It’s not the Portland of Portlandia, but this New England city has its own DIY charm. Jutting up against the Atlantic Ocean, it’s an outdoorsy, summery city that’s as American as the Lobster Roll (which you can find in abundance here, by the way)—a land of sailcloths repurposed into chic totes, 19th-century brick buildings, and artisanal dining spots where slow-drip coffee and hand-crafted donuts reign supreme.
And since May, Portland also lays claim to the most anticipated hotel opening in New England: The Press Hotel. The converted Portland Press-Herald building pays homage to its past as a newspaper publishing house—note the typewriter art installation in the lobby, typeface letters playfully dripping from the wallpaper to the carpeting, and the 1920s writer’s desks in the 110 guest rooms. We love the fully-functioning paper scale in the gym.
Two months in, The Press is already the social hub of Portland. Its Union restaurant is packed nightly and the farm-to-fork dishes are all the rage on the Maine Coast. Just steps away you’ll bump into the port, the shops, the artisans, and more of that ineffable vibe that makes Portland, Maine, the quintessential all-American summer city.
A few other places in Portland to visit if you decide to make the trip:
Allagash Brewing Company, where you can watch current brews being made, learn about "what's new," and taste exclusive tour-only brews in their new VIP room.
The Ferry to Diamond Cove for gorgeous views, time to explore the island, and authentic, local food.
Shopping on Exchange Street, especially during the First Friday Art Walks. We love the Portland Trading Company, a rare find that sells Portland staples like nautical pillows, walnut birdhouses, and moose-antler kitchen knives.
Tandem Coffee is a favorite for locals, so you’ll probably have to wait for your drip: it’s made in a Chemex, with hot water painstakingly poured over fresh grounds cup by cup.
Portland Hunt & Alpine Club is fab for night out and sits just a few steps down the street from The Press Hotel. Come for the craft cocktails and Scandinavian food.
Portland Head Light, the circa-1790 lighthouse alongside Fort Williams Park where you can picnic, hike, see the ocean as it meets the horizon, and walk off that one-of-a-kind meal you just had.