Our Top Portland, Maine Recommendations
“City worldliness with a small-town-feel” best describes Portland, Maine. Being one of the country’s most longstanding and busiest seaports, Portland is rich in historical homes and small businesses, making it a perfect historical sightseeing destination. Portland features spectacular dining and cultural opportunities, as well as diverse recreational attractions and stunning natural beauty. With such a wide variety of things to do, you will never want to leave!
Many visitors come to the city because of the great buzz surrounding the contemporary cuisine cooked fresh in many of the 300+ restaurants within the city limits. Numerous Portland chefs are nominated each and every year for the highly coveted James Beard Award. Long known as a local seafood capital, Portland has a new reputation for contemporary cuisine prepared by talented chefs.
The downtown area, known to locals as The Old Port, thrives with live music, dancing, shopping, dining, pubs, and famed microbreweries is one of the most successfully revitalized warehouse districts in the country. Enjoy a walk on one of the many wharfs, stroll down the cobblestone streets, and enjoy boutique shopping by day and vibrant live music by night.
A few blocks uptown of the waterfront is Portland’s secret treasure, The Arts District. With Congress Street as its spine, this once traditional shopping street has turned into a mecca of art galleries, antique shops, artist studios, and trendy restaurants. All this is just walking distance from the inn.
The stunning natural beauty of the Maine coast lends itself to many outdoor activities. Hiking, cross-country skiing, swimming, sailing, biking, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, and state parks can all be found within 15 minutes of The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast. Portland offers some of the best water access to the islands of Casco Bay, historic forts, and lighthouses. You can easily plan a day trip that includes water view, the rugged coast, and picturesque mountain regions, all in the proximity of Portland.
Visitors also come to Portland to experience some of the wonderful cuisine offered in 300+ restaurants scattered throughout the city. Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States! Here are a few of our favorites:
- Chaval – European-American; Reservations Suggested
A local favorite, close to the inn. Spanish + French-inspired seasonal cuisine. Ask to eat outside when the weather is nice!
- Katahdin Wood Fire Grill & Bar – Contemporary American; Reservations Suggested
New menu every night! Panzanella salad, amazing cocktails, lovely people. Perfect spot if you’re eloping in Portland!
- Local 188 – Spanish / Mediterranean / Tapas; Reservations Suggested
Close to the inn, open seven days a week. Meatballs, seafood paella, and a wine bar.
- Fore Street – American; Reservations Suggested Well in Advance
It remains one of the most recognized and talked about restaurants in Portland – so be sure to make your reservation well in advance.
- Street & Co. – Seafood; Reservations Suggested Well in Advance
An extremely knowledgeable wait-staff and the best seafood meal you will ever have, hands-down.
- Paciarino – Italian; Reservations Suggested
Open 7 days a week during the high season, serving authentic Italian food. Everything is delicious—like grandma made it herself.
- Hot Suppa – Southern Kitchen; Walk-Ins Only
Hearty Southern fare and comfort food all from scratch. Including our favorites Chicken & Waffles and the Fried Green Tomato BLT.
- Duckfat – Sandwich Shop; Walk-Ins Only
Panini sandwiches and local Belgian fries fried in duck fat… enough said.
- Gross Confection Bar – Dessert Bar / Craft Cocktails / Bakery; Walk-Ins Only
Amazing dessert confections that we’re sure you’ve never seen on a menu before! Bakery by day and dessert + cocktail bar by night.
- Salvage BBQ – Barbeque; Walk-Ins Only
Located close to the inn. You can smell the smoke shack from a half mile away! They have 16 taps that feature Maine microbrews. Order at the counter and they’ll find you when your food is ready!
- Eventide Oyster Co. – Seafood / Oyster Bar / Small Plates; Walk-Ins Only
When Alton Brown of Food Network fame says it’s the best oyster bar he’s ever eaten at in his life, they must be doing something right!
- Portland Lobster Co. – Seafood; Walk-Ins Only (Open May-October)
Hands-down, the best and biggest lobster roll in town. Great outdoor seating and live music most of the time.
- Central Provisions – Small Plates; Walk-Ins Only
Drinks in punch bowls and a menu you’ll want to keep at the table until you’ve tried everything. Great selection of local brews.
- Pai Men Miyake – Ramen Noodle Bar; Walk-Ins Only
Ramen, pork buns, Brussels sprouts—order all the food.
- The Green Elephant – Vegetarian Bistro; Walk-Ins Only
Even for the meat-lover, you’ll never finish a meal disappointed!
- Slab – Sicilian Street Food; Walk-Ins Only
Until you’ve had their Sicilian slab, you just haven’t lived.
- Boda “Very Thai” Kitchen + Bar – Thai-American Fusion; Walk-Ins Only
Open very late, serving till 12:45am every night. With amazing flavors and so much to choose from, this is a local favorite.
Brewery and distilleries have multiplied substantially in recent years in Portland and throughout Maine. Come sample and enjoy some of the best brews and spirits in the nation! For an Essential Guide to Maine Breweries, check out Eater Maine. Here are some of our local favorites:
- The Maine Brew Bus – A unique all-inclusive experience showcasing Maine’s booming craft alcohol scene. Regularly scheduled and private tours in Greater Portland on bright green school buses with guides that give a behind-the-scenes look at Maine’s craft breweries, distilleries, wineries, and more! Tours include many of the breweries and distilleries below.
- Allagash Brewing Company
- Austin Street Brewery
- Bissell Brothers
- Blue Lobster Wine Company
- Bunker Brewing
- Banded Brewing Company
- Cellardoor Winery & Vineyard
- Definitive Brewing Company
- Eighteen Twenty
- Fore River Brewing Company
- Foundation Brewing Company
- Flight Deck Brewing
- Foulmouthed Brewing
- Funky Bow
- Gritty McDuff’s
- Hidden Cove Brewing Company
- Island Dog Brewing
- Liquid Riot Bottling Company
- Lone Pine Brewing Company
- Maine Beer Company
- Maine Craft Distilling
- Mast Landing Brewing Company
- New England Distilling
- Nonesuch River Brewing
- Oxbow Brewing
- Rising Tide
- Run of the Mill
- Sebago Brewing Company
- Shipyard Brewing Company
- Some Brewing Company
- Stroudwater Distillery
- Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery
- Tributary Brewing Co.
- Urban Farm Fermentory
- Yes Brewing
- Maine Mead Works
With so much to do right downtown, you’ll want to extend your stay! Whether you’re looking to experience Portland via guided tour, peruse Downtown Portland’s history, enjoy the beauty of our lighthouses, or cheer on a sports team, there is a wealth of activities to meet your expectations.
- Casablanca Cruises
- Casco Bay Ferry Line Tours
- Downeast Duck Adventures (Temporarily Closed)
- Greater Portland Landmarks
- Longfellow House
- Lucky Catch Cruises
- Maine Foodie Tours
- Maine Historical Society
- Maine Red Claws
- Maine Sailing Adventures
- Odyssey Whale Watch & Nature Cruises
- Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours
- Portland Freedom Trail
- Portland Head Light
- Portland Sea Dogs
- Portland Trails
- Portland Walking Tours
- Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
- Summer Feet Cycling
- Wicked Walking Tours
- Wine Wise Events
Along with a thriving arts scene, Downtown Portland offers museums and galleries, each with their own impressive collections of artists, paintings, and other artistic works that would appeal to any art lover.
- Children’s Museum & Theater of Maine
- International Cryptozoology Museum
- Maine Historical Society
- Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum
- Museum at Portland Head Light
- Portland Museum of Art
- Victoria Mansion
Shopping and retail go hand in hand. Here you will find a list of local retailers of all types from fashion to food, arts and crafts, to sporting goods, furniture, collectibles, and so much more—there’s a lot to shop for! Check out the websites below for comprehensive lists and up-to-date information on retailers, promotions, and sales in the Greater Portland area!
Whether you’re looking for dancing, theater, live music, a drag show, or comedy, Portland allows you to experience a variety of live entertainment right downtown.
- Bayside Bowl
- Bubba’s Sulky Lounge
- Cross Insurance Arena
- Empire Dine & Dance
- Merrill Auditorium
- Nickelodeon Cinemas
- Old Port Tavern Billiards
- Port City Music Hall
- Portland Ovations
- Portland Stage Company
- Portland Symphony Orchestra
- State Theater
Many of our guests want to continue their regular exercise routines while in town. We want to help you look and feel your best, so we’ve listed some local options for indoor exercise.
- Bay Club Fitness
- CrossFit Casco Bay
- Planet Fitness
- Portland Yoga Studio
- Pure Movement
- Springboard Pilates
- World Gym
Portland’s peninsula is a great part of the city for walking. If you want to venture further than your feet or energy will take you, there are METRO Buses and reliable Uber Ride Share Service to keep in mind before renting a car. When guests ask whether or not they should rent a vehicle, we really leave that decision to their own preference.
For those who want to walk: from The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast, it is 10-15 minutes to The Arts District, 20-25 minutes to The Old Port, and 30-40 minutes to destinations on The East End.
For driving directions to The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast or directions from the train station, airport, bus station, or harbor, please click here.
Portland’s weather can be unpredictable. Typically, Portland experiences temperate springs and sunny summers, as well as crisp colorful falls and snowy white winters. If you are looking for one of the four seasons, Portland is the town to come to!
A long-term weather forecast of Portland is likely to change, so you may not find it as accurate as planning a few days in advance. We always suggest that you consult the weather forecast in Portland a day or two before you arrive. Sudden showers and higher-than-expected temperatures, as well as cool nights, have caught many Portlanders off-guard from time to time. Our advice is to pack a few layers (for any time of the year), comfortable shoes, and some rain cover (we provide umbrellas).
For Portland weather throughout the year, such as average temperatures and precipitation, visit The Weather Channel.
Outside of the city, Maine offers great shopping and sightseeing in Freeport, Wiscasset, Rockland, Camden, Boothbay Harbor, and Bethel. Fishing, boating, camping, and hiking are a short drive away in the beautiful Lakes Region and the Western Foothills. Leaf-peeping in the autumn—when the landscape is colored with the warm glow of red, orange, and yellow—is always stunning for locals and visitors alike. In the winter months, skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling are not too far from The Chadwick Bed & Breakfast.
All this, plus the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the historic city of Boston are just a stone’s throw away. With all that the region has to offer, you might ask to extend your reservation!