Eating in Portland, Maine: The Pier - Things to do in Portland, Maine
My Impressions of Portland: The Pier

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Table of Contents

Where, How?
Portland on C&C
Best Time To Visit Portland
Personal Notes
Where to Sleep
Let’s Eat!
Let’s Go For a Drink
What to See and Do
Tipping in Portland, Maine
Common Scams & What to Avoid
C&C’s Google Map of the City

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Where, How?

Portland, Maine, United States of America, North America

Population: 66,666 (2014)

Currency: US Dollar (USD)


Portland International Jetport (PWM)

Airport Notes: It is the busiest airport in the state. It is serviced by low-cost carriers such as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue. Its terminal was in the recent past renovated and expanded.

Transportation to-and-from the airport: There are airport shuttle vans and sedans that allow easy transit to and from the airport. It also has private car service for those that prefer a more exclusive option. The airport has three parking lots for those that prefer to use their own transportation.  There are share ride vans, cabs and town cars that offer quick and direct transfers to any destination.

Intra-City Transportation

Renting a car is the best option because the city doesn’t have an extensive public transportation system. The bus line has high quality service for a city of its size and it runs on a regular schedule. There are taxi services too including ABC Taxi, ASAP Taxi and Old Port Taxi. Walking is the best option downtown with its walkable streets and pedestrians having the right of way.

A Note on Taxis:

Pay attention. Even if you aren’t conversant with the city, you should be able to tell if you are being driven in circles.

Just like anywhere, Uber is cheaper and safer. If you don’t already have an account, use this link and get 15 dollars off your first ride!


The East End has many restaurants, galleries and shops and is where the Portland Observatory and the St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center are located. The Arts District as the name suggests is home to all things art, and restaurants too.  The Old Port is characterized by its 19th century streets and is filled with boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.

Navigation tips: Downtown runs along the ocean, which runs diagonally, from the southwest to the northeast. Most of the streets run parallel or perpendicular to the ocean, which means that “south” is actually southeast.

More About Portland, Maine on C&C

Best Time To Visit Portland, Maine

Average Monthly Minimum And Maximum Temperatures

Average min and max temperatures in Scarborough, United States of America
Average min and max temperatures in Scarborough, United States of America

Average Monthly Rainfall Or Snowfall

Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Scarborough, United States of America

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Personal Notes

What’s This Place About?

Portland is probably the smallest city in this very guide. It’s a city that is on the water, which means there will be a lot of water-related things to do in and around Portland. There are a couple of very nice beaches around Portland.

What’s Great and Fun?

Lobster, clams, oysters, crab… Name anything edible that comes from the sea, they probably have it fresh and affordable. There are also a few good bars. An interesting tidbit of info: bars close at 1am in Portland.

Personal Anecdotes

One tip and one tip only: just because Guy Fieri visited a restaurant doesn’t mean it’s a good restaurant. It might be an interesting place to visit, but it’s not guaranteed that the food is the best.

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Portland Maine Travel Blog

Maine is called Vacationland with reason. Once summer sets in, tourists start to come in large numbers. There are therefore a couple of unique options.

The Mercury Inn is environment-friendly and its spaces are colorful. Its owners have dedicated its spaces to sustainability. It is evident in everything from the cleaning to the kitchen. Its clean, bright and roomy spaces are a breath of fresh air. It is a must stay-at if you are in Portland.

Other mid-range hotels that I recommend include Portland Harbor HotelHampton Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront and The Press Hotel, Autograph Collection. If you want a really cool tip on Portland maine travel blog, pick this.

Of course, Portland also has the usual major chain hotels such as Courtyard by Marriott Portland and Hyatt Place Portland.

Just like everywhere, Airbnb is a very interesting option. If you’re not already a  member, you can use this Airbnb link to get $40 off your first reservation. There are far too many options on Portland maine travel blog. All you have to do is keep eyes and ears open.


Portland Maine Travel Blog: Let’s Eat!

Famous Foods and Specialties

  • Fried Clams
  • Oysters
  • Whoopie Pie
  • Wood Oven-Roasted Mussels
  • Clam Chowder
  • Fish Chowder
  • Steamed Lobster

The Best Drunk Food

  • Tater tot poutine with gravy over cheese curds
  • Lobster rolls

Our Suggestions – Dishes And Restaurants

Here’s a quick list of interesting eateries:

If you want to make a right choice on Portland maine travel blog, be aware of the food and dining options in the city.

J’s Oyster (the only must-stop on this list) – Duckfat – Fife Fifty-Five – Street & Co – Miyake – The Porthole

Note: Fife Fifty-Five and Miyake has since closed its doors.

Also, when headed north on the 1, check out these two spots: Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company (open all day) and Town Landing Market (more a corner store than anything else but it’s great to grab a bite for lunch!)

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Let’s Go For a Drink

What Do the Locals Drink?

Cocktails, craft beer and locally-made spirits

Drinking in Public

It is illegal to drink in public.

Our Suggestions – Bars and Pubs

Greater Portland is famous for its craft beer that you may enjoy on the waterfront or at a local pub in Old Port. There are plenty of other of options as well if you are looking for great ambiance as you catch up with friends or watch a game. They include pubs, microbreweries, wine bars and taverns all of which Portland Maine is well-known for.

When you decide on Portland maine travel blog, keep in mind the bar and beverage options available.

Local breweries like East End Breweries and Allagash Brewing Company are the best place to go and enjoy local spirits.

As regular readers of this column know, I don’t know anything about clubs. Sorry!

Portland Maine Travel Blog: What to See and Do

As you explore the vibrant Portland harbor make sure you take a tour of its lighthouses.

Commercial Street in downtown Portland is a haven for both tourists and locals with its fresh breezes, beautiful maritime ships and scenes of fishermen bringing in the day’s catch.

The Portland Observatory, a tower that stands on Munjoy Hill offers amazing views of the city’s harbor and is a symbol of its maritime heritage. Don’t look for Portland maine travel blog too far away from a happening tourist attraction.

Portland Museum of Art houses a large collection of decorative and fine art. It is the largest and oldest public art establishment in Maine.

If you are a foodie, the Maine Foodie Tours are the best way to explore its culinary scene and get cooking classes while you are at it.

Get a feel of how life was in the 19th century as you walk through the beautifully preserved interiors of the Victoria Mansion.

Experience symphonic music and explore the beauty that is classic music at the Portland Orchestra.

Get your children to learn by using their imagination at one of the fun and interactive programs at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Tour the Allagash Brewing Company known to produce some of the industry’s most-respected beer brands.

Tipping in Portland, Maine

Just like in most of the United States, tipping is expected. If you are satisfied with the service, it is normal to tip 17-20% of the total cost of the bill. Even if the service was bad, a 10-15% tip is still expected.

Portland Maine Travel Blog: Common Scams & What to Avoid

Common Scams

Not really.


It’s too small of a city for that.


No problem.


It’s an American city, which means the crime rates are much higher than the large majority of cities in this guide. That being said, Portland is on the safer side of American cities.

Problematic Neighborhoods

Be aware of where you are at all times. However, the crime rates in Portland can be traced to a couple of regions in particular. One of them being between Bedgrove park and Commercial Street, which is absolutely downtown. This is probably the area in the city where the most crime happens, and also the area in the city where you are going to be as a visitor of the city. So be aware of that.

When you decide on Portland maine travel blog, be sure to avoid these places.

How to Stay Safe: Tips and Tricks

READ MORE: Travel Canada Advisory for the America.

Things to Do in Portland: C&C’s Map