Given our affinity for visiting smaller towns while traveling, I located a coastal town in Maine with a population of just over 2,000 people… Boothbay Harbor. In the dead of winter, we were clearly some of, if not the only, tourists wandering the frozen streets of the town. Even so, I can see why the pueblo is crowded with visitors during the summer months. It is right on the water with some of the best little shops you can wander into.
My AirBnB choice was a slam dunk! It was a nicely appointed studio with a kitchen overlooking the harbor. The owner had furnished the space beautifully with a large bed, fully stocked kitchen, comfortable living area, delightful deck (we couldn’t really take advantage of it with the low temperatures), and fantastic bathroom/laundry room. If you want a place to stay for a short period of time or a longer stay, this place was spot on – fantastic space where you can cook full meals, enjoy the scenery, and wash your unmentionables in the comfort of your accommodation while your fur child lounges on the couch. Plus, the owner actually runs the shop across the street that is dedicated to our four legged friends, and properly named Two Salty Dogs.
Being the dead of winter, many of the shops were completely closed for the season, or operating on VERY restricted hours. However, luck allowed us to visit the boutiques we were interested in even with the restricted hours. Here are a few shopping highlights of our Boothbay Harbor, Maine trip…
As mentioned above, Two Salty Dogs, was the shop owned by our host. He coaxes you in by strategically placing his own products in the AirBnB. He’s a dog lover, so his shop is dedicated to the four-legged creatures. Of course we befriended him while perusing his shop! Guinness may have helped with that a little bit… she is adorable. He sells everything one might need for their pooch – collars, toys, various types of organic foods, cookies you can bake for them, jerky… they have it all. Including things for humans, like some awesome coffee mugs to add to our already gigantic collection.
Eventide Specialties specializes in extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinaigrettes, and other gifty treats. Eventide’s olive oil and balsamic infused flavors boggled my mind. They have everything from the more savory tastes like lemongrass mint, red cayenne chili, Japanese roasted sesame seed, and Persian lime, all the way to the sweeter side like aged espresso, dark chocolate and vanilla, lavender, and pure Vermont maple, and honey ginger. And they let you try samples! Lot and lots of samples. I cook with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrettes regularly, but never would I have thought I would drink the stuff alone as a treat! Mind blown. I came out of there with the regular extra virgin and balsamic, as well as the tasty lemongrass mint and dark chocolate. That’s not where Eventide’s delights end either. They have a separate room off the back devoted to wine, which resulted in the purchase of an amazing new discovery – Chronic Cellars. An acquisition which was made because of the intriguing label. Yes, I am one of those people… nine times out of ten when hunting for a new wine, I make my decision based on the eye-catching nature of the sticker design. Judge me all you want, Wine Snobs, but my palate just isn’t quite as sophisticated as yours. Moral of the story: Eventide was absolutely worth the visit.
Coastal Maine Popcorn Company, as the name implies, produces popcorn. Popcorn reimagined, rather. Much like the oils from Eventide, the gamut runs from savory to sweet, including everything in between. Some infusions made my face contort into a disgusted scowl, others caused my eyes to get wide and mouth to water, while additional concoctions aroused my curiosity. In the form of heated corn kernels, here’s a sampling of flavors: Blue cheese (gag me), dill pickle (Hubs’ fave), loaded baked potato, street taco, spicy coconut curry, root beer, red hot cinnamon, chocolate bacon (piqued my interest), cotton candy, chocolate caramel and sea salt (yes, please), dinosaur dung (not sure what to think), frog logs, and unicorn toots (must look like a puffy rainbow). Needless to say, we walked out of there with a substantial amount of popcorn. To reel us back in, even from states away in Virginia, the proprietors handed us a coupon code for 25% off online orders. I foresee a lot of movie nights in our future.
Aside from roaming the alluring shops in Boothbay Harbor, we also strolled the snow-covered streets of the town with Guinness. These chilly strolls resulted in Guinness’ new found love of not only eating the white, powdery substance, but also prancing through it any chance she got.
If you are seeking a relaxing getaway, winter was a perfect time to visit Boothbay Harbor. However, Two Salty Dog’s proprietor advised us that during the warmer months, Boothbay is an adventurer’s dream. The town is swarmed by tourists from all over searching for outdoor activities, and there is no shortage of options. Get out on the water on a sailing tour, or paddle your way around the shores in a kayak. Pack your brain with new knowledge of the region’s rich history. Bike downtown and visit a multitude of restaurants, art galleries, and shops.
We’ll be back Maine, but for now, we are off to our final stop… Vermont……….