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Summer Travel Itinerary / Portland
courtesy of Conde Nast Traveller

Maine has it all: rocky coastline, lighthouses, blueberry fields, and some of best restaurants America has to offer. While Acadia National Park, Rockport and Kennebunkport are all must-see scenic destinations, the state’s main attraction is the city of Portland; and end-of-summer is the perfect time to visit. Check out our top picks to get you on your way to Vacationland. 

courtesy of Corey Templeton

Getting There

With Manhattan as your origin, a 5.5-hour drive will land you in the center of Portland. No car? No problem! As of this year, Concord Coach Buses launched direct bus rides from Manhattan to Portland. If flying is more desirable, a nonstop flight from any New York airport is just over an hour. When you arrive, there’s no need to rent a car; Portland is a pretty walkable city (weather-permitting) and Uber is plentiful.

Where to Stay

courtesy of The Press Hotel

The Press Hotel

Located in the former Portland Press Herald Building, this four-star boutique hotel has the chicest accommodations in town. It’s new, modern and steps from downtown. The guest suites feature soft Frette bed linens and free WiFi; plus, the hotel has a standout spa and bicycles for guest use.

courtesy of The Pomegranate Inn

Pomegranate Inn

This shabby chic bed-and-breakfast has cozy, vibrant guest rooms; all with their own private bathrooms, TVs, and fireplaces.

courtesy of Expedia

Where to Play

While you could spend the day sitting on a bench overlooking the bay, there is so much more to see in Portland.

Immerse yourself in the arts scene at the Portland Museum of Art, the largest and oldest public art institution in the state. Here, you’ll find pieces from contemporary American artists, including Maine-native Norman Rockwell.

courtesy of A Cup of Jo

Wandering through Old Port is always a charming journey, where you’ll find cobblestone street after street of boutiques large and small. Some of our favorites include vintage shop Encore, children’s boutique Little, yarn shop KnitWit, toy shop Treehouse Toys, and home goods havens like More & Co.K Colette, and Portland Trading Co.

courtesy of Judith

Stylish, cool boutiques including Peyote MoonJudith, and Portland Dry Goods are noteworthy stops. Also, be sure to check out local designer Alaina Marie‘s funky (and sustainable!) accessory shop with standout pieces made from fishing gear.

In need of a mani-pedi? Anna Philips Nail Bar is well worth a visit. For a relaxing massage or facial experience, Nine Stone Spa has you covered.

courtesy of Portland Daily Photo

A trip to Portland would not be complete without a 20-minute ferry ride over to Peak’s Island. This small beach town is filled with exploration, and we’d recommend doing it by bicycle. Cruise around town, popping in-and-out of galleries and feeling the crisp sea breeze; this is true paradise.

Where to Eat

Lobsters, blueberries and whoopie pies may be this bohemian town’s claim-to-fame, but foodies from around the globe travel to Portland for their standout restaurant scene. Here are some highlights.

courtesy of Conde Nast Traveller

Eventide Oyster

A James Beard Award winner, this small, casual seafood spot is known for their raw bar and unique brown butter lobster rolls.

courtesy of Portland Press Herald

Fore Street

Reservations are a must at the buzzing and rustic Fore Street. This seasonal American restaurant is one of Portland’s most celebrated. The restaurant group’s newest locale, Scales, is another bright and airy gem.

courtesy of Travel + Leisure

Portland Lobster Company

For a taste of true lobster in Portland, head to Portland Lobster Company. Steamed lobster platters, heaps of fried clams, and classic lobster rolls are served on paper plates in a picnic-table-filled patio overlooking the water.

courtesy of Visit the USA

Some other fantastic restaurants include the seasonal tapas bar Central Provisions, neighborhood lunch favorite Duckfat, gluten-free hot spot Vinland, rustic Chinese eatery Empire, elegant Middle Eastern cafe EVO, and upscale omakase sushi bar Miyake. It may feel silly to travel to Maine for pizza, but Flatbread is an organic, locally-sourced, wood-fired pizza restaurant to additionally put on your list.

courtesy of Fresh Cup

Tandem Coffee

This converted gas station turned sleek coffee shop is the ultimate place for artisanal coffee and breakfast pastries.

courtesy of Eater

Speaking of bakeries, HiFi Donuts (which definitely outshines The Holy Donut) and Standard Baking Co. are both musts, if even for the smell alone.

Where to Drink

Known for its craft beer scene, there is no shortage of places to unwind with a drink. There’s Allagash Brewery, where you can have a drink-accompanied tour, or the Novare Res Bier Cafe for a rotating selection of craft beers. Off-the-beaten-path, Foulmouthed Brewing is another fun hang out for modern brews. For an experience you’d only find in Portland, visit Urban Farm Fermentory where they serve 22 rotating varieties of kombucha, jun, cider, mead, and beer in a raw loft space.

courtesy of Little Giant

Wine aficionados will love Drifers Wife,  a chic, upscale wine bar, and when it comes to cocktails, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club knows how to mix it up. Trendy newcomer Little Giant also offers tasty libations and lite bites in a beautiful space.

Contact your lifestyle curator for our full guide to Portland, Maine and to plan your next getaway.