This beautiful city in Maine is only a 2.5hr train ride on the Amtrak or a 2hr drive from Boston. We visited over the Labor Day weekend, and hence opted for the train ride (Boston is known for crazy traffic over Labor day… Students moving to the city + public holiday = painful traffic conditions!).

Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Portland, Maine!


Lobster rolls

Eventide is famous for its Lobster rolls – they melt in your mouth and you may find yourself refusing to share if you’re with a significant other (not exaggerating!). If you’re visiting over a weekend or a public holiday, be prepared to wait.

We waited nearly 2hrs, but I’m not lying when I say: the wait is 100% worth it. Pop your name down – they’ll take your mobile number and send you a text message once your table is ready.

24 hours in Portland, Maine

Visit Old Port

Cobblestone streets, famous New England architecture and cute stores. When waiting for that table at Eventide (or if you’ve got an afternoon spare!) this is a great place to wander and roam.

Breakfast at Bayside American Café

One of the most popular breakfast cafes in Portland, Bayside American Café has something to suit everyone – from walnut and ginger pancakes to big hearty savoury style breakfasts. Make sure you go early, otherwise you’ll need to wait.

24 hours in Portland, Maine

The Holy Donut

Portland’s most famous donut shop – these guilt free donuts are made out of sweet potato and are super dense and filling. There are so many flavors to choose from (bacon and cheese anyone?!) Go early if you want your pick of flavor’s – we had these for lunch (who says you can’t have dessert for lunch?!)

Duck Fat

We discovered this small eatery based on a recommendation from a friend, and are so glad that we did!

Just a couple of doors down from Eventide, Duck Fat have amazing hand cut chips, cooked in – that’s right you guessed it, duck fat! The wait wasn’t as long as Eventide, but unfortunately you can’t wander off. You’ll be given a buzzer, but thankfully the wait isn’t 2hrs long.

Can’t wait? Get your chips take away and sit in the park across the street! We wish we had done this, but had only realized this was an option right before we got our table.

24 hours in Portland, Maine

Portland Head

One of the most photographed lighthouses in the US, Portland Head is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon. There is of course the lighthouse, which has the bigger crowds, but also a great coastal trail for keen walkers and old remains of buildings that you can explore.

This is only a 10min drive from Portland itself, and if you don’t have a car, you can Uber (unfortunately public transport options are very limited/ require long walks, which is not ideal if you’re short on time!). Our Uber cost about ~$8 one way, and managed to catch one back to Portland when we were done. Mobile internet reception wasn’t great near the lighthouse, but if you walk around you can find some decent spots to order an Uber from.

Where to stay: The Westin Portland Harborview

Author: MG is an Aussie girl based in Boston, traveling the world. She shares her adventures on her blog, The Wandering Suitcase. Here, you’ll find her awkward travel moments, late night ramblings and advice for traveling the world on a budget.

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