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Spring Break/Vacationing to Maine

Discussion in 'New England' started by BeerLover99, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. BeerLover99

    BeerLover99 Advocate (745) Illinois Dec 13, 2008

    Any advice? My wife and I have Maine near the Top of our US must-visit
    states. We do not have any family in New England.
    This is a family trip + will be first weekend of April (6-10).

    What brewpubs, breweries, food spots (DYING to try a Lobster Roll,
    never had Lobster before, figure Maine is THE place!)
    and any other Maine vacation suggestions/tips can you offer?

    We are driving from north Jersey (30 mins from Upstate NY border).

    Cheers for your time and thoughts.
  2. There is no shortage of options for food in Portland... I'll keep my initial post brief. You can certainly get MUCH fancier, but I doubt you'd be disappointed with either:

    Great Lost Bear has the largest selection of local beers on tap, with a heavily decorated, family friendly dining area.

    Becky's Diner is a local favorite - great lobster roll.

    Gilbert's chowder house also comes to mind... As does the Maine Diner (in Wells)...

    Here's a post I made last summer... Bit outdated but still some good info: http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/visiting-portland-me-some-ideas.30751/
    BeerLover99 likes this.
  3. KalH

    KalH Savant (345) North Carolina Sep 22, 2009 Verified

    I would definitely hit up breweries like Oxbow, Allagash, and MBC. The last two mentioned are right in Portland and are next door to eachother (and also around some great beer stores too). Novare Res is worth checking out. Also, a friend recently took me to When Pigs Fly and that place had some amazing pizza and a great tap list. Very family friendly and the bread shop attached to the restaurant is outstanding. Just my two cents from my last trip down to southern Maine. As far as lobster rolls go, everyone says they have the best around here but I would just ask the locals once you get up here. I've found that the bigger the advertising, the bigger the letdown with their lobster roll. The mom and pop places always do it better. Hope you enjoy your trip and have fun man!
    BeerLover99 likes this.
  4. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    Portland. Normally I'm a fan of the coast (midcoast or down east), but April is too early for the summer/tourist places. So see several prior threads about places to go in Portland, and a couple about new places - Infiniti, Little Tap House.

    For lobster rolls - always get as close the boat as possible, as casual as possible. You'll find lobster rolls in fancier places; often overpriced and not so great.

    And absolutely make the drive up to Oxbow on either the 6th or the 10th.
    BeerLover99 likes this.
  5. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (235) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    Maine Beer Company is no longer in Portland and does not yet have tours/tastings at their new Freeport location.

    Right now 'brewery row' is down to just Allagash and Gearys, the latter only sorta/barely doing tours. Definitely worth the visit to Allagash, but not the multi-stop destination it was a year ago. New England distilling is right around the corner and is worth a quick visit if you're diverging from beer into spirits.
    BeerLover99 likes this.
  6. lordofthewiens

    lordofthewiens Poobah (1,140) Maine Sep 17, 2005 Verified

    As you cross the bridge into Maine, stop in Kittery.
    Go to Black Birch and/or When Pigs Fly. In terms of beer and food, you can't miss at either place.
    BeerLover99 and mathematizer like this.
  7. Pwbres

    Pwbres Savant (400) Maine Mar 25, 2013 Verified

    Both are worth the stop and the wait...however long it may be. Black Birch will make sure you're not empty handed while waiting.
  8. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (400) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    LOL...upstate NY doesn't border NJ, but downstate NY does. Ah, the view from "the City" ;)

    Hope the weather cooperates for you, it can be very foggy this time of year along the coast up there in spring with the cold water temps and warming land temps. I'm partial the coastline between Brunswick & Rockland including Popham, Boothbay & Pemaquid. As mentioned though Portland is the spot to be to find a combination of everything.

    After watching two seasons of Chopped...I'd have to suggest Duckfat, but can't speak from experience on that front.
  9. I suggest you stop in Portsmouth NH which is before Kittery on 95. Awesome beer bars, very compact/walkable downtown. Then head to Portland.
  10. it's amazing. good beer too!
  11. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Just don't drink Shipyard
  12. BobZ

    BobZ Advocate (600) Massachusetts Jun 24, 2009

    Maine is an awesome state to explore. I lived in central ME for about 6 years, some real Mainers (have to be born in Maine to claim that title, the rest of us are all flat-landers) may chime in on this thread too.

    The only problem is that April is early, which really can present you with some weather challenges, it may be a lot colder than you think. On the good news front you should be there before the "black flies" hatch and can proceed to drain 1/2 of your 7 pints of blood (they'll feast on the May visitors instead;)).

    People have already made some Portland suggestions. Kennebunkport is nice and depending on how far Down East you plan to head, Camden is great (year round town so things will be open), and Bar Harbor is incredible in every way with Acadia National Park, but again early April is dicey. My avatar was taken in Acadia in mid-April, other Aprils the snow would still line the trail.

    Not sure if these have been mentioned but two great stops in Portland: Novare Res & The Great Lost Bear.
  13. This is a great resource for food:


    If you go through Wells Tully's is the choice for to go beers, Mike's Clam Shack will hook up the lobster in a casual setting (though no crazy fancy beer options).