Visiting Portland? Here’s What You Shouldn’t Miss

Portland, Maine is a coastal city that has it all – from mouth-watering restaurants to epic lighthouses to a booming craft brew scene. It’s a city of many layers – a seaport, historical hub, and cultural hotspot all rolled into one. Whether you’re here for the food, the scenery, or the culture, Portland has something for everyone. In fact, Travel + Leasure named Portland as one of the best places to live on the Eastcoast.

To help you explore this amazing city, I’ve put together a quick list of some of the best things to see and do.

 

Visit The Holy Donut


If you like donuts, this is a must-stop. Made with real Maine potatoes mixed with wheat flour, the donuts are fresh and made with all-natural ingredients. With two locations, one on Park Avenue and the other on Commercial St, you’ll never be too far away from your next sweet treat.

Be prepared to wait in line, but trust me- it’s worth it! The 18 flavors include Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, Maple Bacon, Fresh Lemon, and Toasted Coconut. Our personal favorite is the Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. Be sure to arrive early for the best selection!

Take the Ferry to Peaks Island

 

A 20-minute journey from Portland via the Casco Bay Lines ferry will have you end up on Peaks Island where the laidback lifestyle will surely encompass you. The quaint island has a population of under 1,000, but it is packed with something for everyone. Spend your time here eating fresh seafood at one of the local cafes, relaxing on one of the many beautiful beachfronts or renting a golf cart to tour the entire island’s attractions. There is literally something for everyone here – kayak, bike or just walk the beaches.

Have a Meal at Eventide

 

I can guarantee that Eventide’s lobster roll will be the best you’ve had in your life. In fact, I consider this gem one of my top 5 deathbed meals, it’s that good. Due to the restaurant’s undeniable popularity, some folks wonder if Eventide lives up to the hype and I am here to tell you that it does 100%. In fact, I even brave the crowds in the summer to eat at Eventide. Birthday lunch? Eventide? Taking visitors out? Eventide. Whatever the occasion, Eventide is tops on my list. If you’re visiting Portland, run, don’t walk, you’ll never be the same again.

Stroll The Old Port

 

 

One of the best things to do in Portland, Maine is to get acquainted with the rich history of this fishing town. The best way to do so? Take a stroll through Old Port. You’ll find yourself surrounded by salty fishing piers, cobblestone streets meander through 19th-century buildings that house great restaurants, charming shops, quaint boutiques and small art galleries.

True to its original purpose, the Old Port is easily walkable and as charming as can be. Park your car in a long term spot and spend an entire afternoon walking around and popping into the plethora of little shops. It won’t disappoint.

Visit a Brewery

 

 

Something most folks don’t realize about Portland is that it has more breweries per capita than any other city in America. It’s really hard to pick a favorite but if I had to, it would be Austin Street, in a great up-and-coming section of Portland. It’s within walking distance of some other really great places to get a drink or a bit to eat. Here’s a handy list of some of the breweries you’ll find in Portland.

 

Swing by Standard Baking Co

 

 

The always long lines at Standard Baking Co. are a testament to the amazing bakery they are. Don’t let the wait discourage you though, because once you taste their delectable pastries, you’ll know it was all worth it!

If you’re in Portland, you absolutely have to stop by Standard Baking Co. for a morning treat. To make the most of your visit, I suggest arriving early to avoid the crowds. Getting there before 8am is a safe bet as the bakery’s treats are known to sell out quickly.

Visit the Portland Museum of Art

 

 

Dating back to 1882, The Portland Museum of Art is Maine’s oldest and largest museums. Home to an impressive collection of European, Contemporary, and American Art, this museum is a no-brainer when looking for interesting things to do in Portland, Maine.

You’ll find pieces by Monet and Cassatt, in addition to pieces by local artists.

What’s more, if you’re visiting Portland, Maine during First Friday, make time to experience the Portland Art Walk. The Art Walk is a city-wide event and tons of galleries participate. In fact, you may be surprised to see just how many art galleries Portland has!

You’ll also see more street performers than usual during the event, so I highly recommend planning a trip around it. The event does a great job of highlighting the artsy side of this charming town.