The Press Hotel photos by Irwin Serrano
Maine is a crown jewel of New England. Offering up gems like fresh seafood, marine vistas, activities, and luxurious stays, the Pine Tree State is a domestic paradise just waiting for you to visit.
For 87 years, the Portland Press Herald occupied an elegant building in the Old Port before relocating. Eventually, the former offices turned into The Press Hotel, a boutique accommodation designed to pay homage to the Herald. Installations of antique typewriters signify the "organized chaos" of a newsroom; the lower level showcases four rotating art exhibits per year.
Art Exhibit at The Press Hotel
Each of the Press' 110 rooms derives inspiration from 1920s writers' offices, complete with journalists' desks and ergonomic chairs.
Penthouse Rooftop at The Press Hotel
Overlooking Portland's magnificent coast is a private rooftop patio exclusive to the penthouse. Dubbed the Royal Suite, the 1100-square-foot space is truly fit for a king. Indeed, a royal of another stripe—namely, a Royal typewriter, nearly a century old—calls the suite home.
The Press also boasts a world-class restaurant called UNION. The menu utilizes local ingredients to craft meals that delight the palate.
Union- Pan-Seared Cod and Clams photo by Kari Herer
Begin with a smoked parsnip soup, creamy yet light and crowned with crispy mushrooms. Get an authentic taste of Maine by feasting on freshly-made campanelle pasta, topped with tender, local Jonah crab, truffle butter, mint lemon zest, and pea tendrils. Faroe Island salmon, fresh from the Atlantic, is complemented by Beluga lentils, earthy baked golden beets and topped with greens, a tangy lemon maple sauce, and a spicy punch of horseradish.
Union photo by Kari Herer
Breakfast at UNION is seasonal and hearty. The mushroom toast is a gourmet treat, complete with truffle aioli, soft poached egg, and shaved Clothbound cheddar. The pork belly BLT breakfast sandwich is a winning combination of a grilled English muffin layered with a farm-fresh egg, sliced tomato, and seared pork belly topped with arugula pesto. In the morning, no need to search for a local coffee bar. Inkwell at The Press Hotel is the spot for a cappuccino. Open from 8-11 a.m. for coffee and pastries in the evening, Inkwell also offers a hand-crafted evening cocktail. Explore downtown Portland with the Press shuttle, available to guests on request. Book your stay today.
Via Vecchia photo by Artisan Agenda
Another Portland favorite is the Italian hotspot Via Vecchia, which brings the Old World to the Old Port. Located a stone's throw from the waterfront, Via Vecchia offers bright twists on classic dishes like the crisp Caesar salad of frisée, radicchio, endive, and bottarga.
Via Vecchia photo by Artisan Agenda
The creamy burrata surprises, perfectly balanced by bright, roasted carrots and almonds, Trebbiano vinaigrette, and sweet Calabrian honey. As a main, the crispy filet of branzino served with Taggiasca olives and garlic polenta is nothing short of outstanding.
Batson River photo by Erin Little
Batson River Brewing and Distilling is a popular Portland destination for dining, craft beers, and cocktails set in the heart of downtown Portland. Beer lovers, be sure to try Batson Black, a dark lager, or the Cafe Porpoise Pilsner.
Batson River photo by Hitched Willie
Check out The Shandy Newman cocktail, a mix of Batson River Dixie Bull Rum, Aperol, and Estate Pale Ale, plus a tart splash of pineapples and limes and a touch of sweet from Aleppo agave. Don't miss the French toast at Batson's brunch, a sweet treat that combines Standard Baking Co.'s sourdough bread topped with whipped mascarpone and bourbon maple syrup. batsonriver.com/portland-maine/
Canopy Portland Waterfront
The stunning views of Casco Bay are on display at the brand-new Canopy Portland Waterfront, a 135-room Hilton property opening at the end of June. The hotel is set in the heart of the Old Port's cobbled streets and historic ambiance. Luna is the hotel's exclusive rooftop bar, destined to be a local favorite for cocktails and small plates. Salt Yard is the Canopy Portland Waterfront's café and bar named for the 19th-century salt-glazed earthenware pottery from E. Swasey Pottery building next door.
You may have tried a delightful Luke's Lobster dish at any of its outposts nationwide, but nothing can beat its just-caught seafood, eaten right on the Portland Pier while gazing out at a picturesque view. On a chilly day, warm up with a hearty cup of lobster bisque; its richly-layered flavors suggest it's been stewing for hours. Double up on your lobster experience with Luke's lobster roll, perfectly seasoned and accented with a bright salad.
Lukes Lobster Portland
No matter the season, Maine is the place to be.
By Carly Silver