Welcome to Portland, ME!
Portland is exactly what you picture when you imagine a New England town. Adorable little streets, ships honking their horns as they pull into port, gorgeous hikes to picturesque lighthouses, & more lobster rolls than you can shake a stick at. In no time at all, this little town will absolutely steal your heart. Wander along cobblestones, get up early and go fishing, visit one of the 60 lighthouses in town, and visit one (or 8) of the local James Beard chefs - whether it’s for great microbreweries, high end cuisine, duckfat French fries, or anything else you can imagine, you’ll go back home having fallen more than a little in love with this town. Unplug, unwind, & unbuckle your pants, we’ve got some exploring (and eating) to do!
Here is a playlist to help you get into the spirit of your destination!
One last thing...
Here's Whym's top ten things to know about Portland, ME
Welcome to Portland, ME, the land of lighthouses, lobsters and fabulous food! But there’s so much more hidden in this little town. There’s history, culture, and activities (water and otherwise) of all kinds. You can’t possibly spend any time here and not fall totally in love with this little coastal gem.
Finding Your Way
Located just 2 hours north of Boston and 4 hours from New York City, Portland is a getaway for so many from the hustle and bustle of nearby big cities. Portland itself is a very walkable city, with a compact downtown perfect for strolling or biking. The public transportation is very reliable and Lyfts are readily available.
Portland International Jetport (PWM) is the largest airport in this small state. While there are some non-stop or one-stop flights from most major cities, the majority of people fly into Boston for more flexibility, then rent a car or take the train to Portland. Taxis, shuttles and rental cars are available and the #5 Metro bus travels between the airport and downtown. If you do fly into Portland, the easiest way to get to your hotel is to take a cab or call a Lyft, which will only take about 10-15 minutes to get in to town and will cost about $20-30.
Portland has had a long and tumultuous history. A city occupied by Native Americans as long ago as 11,000 BCE, Portland has a long and rich history. Eventually colonized by the Europeans, its port location made it ripe for battle and playing a key role in the American Revolution. Hundreds of years caused ups and downs - great triumphs and sorrowful tragedies, not least of which was The Great Fire which decimated a huge swath of this burgeoning town. But Mainers are made of tough stuff and they would continue to thrive and rebuild over and over. Today Maine is known for an incredible culinary scene, fabulous breweries, and gorgeous nature.
Why Am I Here?
Portland has a rich history in industry, fishing, agriculture, and Americana - and that isn’t even the half of it! Explore Maine’s maritime history, the lighthouses, and forts that dot the coast. See the mingling of preserved 19th and 20th century architecture and modern marvels keeping their culture cutting-edge. And between all of that exploring, be prepared to eat and eat well!
The best time to visit this coastal city is June- August. Although summer is peak tourist season, the season’s cool temperatures - with highs seldom climbing above 80 degrees - are hard to beat. We’re also partial to a fall visit up the coast, with great brisk weather filled with changing leaves and outdoor breweries.
The food Maine is most known for includes lobster of course - steamed lobster and lobster rolls. Blueberries are Maine’s state berry (who knew) and they are fantastically delicious too. Moxie was designated as the official soft drink of the State of Maine in 2005, so you’ve got to give it a try. It was created in 1884 and was one of the first sodas ever produced. And of course, don’t leave without some seriously foodie food from one of the plethora of James Beard award winning chefs that fill this town.
LL Bean is a Maine-based clothing store so it’s the perfect thing to buy to take home and remember your time on the coast! Other great souvenirs include maritime antiquities, blueberry jam, whoopie pies, maple syrup & locally made candies.
Think coastal comfort. Mainers are dressing for comfort and the weather. Comfortable walking shoes, shorts, & jeans are the norm with layers for the evening when the temperature drops. In the winter, consider warm socks and gloves with a puffer coat and wool hat.
Portland is the closest U.S. transatlantic port to Europe, & the 20th-largest fishing port in the nation. They also provide nearly 90% of the nation's lobster supply - roughly 40 million pounds annually! Food is serious in this town - with one of the highest concentrations of James Beard chefs of any city in the country.