In honor of Jon & Catter’s surprisecation (see yesterday’s post for a bit more on this), we’re going to spend the next few days looking at places that Jon guessed he was going. We’re going to start with his first guess and one of our favorite cities on the east coast, Portland. Yes, the other Portland. The one that doesn’t get much love from Fred Armisen, the one that everyone associates with lobsters, and the one that gets pretty bitterly cold in the winter. So, hooray for Portland (Maine)!
First off, Portland does have some pretty amazing seafood, and it would be a pity to go there without eating. There are some obvious choices for dinner, such as Street & Co. (which has the added bonus of being right in Portland’s picturesque Old Port), Grace, which is in an old church, complete with stained glass windows, and Cinque Terre & Vignola, which grows a lot of their own food; we think a visitor should hit all three of these (as well as several other favorites, such as the fantastic Greek restaurant Emilitsa and Duckfat, which fries its fries in, well, lots of the good duck stuff). But we also think that it would be a pity to miss Portland’s awesome sandwich scene, including Po’ Boys & Pickles and Hot Suppa as well as the aforementioned Duckfat. Geez, if you hadn’t read this blog before, you’d get the impression that we’re obsessed with food. And that’s not the case - we’re obsessed with play.
So on that note, let’s talk about a few ways to play in Portland. There are some obvious picks - you can go out with Captain Ron on Maine Ocean Adventures and explore the bay, you can strap on a 6-millimeter wetsuit and go surfing along the coast (if this is their location, Jon & Catter will probably give this a whirl), or you can go play on a ropes course at Monkey Trunks Extreme, where you just keep climbing higher and higher… until you fall, and want to do it all over again. There are also several golf clubs in town, and we love going for runs along the Eastern Promenade. If you’re looking for something a little more unique, take out a windsurfer in the bay or head kayaking with Maine Island Kayak Company — there, you’ll get to be close up to the historic boats in the harbor, and have a great time in the process!
For those hoparans out there that prefer something a little more cultural, Portland has a couple different options. First, there’s minor league baseball with the Portland Sea Dogs; it’s kinda hard to beat hanging out with a lot of hard-core fans watching a game from close-up in the summer. Oh, right, we said culture. Do you count tours of the Alligash Brewery as culture? Ok, ok. REAL CULTURE. We get it. You want to go to places like the Farnsworth Museum (a couple hours north of Portland, but well worth the drive) and the Portland Museum of Art. You want to go on an art tour through Old Port’s art galleries. Or, for something that you can’t find anywhere else, visit Victoria Mansion, among the best-preserved and most important examples of 1800s architecture in the U.S.
Finally, with all of these activities, we’re also going to need to find you a place to stay. There are no shortage of fantastic small hotels in town, and our list is by no means exhaustive. When we’re in town, we usually stay in the Chadwick, the Pomegranate Inn, or the Morrill Mansion. We guess the only thing we forgot here is real estate listings, since we’ve clearly found more to do in Portland than anyone can fit into a weekend!