A Weekend in Portland
If you’re looking for a chance to getaway for the weekend, explore somewhere new but have a chance to recuperate a little, then Portland is the place for you. Quaint shops line the cobbled streets and the waterfront boasts a delicious selection of seafood vendors, restaurants and bars. A mere two hour drive from Boston Logan International airport or fly directly into Portland International Jetport, this is a very accessible location for a weekend of R&R. So here’s our top five must do’s for a great weekend in Portland.
Despite it being a city we fell in love with the small town feel of Portland. It has the remnants of a British town, with the uneven cobbled streets, winding hills boasting locally owned shops on either side and the opportunity to bimble as long as you want. There’s the Salt store with huge blocks of pink salt, Lisa-Marie’s fantastic range of products made in Maine and if you can leave Maine’s Pantry without a gift basket and selection of locally sourced food then you’re stronger willed than we are! Along with the stores stocked with unique Maine made, creative options there is also a great variety of gift stores to stock up on your lobster shaped oven mitts, lobster buoys or t-shirts. If you hit up Commercial and Exchange Street you are sure to be delighted.
Another highlight of Portland was the history, a stand out for us was the Eastern Cemetery. Located on Washington Avenue and Congress Street it has some of the oldest gravestones I have ever seen in America, dating back to 1717. It was truly fascinating to read the stories of families, civil war soldiers and Naval officers. There are around 4,000 marked graves so you really can lose yourself wandering around, reading the headstones and buffing up on your history. If you want to learn more there is also a great bookstore near by called Print that stocks lots of Maine authors, new releases and historical books.
If craft beer is your thing then you have to come the right town (obviously bring your designated driver with you), so attempt to try as many as possible during your stay. With more than 60 of them in the Portland area alone you are going to be spoilt for choice.
We would recommend swinging by Foundation Brewery and enjoying a flight outside on the benches, Allagash Brewing Company just happens to be located across the road so why not kill two birds with one stone and try a different flight whilst you’re there! Shipyard Brewing Company downtown is a great option for a tour or stop by Gritty’s Brew pub and line your stomach whilst you’re there.
- Higgins Beach Inn
A weekend away isn’t just about what you discover but is also about where you stay. Now as you may know we are big campers but Higgin’s Beach Inn was the perfect place to lay our heads during our time in Portland. Located just outside the city in Scarborough, the three story Inn has beautifully decorated rooms, a restaurant, Shade, that serves a great breakfast and staff who are genuinely friendly and helpful.
The village is peaceful and with only a two minute walk from the beach you can watch the surfers catching waves and take a walk on the sand. It gives you another insight of the area, the opportunity to get a bit of quiet, plus you’re very close to Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in Maine.
You can’t visit Maine and not indulge in a little lot of seafood. From Lobster rolls to the catch of the day, fried clams and juicy prawns, your options are almost endless. There’s Becky’s fish and chips for a tasty classic or for something with more of a wood fire atmosphere and delicious selections of sauces to accompany your Lobster, try Boone’s on the seafront. There’s an array of choices when it comes to the lobster roll, get one from a street vendor or stop by many of the eateries along Commercial road. You’ll even be able to get your seafood fix when on your brewery tour as fried clams are a very popular option on many pub menus and worth indulging in.
So what are you waiting for? Portland is a unique city with a lot to offer. From breweries to bimbling, lobster to lighthouses and coffee shops to cemeteries you are bound to recharge your batteries whilst having a great time exploring.
Steph & Rich