10 Reasons to Take Your Next Culinary Vacation in Portland, Maine
In the waterfront city of Portland, Maine, that life is full of abundant lobster rolls, locally owned boutique shops lining the cobblestone streets, passionate craft breweries, mouthwatering farm-to-table food at award winning restaurants, endless water views, and beautiful lighthouses — and a perfect little eco-friendly hotel right in the middle of it all!
Portland’s history-filled waterfront (aptly called the Old Port) to its vibrant downtown area, there is so much to see and do in this exciting walkable city with a small-town feel. It was hard to narrow it down, but here are my top 10 things to see and do in Portland, Maine:
Stay at the Hyatt Place Portland-Old Port, a green-certified hotel conveniently located smack dab in the center of everything. Get a room on one of the higher floors and enjoy a beautiful water view from the bed. Enjoy a daily complimentary breakfast buffet. Charge your electric car at the charging station. Take a swim in the indoor pool. Use the 24/7 fitness center. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Bring your pet (yes, it's totally pet-friendly). Walk down to the waterfront just three blocks over. Did you forget to pack something? No worries, because Hyatt Place has got you covered. Just ask the Galley Host for the "Odds & Ends" menu of items you can buy, borrow, or enjoy for free!
Board a Portland Schooner Windjammer Sail and cruise around Casco Bay. Spending two hours relaxing on a boat while sailing along the coastline is an excellent way to experience the Maine way of life. You might even spot some playful seals, like we did!
Eat a lobster roll on a pier. There are many places to partake in Maine’s famous delicacy, but the lobster rolls at The Porthole restaurant are especially tasty due to a homemade lemon aioli and the amazing waterfront views.
Eat a dinner of locally sourced products at any of the city's exceptional restaurants. Recently named Bon Appetit's 2018 Restaurant City of the Year, Portland has no shortage of good eats. From the wood oven-roasted seafood at Fore Street, to the duck-fat Belgian fries in the classic poutine at Duck Fat, or any of the Asian-fusion dishes at the ultra-trendy The Honeypaw, around every corner you'll find something for everyone.
Go for a ride on a beer bus to visit local breweries (and drink beer). If you love beer, book a trip on the Maine Brew Bus, then sit back and enjoy the ride around town to some of the best breweries offering world-class craft beer. We visited Sebago Brewing, Mast Landing Brewing, and Bunker Brewing on our tour and every beer was better than the last!
Experience heaven at the Holy Donut. There's always a line for these all-natural, moist, decadent doughnuts made from mashed fresh Maine potatoes, but they are absolutely worth the wait. One bite of these donuts, with flavors like Dark Chocolate Coconut, Triple Mixed Berry, and Maple Bacon, and you'll start pondering a move to Portland so you can eat these carby delights every day. Yeah, they are that good.
Visit a beautiful lighthouse. Just a short drive down the street is Maine's oldest lighthouse (and the most photographed lighthouse in America), the Portland Head Light. It sits adjacent to Fort Williams Park with 90 acres of recreational space and even has its own museum and gift shop.
Stop by the Harbor Fish Market to marvel at all the local fresh seafood on display. If you can't take it home with you, grab a few fresh raw oysters, cooked crab, smoked salmon, or have them cook a lobster for you and go eat it while sitting down by a pier overlooking the Portland Harbor.
Stroll down the cobblestone streets and spend all day exploring the city's museums and landmarks, like the Portland Museum of Art, Victoria Mansion, and the Public Market House. Not to mention the numerous cute shops of unique and locally made items. It's a great way to burn off all those calories.
Sip a hand-crafted cocktail (non-alcoholic versions are available too!) at the Glass Lounge at Hyatt Place, go to the underground hidden speakeasy Lincolns where everything is $5 (ask around, because it's difficult to find — like any respectable speakeasy should be), or venture inside the cozy little Maps bar to plan your next adventure to Portland, Maine — because this year-round city makes a great winter destination too!
All expenses for this article were provided by Hyatt Place by Hyatt. Opinions are the writer’s own.