My wife and I celebrated our 1-year (dating) anniversary a few years ago in Portland, ME after the Timberman 70.3 Ironman race. The weather was terrible but we loved the city and have wanted to return ever since. It just so happened I needed two more stays to meet my Marriott Platinum challenge and my wife wanted to visit Salem, MA. This perfect series of events led to a quick weekend getaway for the family. We decided we wanted to spend more time in Salem then Portland, so we went to portland first and got the long leg of the trip out of the way.
Friday, I was able to get out of work early and picked my daughter up from school and had her pack for the weekend (she was most concerned about which bathing suit to bring). When my wife got home from work we were ready to hit the road. Unfortunately we had to eat dinner on the road, but found a great asian (Japanese-focused) restaurant to eat at.
When we arrived at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, we found out they were sold out, but we were on the club floor. Many domestic Marriotts close their lounges on the weekends so that they can stay focused on the weekday business travelers. However our keys still worked and we grabbed a milk for my daughter. I was able to grab a beer and a glass of wine from the bar and bring them up to the room, so we were all able to have a night cap and get to bed.
The Marriott at Sable Oaks is your basic full service Marriott, friendly staff, decent restaurant, and nice enough rooms. Our beds were however very hard. My daughter fell asleep quickly but my wife and I tossed and turned all night. I still managed to get in a decent run nice safe route on the weekend, probably too busy during the week to run most of it.
Since the lounge was closed, I got two vouchers for the continental buffet in the restaurant. Basic breakfast, but we added on the hot options (cooked to order eggs & omelets) for $3 each and my daughter at $5.99. Omelets were huge and well cooked, my daughter eat 2 watermelons worth of watermelon and then we were out to Portland.
We spent the morning walking around checking out shops and then headed to the Shipyard Brewery, my daughter did a tasting of their sodas, we bought a few beers and headed to Allagash Brewery we did a small tasting here, and my daughter had an awesome Blueberry soda. Ate some food and got on the road for Salem.
In Salem we stayed at the SpringHill Suites Boston Peabody property. While only 5 miles outside of Salem the ride in during traffic was about 30 minutes, and without traffic leaving it was about 10 minutes. Nice basic accommodations and the bed was better than the Marriott in Portland. Free breakfast as at all SpringHill Suites, but the staff seemed overwhelmed Sunday morning with the amount of people in for breakfast. They ran out of at least two items. I ran on the nearly brand new treadmill and got in a good run, and the hotel was kind enough to provide free headphones.
That first night in Salem, about all we had time for was a burger for me and ice cream for my wife and daughter before enjoying the Hocus Pocus Tour of Salem. We all enjoyed the tour as it was primarily based on history and not ghosts or some such nonsense.
After breakfast at the hotel, we packed up and headed into Salem for the rest of the day. We hit up a local coffee place, had a “light” lunch at Beer Works Salem surprisingly great beers brewed on site and walked and shopped for hours. We had dinner at Finz which was alright and headed home.
Quick trip enjoyed by us, and I earned my platinum status with Marriott. Next time we go for a weekend, we are staying in the same place for both nights. Too much driving.