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VOL. 43 | NO. 14 | Friday, April 5, 2019

Finding New England charm in Portland, Maine

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We pulled in to Portland, Maine, not knowing what to expect.

Fresh lobster, tasty New England-style IPAs, beautiful drives through the countryside and crisp weather all dominated our New England road trip. But after spending a few days driving through Vermont and New Hampshire from Boston, it was time to settle in for a relaxing evening in the Portland Harbor Hotel in the Old Port District of Portland.

Our only previous visit to Maine was a quick day trip to Kennebunkport several years ago. This time, we wanted to stay overnight in Portland, a quaint city filled with local boutiques and bookstores, restaurants overflowing with local seafood and an abundance of breweries. It was the final stop of our New England fall foliage road trip in October, and while it had all the charm one imagines comes with the season and the region, Portland likely has appeal in any season.

In the Old Port District where the Portland Harbor Hotel sits, cobblestone lanes gently roll downhill to the water and set the mood for a romantic New England getaway. This cozy boutique hotel, with a library and warm fireplace in the lobby, contains 95 nautically themed rooms.

Our massive room featured a king-sized bed along with a pullout couch that worked well for our son. Area rugs placed strategically on the beautiful hardwood floors provided the comfort to go with the old-world charm of the space. Views out our window looked downhill to the harbor in the distance.

And it was that harbor that called us out of this room. We only spent 24 hours in Portland, so we didn’t have a lot of time to stroll the streets. We quickly ventured out to sample lobster rolls at The Highroller Lobster Company followed by time shopping the quaint streets and strolling the waterfront with the various islands in the distance protecting us from Casco Bay and the open Atlantic beyond.

Downtown Portland is easily walkable, but the hills make it a bit challenging. We had no problem walking from Old Port northeast to East End Beach, where locals enjoyed a sunset walk with their dogs, and back across the beautiful residential streets of Munjoy Hill to Downtown.

After dinner we headed back to relax at the hotel. The fireplace, cozy couches and reading nooks of the lobby called us back for a moment before having a nightcap at the bar and heading up for the night.

Traveling with our 12-year-old son, we aren’t inclined to spend much time relaxing in the room. We love family travel, but trying to relax in a beautiful hotel space with children is a rarity.

So maybe we’ll return without our son with the sole purpose of spending a couple of nights relaxing in the oversized room and lounging in the cozy lobby and restaurant downstairs at the Portland Harbor Hotel.

Lance Wiedower is a longtime Memphis-based journalist with a passion to see and experience the world. You can read more about his travels at www.tripsbylance.com.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0