March 1, 2023

The Longfellow Hotel to Open in Portland

The Longfellow Hotel will open in Portland in the summer of 2023, named for Portland-born poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, one of America’s most-beloved bards. The first independent, full-service hotel to open in the city in two decades, the five-story boutique property at 754 Congress Street will have 48 rooms, including four suites. Dining options include the Twinflower Café, a wellness-focused restaurant serving wholesome breakfast and lunch offerings. The Five of Clubs is the name of the bar, and both the café and bar will be operated by Siobhán & Mike Sindoni, owners of the Wayside Tavern, located in The Francis Hotel. Asteria is the name of the hotel’s 1,800-square-foot spa, inspired by Nordic traditions and focusing on whole body and mind wellness. It will offer a sauna, massage treatments, and meditation experiences. There will be private sauna experience rooms and a meditation room with Mind-Sync Harmonic Sleep Loungers, combining sound wave therapy with Zero Gravity positioning. Asteria will feature products from OSEA. Maine-based, family-owned hospitality group Uncommon Hospitality is behind the Longfellow Hotel, designed in partnership with the New York-based Post Company. Visit The Longfellow Hotel for more information.

Maine’s Beard Award SemiFinalists 

Once again, Maine is at the forefront for semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards, presented annually by the James Beard Foundation to recognize chefs, restaurateurs, authors, and journalists in the United States. This year’s semifinalists include Outstanding Restaurateur: Krista Cole, Sur Lie and Gather Restaurant, Portland; Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker: Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland; Outstanding Hospitality Presented by American Airlines: Sur Lie, Portland; The Quarry, Monson; Outstanding Bar: The Jewel Box, Portland; Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) Sara Jenkins, Nina June, Rockport; Jason LaVerdiere, Flux, Lisbon Falls; Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food & Beverage, Portland; Tony Pastor, Fore Street, Portland; Isaul Perez, Isa, Portland; Best New Restaurant: Wolfpeach, Camden. The James Beard Award nominees will be announced on March 29, 2023, and winners will be celebrated at an awards ceremony on June 5, 2023 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Visit The James Beard Awards.

Film Festivals

Maine might not be the first state that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “film festivals,” but it punches above its weight with various festivals throughout the year. The Maine Outdoor Film Festival will show eight women-driven films on adventure and conservation on March 8, 2023, International Women’s Day, at Après in Portland. They’re taking submissions for this summer’s festival, which will be held in Portland from July 21 to July 30, 2023. The Maine Jewish Film Festival kicks off in Portland on March 19, 2023, with “My Name is Andrea,” a documentary on the visionary and activist Andrea Dworkin. From July 7-16, 2023, the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville features Debra Winger as the MIFF25 Mid-Life Achievement Award Honoree, with screenings of four of her films, including Mike’s Murder and The Sheltering Sky. Dozens of other films will be screened, from classics to new releases. The 19th edition of the Camden International Film Festival will occur throughout venues in Camden, Rockport, and Rockland, Maine, from September 14-17, 2023.  Main Street Bucksport and World Ocean Observatory will host the International Maritime Film Festival in September 2023, with dates TBD.

Museum L-A

Maine MILL is shorthand for the Maine Museum of Innovation, Learning, and Labor (Maine MILL), a history and culture museum in downtown Lewiston that celebrates extraordinary stories of work and industrial ingenuity. Visitors can explore how life, labor, and culture shape the present and influence the future through the museum’s collections, exhibits, educational programming, and events. The current exhibition focuses on immigration and identity and shines a light on the varied groups of people worldwide who have chosen to come to Maine, specifically to Lewiston-Auburn. Visit Maine MILL for details.

Fishing Season in Maine

belgrade-maine-fishingMaine’s 6,000 lakes and ponds, prized rivers, and 3,000-plus miles of spectacularly rocky coastline make it a special and unique destination for anglers. For freshwater fishermen, it is known for its large population of wild brook trout, landlocked salmon, and rare arctic char. Large and smallmouth bass abound in Maine’s lakes and ponds. Bass fishermen head out onto Western lakes in the morning mist, casting their brightly colored lures along rocky shorelines from their well-outfitted, low-slung bass boats. Kayakers might take a small fly rod out on flat water to pursue trout or bass. Landlocked salmon is the prize on Maine’s deeper bodies of water, like Sebago and Moosehead, where it’s not uncommon to spot someone trolling slowly with a downrigger to reach the cold depths in pursuit of a trophy fish. As for saltwater angling along the state’s southern coast, fishermen head out onto Casco Bay all summer long, eager to cast for striped bass and bluefish. Go to Visit Maine for more details.

Maine Guides

registered-maine-guideFor more than a century, avid sports have been led into the wild by Registered Maine Guides. These icons of the Maine woods were first licensed in 1897 by the State of Maine, the first state to do so. There are now more than 1,000 members of the Maine Professional Guides Association. Hunting and fishing may be the backbone of the profession, but a younger generation caters to those seeking expertise in sea kayaking, river rafting, and tidal fishing.

A hunting guide’s backwoods smarts, local knowledge, tracking abilities, and safety-first ethos are essential in remote wilderness settings typically bereft of signage and cell phone service. A similar quest for a backwoods experience on Maine’s trophy fishing waters drives fishermen to head out with a Maine guide pursuing the state’s legendary wild brook trout and feisty landlocked salmon. The state’s 17 million plus acres of wilderness harbor more than 6,000 lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams, some of which are incredibly remote.

A stay in a classic sporting camp can raise a Maine hunting or fishing experience to a higher level. Many date from the late 19th century when hunters and fishermen first began coming to the Maine woods and there are still more than 40 Maine Sporting Camp Association members, all privately owned and dedicated to the great outdoors. Go to Visit Maine for more information.

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