A few Saturdays ago we crossed off a very fun item on our Summer Bucket List when we rented paddleboards for the first time from Soposup and spent the afternoon paddling around Casco Bay. For the last few summers, we’ve had every intention of popping into our neighborhood paddleboard shop to rent a couple of boards, but time has always gotten away from us and before we know it, we’re preparing for fall and trading in our sandals for our Bean Boots. This summer, however, we moved paddleboarding to the top of our list, and strategically chose a warm day to do so, in case we took an unexpected dip in the ocean.

Having grown accustomed to the steady security of our kayaks, we were a little unsure of ourselves when we first got on our boards at Willard Beach, but after paddling down to a beach in Cape Elizabeth and crossing the wake of various boats along the way, we quickly got the hang of it. We found paddleboarding to be a welcome alternative to the sitting that is required when we kayak, but we’re still not quite sure we’d run out and sign up for a paddleboard-yoga class without mentally preparing ourselves for a fall in the water!




Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu. 

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Summer! Wow, that happened fast. It seems like just yesterday, we were dreaming about warmer weather, stocked farmers’ markets, and day trips up and down the coast. Then in the blink of an eye, summer was here, and we were taking advantage of every last thing a typical summer in Maine has to offer… while completely neglecting our little blog over here. That’s about to change though, as we have quite a few posts and photos to share over the upcoming days. If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’ve seen teasers of our trips to Boston and Rhode Island, meals at a few of our favorites restaurants, adventures paddle boarding and kayaking, visits with friends, and no shortage of summer flowers, recipes, beach trips, and swims. So stay tuned, and as always, let us know if we missed anything – we’ll see if we can squeeze it in before the leaves start to turn!

Tomato Mozzarella

Orvis and Perry

Tomato Cucumber Toast

Watermelon Cocktail

Tandem Bakery Loaded Biscuit

Orvis and his pool

Garden Roses

Portland Maine Farmers Market Flowers


Michael at the farmer's market

Tandem Bakery

Boothbay Harbor ME

Isle of Springs


The Boat Bar

Meredith and Michael

Boothbay Harbor

Marianmade Farm Dahlias

Photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu. 

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Kettle Cove Maine

By far, our favorite date night in the summer involves a quick trip over to Cape Elizabeth for dinner at The Well, followed by a visit out to Kettle Cove to watch the sunset. (On nights that we don’t happen to indulge in one of the tasty desserts at The Well, we’ll even complete the evening with an ice cream cone from the Kettle Cove Ice Cream.)

As we began thinking about dinner after work one evening last week we realized that the weather was too perfect not to enjoy our little date night in Cape Elizabeth, so we ditched the quinoa salad we planned on preparing, grabbed a bottle of rose from the fridge, and jumped in the car with Orvis. Thankfully, we got to The Well just in time to snag the last available picnic table for awhile. Although we’ve been to The Well three other times this summer, this was our first visit of the season with Orvis and per usual, he settled in quite nicely and made friends with all of the other families dining outside at the picnic tables.

After our fantastic meal, we took the scenic route to Kettle Cove, where we spent the remainder of the evening on a blanket with Orvis watching the sun go down. Kettle Cove is one of the very first places we visited when we moved to Maine seven years ago and we think it’s just as beautiful and special all these years later. Living so close to places like The Well and Kettle Cove are two of the reasons we love living where we do.

Orvis at The Well

Michael Cain at The Well

Halibut at The Well

BYOB The Well

Chocolate Cake at The Well

Dog Friendly Maine Restaurants

Kettle Cove

Orvis at Kettle Cove

Kettle Cove Cape Elizabeth

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Liberty Hotel Boston

When dreaming up weekend trips to Boston with Orvis, The Liberty Hotel has always been high on our list of places to stay. Friends of ours with dogs have long talked about how accommodating the hotel is to pets, especially on Wednesday evenings in the summer during the famed Yappier Hour. So, when we found out that I’d be speaking at a conference in Boston this past weekend and decided to bring Orvis along for the trip, we looked no further than The Liberty.

Housed in the former Charles Street Jail, The Liberty Hotel is easily one of the more unique settings in which we’ve ever spent the night. The stylish open main space, in the old jail’s central octagonal building, retains many of its original 19th century architectural details, including the cells inside Clink, the catwalk walkways, and the wrought-ironwork on the windows. But while the details are a constant reminder of the space’s past criminal “guests”, a night at The Liberty is far from a stint in The Slammer. The modern amenities, the comfortable rooms (many with amazing views of Beacon Hill and the Charles River), and the impeccable service are just a handful of reasons why we’ll be returning in the future, but possibly the greatest asset of The Liberty for our trio was just how dog-friendly it turned out to be.

We don’t always choose to bring Orvis along with us when we travel to cities – he’s always seemed to be happiest running wild in the country – but we couldn’t have been more pleased that he made the trip down to Boston. Walking around Beacon Hill, down to the South End, up and down Comm. Ave, and through the Public Garden with him at our side was something we’ll always remember fondly. From our research and the comments of friends, we expected a certain level of dog-friendliness at The Liberty prior to our arrival, but we were continually blown away by how well he was treated, both by the staff and by the other guests throughout our stay. He was encouraged to sit right next to us as we sipped our cocktails in the lobby bar, something which we rarely have the chance to experience with Orvis indoors. The image of a rather large, goofy dog in the middle of such a luxurious setting will always bring a smile to our faces, and we honestly cannot imagine planning another trip to Boston with Orvis that doesn’t include a stay at The Liberty – we all enjoyed ourselves way too much to not have an encore visit.

The Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel View

The Liberty Hotel Bathroom

The Liberty Hotel Boston

Pets at The Liberty Hotel

The Liberty Hotel Pets


The Liberty Hotel Dog Friendly

The Liberty Hotel Dogs

The Liberty Hotel

Clink Boston

The Liberty Hotel  Boston

The Liberty Hotel Pet Friendly

Photos taken by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Orvis Abby Rocky

Michael and I spent the last month dog sitting for my family’s dogs, Abby (the adorable King Charles) and Rocky (the sweetest rescue pup in the world). We made sure to spoil each of them rotten while they were here – trips to the beach, twice daily walks, and all kinds of fun treats, including strawberry softserve ice cream! Being a three dog family was quite a lot at times, but we’d take these two for another month in a heartbeat.





Abby watching Orvis

Swimming Orvis

King Charles Spaniel


Trundy Point

Orvis at Trundy Point

Abby at Trundy Point

Rocky at Trundy Point

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu. 

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Red's Dairy Freeze Strawberry Soft Serve

Anyone who lives here or has visited before would probably agree that summer in Maine is pretty hard to beat. As part of this series, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to experience this sunny season in the Pine Tree State. 

Every day since strawberries first started appearing at the Farm Stand and farmer’s market, Meredith has been compulsively checking Facebook to see if Red’s Dairy Freeze had released their very limited run of fresh Maxwell’s Farm strawberry soft serve. Today, when she came running into my office, I knew that the wait was over, so we took a little midday break from work and popped around the corner for a strawberry milkshake and cone of this sweet summer treat (and an extra for the pups). Like many South Portlanders (and probably many southern Mainers) we look forward to this yearly tradition as the unofficial start of summer. But like summer in Maine, strawberry season is also short, so you’ll have to move quickly to get a cone for yourself.


Dog-Friendly-Red-Dairy-Freeze  Red's-Dairy-Freeze-Ice-Cream

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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The Well at Jordan's Farm

Anyone who lives here or has visited before would probably agree that summer in Maine is pretty hard to beat. As part of this series, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite ways to experience this sunny season in the Pine Tree State. 

You don’t have to be a frequent reader of Map & Menu to know how much we love The Well at Jordan’s Farm. Eating what is literally a farm fresh meal from a picnic table on a warm summer evening is a pretty ideal dining experience. This year is our first season dining at The Well and pairing every BYOB meal with the delicious wines from Maine & Loire. We’ve raved about Peter & Orenda’s store on the site before, but the ability to show them that night’s menu at The Well in search of a perfect pairing has become our newest summer obsession.

A bottle from Maine & Loire and a meal at The Well is a pairing that we think should be on everyone’s summer bucket list.

Maine and Loire Wine

The Well at Jordan's Farm Doughnuts

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Willard Beach

Over breakfast this morning, Michael and I sat down and made our Summer Bucket List. Like many New Englanders, we spend our winters counting down the days until summer, but seemingly by the time this precious season arrives, we blink and it’s over. In years past we’ve always kept our list of hopeful summer to-dos on our refrigerator, but I’m hoping that by sharing them on the site, you’ll help us with some accountability and we’ll be able to actually check (most of) them off.

  • Host our annual rosé party
  • Road trip to Rhode Island for Del’s
  • See Van Gogh and Nature at The Clark
  • Attend our first Red Sox game at Fenway
  • Paddle to Richmond Island
  • Plan a day hike in New Hampshire
  • Catch a Sea Dogs game
  • Take a dip at the Alna swimming hole
  • See Alex Katz in 1950s at Colby College Museum of Art
  • Day trip to a new island in Casco Bay
  • Rent stand up paddleboard
  • Head to Vermont for our annual August getaway

What’s on your summer list? We’d love to hear what you’ve all got planned in the comments below! 

Mt. Major

Marianmade Farm Lavender

Petite Jacqueline Maine

Rose Party


Rhineback NY Farmer's Market

Bingham Falls

Isle of Springs Maine


Orvis at Trundy Point

Fisherman's Point

Isle of Springs

Donuts at The Well

Sailing to Chebeague

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Meredith and I were reading that today is National Lobster Day, so in celebration of this super savory sea creature, we thought it’d be fun to highlight some of our favorite ways to enjoy lobster in Maine.

A couple of years ago we did a round-up of our favorite lobster rolls in Maine, a post we still stand by today. In addition to our list, the comments readers left were quite helpful and have guided us to many new locations up and down the coast. If you’re new to the Portland area or planning a trip to Maine, a roll at Fort Williams from Bite Into Maine is a quintessential Maine experience with views of Casco Bay behind the iconic Portland Headlight.

When friends come to town we love the tradition of going to Alewive’s Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth and picking out our own fresh lobsters from the tank. No trip to the farm is complete with our friends posing for a photo with the largest lobster in the tank, of course. Typically we cook them with a bag of steamers (clams), but we’re planning on giving this grilled split lobster recipe from Bon Appetit a try this summer.

If we’re not cooking it on our own or enjoying it to go, the following are a few lobster dishes around town that have caught our eye: the chilled Maine lobster tail with house mayonnaise at Petite Jacqueline, the lobster tartine at The Honey Paw, and the lobster dumplings at Empire. Seasonal lobster dishes at places like The Well and Vinland should also be on your radar.

If a lobster meal is on your summer bucket list, hopefully this post has given you some inspiration, and If you have any suggestions of lobster rolls, meals, or recipes that we may have missed, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below.

Muscongus Bay Lobster

Muscongus Bay Lobster Roll

Maine Lobster Dinner

Vinland Portland, Maine

Bite Into Maine Lobster Roll

All photos by Meredith Perdue for Map & Menu.

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Portland Hunt & Alpine Club

Chefs Andrew Taylor & Mike Wiley’s go-to Portland spots are on Andrew Zimmern’s blog, complete with a couple of Map & Menu photos of local favorites Hunt & Alpine (pictured above) & Central Provisions!

Although Michael and I were both a sobbing mess throughout most of this video, we absolutely think that the story of Denali the dog and his owner Ben is well worth a watch over the weekend.

A trip to Big Sur is high on our travel bucket list, so hopefully one day this travel guide will come in handy.

The playful branding of the Dundee, Scotland bar, Jam Jar, caught my eye this week.

This naturally sweetened Mango Berry Cherry Sorbet looks and sounds like a perfect summer weekend snack.

Oysters & cocktails on a boatGrand Banks sounds amazing!

If we ever make it to Australia.

We were shopping for dinner tonight at the Farm Stand and happened upon the season’s first local strawberries. I can’t wait to give a few of these Bon Appetit strawberry recipes a shot this season!

Hopefully you all have something fun lined up for the weekend. We’re looking forward to making tacos, grilling burgers, and sipping drinks on the patio as much as we possibly can! 

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