Portland is the largest city in the state of Maine. While spending some time in America’s Northeast, Kenin and I decided that a visit to the city was a necessity. We were looking for a nice weekend getaway that consisted of a bit of relaxation and a bit of sight-seeing. Portland was the perfect escape from our tiring work week. It turned out to be exactly what the doctor ordered (the doctor in this case is imaginary, but you get my drift). Here’s a short list of 5 fun things to do in Portland, Maine.
If you follow us on any social media channel, you already know our affinity for craft beer. We enjoy drinking beer, learning about how it’s brewed, learning about the marketing and distribution process, we really just enjoy anything and everything about the craft beer industry. Portland, Oregon is one of the most famous cities for craft beer in America, but Portland, Maine can hold it’s own in this category as well. We visited the tasting room at Allagash brewery and also took a tour of their facilities. We highly recommend doing both when visiting the area. Also while you’re there pick up a bottle of Allagash Curieux, it’s a bourbon barrel-aged Tripel that tastes even better than it sounds.
2. Shipyard Brewery
Speaking of craft breweries, Shipyard Brewery is also found in Portland. Shipyard is the largest craft brewery in Maine and the fourth largest in New England. They sell a slew of beers and craft sodas as well. We visited their tasting room but sadly we missed the tour by a few minutes. They will let you sample a good variety of there regular beers as well as any seasonals that they have on tap. They also have a cute gift shop chock full of Shipyard (and SeaDog) merchandise for purchase. Shipyard is a must-visit for any beer lover.
Who doesn’t love a good meal when on vacation or even a “staycation”? Visiting Portland I had one thing on my mind…lobster! I was not disappointed. I consumed lobster for almost every meal at almost every restaurant we visited. I had them whole, in sandwiches, in pastas, and even in eggs.
What I did not expect in Portland was the delicious variety of other seafood available. When not chomping down on lobster, I had some of the best oysters of my life. We also ate a fair share of fresh fish and clams as well. Kenin is not a huge lobster fan, though I did find huge chunks of mine missing from my plates from time to time, so I also had the opportunity to indulge in many other seafood dishes courtesy of his plate. I am sure if you have a seafood allergy, there are still very edible things to have in Portland, but I would be the wrong person to ask for a recommendation. My palate never saw beyond the sea.
When looking for good fresh seafood, ask a local. Everyone in Portland was very friendly and extremely helpful. Different seafoods are available at different times of the year. Find out what’s fresh and which restaurants are serving the local catch and you will not be disappointed.
4. Harbor Cruise/Ferry Cruise
We were gifted tickets to take a harbor cruise while in Portland. We get to the docks and hand the wonderfully pleasant lady at the window our tickets and wait for the cruise ship/boat to arrive. Up pulls the local ferry, ready to get all of the locals to their home island. We hoped on realizing we were a bit bamboozled by the word “cruise” and sat with the residents and their pets, produce, some even had lawn furniture for their front porches. We sat and watched the ferry stop at all the various tiny islands and chatted with some of the locals. We even made friends with some visiting Floridians (that made us a touch homesick) and were told that this was a BYOB ferry. That’s right, you can bring your own booze onto the ferry for a ride around the Maine islands.
Though this would not really be considered a cruise in my books, it was definitely a fun little ferry ride and the scenery around the harbor could not be beat.
5. Scenic Drive
Driving is just about our favorite thing to do as a couple. We road trip everywhere we go. Even when staying in a city for only a couple of days, we just can’t resist getting behind the wheel and taking a look around the outskirts. Driving around the outskirts of Portland is a must. Rent a car if you need to. The scenery is so lush and vibrant.
There is water everywhere you turn, whether it’s the ocean, lakes, waterfalls, or rivers, water is everywhere and it’s gorgeous. Stop at a local bakery and get some picnic stuff, get in the car and take a trip down scenic lane. Seriously, Maine as a whole is gorgeous so if you have the time to drive even a little way out of the city for a few hours, take it.
Portland was a fun getaway for us. Hopefully next time we are in the area, we will have a bit more time to explore. One thing is for certain though, Portland, Maine has become one of our favorite places to unplug and just relax. Give it a visit and see why we had such an enjoyable time there.