wits portland

My experience at the WITS’ 19 in Portland, ME

My experience at the WITS’ 19 in Portland, ME

In early May 2019 I had the chance to attend the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) which was held in Portland, Maine. In 2018, this event was taking place in my hometown, Quebec City. Therefore, I had to go!

I had so much fun, learned a lot and met incredible women. As soon as the organisation announced that next year’s Summit would be held in Portland in Maine, I immediately bought my tickets! What a great opportunity to discover this city which is only a 6-hour drive from Quebec City (and eat some lobster rolls)!

There was a photo booth at the opening party! Left to right: myself, Evelyne, Richa, Julia, and Richa.

Disclaimer:
I’m a native French speaker.  English is not my first language. I learned English at school, but I mostly learned it by watching to The Simpsons and listening to rock/metal music. So, I might have made a few mistakes in this blog post.  If I did, please tell me, its the best way I can improve!

The Women in Travel Summit


The Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is the leading event for travel influencers, creators, and industry. Since 2013, WITS brings together some of travel’s top talent to discuss future travel trends, build energetic collaborations, and, hopefully, change the travel industry worldwide. The WITS community is a strong, diverse and empowering group of supportive women.
WITS is organized by Wanderful, a network for women travelers with a reach of over 40k worldwide.

I shared the road with Evelyne, owner and publisher of the blog CulturEatz from Montreal and after crossing 3 states and seeing beautiful landscapes, we finally made it to Portland. We had an amazing time at the WITS throughout the weekend with all the interesting conferences and captivating keynotes. This event is the perfect opportunity for me to meet incredible women who share the same passions such as travel, technologies and sustainable tourism. If you want to some networking, WITS is the event to attend.


The Maine Brew Bus

Even if I had an amazing time at the WITS conferences, I think the highlight of my trip in Portland was the tour I joined on the last day. I signed up for The Maine Brew Bus. Obviously, as a tour guide and tour company owner, I LOVE taking tours when I travel! As a result, my expectations with tours are high.


The Maine Brew Bus was founded in 2012 by Zach and Allison Poole, who realized that people visiting Portland might enjoy a guided safe ride to drink local beer at different small producers. Having a designated driver to guide them to both established and up-and-coming producers offers guests an opportunity to learn much more about the craft alcohol business than they could learn on their own. The Maine Brew Bus operates bright green and yellow buses that are hard to miss. Their tours provide a behind-the-scenes look at Maine’s craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more.
 

Our tour guide (and General Manager) Don, met Evelyne, myself and about 10 adventurous women at the Holiday Inn where the WITS conferences were held and we started the tour from there. Immediately, I had a great impression of this tour company because our group had both a driver ( Ryan) and a tour guide (Don). Most tour companies like this only hire one driver/tour guide, so I thought it was great. As a result, Ryan could focus on the road and Don, on giving us pertinent information about Portland producers, culture and history.

Rising Tide Brewing Company

Our first stop was at the Rising Tide Brewing Company, a husband-and-wife business who keeps on expanding since it’s foundation in 2010. There was such a great atmosphere over there! The day of our tour was on Cinco de Mayo and this brewery organized an event with outdoor seating, live rock music and food trucks for the occasion. We had three beer tastings over there, which were all very tasty and different, but honestly, I was sad to leave for our next stop, I wanted to stay and party with the locals!

rising tide brewing company by nomad tours quebec
We tasted the Spinnaker, a refreshing wheat beer that tastes like summer vacations!

Cellardoor Winery at the Point

I was not disappointed with our second stop. Now it was time to taste some local wines at Cellardoor Winery at the Point. WOW! I loved the design over there! I loved the girly, pink furniture’s and all the pretty flowers everywhere. They have the most beautiful tasting room I’ve even seen. Elegant but not snobby. We had 4 tastings over there and my favorite was C’est de l’Or, a flavorful dessert wine with a warm finish. The staff over there was welcoming and gave us so much information about their Portland winery.

Cellardoor Winery at the Point by nomad tours quebec
This is the Pinot Gris. It is a refreshing wine with a taste of apple, orange blossoms and pear.

Stroudwater Distillery

Our last stop was the Stroudwater Distillery, located just next to Cellardoor Winery. Their tasting room is cozy and well-decorated with a ”Mexican touch”. We tried 4 spirits: gin, vodka, bourbon and coffee liquor directly in their production room. Those who know me know that I have a soft spot for local gin, so I brought back a bottle home!

Stroudwater Distillery by nomad tours quebec
Three of our four tasting we had at Stroudwater Distillery

More about The Maine Brew Bus

Three locations
Three locations

Your can experience these amazing tours in three locations: Portland,ME
Providence,RI
Boston, MA

Award winning tours
Award winning tours

In 2013 they became the #1 TripAdvisor Tour and Activity in Portland.

 Giving back
Giving back

They have donated more than $2,573 to
a non-profit organization whose mission is to end child hunger in Maine

On our way back to the hotel.  Don did a little quiz on-board the bus to test our knowledge. I think we did good! On the other hand, I was sad that the tour was over, but I’ve learned so much and had such a great time! I would definitely book this tour again on my next trip to Portland. Thank you, Don and Ryan, you will certainly see me again in your beautiful city!

marie-pierre lessard at the beach in portland maine
Yes, it was cold and rainy on my first day in Portland but I really enjoyed seeing the beach!

Will I be showing you Quebec City during your next stay here? I hope so! You can contact me for a private tour using the contact form below.

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