I don't know if anyone else has noticed the hype about Portland, Maine lately.. but I have to admit I did give in and go explore the place to see for myself why it has been one of the most popular destinations for weekend getaways this year. Well, I wasn't disappointed and here's why...
Portland, Maine is a definite hub for design... and as you all know I'm a sucker for a cute cafe and an artsy nightlife. Well, that's just what Portland had to offer. I decided to do some research and go visit all of the cute restaurants and cafes that I could find, as well as explore the local culture. These were my favorite places...
1. Street & Co. This is a MUST. Honestly, one of the best meals I have ever had. I highly recommend splitting the Lobster Diavlo. You definitely won't regret the decision, and you'll be sure to have some leftovers. Not to mention, the interior feels like you just stepped into Europe for the night, and features an open kitchen, so you can watch the food being prepared. I seriously didn't even like lobster until I ate here.
2. You must, you MUST wake up early and see the Sunrise. I also recommend going to the Standard Baking Co after for some fresh baked goods. You should probably get one of everything, because they are just too good you'll regret not trying a bite of each.
3. Soakology. You know every good weekend isn't complete without a spa trip. I tested out Soakology, which specializes in foot soaks and tea, and I definitely don't regret it. This place is the perfect sanctuary for relaxation, and it's right in the heart of Portland. Be sure to test out the Chai Tea, that was our fave!
4. Visit the Holy Donut. Not sure how many of you know this.. but donuts are my favorite food, and Portland is famous for these donuts so like... take that as you wish. (p.s... I wasn't kidding when I told you I ate my entire way through Portland, and I suggest you do the same.)
5. Blanche & Mimi for all your home goods and souvenirs. Portland Flea for All for some great finds and unique pieces. K Colette for some more home goods, and miscellaneous shopping. Also, Portland is stocked with cool art galleries, so I suggest strolling through some of those on your way by
6. Duckfat. I'm sure you'll be hungry again now, so you should probably go get the pountine. Just order it. I didn't get a chance to try the milkshakes, but I've heard they have the best around!
7. And of course.. everyone needs a good afternoon espresso. Definitely stop by the Portland Patisserie and Grand Cafe. Coffee is good.. but so aren't these gold chairs?!
8. Vena's Fizz House for some super cool cocktails. This is your place if you're looking for a place to go and grab a drink after dinner. This mixology shop specializes in making their own mixes and sodas, and the cocktail menu is funky and different. Totally worth giving it a try.
Places to stay you ask..? Well, we stayed at the Inn at St.John for only $75 and it ended up being very clean, and the staff was super friendly, and it was only a short distance to downtown. Be careful because they do have some shared bathrooms in their rooms since the Inn is in an old home with all different rooms, but we lucked out and got upgraded when we arrived. Overall great experience staying there.
That about sums up the list of my favorite places in Portland, and I was only there for 2 days, imagine what can be discovered if you spend more time there! I highly recommend taking a visit for the weekend, who doesn't love an opportunity to explore a new and wonderful place? Have you been to Portland before? Share with us your favorite places.