November 3, 2022

The Lincoln Hotel Opens in Biddeford

Lincoln-HotelThe Lincoln Hotel has just opened in Biddeford, offering 33 stylish guest rooms in a former textile mill, in the heart of a former mill city that has been transformed in the past few years. The hotel is a design-forward property aimed at visitors who want to explore Biddeford’s new dining and cultural scene, art galleries, and artisan shops, many of them located in former mills. A Batson Brewing and Distilling branch has already opened in the same building as The Lincoln Hotel. Guests are also a short drive from some of the finest beaches in Southern Maine. The hotel’s guestrooms have high ceilings and a loft-like feel, with restored brick walls and tall windows. In addition, there’s a rooftop pool and bar and a state-of-the-art fitness center. There’s a library and lounge area, lobby bar, grab-and-go coffee shop and bakery, and lower-level shopping with pop-up galleries and artisan spaces. Developer and hotelier Tim Harrington, owner of Salt Cottages in Bar Harbor and The Claremont in Southwest Harbor, is behind this project. Biddeford was recently named one of the “11 best up-and-coming culinary destinations to visit now” by Food & Wine magazine.

Cambria Hotel Portland Downtown Old Port Opens

The Cambria Hotel Portland Downtown Old Port has just opened, a six-story, 102-room property within walking distance of local restaurants, breweries, and shopping. This is Cambria’s first hotel in Maine and boasts a state-of-the-art fitness center, an indoor-outdoor rooftop bar overlooking a hops garden, and a multi-use courtyard. The design and décor are locally inspired. There’s a celebrity-chef-curated menu from Fabio Viviani, showcasing locally sourced food, local craft beer on tap, and brews provided by Shipyard Brewing Co., located next door to the hotel. The guestrooms feature a contemporary design with spa-style bathrooms.

Maine Made Food Gifts

rayes-mustardThere’s nothing like the taste of Maine for the holidays, and some of the state’s best producers and purveyors at Maine Made have gifts that can be shipped for the holidays. Bleuberet of Ellsworth specializes in wild Maine blueberry jams, fruit spreads and preserves, from blueberries grown locally. Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co., is where to find Lobster Mac and Cheese, Lobster Pot Pies, Lobster Rolls, and Lobster Risotto, among other gifts. Ducktrap River of Maine in Belfast sells smoked Atlantic salmon, while Grindstone Neck of Winter Harbor offers a variety of smoked seafood, from scallops to mussels to salmon. Maine Grains of Skowhegan is a gristmill featuring traditional stone milling and operates from a historic repurposed county jailhouse. The company specializes in locally-sourced, organic, and heritage grains, and its products are freshly milled. At Sawyers Maple Farm in Jackman, Cooke’s Maple Farm in Brunswick, Hilltop Boilers Maple Syrup of Newfield, and Maple Moon Farm of Lebanon, it’s all things maple syrup. Then there’s The Scone Goddess, who’s created more than 20 varieties of premium scone mixes in Northport. Raye’s Mustard is one of DownEast Maine’s oldest small family businesses, the 4th generation of the Raye family to own and operate Raye’s Mustard Mill. Their historic Eastport mill is a working museum and the country’s only remaining traditional stone ground mustard mill. Crooked Face Creamery of Skowhegan sells small-batch cheeses and locally raised meats. Their specialty is their Up North Applewood Cold Smoked Ricotta, made with whole milk from registered Jersey cows. Look at Balfour Farm in Pittsfield and Lakin’s Gorges Cheeses of Waldoboro for some of the best artisanal cheeses in the state. For more Maine-made gift ideas, go to Visit Maine.

Holiday Celebrations Statewide

The holiday season in Maine means festivals throughout the state. Freeport Sparkles for the Holidays has festive events from December 2-11 while the 41st annual Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport runs from December 1-11 and offers a tree lighting, fireworks, a candlelight stroll, caroling and the arrival of Santa on a lobster boat. “Christmas by the Sea” is how Midcoast Maine celebrates in Camden on December 2-4, while the nearby town of Rockland  presents the Festival of Lights, kicking off the season with the arrival of Santa Claus arrive by lobster boat and the lighting of a 30-foot-tall lobster trap tree. An Old Fashioned Christmas in Bath features a tree lighting and Santa’s arrival on November 26. There’s Trolley Caroling on December weekends, when many shops stay open late. Go to Visit Maine for more on holiday celebrations.

Holiday Music & Dance

The Merrill Auditorium, a 1908 gem in downtown Portland, is home to holiday music and dance during December. The Portland Symphony Orchestra performs a variety of seasonal music during the Magic of Christmas concerts throughout December. The Maine State Ballet performs The Nutcracker from November 25 to December 4 while The Portland Ballet will dance “A Victorian Nutcracker” on December 10, 17 and 22. On December 19 it’s Christmas with Kennerley. This beloved holiday concert is played by noted organist James Kennerley on the Kotzschmar Organ. He’ll play a variety of holiday favorites, both traditional and contemporary.

Visit a Maine Christmas Tree Farm This Season

maine-christmas-treeThe best way to buy a Christmas tree is the old fashioned way: visit a tree farm and cut down the tree of your choice. Maine is lucky to have many flourishing tree farms, and most of them offer a “choose & cut” option. Borrow a handsaw from the farm and then head out to find and cut down the tree of your dreams. Some farms also offer the option of simply “tagging” the tree that you want and letting a farm worker fell it for you. Handmade wreaths, Maine-made gifts and extra cheer like hot cocoa and cider can turn the excursion into even more of a holiday experience. There are many more farms listed on the site of the Maine Christmas Tree Association (MCTA), a non-profit organization comprised of family farms that produce real Christmas trees and wreath products for retail, wholesale, mail order, or choose & cut during the Christmas season. It include tree farms all over the state, such as The Old Farm Christmas Place in Cape Elizabeth, the Holmes Tree Farm in Kennebunk, the Piper Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Newburgh and Balsam Ridge in Raymond.