into this thread again? It's almost like I'm gonna post this next...

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nzq-O...

              Start at the 1:30 mark. Bacon dusted french fries may or may not appear at the 2:45 mark. Just a warning.

              Ferry to Peaks is such a great little ride in the summer. I usually take my kid over and get right back on and go back. There's a little beach there but it's not really a beach beach. It will probably be you and five other people.

              I didn't appreciate Smuttynose until I went to a few Smuttfests at Novare and had many of their big beers. Awesome brewery. If you end up going to fisherman's grill you'd pass Bier Cellar so why not pull over and check out the best selection in Maine.

              https://www.facebook.com/biercellar

              Just like Oxbow, I bet you didn't see Marshall Wharf Brewing on that list. They are probably the second best brewery in the state next to Allagash. They only started canning beer a few months ago and Cant Dog IPA is one of them. It is seriously my favorite IPA I've ever had next to Heady Topper. Hunt for it whether at Bier Cellar, Downeast Beverage, or Maine beer and beverage in the public market

              http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

              I'm gonna throw one last place at you if you wanna stop for food and can't wait til portland. When Pigs Fly is a bakery but they opened a Pizza/Bakery/Beer eatery in Kittery Maine right as you get into maine from NH. They have a really impressive local beer list. Kittery has a stretch of outlets for shopping too.

              http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/...

              I see Marshall Wharf, I see Oxbow, I see two beers from Pretty Things which is the best brewery out of Boston area which we just started getting in Maine last month.

              http://whenpigsflypizzeria.com/drinks...

              Just throwing that out there.

              1. re: grittys457

                Speaking to the food at Novare Res, there are definitely kid friendly options. In the past, we have had a pita and hummus kind of plate and the kids split a pasta, which was from Paciarino's. The menu is small but the food is good! When you are done, you can head for ice cream or gelato. Its a great place to taste beer with the kiddos along and is known as such.

                1. re: grittys457

                  Grittys you seem like a kindred spirit in many ways! Thanks for the continued great recommendations!

                  You are right, I had not heard of Marshall Wharf either. I doubt we'll make it up to Oxbow, so I'll follow your recs to find some of both at Portland establishments and make sure to get some of that Cant Dog to take home with me. Speaking of Heady Topper, there's no way to track that down without a 3 hr detour, right? That's the next mythic beer to cross off my list after finally getting some Pliny the Elder a few months ago.

                  Also, Sebago's Hop Swap seasonal gets pretty good reviews on BA - is that worth seeking out? I realize the rest of the Sebago experience might not be worth bothering with.

                  On the topic of Peaks, I'm ok with the island charm rather than expecting a beach. The kids' fave book is "The Circus Ship" by Chris Van Dusen which takes place on an island in Maine so to take a boat to a real Maine island is going to blow their minds. BUT, they are in no way old enough to ride bikes themselves - is there some option to tow the kids in a bike trailer or something? I wouldn't even trust them to be able to balance on a tandem bike effectively. Have you done this with your kids before?

                  Maybe I will see you around town at a playground/Children's Museum/bar! Thanks again!

                  1. re: shermND

                    Heady Topper makes Pliny tastes like Bud lime. You gotta go to Vermont to get it. Waterbury seems like a trip I gotta make someday for a beer utopia.

                    A fresh bottle, which you surely will get, of Maine Beer Co Lunch IPA is on par with Pliny. It's really good. Mo by Maine Beer Co is also one of my favorites.

                    Sebago makes some decent beers and they have a big brewpub restaurant in the old port on Middle Street right near Eventide/Duckfat and those places. You might think of stopping by for a beer before or after dinner.

                    http://www.sebagobrewing.com/location...

                    Yeah, Peaks is for the ferry ride and not the island.

                    Something you might wanna plan around on your Holy Donuts/Sea Dogs game is visiting Deering Oaks park. It's right in that area and there a big duck pond, a really cool wading pool for kids, a big playground, and lots of huge old trees. I would def plan to walk around there when you're over there that Thursday if it's decent out.

                    http://www.deeringoaks.org/

                    1. re: grittys457

                      Hey Gritty, I'm sure you can answer this: is it worth an hour and a half drive to hit Ebenezer's in Lovell? (If not for the OP, then for me)
                      Also 2nd a walk through Deering Oaks which I think is one of the most overlooked parks in the city. Designed by Frederick Olmsted (think NYC Central Park) well worth it if you're walking to Sea Dogs.
                      I will argue that Peaks is much more than the ferry ride. Even if you only spend an hour, it's like going back in time 50 years. Leave all pretentiousness on the mainland.

                      1. re: bobbert

                        I found the ferry ride to be ok, and the island to be much better than I expected. The ice cream shop is a good reward for a brisk bike ride around the perimeter of the island.

                        The day we went there was also a young lady selling lobster rolls on the corner by the island bulletin board.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          I've never been bobbert but you would have to be really digging into the cellar beers to go out of your way just for beer. To visit the place, that's a different story.

                          Novare is going to carry almost all the same stuff except for Ebenezer's really hard to find stuff.

                        2. re: grittys457

                          Some more great info, Gritty. I will definitely try to incorporate Deering Oaks into the morning pre-game.

                    2. re: shermND

                      I will tell you that Old Orchard Beach is tacky in that quintessential tacky touristy beach way. Crappy food, t-shirts, and with OOB, Canadian tourists which come complete with middle aged guys wearing Speedos. It is however, a very nice beach and the kids would probably enjoy the little amusement park.
                      Though I love the island, I will warn you that the beach on Peaks is rocky and fairly pathetic as far as beaches go but it is on an island in Maine and it will probably be the coldest water you've ever stepped into. It's so pathetic that I might consider Peaks more for a bike ride than a beach destination (call ahead to make sure there are bikes or tandem ones for the kids). The bike rental shop is a trip. You might find yourself riding something your mother threw out 20 years ago. Be advised that, even though the ferry runs hourly, there's a 2 hour break coming back to Portland between 12:30 and 2:30.
                      I don't think you will have much trouble at FG after 1 PM during the week. Remember, it's cash only though there's an ATM a couple doors down. After ordering, walk about 4 doors down to RSVP for a great selection of Maine beers, many cold, which you can bring back to enjoy with your clams.
                      You can wear out your head scratching trying to figure out FG. They were definitely closed today when I drove by (Monday).
                      I personally have an appreciation for Gritty's being the first brew pub in Portland but do agree that it's been eclipsed by so many newcomers, which makes Nuvare a must. Most places in Portland have a great beer selection so I think you're going to be quite happy.
                      If you do hit Scratch Bakery for bagels (or 158 Pickett - the bagels are almost identical as one learned from the other), take them to go and go the very short distance to Spring Point Light House to eat outside. Along with the lighthouse on the Southern Maine Community College campus is also Fort Preble and even a small beach. The younger one might have trouble on the lighthouse breakwater, but both kids would love exploring the old fort. Great picnic spot to eat your bagels.

                      1. re: bobbert

                        Come on Bobbert, can't go recommending RSVP over Bier Cellar. You can mix and match at Bier Cellar which is like the coolest thing ever. Any beer they sell there can be bought as one and you can create a four pack and get 5% off or a 6 pack and get 10% off. RSVP is pretty faded these days.

                        Scratch on weekdays is easy to get bagels and the store has a ton more items than 158. Go to the fridge and grab a little container of their homemade herb cream cheese. Don't even need a bagel, just eat it with your finger, lol.

                        Scratch also has Matt's coffee which is like the Allagash beer of coffee in Maine.

                        As far at the Peaks beach, Bob backed up what I said. You could walk up to the Inn on Peaks and grab a few beers on the deck or you could just get right back on the ferry after you get off. It's really worth it for a quick round trip even if you don't walk ten feet onto the island.

                        Ahhh, I don't wanna do this to you but we haven't mentioned Portland Lobster company. It's right on the water and they have decent food and a great deck with live music. I see Pete Kilpatrick is playing on the Saturday night you come in. He's is really good and has opened up for numerous acts around the northeast. Lyle Divinsky plays Sunday there at 5PM and he's got one of the best voices you've ever heard

                        http://www.portlandlobstercompany.com...

                        Pete
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg6Kt7...

                        Lyle and his absurdly talented voice
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSDz37...

                        That's it, I'm done.

                        1. re: grittys457

                          Funny, we were writing about Peaks at the same time. I realized that I inadvertently recommended it as a beach destination.
                          Oh yes, I agree that Bier Cellar is better than RSVP. The recommendation was more based on it being practically next door to fisherman's grill and was thinking more along the lines of grabbing one beer while your clams are frying.
                          Yes to Portland Lobster Company but I'll stick with my - go there for the beer and music, not necessarily the food - and that's coming from someone who spent the better part of 3 hours there yesterday. Great spot. We then went over to Flatbread, which also hasn't been mentioned. Though the pizza is not as good as Otto, the beer selection is very good (had an Oxbow) and I don't think you can get much more kid friendly.
                          You can't be done, not after I write that Duckfat has better fries than Nosh.
                          OK, I love them both. Let you off the hook :-)

                          1. re: bobbert

                            I have to commend my kids for making us take the ferry over to Peaks Island instead of going to Funtown/Splashtown in Saco like I had intended.

                            We had a very nice visit to the Island, even with my son's bike incident that necessitated a visit from the Portland fireboat (!).

                            The bike rentals are reasonable ($10 for two hours, which is plenty of time to do the circuit around the island), and the store at the corner has a full array of Gifford's ice cream concoctions (frappes, etc).

                        2. re: bobbert

                          Thanks again for more great recs, bobbert. I am totally fine with the Peaks visit regardless of beach viability as the boat ride / island charm will be enough. We lived in Ireland for a while so we are totally used to freezing water but the kids won't be big fans. But as I mentioned in an earlier response to Gritty, the kids are in no way old enough to ride bikes themselves - is there some option to tow the kids in a bike trailer or something? I wouldn't even trust them to be able to balance on a tandem bike effectively.

                          And we will definitely incorporate your lighthouse advice into that portion of the trip, thanks again.

                          1. re: shermND

                            Bob W might be able to help us out with the bike options as he just rented there or call Brad's Island Bike rentals for info.
                            207-766-5631
                            I spend quite a bit of time on Peaks and walk past the bike shop all the time and even say hi to Brad but never really look to see what he has in the way of pull behind bike stuff. Even if the bike thing doesn't work out, you can kill an hour between Ferry's getting a beer at the Inn which is owned by the Shipyard owner and the ice cream shop, all within 5 minutes of the boat. If it's warm out, make sure to watch the island kids jump off the dock into the Ferry's wake when it pulls out - fun.
                            Oh, and by the way, Pai Men also has a very good and ever changing beer selection. Yesterday, there were about 8 Allagash selections left from a tap buy out though they'll change as the kegs empty. And even though you mentioned pork buns, make sure you have them here. If you do lunch(a great deal) you'll have to order them separate from the lunch special.

                            1. re: bobbert

                              Yeah, not sure about the bike trailer options -- our kids are now old enough to ride their own bikes -- but the guy at the bike shop was very nice. Hopefully he has something to help you out so you can see the beautiful back side of the island.

                              1. re: Bob W

                                I spoke with Brad today and he has several bike trailers and bike attachments where the kid will sit on a bike that gets towed by the main bike. So we'll definitely be taking the ferry and seeing some of the island! Thanks guys!

                      2. I first have to say that I am completely impressed with others ideas! It is as if they are reading my mind!! I have a few recommendations to add, if you are up for it!

                        1. Make sure to check out the Farmer's Market! They have great local products and are very kid friendly! When i worked at a local summer camp we used to take the kids there and they loved it!

                        2. I would check out PortlandFoodMap.com for ideas about little events that pop up! They have great little tips on open wine tastings as well as special eating events! If you have the time I would look at some of the local food blogs as well (I suggest The Blueberry Files, Map & Menu, Edible Obsessions), they give great reviews and have amazing suggestions!

                        3. Pan Mei Miyake is amazing! I highly suggest it! I will let you know that lunch is an amazing deal there! You get a choice of 2 options for under 12 dollars. It is a great deal if you want to try it all! (Also, remember to add the spicy garlic paste to the noodle bowls if you like a bit of a kick!)

                        4. After you and the misses head out for dinner on Friday, I would suggest a before or after dinner drink at The Armory or Sonnys. The Armory has an amazing martini selection (always ask for the cheese plateā€¦its free!) and it has a nice romantic feeling with the darker atmosphere and soft accents around the room. Sonny's has a great feel and the infused drinks are amazing! Its a bit more fun that the armory but its a great way to check out something other than our beer selection in our fun city!

                        5. As another reader pointed out, I would try to go to Novare (during your happy hour selection) instead of the thirsty pig! The beer selection is amazing and the help is great! The food is good and they have a nice outside area that can keep the kids entertained! (They have cornhole and its great watching kids play with it)

                        6. I would try to make it to Duckfat at some point if you can. The fries are amazing and they make homemade sodas and great milkshakes!

                        Enjoy your time!!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Atsirk85

                          Anestes at PFM even gave this thread a little shoutout this morning--

                        2. Maybe I missed it posted in here, but it seems we've been completely forgetting to mention Grace on Portland posts lately. If there is one place you should visit even just to have a drink and/or dessert, it's Grace. One of the best interiors of a restaurant you will ever walk into

                          http://www.restaurantgrace.com/

                          You're getting great weather on your trip. I just left the east end playground and going back now to hit up the food truck down the hill. You also got to see all the boats with that regatta thing happened. Hope you're having fun and kids are acting better than mine.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: grittys457

                            We had our first meal at Grace this year, and I agree that the interior of the restaurant is spectacular! We also greatly enjoyed our meal, and are looking forward to re-visiting Grace and trying more of the menu.

                            1. re: kimfair1

                              The owners of Grace have a new restaurant open and they spent a forture on the interior of this one too. Haven't been but heard good things.

                              https://www.facebook.com/OutliersEatery

                              Great page of pics

                              http://www.outlierseatery.com/

                              1. re: grittys457

                                Same design team as Grace. Really nice inside and out. So far, so good.

                                1. re: bobbert

                                  If the food is as good as at Grace, then I'm in, as the design looks gorgeous. AND, their Facebook page has a pic of Hunter S Thompson for their profile picture, a big win for me!

                                  1. re: kimfair1

                                    If you're a Hunter S Thompson fan you must go, not necessarily for the food but for the men's room. You read that right, the men's room.

                                    1. re: bobbert

                                      I'm intrigued! My mother-in-law has moved backed to Portland, so my wife and I are going up more often (we used to visit her other family there 2-4 times/year, now we're going every month), so we've been trying a bunch of places we hadn't before. I'll have to add this to my list! Thanks!