July 31, 2011

And a few of our favorite things

From staff reports

(Continued from page 3)

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Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro has fans among readers and our staff.

Staff file photos

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Longfellow Books in Portland s Monument Square is the staff pick for best bookstore.

Staff file photo

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Related headlines

Yarmouth Clam Festival

clamfestival.com

Tens of thousands of people flock to this festival every year, and it's not hard to see why, with affordable carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment and more fresh seafood than you can throw a half-shell at covering several blocks. If you missed it this year, you'll have to wait until next July, but now you'll have plenty of time to clear your calendar.

BEST BOWLING ALLEY

Bayside Bowl

58 Alder St., Portland

791-2695; baysidebowl.com

Bayside Bowl not only has terrific food and consistently great live music offerings, they also do one other thing right: bowling. Rent some shoes and grab an alley at the newest, hippest bowling alley in Maine. 

BEST AMUSEMENT PARK

Funtown Splashtown USA

774 Portland Road (U.S. Route 1), Saco

284-5139; funtownsplashtownusa.com

What's the worst part of going to an amusement park? Spending most of the day standing in line. That's not a big problem at Funtown Splashtown, where even during the busiest weekends you can typically get on and off an attraction within minutes. The park is divided into two sections, with the Funtown portion offering traditional amusement-park rides and the Splashtown portion serving up pools and water slides. Whether you're looking for something low-key or adventurous, you'll find it here. 

BEST MUSEUM

Portland Museum of Art

7 Congress Square, Portland

775-6148; portlandmuseum.org

The Portland Museum of Art is in a difficult situation because of the expectations it has for itself and the expectations of others. It is the most visible museum in a state that is mad about its arts. It must be good -- and it is, year in and year out. The curatorial staff presents thoughtful, scholarly exhibitions that are important locally, and does so without pretension or any sort of false air of sophistication.

BEST ART GALLERY

Space Gallery

538 Congress St., Portland

828-5600; space538.org

From intricate multi-media installation pieces to smaller works, Space Gallery is home to an ever-changing and always compelling collection of local, regional and national artwork. All this, and it continues to be a live music hotspot as well.

BEST BOOKSTORE

Longfellow Books

1 Monument Square, Portland

772-4045; longfellowbooks.com

Now that Borders is closing, independent bookstores are more indispensable than ever, but Longfellow Books has always provided a haven for literature lovers with a focus on Maine-bred books and authors alongside national best-sellers. Check out the store's website for information on author talks, book signings and readings.

BEST DOG-FRIENDLY PARK

Willard Beach

Myrtle Avenue, South Portland

Try as they might, the anti-dog crusaders cannot keep a good canine at bay. As long as dog owners respect the rules, Willard will remain the best gathering spot for dogs and their owners. Great views and easy access. 

BEST BOUTIQUE OR CLOTHING STORE

Motifs

97 Exchange St., Portland

518-9494; shopmotifs.com

What woman doesn't need a flirty, functional dress from time to time? Good thing Motifs serves up dozens to choose from. The shop also stocks an ever-changing selection of women's skirts, pants, tops and shoes, along with a colorful line of jewelry and accessories. And should you need a hostess gift to go with that cocktail dress, Motifs has you covered with a selection of home accents that range from the elegant to the quirky.

BEST NAIL SALON

Lucinda's Day Spa

263 Route 1, Cumberland Foreside; 311 Beech Ridge Road, Scarborough

829-3100, ext. 2; lucindasdayspa.com

Whether you need a mani or a pedi, you'll get the royal treatment at Lucinda's. Splurge on a Thai reflexology pedicure or an Aveda Caribbean manicure, or go for the tried-and-true French manicure. The spa offers special services and pricing for kids and teens.

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The Danforth in Portland gets the staff nod for best bed and breakfast.

  


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