Portland, Maine is a gem of cobbled city streets with  fine food smells wafting in the air. I was only there for a couple of days for a business trip but I intend to go back (soon!) to Portland, Maine. It was charming, a little crunchy, and full of music and food.

Food in Portland, Maine

We dined at J’s Oyster and our waitress was refreshingly honest about her choices on the menu. I can’t eat seafood (but their chicken teriyaki was really good), but my coworkers did have oysters, lobster and fishy items I can’t identify. The atmosphere was quaint and homey:

Oysters in Portland, Maine

Oysters at J’s


I also really loved the Holy Donut for breakfast- try their chocolate sea salt donut.  Potato donuts seem more filling and less sweet- I could fool myself into thinking it was a wholesome treat.

In terms of beer, go to the Thirsty Pig– sausage, beer, and live music almost every night! It felt like everlasting summer there.

Other Gems

Bookstores are one of my passions- I judge a town by it’s cute, indie, friendly bookstores.

Longfellow Books has a great selection, chatty and helpful staff, and lots of knick-knacks to look at. I think the poetry quote by the man himself sign outside says it all:

Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine

Longfellow Books Quotes. . .Longfellow


We walked around, saw a quintet plying the park, modern day hippies and hipsters, food lovers, and craft beer lovers.

Dusk in Portland, Maine

Dusk in Portland, Maine


UNE and other stops in Biddeford

The University of New England was our other stop. The campus at Biddeford afforded us beach views, and vistas of a marine center, while the Portland campus has classically Maine edifices.

Beach at UNE Bidderford

Beach at UNE Bidderford


A beautiful campus building Portland, Maine

A beautiful campus building Portland, Maine


Last but not least, I want to call out a lovely bookstore that is a short drive away from Portland- Elements Books, Coffee, Beer– a little bit of everything! I was impressed by the coffee, the atmosphere of young professionals working away, a good menu, and BOOKS.

Elements Bookstore


In short, there’s a lot to do in southern Maine- I encourage an escape to a land of salt, sea, and sun.