The thought of Maine may conjure up images of sleepy coastal towns with craggy coastlines, boats blowing in the wind and loads of lobster, but Portland is so much more than that. With a population of about 66,700, Maine’s largest city may not be considered big to some, but it has all the offerings of a vibrant metropolis.
Yes, it features typical Maine topography and a thriving harbor that offers plenty of delectable seafood, but Portland has made a name for itself in more ways than one. The city’s outstanding dedication to the arts, revered dining scene and incredible preservation and reinvention of its historic Old Port continually impress and surpass traveler expectations. Museums abound, kitchens with James Beard Award-winning chefs dot the downtown area and local boutiques share streets with national chains.
The city’s distinctly Maine attributes are also a cut above the rest. Secluded beaches situated on island shorelines, centuries-old lighthouses perfectly positioned on coastal bluffs and mouthwatering lobster rolls are all within reach. Above all, the city is a port hub at heart, once serving as the largest in 17th-century New England. But no matter which way you decide to perceive Portland, its charm and ease will surely soothe the soul.
Portland, along Casco Bay, Maine, is the heart of the region with award-winning restaurants, Maine-made shopping, concerts and arts. The foodie scene has amassed a lot of attention, and Portland’s nightlife is a laid-back affair. With landmarks and attractions to explore like the Portland Observatory—the only remaining historic signal tower in the nation—and the Portland Head Light in nearby Cape Elizabeth, you’ll have no problem working up an appetite while you sightsee.
One trip to Portland won’t be enough to savor the excellent culinary scene. The good news? No matter if you make it to two or ten restaurants, you’re in for a treat. You heard right.
In Portland, the seafood is so fresh you can practically hear the splash. But the diversity of ethnic cuisine is also truly impressive. From food trucks to fine dining to local lobster rolls, Portland has your appetite covered—but don’t take our word for it. Bon Appétit named Portland “2018 Restaurant City of the Year.”