- When: 12 November- 15 November, 2020
- Where (accommodations): Cliff House Maine
- Transportation: 1hr 20 min car ride from Boston
- Sights/attractions: Spa at Cliff House Maine, Mount Agamenticus, Marginal Way, Perkins Cove, Wiggly Bridge/Steedman Woods Nature reserve, Nubble Lighthouse
- Food/drinks: The Tiller restaurant, Billy’s Chowder House, Five-O Shore Road restaurant, The Greenery Cafe, Bread & Roses Bakery, The Village Food Market, M.C. Perkins Cove restaurant, Bob’s Clam Hut
We celebrate two wedding anniversaries – our legal wedding in Boston and a religious one in Miami. They are a couple of months apart, so we typically have enough time to plan something special. For those that know us, we usually mark important date with a trip. With COVID-19 limiting the options we didn’t schedule far ahead, but were extremely lucky to get away for three nights at the beautiful Cliff House hotel that’s less than 1.5 hr drive away from home. I give all the credit to my husband- he was the one that found this amazing place, prepared surprises in the room and truly spoiled me on this 3 year wedding anniversary weekend.
I will share our mini adventure in case you need some ideas for a long weekend in Maine.
This incredible resort is located in Cape Neddick and is situated literally on the cliff’s edge. Even if you don’t do anything else, but enjoy the whole weekend on premise, you will spend your time well.
Several options for dining, indoor/outdoor jacuzzi (both open year round), indoor and outdoor pool (only indoor one is open during cold season), fireplace inside and fire pit outside, comfortable bed and amazing spa – that is just a few of the amenities in the Cliff House Maine. They even have a movie theater and an art gallery- how many hotels can claim that?!
According to Sean who planned an anniversary surprises, concierge was helpful in arranging sweets/champagne and setting up amazing bouquet in the room before we arrived. If you have a special occasion, this is really a great place to be at.
We got a room with a partial view of the coastline/ocean and really enjoyed the balcony overlooking the coast. We don’t have outdoor space living in the city, so to be able to have our coffee every morning overlooking this view was a real treat.
One of the three days in Maine the weather was quite gloomy (hello November!), so we booked a couples massages in the Cliff House spa. It was pricey, I can’t lie, but at the same time, we both agreed that they were one of the best deep tissue massages we’ve had in a long time!
Spa has a the rest area where you can relax before/after the treatment overlooking the ocean. You also get access to the steam room and sauna or can add (for a cost) an infrared sauna as well. We left super relaxed, which is definitely not a common feeling these unsettling times.
Every night after dinner we spent soaking in an outdoor hot tub (it’s very big and we felt safe in terms of social distancing) as well as the indoor pool. Make sure to ask for the robes- they are free to use, but have to be requested at the front desk. Warm and fuzzy robes were super useful coming from the room to the outdoor hot tub in the chilly evenings.
If you are an early riser (or even if you are not, like Sean), I highly recommend waking up for the sunrise if the weather forecast is good. I made Sean get out of bed before 7am, because the view of the sun coming out of the ocean was so beautiful.
Not every day you get to see such amazing nature…
Hotel has several restaurants/bar and plenty of places to relax with a drink, a book or a good conversation by the fire. I think this place has something for everyone and it really exceeded our expectations.
As amazing as Cliff House is, we could not spend whole three days in the resort, so we looked up ‘what’s there to see and do’ in mid November. Apparently there are plenty of options! Here are some that we enjoyed.
Hike Mount Agamenticus
I don’t know if you can call it a mountain, but this 692 ft ‘hill’ was a nice little hike within a short driving distance.
The day was sunny, air was crisp and it was nice to move a little- it only took us about 20 minutes to reach the top. Super easy hike, definitely can be done at any fitness level.
Stroll the Marginal Way
Since the hike was so short, we had plenty of energy left for walking the Marginal Way. This 1 1/4-mile-long path along the ocean goes from picturesque Ogunquit to even cuter Perkins Cove. If planning this trip in the colder season, make sure to dress warm- the wind from the ocean is pretty chilly- I ended up buying gloves in Perkins Cove, because it was freezing around sunset.
The walk is beautiful any time of the year, don’t let the cold stop you!
Explore Perkins Cove and Ogunquit
Perkin’s Cove is a small fishing and artists community located at the southern end of the Marginal Way. There are cute galleries and restaurants, small shops and boutiques.
Charming little streets and marina is a great place to spend some time wandering around.
On the northern end of the Marginal Way is Ogunquit– another place filled with restaurants, cafes and art galleries. It’s a popular place for gay community and mostly hustling and bustling in the summer months due to the proximity to the beautiful beach. Despite the chilly temps a lot of places were still open and offering outside seating.
Cross the Wiggly Bridge
Built in 1930 Wiggly Bridge might be the smallest suspension bridge in the world! Right near route 103 in York, ME this little bridge is fun to cross (yes, we jumped around on it like kids!) and leads to the Steedman Woods Nature Reserve.
We stopped there on our way home to Boston to get some steps in and to break up the drive.
Check out the Nubble Lighthouse
We’ve been at this lighthouse many times, but every time we are in York I feel like we can’t pass by without a little visit. It’s always so picture perfect, no matter what time of the year it is.
WINE AND DINE
Well, some of us wine, some just dine 🙂 . We surely love food and trying new restaurants. This trip was not an exception. We have not stayed in this area before, so all places were new and exciting.
On our spa day we had a relaxing breakfast right at The Tiller restaurant located on the Cliff House premises. It was exceptional.
We shared New England Benedict and Buttermilk Hotcakes, which came with warm blueberry butter on top and were divine. That comes from someone that does not even really like pancakes.
A breakfast place that we tried on the day of our hike was The Greenery Cafe in Ogunquit. We have mixed feelings about it. Sean liked Irish corned beef hash benedict and I ordered avocado toast with poached eggs.
The toast was good, but the fact that they use a spread instead of actual avocado was disappointing. We also ordered blueberry french toast, but had to pay 3.99 extra for a real maple syrup! We are in Maine, this should not be an upcharge (what respectable place still uses fake syrup anyway?). We considered getting half blueberry and half maple nut french toast, but were told that maple nut one is made with fake syrup already! That was a hard no for us.
They do make good muffins and we took some to go, which served us as a third breakfast enjoying our hotel balcony and the ocean views.
Both of the places we had breakfast also serve lunch/brunch. Since we were out and about, we tried Bread and Roses Bakery and enjoyed their slice of pizza and some baked goods. For a bit more substantial bite we got a Cubano sandwich at The Village Food Market. Definitely enjoyed both options.
While in Maine I always try to get a lobster roll. One of the places we tried was Billy’s Chowder House in Wells, ME. This is by no means a fancy restaurant, but I liked their clam chowder. Lobster roll was on the smaller side, not the best ever, but no complaints.
Sean’s buffalo chicken sandwich was mediocre to say the least- he did not even finish it and that’s pretty rare.
On the way home we stopped at the Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery, ME for another seafood lunch for me. Despite rave reviews and really generous amount of lobster in my roll, it was not as tasty as I hoped. Crab cakes and clam chowder were great though.
One of the dinners was close by to the hotel- Clay Hill Farm in Cape Neddick. Sean loved it, I barely ate. Their ‘Award winning Lobster bisque” was so salty and full of some odd spices that tasted nothing like lobster and was not suitable for my taste. Duck breast risotto was ok, Sean loved it and still raves about it 🙂 . Besides us there was only one other couple in the whole restaurant and it was just an odd experience.
Two other nights were the places that we both really enjoyed. Five- O Shore Road restaurant was not planned or booked ahead, but ended up being a lovely evening with delicious food and amazing chocolate molten cake.
We had reservations at That Place in Ogunquit, but while driving over received a call that they had to close the place for a few days due to possible case of COVID-19. In the cancellation voicemail they gave us recommendation for Five- O Shore Road and luckily they had a table available for a walk in.
On our last night on this mini getaway we reserved a table at the M.C. Perkins Cove– a place with amazing view if you come during daylight hours.
Food was great, but the place felt a bit too crowded for these dangerous times ( they did have plastic partitions dividing the tables). We didn’t stay long and once the meal was done went back to the hotel and ordered room service Crème brûlée from The Tiller (restaurant was fully booked with no walk-ins).
Perfect end to a lovely evening!
Normally I am the one planning all of our trips, but this one is all Sean. I would not have considered a getaway this close to home, so I am very happy he did! It really felt like we were away, had time to unplug, disconnect from reality even for a few days, and most importantly to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary. 2020 has been a tough year, but we are grateful to be able to make wonderful memories together.