“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
As a New Englander going to Maine every year is about as common as toast, it’s just something you do. Whether its a day trip, weekend, or a whole week trip there is always a ton of adventures to be had in Maine. Its something I really love about it, I can go every year, and although there are things I do again, there is always something new to do and a new place to eat. From its vast, scenic shorelines to the Lobster rolls and Blueberry pie they are famous for; there is something for everyone to do in Maine.
Traveling with current COVID restrictions in place this year was a little bit different. I did some research and found the information I needed here. That being said everything went pretty smoothly and we decided to visit Portland, Maine for a week. We stayed in an Airbnb on Munjoy Hill which was close to everything. It was a great, quiet neighborhood that felt incredibly welcoming, but overall Portland felt very welcoming to all. There is a vibe there that we really enjoyed.
There is plenty to do in Portland and we took advantage of the full week we were there to go out and about. I will be detailing what we did, the measures that are in place for safety, and tips for each! Here are my 6 Fun Things to do in Portland Maine.
- Check out the Food Scene
Portland has a thriving food scene and we didn’t even scratch the surface. We ate a lot of good food, including tons of lobster which is always a must when in Maine and of course if you love lobster as much as I do. Here are the places we visited and that I recommend. As I always tell you please search on your own as well and find cool, small businesses that you think you’ll love.
- A great Sicilian pizza place. The “slabs” are massive and one is enough to share between two people and a couple appetizers. Get the meatballs they are amazing! We each ordered the spicy meat slab, and it was so delicious.
- You know I find a donut place everywhere I go right? Well, I was completed taken aback by this place and their delicious donuts!! Ordered the Salty Matcha Cruller which was incredible.
- This lobster place was lively. We sat outside and enjoyed our lobster rolls and fried shrimp! Right on the water in Old Port.
- Some of the best ice cream I’ve had all year. I ordered Blueberry ice cream and it was the creamiest with so much flavor!
- A fun sot with eventive lobster creations! Ordered a lobster roll and a lobster taco! We got rained out and had to leave our table and eat in the car…hehe!
- Some absolutely delicious coffee. It was cloudy and windy that day, so we ordered coffee and sat on the chairs right outside. I ordered a Maple Oat Latte.
- Such a cool spot to have a small plates style dinner. We loved everything we ordered. JFC ( Japanese Fried Chicken), Broiled Marinated fish, Kimchi fried rice, and tempura corn
- We tried this place because it was open late and loved it! Some really great tacos with different varieties. I ordered the fried tacos ( corn shells that are cheesy with scallions etc) and we also got the original style tacos. Really tasty!
- Brunch was so delicious here, huge portions, great pancakes, and a cool vibe. With things like “gator eggs” (no actual gators haha) and incredible sides, it is a must-visit.
- This was our last dinner in Portland and it was incredible. Everything we ate from appetizer to dessert was delicious. Plus incredible cocktails. It was nighttime and we were sitting outside so this photo does not do the food justice 🙂 Great Italian spot for dinner and cool vibe.
Known for their muffins and delicious breakfast. We came here before driving back home. So good!
- Be prepared for outdoor dining in most places and/or takeout. There are lots of areas for picnics if that suits you as well.
- Mask up, Portland is strict when it comes to mask-wearing as is the rest of Maine.
- Walk around Old Port
Old Port in Portland is such a great place to walk around and browse the shops and take in the surroundings. We found/ran into some places to try for food this way, plus got our steps in. We also checked out a favorite boutique of mine that just opened up a location there called Bobbles and Lace. Go check them out.
- Watch Sunset at Back Cove
Our first night in Portland, after dinner we had driven by a trail right by the water called Back cove. On the way back we stopped and it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. I was enamored and completely smitten. It is definitely a must-visit on my list, but there are many beautiful places in Portland to watch the sunset as well!
- Bring bug spray ( depending on when you go) we went at the beginning of September and I got bit a little too much 🙂
- Bring a blanket and make it a nice cozy picnic
- It is a long winding trail along the water, great for some after dinner exercise
- Go visit at least one Lighthouse
There are lighthouses everywhere in Maine, it is one of the reasons I love exploring there because its so cool to visit the different lighthouses. We went to Portland Head Light, which has expansive views, places to take cool photos, and is a great place to take the family. This is located in South Portland at Cape Elizabeth, definitely a must-visit.
- Visit Yes Books
So this is for all you book lovers out there who love the smell of books, old bookstores, and losing yourself in what the written word has to say to us. Yes Books was one of my favorite spots in Downtown Portland, with books spanning several decades and about every topic you could imagine. It was great fun to chill here and explore for a while.
- Visit Portland Museum of Art
Finally but not least, go check out the Portland Museum of Art. On the day we were going to go for a nature hike, we got rained out so we decided to check out PMA and it was so wonderful. Several floors of art and sculpture from many different artists. Several from BIPOC artists which I really appreciated.
All in all, Portland was everything we needed it to be. Safe, peaceful, relaxing, and exactly the rest and relaxation we needed. I am so glad we were able to experience it. Please tell me about your adventures in Portland and what you loved most!
Travel well, travel safely,
Life as a Maven