By Kathleen Pierce
Maine -- you love it. So why not experience its magic year-round?
Capture the Pine Tree State this holiday season with keepsakes that embody Maine’s artisanal bounty. Here is an array to augment the Vacationland spirit for everybody on your gift list.
Photo: Kathleen Pierce
It doesn’t get more individual than this. Boards and trays, some with original hand-hewn marks still intact, radiate traditional New England warmth. Wood worker Steve Doe repurposes reclaimed wood from local homes into kitchen accouterments that will get guests talking. At Whitten Hill Studio in Kennebunkport, his functional slabs are rustic yet sophisticated enough to work in any home or weekend cabin. Use them as platters for cheese, sushi, or even lobster rolls.
Farm + Table, 8 Langsford Road, Cape Porpoise
Don’t have time to visit all the remarkable restaurants in Maine’s culinary capital? We’ve got you covered. Take your spouse or friends on a Maine Foodie Tour of Portland. On this moveable feast you can sample Maine mead, whoopie pies, local cheese, and craft beer. Take a tasty Old Port walking tour, a lobster crawl, or happy hour ramble led by a local in the know. Gift certificates, including tours at both Kennebunkport and Bar Harbor, for your next Maine excursion are available here: http://www.mainefoodietours.com/giftCertifs.html.
This is the ultimate stocking stuffer. Whip up a blueberry margarita that will kindle memories of summer on the coast. These DIY cocktail jars, made in Portland by Vena's Fizz House, turn you into an instant mixologist. Their Maine Margarita is sold in boutiques like 207 Inc. in Kittery and Minka in Kennebunkport. Add tequila to this handy cocktail kit and let it work while you kick back and wrap gifts. When guests arrive, pour it into a glass and enjoy. Comes in a nifty mason jar for reuse.
207 Inc., 29 Government Street, Kittery
Minka, 3 Dock Square, Kennebunkport
Wooden toys made with sustainability in mind never go out of style. Little, a new shop in Portland’s Old Port, carries a fleet of wooden taxis, planes, and helicopters that are safe and fun for small hands. They also happen to carry the cutest clothes for the tiny fashionistas on your list. Procure the best Maine fashion in miniature. A must visit!
Little, 42 Exchange Street, Portland
Learn about Bordeaux, Rosé, and other viniculture as you cruise Casco Bay next summer. The lovely schooner Frances is the summer home of Wine Wise, a southern Maine-based grape adventure company. Talented sommelier Erica Archer sure knows how to put together a good time as you set sail to a shimmering sunset, corks popping, and breezes blowing. It’s a summer to remember and the cruises leave several times a week from Portland Harbor. Customize a girl’s weekend in advance: http://winewiseevents.com/
No shopping excursion in Ogunquit is complete without a trip to Spoiled Rotten, a house of fun filled with enough innovative edible items to give Stonewall Kitchen some healthy competition. Their Resident Chef line turns traditional dips sideways. Chili cheese and bacon anyone? Peruse the various cocoa mixes, like white chocolate mocha caramel, to spice up your next winter party.
Spoiled Rotten, 27 Beach Street, Ogunquit
The urge to explore the Maine coast and unplug in style can strike anytime. That’s why a Cliff House gift certificate is the ideal surprise for the Maine lover on your list. Use it toward an overnight stay in a plush seaside room, for a romantic dinner for two high above the Atlantic at The Tiller Restaurant, or for a relaxing spa experience. Indulge with a salt stone massage or splurge on the “Couples Cliffside Escape,” complete with a foot soak and Prosecco in the ocean-view Cliff Suite. Why Santa, how thoughtful.
To purchase online, visit https://www.destinationhotels.com/cliff-house/resort/gift-cards