T. and I recently escaped Boston for a weekend getaway in Portland, ME and it was the best decision ever. Not only were we celebrating 2016, we were also celebrating our anniversary!
How to Spend 48 Hours in Portland, ME
We packed up the car and headed to Portland bright and early on the first day of the new year. It was a quick 2 hour drive, but we felt as though we were completely transported to a new part of the country.
While it feels quintessentially New England, it also has such a different vibe from Boston. One where, how do I say this nicely….people smile at each other, or hold the door when you’re rushing to get out of the cold.
Don’t worry, I’m not hating on Boston – I love it here! But, it was nice to leave the city for a few days and discover a new place.
Instead of totally cramming our weekend, we decided to play it by ear. We asked a few friends for recommendations and decided to go there without any solid plans.
So, what did we do? We bundled up and explored the city by foot. We walked around without a specific destination in mind and it was wonderful.
We did however, eat and drink our weight’s worth of delicious food and cocktails #worthit. Here are our favorites in case you’re planning to visit!
Where to eat:
- Duckfat: If you go to Portland and don’t eat at Duckfat, did you even go to Portland?
- Eventide: Let me start this by saying I don’t like seafood. I try so hard to enjoy it, but if you’re not fried or coconut – I’m not into it. HOWEVER, Eventide’s brown butter lobster roll was life changing.
- Taco Escobarr: This might not be a typical Portland must-visit, but we were into it. So into it. We stopped by on our first night there for an easy meal. What we found was great service, delicious tacos, and $5 margs. Try to beat that. Just try.
- OTTO: See Duckfat’s description above.
- Nosh: We didn’t have the chance to eat at NOSH, but it was recommended by a few friends. Looks like they have some delicious burgers!
- Boda: If you’re looking for Thai, here it is.
- Central Provisions: We planned to dine at Central Provisions for our “fancy” anniversary dinner. Unfortunately they were closed for renovations (do we have the worst timing or what?). But, hoping to go next time we’re in the area!
Where to shop:
- Folly 101: Go here if you adore anything kitchen/food related. It took a reservation at Eventide to get me out the door. But, not before buying a new apron, of course.
- Portland Trading Co.: Loved this little shop! It didn’t hurt that they were playing the soundtrack to Chef. Which I now want on vinyl. Feel free to get it and send it via snail mail 😉
- Portland Dry Goods: Expensive, but good for daydreaming about new accessories and coats.
- Pinecone + Chickadee: Too cute of a store to pass up! Some new items, some vintage – they’ve got a good mix.
- Old Port: Basically where everything is. Go by foot, for sure!
Where to hang:
- Also, Old Port: Cute shops, good eats, libations, etc.
- The Holy Donut: Sure, this could be in the “where to eat” section, but in reality if I could just hang out there all day, I would. I so so would.
- Bard Coffee: We stopped by on our way out of the city and escaped the cold for a bit here. A cute spot!
Where to stay:
- Westin Harborview Hotel: We stayed here and loved it! Beautiful rooms, great staff, and a bar on the top floor. If you can, splurge for a room with floor-to-ceiling windows!
- The Press Hotel: This hotel, though. We stopped in to check out the lobby and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is. They even have a vintage typewriter you can use to type a letter! Brilliant.
Where to drink:
- Bramhall: This spot was suggested to me by a friend and I am SO glad she told me about it! We grabbed a few cocktails and cozied up here – it was the perfect Saturday night. Also, can’t beat that speakeasy feel.
- Liquid Riot: I was way more impressed with this spot than I thought I would be! Good pretzels and even better whiskey.
- Top of the East: If you’re looking for sweeping views of Portland and some great service, you must visit Top of the East in the Westin Harborview Hotel.
- Grace: We sadly didn’t get to go here while visiting, but if you have the chance, check it out and report back! Plus, it’s in a historic church – how nifty!
- Vena’s Fizz House: Another recommendation from a friend that we didn’t make it to. But it sure does look pretty great, doesn’t it? Cocktails and mocktails? I’m all about it.
I’m sure there are plenty that I haven’t included here – 48 hours was barely enough! What are your favorite Portland, ME spots?