Happy Tuesday! I’m so excited to be sharing a fun travel post today. I’ve only done a few travel posts in the past, but I’ve always been a huge fan of visiting new destinations and I’m planning to post more travel-related content in 2016! So without further ado, I’d like to you to meet my Portland Maine travel guide! In late November, the boyfriend and I headed up to Portland by way of the Amtrak Downeaster for a one night getaway. We’d been to Portland a few years ago, and were excited to go back. On the previous trip we drove up, so this time around it was nice to be able to enjoy the ride with Bloody Marys in hand and chill. The first day the weather was beautiful and we definitely made the most of it! Keep reading below for all the details from where we stayed and what we ate to what we’ll do next time.
I’m also giving away 2 round-trip tickets on the Amtrak Downeaster! You can view all of their stops here. Details are at the bottom of this post on how to enter. Good luck and I hope you enjoy my first (of many) travel guides!
If you have any Portland recommendations I’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below 🙂
How we got there
Amtrak Downeaster – We took the train to get to Portland because it was a stress-free option and gave us time to relax and be a little productive during our travels. We took one of the first trains out of North Station on a Saturday morning and had breakfast on the 2 hour trip up. The Portland train station is a short cab ride from the downtown area and we had no problem grabbing a cab once we headed out of the station. (Pro tip: The Downeaster currently has promotions running such as the Take 5 Pay $5 which allows you to buy one full price ticket on Tuesdays and Thursdays and bring up to 5 companions for $5 one-way. You can also do a BOGO deal where you buy one full price ticket and get to bring a friend for free. Both promotions are running through the end of 2015!)
Where we stayed
The Westin Portland Harborview – I found this hotel on a whim while skimming through Expedia. It’s located in the West End of Portland and roughly a 15-20 minute walk from the downtown area. The staff was super friendly and the room was clean and spacious. I would definitely stay here again! On one of my previous trips to Portland we stay at the Courtyard Portland Downtown which is located in the heart of the downtown area. I opted for the Westin this time because I knew we wouldn’t be spending too much time at the hotel and it was about $100 cheaper than the Courtyard at the time of booking.
Where we ate & drank
- Breakfast: Amtrak – We had breakfast sandwiches, coffee and Bloody Marys!
- Lunch: The Inn at Peaks Island – Because it was the off season, we basically had this place all to ourselves with a great view of the harbor. I had a salmon BLT that was out of this world.
- Drinks: Vena’s Fizz House – This was by far my favorite stop of the trip. When you first walk in you get the impression that this is solely a boutique that sells vintage drinkware and cocktail ingredients, but there’s actually a fantastic little bar in the back. They had a lot of Sinatra playing and the decor had a very vintage feel. We stayed here for about 2 hours just drinking and taking in the vibes.
- Dinner: Eventide Oyster Company – I had heard a lot about this place and had to stop in before we went out for the evening. The restaurant has a pretty modern feel to it, but I think my favorite part was that they were blasting 90s rap music the entire time. It took about 20 minutes to be seated as a walk-in, which was fine with us because we were in no rush. We got oysters to start and split the New England Clam Bake. It was SO. GOOD.
- Brunch: Artemisia Cafe – This was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel and the huevos rancheros were really fantastic. The ambiance was very cozy and understated, which was perfect for a foggy Sunday morning.
- Coffee: Bard Coffee – We made a pitstop in here before heading to the train station. The decor is minimal and the space was very airy. The staff was super chill, too.
- Lunch: Amtrak – Did you know the Downeaster sells Legal Sea Foods clam chowder? That’s what I ate on the way back to Boston. Nom, nom!
What we did
- Peaks Island Ferry – We took a Casco Bay Ferry ride out to Peaks Island for lunch. The ride was pretty short and the little beach where the ferry dropped us off was very picturesque. Unfortunately, the Island seemed pretty dead because it was the off-season, so we only went to the Inn for lunch and then headed back to Portland.
- Old Port Tavern Billiards – In our previous trip to Portland a few years ago, we stumbled upon this place and made it a priority to go back while we were in town. The boyfriend and I are pretty big pool sharks so we spent the majority of our evening here drinking rail drinks and playing many rounds of pool. (I crushed the competition ;))
- Portland Dry Goods – This is a very well-curated boutique on Commercial St. The brands they carry are not cheap, but the merchandising is excellent. Definitely stop in here if you’re looking for heavy-duty and/or high quality items.
What we’ll do next time
- Portland Museum of Art – This was super close to our hotel and apparently it’s one of the biggest attractions in the Portland area. If we had had an extra day, I definitely would’ve visited this museum.
- More local shopping – I’m disappointed in myself for not doing more research about the local shopping scene in Portland. I definitely want to visit more local shops next time I’m in town!
- Allagash Brewery Tour
- Visit Freeport – Mainly to check out the L.L.Bean store.
- Go back in the summer – The stop before Portland on the Downeaster is Old Orchard Beach. They have the coolest looking ocean pier that I definitely want to check out when in the warmer months on the way back up to Portland.
Shop The Look
Top: Uniqlo (similar) Skirt: Zara (similar) Sunglasses: DITTO Bag: Urban Outfitters Boots: c/o FRYE Necklace: H&M (similar) Lips: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout
Huge thank you to Amtrak Downeaster for sponsoring this trip! All opinions and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Style Tab’s lights on!