Cornerstones Community Feature: A Day in Biddeford
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
Biddeford has become Maine’s youngest city and Food and Wine Magazine just named the city of Biddeford as “one of four American “small cities with big food scenes”. The community-led organization Heart of Biddeford in partnership with the City of Biddeford is one of three winners of the 2022 Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA), which recognizes communities for their excellence in preservation based commercial district revitalization. HOB received this award for their vibrant small business environment and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (www.mainstreet.org). Since we are now officially part of the Biddeford community, we thought we’d offer a day trip guide so you can support local businesses and check out this flourishing and creative city.
Stop One: Time and Tide Coffee
Stop by this local craft coffee shop for a cup of joe with thoughtfully roasted coffee beans roasted right in Biddeford by owners, John and Briana. Time and Tide's website states, “The people here like to joke that the city is undergoing a “Biddaissance”--and there is a renaissance happening, in the old mills and on the high street, being led by small businesses, the thriving arts community, and our Main Street America organization, Heart of Biddeford (Briana currently sits on the board).” Support our community by stopping by for a quality cup of coffee–you’ll most likely be served by the owners themselves too! If you are feeling adventurous, try one of their iconic Pistachio Cream Lattes!
Stop Two: Take a drive to Fortunes Rocks Beach
Take your coffee to go and drive out to Fortunes Rock Beach, extending for two miles connecting the communities of Biddeford Pool and Fortunes Rocks. On your way to the beach, you will pass University of New England, Maine’s largest private university with 92% of graduates being employed or pursuing higher education within a year of graduating (une.edu). The optimum waves makes Fortunes Rock a popular destination for surfing, bodyboarding, and kayaking while the rocky coast and hard-packed sand is appealing to walkers, runners, and beachcombers. Time your visit around low tide, and you can partake in some prime tidepooling too!
Stop Three: Grab a bite at Palace Diner
After a trip to the beach, it’s time for some yummy fuel! Head over to Palace Diner, a cute and quaint traditional 15-seat diner in downtown Biddeford. Get yourself a classic New England Corned Beef Hash breakfast, or if you are feeling like a classic lunch, go for the cheeseburger and fries. This is another locally owned gem, owned by two friends who met farming in Harborside, Maine who had a shared passion to open a restaurant in an environment that is warm, fun, and welcoming to all.
Stop Four: Walk around Historic Downtown Biddeford
Part of the “Biddaisance” mentioned above means Biddeford has an eclectic mix of local shops and creative spaces to peruse in historically preserved buildings, including mills which holds the heritage of Biddeford’s humble beginnings as a bustling textile hub. Take a stroll and check out Elements for a cozy bookstore cafe experience, Biddeford Vintage Market for antiques and collectibles, and Hills & Trails for small batch home goods and outdoor apparel made by local makers! With the influx of businesses popping up around Biddeford, our residents will have ample opportunities for employment & professional development.
Stop Five: Tour the Biddeford Mill Museum
Tour the space that was once an operating textile mill, which was Biddeford’s biggest industry and supported the economy of York County dating back to the early 1800s. The mission of the Biddeford Mill Museum is to “document and preserve the historical and cultural mill heritage in Biddeford” and to “increase public awareness of the rich history and culture of our past, [and] its application to the present, so that future generations may benefit from these endeavors” (biddefordmillsmuseum.org). There are volunteer opportunities at the museum as well, which might be of interest to some of our residents!
Stop Six: Dinner at Magnus on Water
Another can’t miss locally-owned restaurant with an intimate environment, Magnus on Water is sure to please your taste buds. Their menu features seasonal and foraged foods with simple ingredients. Magnus on Water is another Biddeford business where one of the owners can be found behind the bar mixing up inventive libations while providing welcoming conversation. Intentionally curated to encourage conversation among guests, you can’t visit here without making a friend or two with those dining next to you.