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Portland. No, the other Portland.
The distinction is important, otherwise you may find yourself booking accommodation in Portland, Oregon instead, which is on the complete opposite side of the USA!
Fortunately for us, this beautiful city in Maine is only a 2.5hr train ride on the Amtrak or a 2hr drive from Boston. We visited over the Labor Day weekend, and hence opted for the train ride (Boston is known for crazy traffic over Labor day… Students moving to the city + public holiday = painful traffic conditions!)
We spent about 24hrs in this beautiful city, and here are some of Portland’s must-dos:
Lobster rolls at Eventide
This establishment is famous for its Lobster rolls – they melt in your mouth and you may find yourself refusing to share if you’re with a significant other (not exaggerating!)
If you’re visiting over a weekend or a public holiday, be prepared to wait.
We waited nearly 2hrs, but I’m not lying when I say: the wait is 100% worth it. Pop your name down – they’ll take your mobile number and send you a text message once your table is ready.
Visit Old Port
Cobblestone streets, famous New England architecture and cute stores.
When waiting for that table at Evertide (or if you’ve got an afternoon spare!) this is a great place to wander and roam.
The Holy Donut
Portland’s most famous donut shop – these guilt free donuts are made out of sweet potato and are super dense and filling.
There are so many flavors to choose from (bacon and cheese anyone?!) Go early if you want your pick of flavor’s – we had these for lunch (who says you can’t have dessert for lunch?!)
Breakfast at Bayside American Café
One of the most popular breakfast cafes in Portland, these guys have something to suit everyone – from walnut and ginger pancakes to big hearty savoury style breakfasts.
Make sure you go early, otherwise you’ll need to wait.
We discovered this small eatery based on a recommendation from a friend, and are so glad that we did!
Just a couple of doors down from Eventide, Duck Fat have amazing hand cut chips, cooked in – that’s right you guessed it, duck fat!
The wait wasn’t as long as Eventide, but unfortunately you can’t wander off. You’ll be given a buzzer, but thankfully the wait isn’t 2hrs long.
Can’t wait? Get your chips take away and sit in the park across the street! We wish we had done this, but had only realized this was an option right before we got our table.
One of the most photographed lighthouses in the US, Portland Head is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon.
There is of course the lighthouse, which has the bigger crowds, but also a great coastal trail for keen walkers and old remains of buildings that you can explore.
This is only a 10min drive from Portland itself, and if you don’t have a car, you can Uber (unfortunately public transport options are very limited/ require long walks, which is not ideal if you’re short on time!)
Our Uber cost about ~$8 one way, and managed to catch one back to Portland when we were done. Mobile internet reception wasn’t great near the lighthouse, but if you walk around you can find some decent spots to order an Uber from.
Portland is definitely a foodie destination – great for a short weekend trip! Have you ever been to Portland?
Do you have any tips/suggestions?