Will and I had a blast visiting Portland Maine last week. We decided this would be our fall getaway after my sis Val and brother-in-law Ken, raved about the small city. We flew roundtrip via Southwest, who offers extremely affordable, non-stop flights, and then we Uber’ed around town as needed (another great suggestion by Val and Ken). If you love good food, the ocean, beautiful fall foliage and beer, you may want to add Portland to your bucket list.
Our getaway was for 3 nights and 4 days, so I wanted pack fairly lightly. I knew ahead of time it was going to be rainy for the first 2 days and that we’d be doing a ton of walking. So here’s what I took:
*4 Tunic dresses
*1 Black fleece vest
*1 pair jogger pants
*1 pair black leggings
*1 pair boyfriend jeans
*1 Black, hooded jacket
*Sneakers, Vans, Tan Sorel Combat Boots
Because we did a variety of activities (mostly eating – lol), I wore everything at least once with the exception of the Vans. I also would have been fine with only 1 sweater and 3 dresses, but using packing cubes allowed me to get everything, including my toiletries, into my carry-on bag. Poor Will, one of the wheels of his carry-on broke off as he was transferring it to the BWI shuttle bus. Since rolling was now dragging, we looked at a new carry-on bag in an airport shop, needless to say we did not make that $675.00 purchase. P-L-E-A-S-E .
I wore one of the tunic dresses, black leggings and Sorel boots for the plane ride and our first day in Portland. I was extremely comfortable and the boots were great for walking. Portland is rumored to have more restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city, with the exception of San Francisco, so we were excited about the options! Will and I make it a mission to find great, affordable food that’s off the beaten path. At Val and Ken’s suggestion, we ate lunch at The HoneyPaw. The lobster toast was to die for and Will loved his fried chicken sandwich. Later that evening while walking around town, we discovered a cool bar called Mash Tun and decided to eat dinner there. The pulled pork tacos were yummy and we washed them down with a nice, cold Blanche De Bruxelles (Belgian White).
We woke up to more rain, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. I wore my black joggers, t-shirt, light jacket, black vest and sneakers for the active day ahead of us. Having comfortable shoes is a must, I’ve learned too many hard lessons from not having them. So we headed out on a morning walk …and in search of a great breakfast. Mission accomplished. We found Baristas and Bites about a block from our hotel. My ” Cage-Free Egg Sandwich” with white cheddar, tomato and arugula on a homemade English Muffin was pretty much perfection. I was in breakfast heaven. We walked around town and down to the wharf for several hours before we were back at Baristas and Bites for a soup and salad lunch. Once again – ahhhmazing. Many thanks to Tom, Hope and Taylor for making the Wright’s feel special! Next it was time to take our 1st Uber ride to Allagash Brewing Company for a brewery tour. Founder Rob Tod has an amazing story and a great lesson in stick-to-it-ness for micro biz owners. The tour was incredibly interesting thanks to our tour guides Hanna and Ryan. And there was no shortage of generous beer sampling. It was such fun.
We had read great things on Yelp and Tripadvisor about a restaurant called Evo, which happened to be adjacent to our hotel. We stopped in to check out the menu and one of the chef’s brought us each a piece of warm pita bread seasoned with salt and olive oil. He had also wrapped it in foil for us so we could eat it on the go. I wanted to cry it was so good. After that kind gesture, there was no doubt we were going to eat dinner there. We had small plates of Muhammara, chicken and chick pea fries. The chick pea fries had to be one of my top 10 dishes – EVER! Many thanks to our awesome server Michelle and Mr. Chef whose name I won’t even attempt, but you know who you are! LOL
Yep, we were stuffed to the gills, but somehow made room for Gelato Fiasco. Will and I agree, it was some of the best gelato we’ve ever had. We were exhausted, stuffed and happy.
The rain had finally stopped and we were off to walk along a beautiful paved trail by the bay. But first we needed sustenance – ha! Val and Ken had told us, and apparently everyone else in Portland, about Standard Baking Company. The hot coffee and pastries hit the spot on our brisk morning walk. Next we took a Casco Bay Lines – 2 hour Diamond Pass boat ride around the bay area. Casco Bay was gorgeous. It’s made up of small islands, many with residences and all with beautiful foliage. We had picked up wraps from Baristas and Bites and had lunch on the boat. Once we returned to shore, we explored several historical areas and ended up logging 19,000 steps or approx. 7+ miles. I had dressed for warmth in jeans, sneakers and layers. Too tired to make a major dinner decision, we changed and ate at Evo again. I could eat there every night. It was that good.
Before heading to the airport, we grabbed a Bucks coffee and watched the sunrise over the bay. Again I wore a comfy tunic dress, sweater, leggings and my Sorel’s for the trip home. We grabbed breakfast burrito for the road at Baristas and Bites and said goodbye to our new friends there! The trip home was super easy, capping off a wonderful getaway.
Portland was our second trip to Maine, we vacationed in Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park in the fall of 2014. One thing is for sure, Will and I are falling in love with this beautiful state.