-An unsurpassed vacation haven offering privacy, secluded beaches and acres of old-growth forest-
Portland, Maine has a funky vibe, a working waterfront, myriad art galleries, one-of-a-kind shops, award-winning restaurants and a vibrant arts and culture scene. Here you’ll find a unique mix of heritage and innovation while enjoying a big city experience with the friendliness of a small town. Portland boasts over 350 years of history as a center for shipping, fishing, commerce and travel. It is, indeed, a true working waterfront smack dab in the heart of Maine’s largest city. I was in Portland to catch a ferry that would transport me from the Old Port District through the sparkling waters of Casco Bay to pretty, peaceful Casco Bay, a mere half hour away.
Lighthouses and Lobsters
Diamond Cove, on Great Diamond Island, is Maine’s premier island community embodying the quaintness of a small neighborhood built around an impressive past –and part of its distinct charm is that cars are not permitted on the island, so getting around is either au pied, on a golf cart or a bike. The heart of the Cove is Fort McKinley, once a military base built during America’s Gilded Age. The Fort was retired from active service in 1945 and the existing structures were tastefully renovated with slate roofs, wooden porches, grand staircases and fireplaces, giving a sense of grace and grandeur. Today, Diamond Cove, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is an unsurpassed vacation retreat that offers privacy, secluded beaches, walking trails, and acres of old-growth forest – all just 2 miles from Portland!
I spent a few idyllic days at the Inn at Diamond Cove relaxing poolside, biking, and at times simply sitting in a large Adirondack chair with a view of the ocean and a good book in hand. The Inn is actually built in a former soldier’s barrack and retains much of the architectural integrity with high ceilings and large windows overlooking the former Fort’s parade grounds
One of the advantages of guesting on Diamond Cove is the chance to dine at the Diamond’s Edge Restaurant. Once a former Quartermaster’s storehouse, now a 5-star seasonally-operated, rustic yet elegant establishment, it is rich with history and charm. Just steps from the Marina, the restaurant focuses on local fare and fresh seafood. Atmosphere a-plenty, sitting on the wrap-around porch and digging into my large (and somewhat scary-looking) lobster, I was charmed to observe a joyful family of some 20-plus members celebrating al fresco on the property’s rolling lawn. Shrieks of laughter and lots of merry-making emanated from that grand table creating a carefree mood that one can only get on an unbridged, car-less, private island. When you’re here, you leave real time and the real world behind. So…come absorb some bliss and positive chi. Diamond Cove awaits thee!
If You Go:
Portland Harbor Hotel
Inn at Diamond Cove
Diamond’s Edge Restaurant & Marina
Barbara Barton Sloane, Yonkers Tribune Travel Editor, is constantly globe-hopping to share her unique experiences, from the exotic to the sublime, with our readers. She keeps us informed, as well, on the capricious and engaging fashion and beauty scene.