Portland was highly recommended by our friends so we had to check it out and decided it needed its own post. The city is very cool and exactly how Kathleen described it: “Maine Bohemian”. Portland is brimming with talented street musicians and artists that make the place extra colorful. It is speckled with numerous vintage stores and unique shops where you could find one of a kind items. Best of all it is a gastronomic mecca and a dream destination for foodies.
Our visit to Portland kicked off with another great Airbnb find in the West End neighborhood (about a 17-minute walk to Old Port area). This was by far the best Airbnb we had stayed in and it was run like a professional bed and breakfast. Our host Finn (a talented painter) was fantastic and as an extra bonus the home came with a dog (Tyson)! The room was cozy with a large fluffy bed and numerous books to curl up with.
Our first meal was at Portland Hunt + Alpine club a really hip place with Scandinavian inspired food and interesting (strong) cocktails. Manu and I shared a board complete with clams, a gravlax sandwich and a ton of pickled everything! This was accompanied by aquavit, a typical Scandinavian spirit made from caraway that knocked our socks off. The meal was very flavorful and truly awoke all of our senses. The night was still young so we chatted with the waitress for a bit who recommended some nearby bars. After our meal we stopped at Sonny’s next door for a nightcap.
The following day we were in need of some more good grub so we decided to check out Otto Pizza, another highly recommended place. The pizza snob in me was very impressed. The crust was perfect, the ingredients were fresh and delicious and they had some interesting combinations (including their mashed potato, bacon and scallion pizza). To work off some calories we headed over to Eastern Promenade for a walk. This lovely park along the water is beautiful and during season (after memorial day) you could enjoy many water activities including boating and kayaking. Unfortunately, the gloomy rainy weather caught up with us and we had to cut our walk short.
When the rain subsided a bit we visited Fort Williams Park where the infamous Portland Headlight is located. Even though the clouds hindered our view a bit the walk along the cliffs throughout the park was incredible. The lighthouse was under repair when we visited so unfortunately we couldn’t get any good pictures of it. We did however stumble upon the Goddard Mansion at the end of the park. This abandoned mansion built in the 1850’s once used as housing for noncommissioned officers served as a great background for cool photographs. That made up for the lighthouse we missed out on.
Next, we stopped at Arabica Coffee for a delicious crumbly blueberry coffee cake and some crazy strong coffee! The place was exceptionally inviting and the perfect treat for a rainy afternoon. We then headed back into the Old Port area and roamed around a bit just checking out some of the cute and funky shops in town. You could easily spend a whole day walking around this area and eating your way through it. There were so many great places to check out but such little time. So with a stuffed belly and a tiny a bit of regret for not being able to spend a whole week in this cool city we headed back to our place. Portland we’ll be back!
Where we’re headed next