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Portland Maine – My Travel Story

Portland Maine as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore travel! Especially when work and exploring can be combined into one. It’s definitely a perk of the job – especially when I get to head to Maine, one of my favorite states! My family used to vacation on different lakes in Maine, which I remember fondly, and my cousin actually got married on a sailboat in Maine (literally my favorite wedding ever, besides my own, of course).

Before I share my trip to Maine from a wedding perspective, I’d like for you to catch a glimpse of my time from my own personal travel story. I definitely had a great time traveling to Maine – mainly Portland and Millinocket – to tour with Marry in Maine and other wedding bloggers (whom I only knew via social media).

I traveled to Maine on my own, and when I arrived the most beautiful swag bag was waiting for me. The way to a blogger’s heart is definitely a well curated swag bag – ha! I adore my Sea Bag (what you see below with lobsters all over) as they are actually made out of reclaimed sails. So great, and sturdy, too! I use mine to hold washcloths in my bathroom, and I ended up purchasing a log carrier for my husband (so cute). I stayed at the luxury Portland Harbor Hotel – I can’t express how comfy the beds were!

We (I say “we” because Chelsea – the ultra sweet blogger behind Tidewater and Tulle – and I arrived a little earlier than the other girls) had the opportunity to tour Diamond Cove, which is a wedding venue and resort on a nearby island. Yes, an island! We had to take a boat to get there… so fun.

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After our tour, we headed out to Easy Day, which is a bowling alley AND a great restaurant. It’s got the most upscale food and fun drinks of any bowling place I’ve ever been to. Just look at how beautiful that drink is! I also was able to try the famous lobster roll. Now, let me just say that I’m not a fan of any type of seafood, but when I go on a press trip I try things for fun. Well, I’m convinced! The lobster rolls were oh so tasty and delicious.

From what I recall, I did a pretty good job bowling (which to me is breaking 100, lol), so it was quite the success. It was here that we met up with the lovely gals from Marry in Maine – Holly and Elissa. I also was able to meet our fellow travelers, Brittny of Love Inc and Gillian of Coastal Bride, who are both amazing ladies. Our group was complete!

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Our first night’s stay was at the Inn by the Sea – gorgeous! Actually, it was photos of this location that made me apply to go on the press trip. I adore being by the water! The hotel itself is made up of luxury rooms – mine had an ocean view and a fireplace to keep warm. It was so lovely to be able to relax and grab a few moments of alone time with a local magazine. Tulips were in bloom, too!

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For the evening, we boarded The Maine Brew Bus (although we didn’t tour, this sounds like a fabulous thing to put on your Portland, Maine to do list) and headed to the Black Point Inn – a historic, seaside property – for drinks and dinner. The beverages were gorgeous, and the dining table was beautifully decorated by Laurie Andrews Design (such beautiful florals below). Our meal was delectable, and from drinks to dessert, I left stuffed! I do have to say that these writer’s trips aren’t always friendly on the waistline, lol.

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We returned to stay at Inn by the Sea and wake up to a lovely breakfast before we headed 3.5 hours north to the woods. Exciting!! I had never been to Millinocket, Maine before as it’s not a coastal town, yet it has plenty of water, which includes what else? Millinocket Lake.

We rode until we arrived at New England Outdoor Center, which is a haven for the outdoorsy person/couple/family. With a TON of activities year round (think snowmobiling to kayaking), the center offers a variety of cabins both near the water and in the woods. The cabins also range from small to large to accommodate a couple or a vacationing family. After all, who doesn’t want to vacation in Maine? It was chilly, but I actually was brave enough to put my toes into Millinocket Lake… why not?
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Part of our trip to Millinocket included an adventure ride to look for moose, which was incredibly fun, yet unsuccessful. The closest we got was seeing moose droppings, lol. Oh well! We did end up stopping and actually hiking – see those nice boards set up for walking? So convenient! We hiked to a lake that was tucked in between the mountains and oh so cold and windy – you can see Gillian (my Millinocket cabin mate) and me freezing just long enough to grab a photo, but it was worth it to go adventuring in Maine for a little bit. That evening we had dinner at River Driver’s Restaurant and had a nice time chatting with the locals.

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The next morning it was time to head back to Portland, Maine. We ended up at The Press Hotel to UNION, which is their in-house restaurant. I do have to say that I could have spent ALL day at the hotel because of how well executed the theme of writing was. I can’t wait to show you! But first a little brag on our time at UNION. The drink I ordered had a HUGE ice cube in it, which was all too fun. I tried to (again) eat healthy with a salad, but I did splurge on dessert. It was adorable and looked like a terrarium! A little piece of newsprint capped off the newspaper theme as the hotel actually used to be where the offices and printer of Gannett used to be. As a writer, I loved it all!!
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Moving on the incorporation of the writing theme… it was all over! From letterpress blocks to walls made of tightly rolled newspaper to creatively displayed typewriters and typewriter cases, it was just lovely. Even the room numbers were creative (see the 710?) and I can’t tell you how much I wanted to put their “P” doorstop in my suitcase to take home (as my last name is Prince). I was thoroughly impressed with the hotel and it’s meeting rooms.

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We also were able to tour the penthouse suite, which had a rooftop terrace overlooking the city, AND you can get married there!! It’s for a small, intimate ceremony, but what a great place to say I do. I seriously want to renew my vows there – ha. No, I’m not joking. It’s in my plan to head back there someday!

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We ended up taking a tour with Portland Discovery Tours of the city. The views were beautiful, and we got to hear so much of the history of Portland. It was really interesting! The bus left from a location where there is a “locks of love” display as you can see below. One of our stops was at The Portland Head Light, which is one of the most well known lighthouses. It’s gorgeous, too! Take a peek at Gillian, Brittny and me enjoying it below. Maine is so beautiful.
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Can I just tell you that these press trips are PACKED with things to do? We are still on the same day that we left the woods of Millinocket. Whew! And I’m not done yet. From our tour, we went to The Danforth Inn, which is a historic inn a few blocks over from the downtown Portland area. They bill themselves as a luxury boutique inn, and that is exactly right. With just a few rooms – each one is different – the attention to detail is amazing. The beds are super fluffy and comfy, too – see mine below.

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The light inside the inn is just gorgeous, too. The decor is lovely! I also had to marvel at their LIVE moss chandelier – you can see it below. They mist it to keep it alive and healthy, and it definitely makes an impact. Couples have even said their “I do’s” under it. So gorgeous!

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Our evening was capped off at their in-house restaurant, Tempo Dulu. They offered us the tasting menu, which consisted of a wide variety of delicious items. The drinks were also incredibly impressive – each arriving with their own distinct look. One of mine even came in a teacup. Amazing! The multi course tasting meal was perfect because it was our last night together, and we were able to chat, reflect and have a relaxing time together.

We bloggers headed up to the widow’s walk – morbidly named because ladies used to wait and watch the port for their husbands to come home, and sometimes they didn’t – after dinner. It was a cupola at the very top of the inn, and we definitely talked the night away. It was a fun way to end our last evening!

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The next morning I awoke to head to breakfast – with a personalized menu. Yum! It’s little touches like that which make trips oh so special. After breakfast, we all said our goodbyes, and I had a few moments to peruse the streets of Portland (and take a few photos) before heading to the airport.

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As with any trip, I always start with strangers who end up becoming friends. I’m so thankful to have been able to meet like-minded women who love blogging and understand the triumphs and struggles. Between them and the lovely ladies of Marry in Maine, my trip was a success, a bunch of fun and wonderfully drama free. Ladies, thank you for helping make Maine such a beautiful place to be. *I miss you!*

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  • Amy - These photos are amazing. I can’t believe you took them with an iPhone. Also… I LOVE your website! It’s so user friendly and beautiful without being overwhelming. 🙂

  • Emily | Em's on the Road - Maine is on my list and this looks like my ideal itinerary. Thanks for sharing!

  • Beth Meyer - This looks like a fab trip! I’ve never been to Maine but will have to save this for a future trip! 🙂

  • Holly Martzial - Amazing recap of such a wonderful trip. Thank you for showcasing our state with such beauty and passion!

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